SailNet Community banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
634 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Would love to restore shine to original aluminum rub rail in pic. Tried Meguairs aluminum mag cleaner but did nothing. All kinds of products at WM store. Does any of this stuff work? Would love to see 1966 again. :) can u wet sand aluminum?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
625 Posts
There is probably a sealer or anodized finish on the rub rail. Yes it can be wet sanded. You can get a 1500 micron wet sandpaper at an automotive store. This maybe a little fine to remove the finish, maybe start with a 400 grit. Rail will need to be coated to keep from oxidizing. Others here will tell you what to use.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,979 Posts
I used jewelers rouge and a buffer wheel to mirror shine a buddies aluminum window rails.
You'll have to clear coat them to keep them from going again.
Your other (easier) choices include new stainless rub rails.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
634 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the feedback folks. While ss replace would be easiest and probablylook best iI am working hard to keep costs down. So I am inclined to try cleaning/sanding alum first. Sounds like the clearcoat is a good idea. Are there any options to cc? Cc seems like it would mean take the rail off first. But I am trying to disturb as little as possible from 1966. Whatcha think? If I remove would I be correct in thinking new ss screws and boat life? See better pic below... Sorry... For some reason system keeps giving me internal error on upload... Oh well
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
625 Posts
I would be very careful with using any industrial stripper or chemicals on this project. You could destroy the bedding and or gel coat. That Blue color is a paint I assume. I don't think there were many colors other than white back in 66?

1500 micro wet/dry is the same grit as a finish polishing compound.

You know your boat is old when your favorite cleaning tool is sandpaper.

Here is one clear coat product called Sharkhide http://www.eastwood.com/sharkhide-aluminum-protectant-quart.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
634 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I found a clear spray on paint type product at Home Depot. I think rustoleum makes it. Will that work? I experimented today with a one foot length of the rub rail. Wetsanding brought up the shine pretty quickly. So I am confident I can get the shine back but if I do I want to get it protected right. Any concerns with the rustoleum?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
625 Posts
Only if the can says for exterior use. As with any one part air dried paint, you will only get a limited amount of years out of it. It might be easier to use a good quality wax once a year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,264 Posts
I wouldn't use anything on the aluminum. If you want to keep it looking bright then wax it regularly, anything else will look terrible in a year or so when it starts to peel off and you have to strip the whole thing down again. Painting aluminum is a tricky deal that requires special primers to even have a shot of getting paint to stick, and even then it frequently comes off. This has to do with the rapid oxidation rate of bare aluminum and a simple clear coat won't do much to slow it down.
 

·
Resail man
Joined
·
8 Posts
I agree with Stumble's response. A good wax or polish. I have used polyurethane, lacquer, and acrylics to keep a brass anchor shiney. I looks good for a while but once it starts to go it looks blotchy and I have to remove all the old finish to even out the shine and recoat. Not worth the effort. Collinite makes a good metal polish. Applying it with a wheel makes all the difference too. They also have metal polishing wheels that will hook up to a drill. Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
634 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I am leaning towards just keeping it polished. I have the whole port side off and half of that polished. Hard to get a good before after pic but I am very pleased. Not quite mirror but nice. Steps were

Sand with 320
Wet sand 1500
Polish twice with Mothers aluminum and mag cleaner/polish.

Actually tried to upload pics but no go with forum. Is something broken?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Delta-T

·
Resail man
Joined
·
8 Posts
I like the process. I've never thought of using mag wheel polish, that's genius. There's not too many more corrosive enviorments than brake dust and road salt for aluminum. Please keep me in the loop as to how it is working.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
To get more of a mirror finish you need to wet sand with some intermediate grits of paper. The 320 leaves fine scratches that are too much to get out with 1500. I would suggest after the 320 move up to 400 or 600 then 1000, 1200. You get the idea. As for a clear coat the aluminum must be acid etched for anything to stick for very long. Maintaining it with a good polish/wax is probably your best bet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
634 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Yes the Mothers mag and aluminum cleaner is great. I agree too that more than more intermediate grit between 320 and 1500 would have been a good idea. Regardless it is coming out well. Wish I could upload pics...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
634 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Is it possible that the 100 screws I just removed to get alum rubrail off are also aluminum? I was planning to replace with ss allowing me to go with Philips head and one size larger for stripped holes. Original screws were slotted (which I despise) head 10x1.25. I tested the original screws and they are not at all magnetic. How else does one tell aluminum vs ss?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,264 Posts
The easiest way to tell is by weight. Aluminium is about half the weight of SS. Just go to a west marine and hold a known SS and a suspect one of the same size, and it's pretty obvious.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
634 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Thanks folks... so I am assuming Home Depot would not carry the needed alum screws?
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top