Brushing Aluminum

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jimfowler
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Brushing Aluminum

Post by jimfowler » Wed Sep 04, 2019 3:14 pm

Does anybody have a good solution for brushing aluminum at home? I've tried with a belt sander but the results, while technically brushed, were not exactly what I was going for (also, the not-quite-perfectly-flat Al sheets didn't help). I'm not doing anything larger than 20" by 7". I could always buy brushed but it's twice as expensive.

- Jim

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Graham Hinton
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Re: Brushing Aluminum

Post by Graham Hinton » Wed Sep 04, 2019 3:34 pm

jimfowler wrote:Does anybody have a good solution for brushing aluminum at home?
You can get blocks of rubber impregnated with abrasives of different grit counts. Just wipe in one direction. The ones I get in the UK are called Garryflex made by Garryson and I see they are available on Amazon in the US. Go for coarser grits otherwise you are polishing.

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tobb
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Re: Brushing Aluminum

Post by tobb » Wed Sep 04, 2019 5:41 pm

Graham Hinton wrote:
jimfowler wrote:Does anybody have a good solution for brushing aluminum at home?
You can get blocks of rubber impregnated with abrasives of different grit counts. Just wipe in one direction. The ones I get in the UK are called Garryflex made by Garryson and I see they are available on Amazon in the US. Go for coarser grits otherwise you are polishing.
NICE,thanks!

jochem
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Post by jochem » Thu Sep 05, 2019 12:53 am

I often use scotchbrite pads and manually apply a 'brushed finish". The difficulty is in keeping all the strokes in equal direction. Otherwise the result is chaotic.
It helps to first clean the aluminium with a degreaser.

AudioElectronicsAcademy
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Post by AudioElectronicsAcademy » Thu Sep 05, 2019 9:52 am

I also experienced (good) results with scotchbrite pads and beeing really careful with the stroke-direction.

But even if the factory-brushed parts costs twice as much they normally don't suffer from the greasy fingerprints-desease since they are passivated after brushing. (not all of them, but most of them).

Since passivating aluminium (anodizing) is a messy thing at home I buy them brushed.

cheers

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plushterry
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Post by plushterry » Thu Sep 05, 2019 3:31 pm

I've done it with sandpaper on a flat surface, 120 grit is a good place to start.

The trick I found to getting the lines straight and even is to use a straight piece of wood fixed to your desk, get a big piece of sandpaper and lay it down so it butts up tight against the wood then put whatever it is you're brushing on top of the sandpaper.

Now you can use the wood as a straight edge to run a flat side of the piece along so you get lovely straight lines.

Obviously this only really works for smallish flat things, like panels.

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plushterry
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Post by plushterry » Thu Sep 05, 2019 3:32 pm

also you can make the finish more durable with a coat of matt laquer

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Delta T
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Post by Delta T » Fri Sep 06, 2019 11:22 pm

Scotch brite pads are good. I’ve also used 320 and 400 grit sand paper and emery cloth. The 400 I also used on a belt sander...made a great finish but the sanding belts kept tearing up on me (cheap Ebay stuff). As mentioned watch your sanding direction - keep it constant.

Years ago in high school shop I used a pumice powder on an aluminum project. Gave a really nice satin finish

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emmaker
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Post by emmaker » Fri Sep 06, 2019 11:58 pm

This came up on Muffs sometime in the last couple of weeks.

Blank Panel Finish

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