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Old 06-14-2012, 10:32 AM   #1
240sx4u OP
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Anyone else use silver rub n' buff on aluminum?

I saw this stuff mentioned here and it seemed like an awesome alternative to bead blasting and things like that. Wax plus silver = decent looking cast parts.

Anyone use this stuff? Let's see some pictures!

Evan
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:37 AM   #2
Airhead Wrangler
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The whole idea of "engine makeup" seems kind of goofy to me no matter how good it looks. Blast it with soda or walnut shell to get rid of grunge. Call any remaining imperfections "patina." Painting aluminum so that it looks like aluminum, just doesn't sit right with me. It just feels fake. Even if it looks good to others, I would always know that it's fake and it would bother me.
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Old 06-15-2012, 08:49 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airhead Wrangler View Post
The whole idea of "engine makeup" seems kind of goofy to me no matter how good it looks. Blast it with soda or walnut shell to get rid of grunge. Call any remaining imperfections "patina." Painting aluminum so that it looks like aluminum, just doesn't sit right with me. It just feels fake. Even if it looks good to others, I would always know that it's fake and it would bother me.
If that stuff adds any fake color to the aluminum, forget it!

I'd like to have a few words with the idiot who painted the spare set of Royal Enfield Interceptor cylinder heads I bought some years ago.

When I was restoring my Interceptor last year, the plan was to use those heads since they just needed the valves lapped in. The original heads were functional, but the valve guides are quite loose.
I had access to a commercial engine washer (giant dishwasher with a built-in oil skimmer), and put both pairs of heads in it to clean them up.
My old-worn out heads looked fantastic when I took them out. The heads with the good valve guides looked like hell, as the paint had only partially washed off, and was duller looking than the clean metal on the other pair.
So, now I have to get the good heads media blasted before I can use them. I put the bike together with the better looking heads to finish the restore in time for the OVM show in May.
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:42 AM   #4
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I have no blasting equipment or that is exactly what I would do. I mainly wanted to use it in places where it would be difficult to clean later.
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Old 06-14-2012, 11:47 AM   #5
Airhead Wrangler
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you can get a cheap venturi blasting pistol for $20 at HF and a bag of media. Rent a good enough air compressor for the weekend and you'll be good. HF was unloading their smaller soda blasters REALLY cheap for a while also and the one I got actually worked pretty decently.
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Old 06-14-2012, 11:57 AM   #6
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I have a compressor that is definitely up to the task, I hadn't even thought about just trying out a cheap siphon unit. Sweet. Thanks for the suggestion. That will also allow me to get into the hub area on the wheel where it's pretty gross looking.
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Old 06-14-2012, 02:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
The whole idea of "engine makeup" seems kind of goofy to me no matter how good it looks.
I guess when you call it "engine makeup" it's bound to seem goofy. Still, that's why I ride without oil seals. The whole idea of an "engine tampon" seems kind of goofy to me, no matter how well they work.

brocktoon screwed with this post 06-14-2012 at 02:27 PM
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Old 06-14-2012, 02:43 PM   #8
Airhead Wrangler
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Oil seals serve a vital function. Rubbing silver goop onto aluminum to make it look "more" like aluminum doesn't.. The same people must have developed those bathtub inserts. They share the philosophy that instead of fixing a relatively simple problem it's better to just hide it under a bunch of cheap crap that won't last.
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airhead Wrangler View Post
Oil seals serve a vital function. Rubbing silver goop onto aluminum to make it look "more" like aluminum doesn't.. The same people must have developed those bathtub inserts. They share the philosophy that instead of fixing a relatively simple problem it's better to just hide it under a bunch of cheap crap that won't last.
I totally agree yet again. I hadn't read this thread until today. I got a few laughs out of it! Personally, I think any kind of painted on aluminum look looks lake crap. I can spot it a mile away. Including photos of that silvery stuff in this thread. Black painted engines look good for a year or two.

No one started at the beginning. WASH your bike! Then they won't get so nasty looking to start with! Airheads go on and on about maintenance. Washing a bike IS maintenance! You can not properly maintain a dirty bike!

I wonder what kind of dry blast patanga was using? I have used finer sand and glass on tons of BMW motorcycle parts and have never run into his troubles. Glass bead does not leave a sharp edge?
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Old 01-05-2013, 01:01 PM   #10
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If you can spot the difference between my cylinders and my engine block in the photo I posted above from a mile away, then you have much better eyes than I do.

I absolutely DID clean the engine, and will continue to do so regularly - it's obviously the way to do it right. After that, a little RNB will ensure that it STAYS clean. Wax guys, that's all it is. Don't over think this.
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Old 01-05-2013, 02:06 PM   #11
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I'm putting a swb/5 together from parts.
scored some fork sliders cheap at a friend's garage, they looked like crap.
now experimenting with making them look better.

scrubbing with brass brushes & scotch brite (green) in my parts cleaning tank got them 'clean'.

this one's the worst of the two, after cleaning.



I did some studying earlier.

reportedly, phosphoric acid gives good results and is not terribly toxic.
(Used in coca-cola, it can be sourced 85% pure food-grade from amazon.com.)

I shopped around and found this stuff which includes a fair percent of it.



^ these results were after three application at ~90 seconds each.

I then rinsed the slider in water with baking soda to neutralize the acid.
I'd say the results were better than it appears in the pic, but still those oxide freckles...

Here I've applied RnB pewter, obviously just in "quadrant of the cylinder" under the cast roundel.



below: same but with different lighting.
no RnB on the axle buttress, or left of the roundel.



for comparison we have here the second slider in the foreground, scrubbed and cleaned with solvent only (nice patina ).
Slider in back done complete in RnB pewter except for the upper, gaiter area.




in the pic below: foreground slider after etching with Aluminum Brightener (aka phosphoric acid).



IMO the etched slider would eventually oxidize to the pewter color.
I've not tried RnB "silver leaf" but it may closely resemble the freshly etched slider.

Same two as above, different lighting.





as seen below, I went ahead and waxed the second slider with the RnB.
(neither one was scrubbed, etched or waxed in the gaiter 'land'... that ~3 in. area at the top of the slider)



IMO it's a big improvement on these second hand parts. No way have they ever looked this good in this century.
from http://www.amaco.com/"Rub 'n Buff is made from imported carnauba waxes, fine metallic powders, and select pigments."

It contains a petroleum distillate which keeps it soft for application, and as this evaporates the wax hardens.
Easily removed with acetone, I like how it protects the aluminum from further oxidation while making it easier to keep the surface clean.
I guess it lasts about as long as a good wax lasts on patent leather shoes: depends on the duty.

Honestly, I'm not a 'cleaning' enthusiast and can't afford to spend a lot of time at it.
Having made the effort to get these castings clean, it's nice to keep them so while minimizing further effort down the road.

And I believe it will make the next owner happy as well.
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Renner screwed with this post 01-05-2013 at 02:23 PM
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:26 PM   #12
patanga
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supershaft View Post
I totally agree yet again. I hadn't read this thread until today. I got a few laughs out of it! Personally, I think any kind of painted on aluminum look looks lake crap. I can spot it a mile away. Including photos of that silvery stuff in this thread. Black painted engines look good for a year or two.

No one started at the beginning. WASH your bike! Then they won't get so nasty looking to start with! Airheads go on and on about maintenance. Washing a bike IS maintenance! You can not properly maintain a dirty bike!

I wonder what kind of dry blast patanga was using? I have used finer sand and glass on tons of BMW motorcycle parts and have never run into his troubles. Glass bead does not leave a sharp edge?
Agreed re the wipe on look. Each to their own though I suppose. To date the best overall results I've had is with wet glass media blasting. I've tried the fine sand and while the result looks good, surfaces tend to show finger prints afterwards from my experience. If the part is going to be painted then I'd say sand is fine as it will provide a better key for the paint to adhere to. Haven't tried walnut media so have no comment to make on that one. Perhaps new dry media material has been developed since I last tried the stuff, but till recently my preference has been for wet blasting. One thing I never blast is carb bodies.

Agree totally with Mr Farmer regards engine casings. If you have one blasted be sure to flush, flush and flush the oil passages and then flush again. Will more than likely go with ultrasonic clean next time.

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patanga screwed with this post 01-10-2013 at 02:45 PM
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Old 06-14-2012, 11:45 PM   #13
Tenni126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 240sx4u View Post
I saw this stuff mentioned here and it seemed like an awesome alternative to bead blasting and things like that. Wax plus silver = decent looking cast parts.

Anyone use this stuff? Let's see some pictures!

Evan
I tried it on the front cover of my R90/6. A little goes a long way, and it looks pretty good. It's held up well. To each there own, of course, on the pros and cons of the stuff, but it's a good option if you don't want to mess around with media blasting or whatever.
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Old 06-15-2012, 12:31 AM   #14
lockyv7
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Would a soda blaster do any damage to a front wheel hub and spokes on a 100GS, i can clean the rim but to get in to the hub with the spokes its just a shit fight, maybe place a long threaded rod through the wheel with a couple of good rubber sealing washers to keep the bearings clean, or just use it as the time to replace the front wheel bearings while its apart.
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Old 06-15-2012, 01:00 AM   #15
patanga
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Originally Posted by lockyv7 View Post
Would a soda blaster do any damage to a front wheel hub and spokes on a 100GS, i can clean the rim but to get in to the hub with the spokes its just a shit fight, maybe place a long threaded rod through the wheel with a couple of good rubber sealing washers to keep the bearings clean, or just use it as the time to replace the front wheel bearings while its apart.
Hi lockyv7... Wet media Soda blaster on the hub or most anywhere else alloy should be fine... It's the dry bead blasters that you need to keep away from anything alloy. It's also handy if the person doing the job understands a little about the parts and does their best to only get it where required.

Dry blast looks great until you touch it and then you'll learn that with every touch, finger prints will for ever be left all over the metal. Dry blast leave a sharp edge key which is near impossible to work with after that. You'll end up having to do the job a 2nd time with a wet soda blaster. Also keep in mind with any media blasting that's it's vital to make sure that everything is really well pressure washed afterwards... The media gets in to everything,,, especially oil galleries and other nasty nooks where is will come back to haunt you.. Otherwise it's great..

As for the spokes and other coated steel items,,, The blast media will likely remove any of the electro plating or paint that is on them. I'd suggest R & R the spokes and or having the wheel relaced with stainless wires afterwards.

One more thing for those keen on giving their engine parts that highly polished look;.... Highly polished finishes retain more heat as they don't provide that same cooling efficiency as flat or standard factory patina finishes... Look on any serious race car and you will find engine parts etc in mat or satin colours. Sorry lockyv7.. I digressed there a little, just thought I'd kill two birds with one stone... Cheers.....

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