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How do you clean/polish aluminum alloy frame?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Lancel, Sep 12, 2003.

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  1. Lancel

    Lancel Member

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    I have a Taurus 731 ultralight. The aluminum frame has some blackened areas that are apparently corrosion from perspiration.

    I've tried all kinds of things to clean it up without success: Hoppe's Gunmetal Polish, Ultra Brite polish, FP-10, Breakfree, Shooter's Choice Solvent, even Simple Green.

    My best luck was with a pencil eraser and much effort. Any suggestions on how to clean aluminum alloy?

    Larry
     
  2. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Member

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    Never, NEVER use any type of abrasive methods to clean aluminum.

    Aluminum gun parts are typically anodized which provides a completely corrosion resistant finish that is also VERY hard. If you remove or penetrate this finish you are left with a corrosion prone surface of relatively soft aluminum.

    Home anodizing is possible but probably not something the average gun owner is going to be willing to do.

    Your only option, as I see it, is to cough up to have the frame profesionally re-anodized, or strip the frame, have it bead or sand blasted and then refinish it with one of the bake-on epoxy/teflon/moly finishes available from Brownells.

    Polishing it further is only going to exacerbate the situation.

    You could also contact Taurus and see if their lifetime warranty will help you in this situation since the frame should not have corroded in the first place (unless someone removed the anodizing somehow).
     
  3. Lancel

    Lancel Member

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    JohnKSa:
    That's good advice on anodized aluminum. In this case, the frame appears to be an alloy through and through and not anodized. Wear marks (eg. cylinder pin against frame opening) don't show the tell-tale broken finish appearance of scratched anodizing.

    Now that I think of it, what gives color to aluminum frames like the M-16 and Berettas? Are they anodized?


    Larry
     
  4. nondescript

    nondescript Member

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    Lancel- I believe that colored dye is added while anadozing, sealing the pigment into the surface finish. A bead blasted finish like on an AR will look duller than a highly polished finish like most aluminum flashlights.
     
  5. buttrap

    buttrap Member

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    The Taurus alum frames are just like on a ruger stainless 10/22 action, polished alum with a clear spray coat for a finish. No anodization at all.
     
  6. Lancel

    Lancel Member

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    Thanks, all.

    I plan on calling Taurus on Monday to see what they have to say about frame beautification.

    Unfortunately, it's one of the many companies that you don't talk to a real technician without struggle and I usually know more than the first level or two of customer service.

    In the end, my best support may be the internet gun community.:)

    Larry
     
  7. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Member

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    Lancel,

    I never considered the possibility that it might not be anodized...

    If Taurus won't help you and you don't mind a black frame, GunKote from Brownell's is supposed to be pretty good stuff. Probably one of the best bake-on finishes you can put on. You will have to sandblast though.

    Another option (pricier) is to send it off to Robar and have them do an NP3 finish. I believe that NP3 coats well over aluminum. That would leave you with a silver colored frame that would be corrosion proof, and very tough.
     
  8. Lancel

    Lancel Member

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    GunKote from Brownell's or send it off to Robar may end up being my best options.

    Thanks,
    Larry
     
  9. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    Leave it alone. You don't want to ruin the anodized finish.
     
  10. Lancel

    Lancel Member

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    Can't ruin the anodized finish 'cause it's NOT anodized.:)

    Confirmed this today with Taurus. Not sure about the exact alloy, probably 4041; the tech is going to check with Brazil and email me. But it's not anodized; it's an aluminum alloy.

    Taurus uses WD-40 to clean it up. The tech said if that didn't do it, then send the pistol to them and they'd fix up.

    That's good customer care. I'll decide what to do after I find out the exact alloy.

    Larry
     
  11. Lancel

    Lancel Member

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    This is a followup and clarification:

    After many attempts, I've been unable to get more information from Taurus. No response by email or phone from the tech (Anthony) who originally told me (1) the alloy was 4041, (2) the frame wasn't anodized, and (3) he would get more info from Brazil.

    Since then I've found out there's a steel alloy 4041 so even the aluminum alloy info is in doubt.

    My conclusion is that if WD-40 doesn't clean your Taurus ultralite then follow 4v50 Gary's advice and leave it alone or return it to Taurus (who will probably use WD-40).

    Regardless, I traded the Taurus and now have a stainless steel Ruger SP-101.:)

    Larry
     
  12. CWatson

    CWatson Member

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    Mag Wheel cleaner,any brand from PEP BOYS or similiar auto parts store.


    CWatson
     
  13. RJ357

    RJ357 Member

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  14. Lancel

    Lancel Member

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    RJ357:

    The Taurus ultralite frame is aluminum alloy (maybe anodized) while the cylinder and barrel (liner?) are stainless steel.

    Larry
     
  15. StressPuppy

    StressPuppy Member

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    Chiming in late, but what about something like Flitz polish?? Has worked wonders for me in the past.

    Just a thought....
     
  16. Lancel

    Lancel Member

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    Thanks for all the input folks.

    :) :) :)

    Larry
     
  17. JNewell

    JNewell Member

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    Don't use that on aluminum. It can damage/remove anodizing and damage the aluminum. (This is on the mfr's website, btw.) I have seen it damage an aluminum SIG frame.

    Best stuff for this IME is MPro 7.
     
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