Aluminum top refinishing?

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Forum topic by Case101 posted 10-19-2014 01:45 PM 813 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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107 posts in 1758 days

10-19-2014 01:45 PM

I was given a craftsman bandsaw with very little usage, but it sat in a damp location. The aluminum table top has white oxidation on it.

What is the best way to clean it up?


-- John, New Jersey

5 replies so far

View timbertailor's profile


1594 posts in 1390 days

#1 posted 10-19-2014 01:48 PM

You can get an inexpensive aluminium polishing kit from HF or off the internet.

It would be best to use an electric die grinder to polish with. An air grinder would also work, just not as efficient.

Use the black emory rouge, evenly across the table before making a second pass.

Finish with the white diamond rouge, again, in even passes. Do not focus on any of the stains. You want to do an even polish across the top. They will come up but if you focus in one spot, you could conceivably wear a low spot.

-- Brad, Texas,

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2936 days

#2 posted 10-19-2014 06:30 PM

A nice smooth straight sanding block, about twice as long as the top.
Long even strokes spread evenly across the top.
Start with 100 or 120 grit and work up to 300, a little at a time.

Then, when evenly sanded you can polish with rouge if you want. Or just leave a nice fine sanded surface.

View MrUnix's profile


6590 posts in 2164 days

#3 posted 10-19-2014 06:53 PM

I wouldn’t use any agressive abrasives as aluminum is pretty soft stuff. There are a bunch of safer ways to remove the aluminum oxide; vinegar and a stiff brush, WD-40 and a scotch-brite pad, cream of tarter, brasso, mothers aluminum polish, semi-chrome, 3M aluminum polish (pink stuff sold at auto parts stores), aluminum-brite (sold as an aluminum truck tool box cleaner and works great), etc.. apply wax after you have it removed to slow down it’s return.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Westernspirit's profile


13 posts in 1281 days

#4 posted 10-19-2014 07:16 PM

You didn’t mention if the to was flat or ribbed. Sanding won’t do much if ribbed. I would suggest using either a scotchbrite pad or brass wire brush to gently remove any loose oxidation then clean with an orange based cleaner. Rinse if instructions say to. Once cleaned treat with either Topcote (now known as Glidecote) or other suitable non transferring finish.

-- Western Spirit Bev

View Case101's profile


107 posts in 1758 days

#5 posted 10-19-2014 11:43 PM

Thanks for all the info!

Western Spirit Bev, The top is ribbed.

-- John, New Jersey

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