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Polishing anodized aluminum?

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shauns

Member
im throwing different things in the air, a getting a lian li pc-70 and getting it chromed, or getting a pc-71 and getting it polished....but im not sure if you can polish anodized alum. can you "over polish"? or is the color deep in.. would i get a high gloss/mirror shine? or would it be "ehh" any input would be greatly welcomed!
 

Diggrr

Underwater Senior Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2001
For the sake of arguement, Anodizing is alot like a plastic coating, in that you can polish through it, or sand it off.

To Chrome plate the case, you'd have to remove all the anodizing, as chroming is an electrical process, and anodizing is an electrical insulator (quite a good one too).
I think to chrome plate metals, they start with a "build" layer of copper for the chrome to stick to (not sure if it's required with aluminum, it is used with steel), maybe that would be cooler still just to leave it like that if they do it that way.

Chrome cases are hella kewl though.
 

Diggrr

Underwater Senior Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2001
Yes.
My old motorcycle (Honda CB-750) had ugly anodizing when I got it. I polished off all the anodizing with some 00 steel wool, and polished the aluminum till it looked like chrome.
You could do the same with your Lian-Li, but there's going to be alot of work to do because of the brushed finish it has (not to mention the cherry [and hard] anodizing). Maybe start with wet sanding using a sanding block and some 400-600-1000 grits. Then you can follow with the buffing wheel and some polish.
Carefull around any edges that you want to stay nice and sharp looking, because the buffer will round them pretty quickly.

Once it's done, you'll have to look into some sort of coating, the aluminum will start to turn grey and dull in a week. Maybe a good automotive clear coat would do, after cleaning all the polish compund off with acetone (or the coating won't stick).

Lots of elbow grease required, but you can make it look quite purty!