Anodized frame polish... or not?
Not exactly a GT question but since some of you use Mothers Aluminum Polish, I thought to ask this question here…
Is Mothers (or any other aluminum polish) a good application to anodized aluminum frame, such as old anodized Zaskar? Wikipedia says “anodized aluminum surfaces, for example, are harder than aluminum but have low to moderate wear resistance that can be improved with increasing thickness or by applying suitable sealing substances.” This makes it sounds as if Mothers, which removes oxidized surface corrosion off the metal surface, not suitable to polish anodized aluminum? I realize that anodized frames remain shiny relatively better than those ball burnished frames – but blemish do happen especially on old ones.
I tried on a very small surface and it shies better – but I don’t really know the long term effect of that – if there is any. And metal polish products at the auto stores don’t usually refer to anodized surface (not in style any more, is it). Any thoughts?
No...don't do it. If you use anything even with a mild abrasive like Mother's you can eventually scrub through the ano and you don't want to go there. The early anodized Zaskar, RTS, LTS and road bike frames were ball burnished before they were anodized and that's the main reason most of them pop so good when you see them in good light. I've had a few come in that were just grimy...many years build up of layers of garage and storage dust. The best thing to do is give it a bath with mild soap and water and work into the welds and tight spots with a soft bristle toothbrush then give it a good rinse and dry it off. If your frame has seen to much sun and faded there really isn't anything you can do that's going to bring color depth back to it unless you have the ano process repeated. I've seen red, purple and black ano Zaskar frames that spent way too many hours parked in the sun or near direct sunlight from a garage window and they have maybe half the color depth left...tragedy. I received a green ano Zaskar frame last fall that was almost army olive on arrival and after a good 45 minute cleaning the color was a lot more vibrant. I was amazed at the difference. See pics on arrival and post build up. Hard to believe it's the same frame.
Originally Posted by hatake
Needed: 26.8mm XTR seatpost, blue GT/Grundig Jersey.
Night and day difference there, beautiful! I figured it wasn't a good idea to use a polish but wanted to see if anyone had any thoughts on. Thanks.
I am nearly complete with my Zaskar refresh. I have new decals ready to apply, but still need to polish up the frame a bit. Here's my question: Once I am happy with the level of shine from the frame, do I need to prep it aside from soap and water before applying the decals?
I assume I need to try to remove all polishing compound residue. (Mothers)
Also, any advice on getting the decals straight?
Silly questions but I've been staring at it for the last week, afraid to screw up the final product.
Putting it on straight - I put fishing line on the tube with scotch tape. It works really well. You can ensure the symmetrical positions by attaching the fishing line or scotch tape around the tube to make sure they start from the same point.
Thanks man, tape sounds like the simplest solution. I am going to try to finish up tonight... though my garage is a hot box with 105 temps during the day.