> However I have a question about how to completely and easily remove the
> clear protective finish applied to 70s era Campy parts... In the mid
> 1970's, Campy started to apply a protective finish to inhibit Campy alloy
> parts from dulling. I have several older parts that have "gone gray" in
> color because the alloy has discolored with the decades, even though the
> protective finish remains. I have only been able to remove this dull finish
> with extended use of fine steel wool. Alloy polishes such as "Mothers",
> "Simachrome", or "Met-All" do not seem to have any impact in polishing the
> alloy because they cannot penetrate the Campy protective finish. I wonder
> if a semi-abrasive like "Brasso" for alloy parts may give better results...
> any suggestions?
Way back I helped my brother put together a BMX bike with many used parts scrounged from the scrap heap. The stem was made of an anodized coated aluminum block that had seen better days, and the pedals were a set of suntour sealed bearing pedals with rattrap cages. He removed the anodizing in a bead blasting cabinet at his high school. The finish was dull, but they did look a lot better than the way I had found them.
Last year I was given a mid 70's LeTour that I decided to refurbish as a foul weather bike. The anodizing on the cranks and derailleurs were worn through or scratched up in many locations. I removed the rest of the anodizing by wet sanding with 600 grit sandpaper and polishing with a dremel and simi-chrome. They look a lot better than they did when I got the bike. I applied a coat of wax over the components and haven't had any problem with oxidation (although I don't do all that much foul weather riding).
I've also heard that oven cleaner will take the anodizing right off, but have been too afraid to try it. I do know it removed whatever finish there was on the backsplash of my stovetop which is aluminum.
FWIW, I've never given any consideration as to whether or not I was damaging the structural integrity of the parts I've done this to, I've always considered anodizing nothing more than a protective coating that was better suited to aluminum than paint, and these parts were considerably far from being pristine. All I can say is that after considerable use, none of the parts that have been "treated" have given any sign of failure to date, YMMV.