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Where to get AL frame polished?(7 posts)

Where to get AL frame polished?Tri-State Cycler
Sep 22, 2001 2:48 AM
Does anybody know where I can get an AL frame polished and clearcoated? I have found places that either polish or clearcoat, not both. Most places are not bike specialty only.
Thanks for your help all.
not worth it...C-40
Sep 22, 2001 5:03 AM
As cheap as most Al frames are, I can't imagine it's worth the expense to strip an existing paint job, polish the frame, and clearcoat (with no deacals?). Sounds like several hundred dollars worth of work to me.

I worked in a plating shop many years ago where I polished a lot of motorcycle parts. Aluminum is so soft that it's easy to remove a significant amount of material, particularly when removing scratches. This could weaken the frame, if the polisher doesn't realize how thin the tubing is.

Maintaining a polished frame is also a pain. If the clear coat is scratched, there's no easy reapir.

I had a polished Litespeed Ultimate (no clearcoat needed on Ti). Every fingerprint showed. I was constantly wiping the frame with windex to keep it looking descent.

You'd be better off with a good paint job. It will be easier to keep looking clean and bright colors are a lot better looking.
bare polished al corrodes at onceclub
Sep 22, 2001 7:45 AM
by the time you'd finish polishing the stays, the main tubes would already start dulling from oxidation. you've got to clear-coat polished aluminum at once to prevent it.
not that fast...C-40
Sep 22, 2001 2:10 PM
The 7000 series alloys corrode more easily than 6000 series. As long you don't put bare hands on it, aluminum will keep it's shine for quite a while. I've got a bare polished aluminum seat post clamp on my C-40. I only have to brighten it up a few times a year with some Mother's metal polish to keep it looking good.
re: Where to get AL frame polished?Tri-State Cycler
Sep 22, 2001 2:43 PM
The frame was polished & clearcoated by the factory so I don't have to worry about removing paint, just the clearcoat. The polish and clearcoat are less than stellar, which is the reason for the post. I've been told that you can bead-blast AL and it will come out some funky color that you can either leave bare or clearcoat. This is my first AL frame after 25+ years of steel, so I really am in the dark. I guess I can paint it if I have to (I really would like to keep it the way it is). Any recommendations for a paint shop? Thanks.
where to get frame painted...C-40
Sep 22, 2001 6:48 PM
Lots of places have web sites. Spectrum Powder coating comes to mind. Many advertise in Velo News and Bicycling magazine. Ever used a search engine like Make that computer do some work.

Removing the old clearcoat takes the same process as removing an old paint job. It can be done chemically or by grit blasting. To repolish the bike it has to be done with with paint stripper. Blasting would make it tough to repolish.

If this is an old Cannondale CAAD3 or 2.8, try the color factory, 1-800-62-gleam, they advertise paint jobs for $120. Shipping two ways would add another $40. Spending much more would be a waste. A few years ago you could pick a new CAAD3 frame with carbon fork for a little over $400.
re: Where to get AL frame polished?Live Steam
Sep 24, 2001 6:51 PM
I think you would be better with a clear anodized finish. Much more durable than any clear finish that you can apply. I'll as a friend in the morning who he does business with in NJ. He is in the brass business. They make lighting fixtures, railings etc. from all types of metals and I am sure he would have some good suggestions for you. It may not be cheap though.