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Brushing Aluminum

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I want to brush some aluminum strips, but I have no idea where to start.

Any tips?
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post #2 of 11
Sandpaper.

I've never done this, but basically, I would think you would go at it kind of like you were performing a reverse lap job. Start with finer grits of paper (higher numbers), and work your way down to coarser grits until you find the desired effect you are looking for. Once you pinpoint that, then you should be able to just use that grit for the rest of your project. (I'm guessing you're going to be somewhere in the range of 220-400 grit, but I wouldn't take that to the bank.)

The real trick would be getting your sanding strokes to be consistently parallel. Otherwise, you are going to end up with a messy "scuffed" look, rather than a "brushed" one. Off hand, I can't think of any good tips/tools to insure you sand straight, other than practice.

When in doubt, experiment on scrap.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Warfarin88 View Post
Sandpaper.

I've never done this, but basically, I would think you would go at it kind of like you were performing a reverse lap job. Start with finer grits of paper (higher numbers), and work your way down to coarser grits until you find the desired effect you are looking for. Once you pinpoint that, then you should be able to just use that grit for the rest of your project. (I'm guessing you're going to be somewhere in the range of 220-400 grit, but I wouldn't take that to the bank.)

The real trick would be getting your sanding strokes to be consistently parallel. Otherwise, you are going to end up with a messy "scuffed" look, rather than a "brushed" one. Off hand, I can't think of any good tips/tools to insure you sand straight, other than practice.

When in doubt, experiment on scrap.
Alright then! Thanks! rep +
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post #4 of 11
I used some brushed effect alu in my metalwork project when I was in school.

I did it my running an alu plate over a belt sander for a second (I had one big enough, my uncle works in a wood processing plant so it brought in down there. this thing measured 8ftx4ft )

h
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SerenityKill3r View Post
I used some brushed effect alu in my metalwork project when I was in school.

I did it my running an alu plate over a belt sander for a second (I had one big enough, my uncle works in a wood processing plant so it brought in down there. this thing measured 8ftx4ft )

h
Whoa, too bad I don't have access to that sort of equipment lol.
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post #6 of 11
    
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post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marcus000 View Post
Yeah, I had checked that out.

rep +

But the device he made I am having a little trouble visualizing..
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post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by d3daiM View Post
But the device he made I am having a little trouble visualizing..
I hadn't seen that guide. Nice effect he got there.

Near as I can tell, It looks like he has taped his aluminum to the bench, and then created a floating jig to drag the paper across it. The long bit of wood that is coming toward the camera on the far right in the second picture -- that's not attached to anything but the sanding block. It's there to guide the paper in a straight line down the metal. I'm assuming he only has the one clamp so he can pivot the paper and vary the points at which the abrasive meets the metal to vary the "brushing" grooves like he mentioned. That would work, but boy you would need to be careful to keep your wood bits (on the table and the jig) from scraping each other and skipping around I would think. One slip and you've got a mess.

The foamy bit he is using for backing on the paper is a good idea to help get a "soft" but consistent pressure on the plate. He also made a good point about brushing a larger area than you actually need, and cutting to size. I hadn't thought of that.

(I've done a fair bit of sanding... but on paint, primer, and body filler. Not so much on bare metal -- and always ultimately sanded smooth and covered with color.)

good luck!
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Ah, that does sound right..!

Thanks and rep +

I may just do it this way
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post #10 of 11
BTW, emery cloth works real nice on metal... its made for metal
    
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