I tried oven cleaner, but the environmentally safe stuff doesn't remove any anodizing (perhaps a good thing, too?). Lye can be found in hardware stores, and while it's caustic, I am not aware of great environmental dangers. The only problem is that the smallest size they sell will de-anodize more bike parts than you'll ever accumulate!
The process is the same as described below, except I just wipe off the anodizing with a paper towel. BTW, a plastic container (yoghurt cup) is perfect for the bath. Don't use metal!
140 Lakeside Ave #C
Seattle WA 98122
>Ray Dobbins has some info on this at his website. Here is what he says
>about removing anodizing so you can polish aluminum parts:
>"If your part is anodized, you must remove the anodizing before you can
>polish the part. I remove it with Easy-Off oven cleaner spray (the
>heavy-duty one, not the new no-odor one), which has lye as its main
>ingredient. Use regular dishwasing gloves (not just latex or thin vinyl
>because the lye will eat right through them), and work outdoors because the
>fumes are very powerful (they will knock you back!). I place the part in a
>plastic container and then I spray the Easy-Off liberally over the part. I
>let it sit for no more than 3-5 minutes (otherwise the lye may start to eat
>away at the aluminum and cause pitting). Then I scrub it real well with
>super fine steel wool (#0000 grade) to make sure I get all the anodizing
>off. Then I wash the part with Simple-Green, rinse it thoroughly with warm
>water and dry it off. This whole process will leave the aluminum very
>dull, but that's OK (don't freak out), because it'll shine right up once
>you start polishing."
>You can read more, and see the results on Ray's page at:
>http://www.raydobbins.com/ -- He has some great photos on his site.
>I've also heard of people mixing a mild lye solution to soak the parts (dry
>Drano + water), but the Easy Off method sounds a little easier and safer.
>By the way, I would NOT recommend spraying the parts with Easy Off and then
>putting them in the oven! If I'm not mistaken, you could have a risk of
>fire or explosion from combining the fumes with the heat of the oven. In
>fact, while I don't have a can of the stuff handy so I can verify this, but
>I'm almost certain that there is a warning on the can about using Easy-Off
>in a hot oven, or turning the oven on after spraying it inside. The
>reaction between lye and aluminum works at room temperature, and as far as
>I know, does not need extra heat to improve the results.
>> [Original Message]
>> From: Jerome & Elizabeth Moos <email@example.com>
>> To: <firstname.lastname@example.org>; <email@example.com>
>> Date: 7/10/2007 10:23:24 AM
>> Subject: [CR]Removing Annodized Finish
>> I have a couple of Blackburn racks anodized black. Never liked the black
>as well as silver, partly because small scratches are more evident on the
>black racks. Anyone know a way of removing the black anodized finish,
>other than sanding it off? If not, anyone had good results respraying
>these black with spraycan paint to cover the scratches?
>> Jerry Moos
>> Big Spring, TX
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