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Refinishing titanium(5 posts)

Refinishing titaniumMartin
Apr 10, 2001 3:34 AM
I have a '98 Litespeed Natchez with the satin (aka dull) finish. Contrary to what I expected, the finish shows blemishes like crazy - water, sweat and oil leave stains that are a pain to clean and there are several small polished spots from rubbing or impacts. I have always preferred the brushed titanium finish and would like to redo the bike in a brushed finish. Litespeed said that they will do it for $185, but I can't deal with the down-time. Is this something that I can do (well) myself (if so, how?) or should I leave it to the pros? Thanks.

Try a scotch-brite pad to give it the brushed look.Largo
Apr 10, 2001 9:57 AM
On my Seven, i use scotch brite, or sandcloth. Sand cloth is a roll of sandpaper that you can find in plumbing supply shops, its used for cleaning copper pipe fpr soldering. Break the paper in a bit, so that it is not so stiff or abrasive, and work it over the Ti tubes, gently, until you get the degree of finish you would like. Brushed Ti frames are great in that you can "do it yourself", that is, get rid of scratchs, chainsuck marks, etc...
Good luck
Try a scotch-brite pad to give it the brushed look.Martin
Apr 10, 2001 1:08 PM
Are there any tricks to getting in the tight areas and welds?

Use the sand cloth,largo
Apr 10, 2001 2:26 PM
When broken in, it is very flexible. this cloth is what the frame makers use to buff the welds, or sand down fillet brazes. Or try a wire wheel in a 3/8 drill, it'll get into the welds.
Two things to avoid at all costs ...Humma Hah
Apr 10, 2001 4:34 PM
... never-never-never use a chlorinated organic solvent (such a perk, trichloroethane, carbon tetrachloride, etc) on a titanium bike. It causes a chemical reaction that leads to cracking.

And also, never allow anything containing or plated with cadmium to touch titanium. This also causes cracks.

While titanium is very corrosion-resistant, it can be somewhat chemically reactive. Electrolysis effects are particularly prone to staining it. In fact, controlled electrolysis is often used to deliberately produce an irridescent finish on titanium, which can be blue, purple, green, or even red, or a gradiation between these colors. If the surface has never been passivated, anodized, or otherwise protected, and it is touched against conductive surfaces so that electrolysis is set up, it may attempt to do this process on its own, causing stains.