How do I polish Aluminum to a Miror Finish

cbecknet

Limp Gawd
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Oct 4, 2005
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I have a Qpack and I want to polish the interior of the Aluminum to a mirror finish. What is the best way to do this.
 

Mickey21

Limp Gawd
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Oct 6, 2004
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You said "best" so have it chromed. And by best I mean easiest.

Polishing aluminum to mirror finish is not easy. I know. I polished a MountainMods UFO case to mirror and boy was it a LOT of work. On smaller cases I wouldnt reccomend inside polishing as it would be 10 times harder than the UFO due to the size differences and honestly after doing mine, I wouldnt want to do another. Of course, I did mine by hand, so power tools would make it easier, but it would make it hard to get the tights spots as well.

But since you ask, you will have to start with sanding of harsh grits and progress upwards to liquids and fine fine paper sanding like 2000-3000. Progressively moving to finer and finer paper from maybe 300 grit (if you have a brushed finish look now) and on to 400, 800, 1500, 2000, and likely 2500 and 3000 for the fine mirror look. It will be very hard and long work. In the end I would suggest powder coat clear the top of the finish to preserve the original luster and over time it will fade and need more polishing (not nearly as much but still work).

Again, I suggest chroming first for the mirror look truely, but if you must...
 

Darkala

Limp Gawd
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Nov 8, 2005
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490
Chrome. Cheaper(if you can make friends at a platers =]), easier, and best looking.
 

DudeItsMe

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I saw a guide where a guy had polished his aluminum to where it was a true mirror finish. It seriously looked exactly like a mirror. Even looking for imperfections you couldn't find any. But as mentioned before, it takes a lot of work. And I don't remember the location of the guide. It was posted here, anyone remember?
 

mikeblas

[H]ard|DCer of the Month - May 2006
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It was in vogue to do this with heatsinks a few years back. (Maybe the fad hasn't passed; who knows.)

But those who did it called the process "lapping". Searching for that should get you something relevant.
 

DudeItsMe

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mikeblas said:
It was in vogue to do this with heatsinks a few years back. (Maybe the fad hasn't passed; who knows.)

But those who did it called the process "lapping". Searching for that should get you something relevant.
Lapping is to smooth out the surface of the PC and CPU. While it often produces a mirror like finish, that's not the real reason for doing it. Nobody sees a heatsink once it's on the processor....

Making a smoother contact surface with the CPU allows for better heat transfer. Which in turn allows for lower temperatures and hopefully higher overclocks. A guide for lapping a heatsink might help, but would probably leave out stuff like compounds to use etc.
 

mikeblas

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DudeItsMe said:
Lapping is to smooth out the surface of the PC and CPU. While it often produces a mirror like finish, that's not the real reason for doing it. Nobody sees a heatsink once it's on the processor....

Making a smoother contact surface with the CPU allows for better heat transfer. Which in turn allows for lower temperatures and hopefully higher overclocks. A guide for lapping a heatsink might help, but would probably leave out stuff like compounds to use etc.

Maybe, or maybe not. The point of heatsink compound is to fill those crevices and promote heat transfer.

But that's beside the point. Most of the how to's on lapping I've read have mentioned finishing up with buffing compound; some even are written to push a particular brand or type of compound, like this one. Adding "compound" to the search should remedy any problems finding an article that described that part of the process.
 

cbecknet

Limp Gawd
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Oct 4, 2005
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181
Thanks for all the replys and the link. The only reason I dont think I would go to crome is that I'm woried that with the extra thickness of the metal, the caes covers and the removable mobo tray will no be able to slide closed any more. Its definetly a good Idea, would look alot better and would be faster. While on the subject of thickness, If I wanted to powerder coat it, I would have the same problems about it not sliding, right? If I did chrome or powercoat, which one would you recommend, I wouldn't mind an all balck interior, I actualy tried, but botched the paint job, just to many curves to sand, and wax to get it to a mirror finish.

Thanks
 

pre1014

Limp Gawd
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Apr 23, 2004
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428
I used to have some aluminum polish. I had an aluminum BMX bike that i used it on. I would say after a while it gave it a mirror finish. Loooong time ago though. It was like a rubbing compuond with a HEAVY ammonia smell. Id say look around for an aluminum polish an you'll find what you are looking for.
 
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