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Polishing aluminum

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If you are going to use an aluminum top, I suggest you get it clear anodized first, or clear coat it after you've polished it or you will forever be tarnishing it and getting black oxidization on your hands and everywhere. Aluminum is also toxic, be sure to wear proper protective clothing when cutting, and more importantly polishing it. Aluminum is a probable cause of alzheimers. When I worked in tool and die, when we sanded and polished aluminum, we were required to wear latex gloves and a respirator, when you would sweat, you could actually see the black oxidization from the aluminum that had absorbed into your skin bleeding out in your sweat, nasty stuff.

As for polishing, You can do it the same way you would polish out paint, but when you get to the buffing stage, use an aluminum polish rather than regular wax. However, if you are going to clear it, You're probably going to have to leave it at 800 grit maximum or the clear won't adhere well to it.

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Wow Jeremy, thanks for the warning :D ! I didn't know about all of that stuff. Well, now i have questions about clearing this thing! What exactly would you reccomend doing? Also, the paint that i'm using for the back, sides, and headstock is an aerosol paint made by Krylon that's actually used to make a chalkboard finish. By brother has a bass that he finished with this stuff, and it's really neat, it's a smooth, almost flat black. Tough as nails, and i don't think he even cleared it. I'd like for this to stay semi-flat. You can also write on it with chalk, but i don't really care about that!

I guess what i need for you to do is tell me pretty much what order i should do all this stuff in. I don't have access to paint guns or anything like that, so i plan on using aerosols pretty much exclusively. So, what order should i do all of this in, what kind of clear should i get, and what is for supper?

If you'd like to just IM me sometime, my screen name is Mecki213 .

Please respond soon, i'm really excited about this project B) !



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I don't think you'll find any aerosol clear that will work well on aluminum. As for anodizing, you can check with machine shops, at least they will let you know where to ask, as for cost, if you can find a place that does it regularily and can put it in the tank for you at the same time as a bunch of other parts probably not much, maybe $50 or $100 (note, the aluminum can't be on the body as it's dipped in acid first)

If they have to do it all by itself, you'll be looking at $500 - $1000 likely.

There is ways to make home made annodizers, but for something as large as a guitar top, I don't know if it would work very well.

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[[Aluminum is a probable cause of alzheimers]]


This is an urban legend. Drink your sodas as usual. That being said, inhaling stuff other than air is usually a bad idea, anyway.

This is a medically documented suspicion. Soda cans and the like are coated, pots have a clear anodizing to seal, this is why it's safe to use. In my WHMIS training and each year in school for machining we learned chemical and molecular properties of most metals. It hasn't been proven as of yet, but it is treated with the exact same case of severity as something that is a suspected carcinogen. Working with raw aluminum is dangerous.

You can believe it a myth if you like, but I'm not willing to take the risk, my memory is bad enough as it is. Besides, when sanding or polishing anything I wear at least a particle mask, I suffer from asthma and any particulate that invades my lungs bothers me.

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I never said that working with raw aluminum wasn't dangerous. What I said was that aluminum causes alzheimers is an urban legend. The actual cause(s) of alzheimers is (last I checked) unknown. It's possible that aluminum causes it. It's possible that flourinated water causes it. Nobody really knows.

You should *ALWAYS* use precautions when working with *ANYTHING* (I use a mask when working with wood because I don't like breathing sawdust). That's something that can be expressed without hyperbole.

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