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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey I have a couple of older Cannondale frames that I wouldnt mind having stripped/sand/bead blasted and polished out, and was wondering if anyone has attempted this? I have seen good results with some other aluminum frames, so If you have tried this who did you use for the work and how did it turn out?
 

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LA CHÈVRE
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A friend of mine did it about 15 years ago with an early-days Cannondale he found for cheap, frame and fork... He sanded the whole thing by hand and just applied some clearcoat after. It looked more like a Brushed finish. It looked quite nice.
 

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Hybrid Leftys aren't real
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definately a hand done job. Do not sand/bead blast it. Wall thickness in certain areas is VERY thin. It's a quick way to convert a rideable, albeit ugly frame, to a piece of wall art. Oops, where did that hole come from???:madmax: :madman:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
MendonCycleSmith said:
definately a hand done job. Do not sand/bead blast it. Wall thickness in certain areas is VERY thin. It's a quick way to convert a rideable, albeit ugly frame, to a piece of wall art. Oops, where did that hole come from???:madmax: :madman:
Figured as much but I'm looking for a reliable company to do the buffing/polishing w/o blowing through the wall:) There used to be one here in OC that did work for GT, but alas their function have moved to China (or some such locality):madman: If not, perhaps the suggested home job "Brushed finish" is the way to go.
 

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I found these polishing instructions online, I have paraphrased to keep them from being too wordy.

To strip and polish aluminum parts.

Here's what you will need:

* All-purpose metal polish
* 600- and 900-grit wet/dry sand paper
* 0000 steel wool
* Rubber gloves and eye protection
* A clean, soft rag
* Rotary tool with buffing bits (optional)


Use the fine sandpaper to clean up the aluminum's surface before you add polishing compound.
Completely sand the parts with 600-grit sandpaper until all the foreign matter has been removed from the surface, then switch to 900-grit and repeat the process. You may have to wrap the sandpaper around a small stick or a wooden dowel to get into tight spaces. Finish by rubbing the part all over with fine steel wool.
Do the final polishing with aluminum polish.
Almost any all-purpose metal polish will work well.(ex. Blue Magic)
When you've finished the polishing, wash the part with soap and water to remove any
polishing-compound residue.
If you have access to a rotary polisher this will make the polishing work go much faster. Just remember to run the rotary polisher at low speed so as not to dry out the polish from the heat being generated by the polisher.

Good luck.
 

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Music & Bikes
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I did it with my first CDale. It voided the warranty.
Luckily , I was a very good client ( and lucky ) to have my frame warrantied.
 

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I polished my frame over 10 years ago.

Chemical paint remover.
Wet sanded with 600 and 1200.
Hand rubbed automotive rubbing compound.
Hand polished with Flitz or some other metal polish.
Finished with an automotive wax.
Back then I called Cannondale to ask for frame stickers, they sent me a few sets of whatever color they had nearby, no charge.

Should have clear coated it but ... put the bike back together to ride and the bike was stolen.
 

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I don't mean to be a naysayer

about the horrors of sandblasting/ bead blasting...nor am I saying give the work to anyone with a sandblaster and a bucket of sand...but has anyone actually blasted a hole through a tubular frame with a sandblaster? I have been cautioned about this before, but went ahead and had it done at a professional blasting shop to an early 90s beast.

I asked the guys about it before I turned the frame over to them and their response was "we do this all the time with aluminum framed bikes and never had a problem".

I don't know how aggressive one would have to be to burn a hole or weaken the frame, but this was 4-5 years ago. This bike is still being ridden, albeit mostly trail/path by my wife. My 9 year old now rides it too with a bit more aggressiveness. Certainly voided the warranty, but I think the only way to refinish a Cannondale without voiding the warranty is to send it to the cannondale factory for refinishing at nearly the price of a new frame.

In reference to the original post though, sandblasting won't give you a polished look. It will look raw. I went this route prior to powdercoating. If I wanted a mirror finish, I would strip the frame with a chemical stripper, then wet sand with fine paper, then use polishing compound. It will take a long time to go from the brushed/sanded look to a mirror finish.

I just finished building up a polished dale frame that I bought on Fleabay a couple months ago. It is a factory polish that I had to re-polish it because the mirror finish was really dull from time and use. I used automotive chrome polish and it worked nicely. It took about 2 hours to rub it out by hand. I applied new decals to finish the job. It didn't turn out 100% perfect because there were some blemishes I couldn't polish out, but it looks real nice.
 
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