Experience with Aluminum?

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Forum topic by dpwalker posted 12-08-2011 04:07 AM 1201 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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273 posts in 2857 days

12-08-2011 04:07 AM

Does anyone have experience using aluminum in a woodworking project? I am building a small box from Walnut & I want to use diamond plate as a floating panel on the lid. Can someone tell me if the aluminum will move more or less than wood? Thanks in advance.

-- You have not really lived until you do something for someone who can never repay you.

8 replies so far

View HerbC's profile


1764 posts in 2885 days

#1 posted 12-08-2011 04:26 AM

Aluminum, being metal, will not change dimension due to changes in moisture/humidity. Wood does change due to changes in moisture in the environment.

On the other hand, metals expand and contract with changes in temperature. In general this should not be a problem in a normal home or office environment.

Good Luck!

Be Careful!


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2716 days

#2 posted 12-08-2011 05:52 AM

It won’t move but it will tarnish to an ugly gray and rub off black when handled unless sealed with something. Wax???

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View dpwalker's profile


273 posts in 2857 days

#3 posted 12-08-2011 04:44 PM

HerbC – Thanks for the info. The box will be moving to different locations both indoors & out. Expansion is my main concern in movement. Any idea how much room to leave for expansion? The aluminum piece is 1/16” X 3 3/8” X 18”, I wonder if 1/16” all around will suffice.

gfadvm – I didn’t consider the tarnishing. Thanks for the heads up!

-- You have not really lived until you do something for someone who can never repay you.

View skeeter's profile


233 posts in 3367 days

#4 posted 12-08-2011 04:50 PM

don’t worry about expansion and contraction. It wont move in normal tempertures. In fact i wouldnt leave any room you don’t want it to rattle. Put some silicone in the groove or something.

-- My philosophy: Somewhere between Norm and Roy

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2876 days

#5 posted 12-08-2011 06:49 PM

My friend the metals guy says you never see the real aluminum because it starts to oxidize instantly when exposed.

I have lacquered aluminum (after RO sanding, which is interesting) but only for indoor applications.

Are there other plated materials that will give you the look you want, in exchange for some more weight?



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View MrsN's profile


986 posts in 3552 days

#6 posted 12-08-2011 07:27 PM

I would put it in with sillicone fairly tight. It shouldn’t move much. I have lacquered, waxed and shellaced aluminum at different times (all in wood jewelry). I sand it a bunch to give it a smooth grey color, metalic but not shiny.Good luck.

View Cgwendling's profile (online now)


12 posts in 2466 days

#7 posted 12-11-2011 04:06 PM

I have several aluminium things that sit outdoors and all I used were aircraft or automotive clear coat. Prep the surface according to the can and spray.

View dpwalker's profile


273 posts in 2857 days

#8 posted 12-12-2011 01:12 AM

Thanks for the replies & help. I now have the box together am working on completion. I have been reading car enthusiast forums & there are MANY opinions & products to keep aluminum from dulling. I guess I will experiment with a few of these ideas & see how it goes : )

-- You have not really lived until you do something for someone who can never repay you.

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