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Old 14th July 2002, 08:10 AM   #51
cjunk is offline cjunk  Italy
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Default Aluminium panel finishing

How do you finish your aluminium panels?
Are there easy and feasible ways to remove the scratches of the drilling and assembly process?

I would like to preserve the natural color of the aluminium without anodizing it.

Carlo
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Old 14th July 2002, 03:06 PM   #52
Coulomb is offline Coulomb  England
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Default Finishing Aluminum

There are several methods you can use, I like to lightly sand blast my heasinks after machining. For flat panels the best method is soap, water and a brillo pad, always push in striaght lines and in one direction only. I have attached a photo showing a project where I used both methods of finishing.

Regards

Anthony

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Old 14th July 2002, 03:06 PM   #53
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This is a closeup of a preamp panel I made in early '80s. There was no protection done to aluminum surface of any kind and after extensive use you don't see any wear after all those years. I finished it simply by using fine grade waterproof sandpaper (between 200 to 400, depending on your likening). If you do it wet the surface will become matte, when do it dry it will have a shine. Just use a piece of wood to move your panel along it's edge, so the brushed lines are perfectly straight. After that clean it with hot water. Dry immediately because water might leave spots. That's my memries of making the panel then.

Today I'm using 6" belt sander. I simply sand the panels on it, using WD40 as a lubricant and 150 grid paper. One might use different lubricant but since it's working for me I didn't bother to look for anything else. After that I clean the panel with Varsol and give it a final look with Scotch Brite.

To see more pics of the preamp see: http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/showt...3046#post43046
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Old 14th July 2002, 04:08 PM   #54
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It's pretty hard to capture fine texture of aluminum in difficult light but maybe that picture shows it better.
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File Type: jpg pre5.jpg (81.3 KB, 3176 views)
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Old 14th July 2002, 04:33 PM   #55
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Anthony,
Using soap sounds interesting, I never tried it before. What's brillo pad?
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Old 14th July 2002, 05:27 PM   #56
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Brillo pads are scouring pads, something that resembles Scotch-Brite.
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Old 14th July 2002, 05:42 PM   #57
Coulomb is offline Coulomb  England
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Default Re: Brillo

Hello HPotter, cp642 is correct.. though I tend to keep a few different types at my disposal to work with. First the Soap acts as a lubricant to control the abrasive action and smooth the stroking process. I use a copper pot scrubber for rough finish then follow up with the presoaped little steel wool pads for polishing. The plastic types are useless of course. I tried sand paper but never got the sheen I wanted and it seemed messier. I do all the polishing under luke warm running water and have not had the experience of a dull finish from wet working.

Regards

Anthony
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Old 14th July 2002, 06:30 PM   #58
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You get matte finish when using high grid sand paper (300 and more) and water (no soap, because you want to find the most abrassive stroke).
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Old 14th July 2002, 06:37 PM   #59
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Default Re: Matte Finish

Humm.. Sounds cool, maybe I will give it another try.
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Old 14th July 2002, 09:39 PM   #60
PedroPO is offline PedroPO  Portugal
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In my panel I used 320 sandpaper without water or soap.

I didn't use a ruller so the lines were a bit on the curve side, but I think is ok for the first job.

after I lackered it with semi gloss and finished with car polish

here is a pic
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