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Buffing the Aluminum on the '71


After 40 years of sitting the aluminum on the bike was in sad shape.




Even after cleaning it still was in dire need of refreshment.







There is always a limit to how much you can do to this stuff but it's not so much a matter of how badly it is aged and weathered. It has more to  do with how good the castings were to begin with. That surface "rust" that you see is contamination in the surface material (ask your self "how does aluminum rust?") and usually suggests that there will be pin holes in the metal. These holes are not repairable and often continue too deeply to be removed. In the end you just have to do the best you can and be satisfied with that.





Starting with this cover I used first 80 grit and then 220 grit, dry, with my palm sander to get here.



Note the field of pits (ignore the three rivet holes for the patent plate). They were to be found in all the cases and are the result of  those casting flaws. I stopped here....



After the 220 grit I progressed to 320, then 1200, and finally 2000, all wet. I really didn't do much polishing with a buffing wheel  and decided to live with this.




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