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How to remove chrome from aluminum

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How to remove chrome from aluminum

PostAuthor: p.o.edxv750owner » Wed Nov 01, 2017 6:16 pm

I took my aluminum sissy bars off today and started repolishing them. However, the top U shaped piece was apparently chromed at some point and now its halfway worn off so I have dull aluminum next to old chrome and a thin copper line separating them. I'm fine with sticking with the aluminum and doing my fair share of polishing to keep it bright but it looks horrible with it half chromed. So I commenced trying to remove the chrome and so far I've gone nowhere, sanding wasn't cutting it so it put in the glass beading machine and that didn't do the trick either. The only thing I can think of is a grinder but I'd destroy the aluminum underneath to easily
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Re: How to remove chrome from aluminum

PostAuthor: Cusstout 1100 » Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:56 pm

You can use the grinder with a very light touch. Watch for the brass color to appear and then proceed very carefully because the next silvery color to appear is the aluminum you want to get to. The aluminum on the sissy bar is quite thick, so if you get too deep in spots you can "feather" it back in again.
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Re: How to remove chrome from aluminum

PostAuthor: Flyingdog » Wed Nov 01, 2017 11:59 pm

Wrap it in some leather and get busy with a soldering iron.
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Re: How to remove chrome from aluminum

PostAuthor: mark75 » Thu Nov 02, 2017 3:44 pm

a bit like taking M&Ms and removing the candy-shell without disturbing the chocolate inside ----
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Re: How to remove chrome from aluminum

PostAuthor: faffi » Thu Nov 02, 2017 4:00 pm

You can use it with a battery, a sink bucket, water and salt. I forgot where the positive and negative hook up, but basically you reverse the chroming process.
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Re: How to remove chrome from aluminum

PostAuthor: rhuarc1 » Thu Nov 02, 2017 8:23 pm

What Faffi said. Or you can use a grinder with a softer pad, I typically use coarse scotch bright pads on a 90 degree air die grinder.

Alternatively most chroming outfits will also strip chrome. They have to to rechrome parts. They'll charge you a little, but save you the work.
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Re: How to remove chrome from aluminum

PostAuthor: p.o.edxv750owner » Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:22 pm

I used a medium grit scotch brite pad on the die grinder, did a nice job but struggled a little on the very bottom layer. I'm going to hit with the fine grit next to feather the small groves and divots out before I go to sanding and polishing. Thanks for all the advice!

Something weird I noticed, the top part of the U shaped piece was half chrome and half aluminum, I figured it just wore off. But the bottom half where the bolts mount had a faint gold color to it, almost like was just brass plated and nothing else, there were no signs of wear just a smooth even color. What is that?
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Re: How to remove chrome from aluminum

PostAuthor: mark75 » Sun Nov 05, 2017 3:02 pm

with out seeing it is speculation and conjecture. :con:

possibly aluminum was originally anodized? black can fade to a "golden" color.
or since some metals must have an intermediate plating before they will accept chrome, it could be a coating of that 'undercoat'? [copper? brass?]
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'13 - FXDC Super Glide Custom
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Time flies whether you're having fun :yahoo: ... or not ... :fan: BUT --- Any day above ground is a good day.
so Laissez les bon temps roulez ... just roll safely

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Re: How to remove chrome from aluminum

PostAuthor: p.o.edxv750owner » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:03 am

mark75 wrote:with out seeing it is speculation and conjecture. :con:


I'd have been happy to send a picture but the scotch brite pad did a nice job at removing all that :pardon:
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Re: How to remove chrome from aluminum

PostAuthor: mark75 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:19 pm

ah well, no worries ... as long as you got the result you were looking for then all is well.
The views, opinions, and experiences expressed in this post are mine and may not necessarily represent views and opinions of other VTF members, so feel free to agree, disagree, or ignore them.
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"Over the Mountains of the Moon,
Down the Valley of the Shadow,
Ride, boldly ride" ... E.A. Poe

'13 - FXDC Super Glide Custom
'82 - XV750

Time flies whether you're having fun :yahoo: ... or not ... :fan: BUT --- Any day above ground is a good day.
so Laissez les bon temps roulez ... just roll safely

"I hear and I forget,
I see and I remember,
I do and I understand."
... Confucius*

If you don't read the news you are not informed.
If you read the news you are misinformed. ... Mark Twain
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Re: How to remove chrome from aluminum

PostAuthor: faffi » Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:26 pm

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Re: How to remove chrome from aluminum

PostAuthor: jonno51 » Wed Nov 08, 2017 5:45 am

Alternatively most chroming outfits will also strip chrome. They have to to rechrome parts. They'll charge you a little, but save you the work.[/quote]

That's the route I'm going, using Silchrome in Leeds, UK. There are plenty of others around any reasonable size city/town. Can't do the pods because of the plastic insert, but cam chain cover, valve adjustment covers, rear brake cover, front axle disc, chromed crankcase covers and maybe the headlight body and rim are all going in as my attack on the bling continues.
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