can you get mirror finish

Posted by: texasteve

can you get mirror finish - 09/14/06 09:19 PM

has anyone taken a aluminum PowerBook and used automotive "rubbing compound" or something similar, to turn the brushed look into a mirror finish on a PowerBook?
Posted by: anil8tor

Re: can you get mirror finish - 09/15/06 04:01 AM

Sounds like a great Mod!
But I think you would be better off using a buffing wheel and compound on maybe a bench grinder. At least it would take less elbow grease smile
Posted by: maestro

Re: can you get mirror finish - 09/15/06 10:32 AM

That would definately be cool.  Couple issues to think about.  The cases are very thin and easy to damage.  If you made some sort of bracing to stiffen each part temprarilly, it would probably be doable.  Getting the case off can be tricky too, especially the lcd casing.  Try testing polishing the bottom first.  If you were to put a clear coat on it after polishing, that would keep it looking blingy!
Posted by: Waragainstsleep

Re: can you get mirror finish - 09/15/06 12:41 PM

Too right. Taking the casing off a titanium display is a nightmare. Make sure its nice and warm before you even try it. Don't put it in an oven or something stupid like that, but you do want above room temp really. Leaving it the sun on a hot day is good, I don't advise trying it in cold weather. I broke three LCDs in a day trying that.

Idelly get a cracked one and very carefully remove the case from that, then you can rip the case off of the good panel. Its difficult to get it apart while keeping the casing and the LCD intact.
Posted by: manhackman

Re: can you get mirror finish - 09/15/06 10:40 PM

The buffing wheel can be extremely dangerous.  Most people who injure themselves just dont reaiize that they need to be used with caution.  I would try a combination of the methods suggested... Do the lower case components seperated, but do the LCD case intact... just find a safe way to cover the lcd (like a sheet of styrene cut to size) and tuck the wires safely away... or hand buff the top of the case.  Maybe the best test would be on a damaged case from ebay, to see how well it buffs. 
Posted by: anil8tor

Re: can you get mirror finish - 09/16/06 05:57 AM

Yes all power tools are dangerous, if used improperly. I suggest this based on experiance with aluminum struts on a Honda Vmax. My friend wanted a mirror finish, but the struts where brushed finish. I spent 10 minuits on the buffing wheel with some medium compound on each strut. My friend was exstatic, shinyer than chrome!

But for goodness sake, Be Careful! Hold the part under the wheel so if it grabs it will throw it away from you.  And practice is a great idea! smile
Posted by: TCPMeta

Re: can you get mirror finish - 11/05/06 04:11 PM

Buffing is the last thing you want to do. If you want a mirror finish use 1000grit or 2000grit sandpaper. Have to be careful if the metal is already thin or not. After you sand it it should be automaticly a semi mriior finish then you wax and buff.

Take it from me I have done this countless times with automotive parts. Come to think of it heres a guide a friend of mine did with a heatsink for his gaming PC a few years back.
http://www.overclockersclub.com/guides/heatsinklappingguide.php
Posted by: modyourmac

Re: can you get mirror finish - 11/05/06 08:18 PM

actually, buffing and sanding wont get you a mirror finish on the aluminum parts, not without a ton of work. See, the outter surface that looks brushed, is coated. I'm not entirely sure what the coating is made of, but if you take a die grinder with a sanding pad to it, it'll come off and leave the bare metal underneath. G5 cases are the same way.

Probably the easiest thing to do would be to chrome paint it. Alsa Corp. who makes some of the more exotic finishes out there makes a product called mirrachrome.

http://www.alsacorp.com/products/mirrachrome/mirra_prodinfo.htm

In the near future, I plan to test this stuff out on an iBook. It may be the better way to go.
Posted by: manhackman

Re: can you get mirror finish - 11/05/06 09:03 PM

Originally Posted By: "modyourmac "

actually, buffing and sanding wont get you a mirror finish on the aluminum parts, not without a ton of work. See, the outter surface that looks brushed, is coated. I'm not entirely sure what the coating is made of, but if you take a die grinder with a sanding pad to it, it'll come off and leave the bare metal underneath. G5 cases are the same way.

Probably the easiest thing to do would be to chrome paint it. Alsa Corp. who makes some of the more exotic finishes out there makes a product called mirrachrome.

http://www.alsacorp.com/products/mirrachrome/mirra_prodinfo.htm

In the near future, I plan to test this stuff out on an iBook. It may be the better way to go.


this looks awsome... In the faqs they mention that you need a smooth as glass surface to get maximum shine, so it looks  like you will need to do some buffing anyways, unless you're starting with a new case.
Posted by: macDeviant

Re: can you get mirror finish - 11/06/06 08:19 AM

oklay my question is what part of the LCD is hard to remove? is it the Top shell? or the Bezel around the LCD it's self? If it's just the bezel that is so hard, why not just take off the bottom shell and LCD shell and buff that while leaving the LCD bezel and Keyboard Bezel the powder coat finish. by the way it is a powder coat finish.

macDeviant
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: can you get mirror finish - 11/06/06 10:57 AM

The coating everyone is referring to is the Anodized aluminum... on a hardness scale, it's about as hard as diamond, but is formed by a chemical process, so it can be stripped pretty easily.
Soaking the metal in oven cleaner is the easiest homemade method for this. After the anodizing is removed it will look really bad, but THEN, it can be buffed to a shine, or get it re-anodized or chromed...

I was contemplating getting my 12" re-anodized in red before I sold it (have a macbook 13 now...- call up a few local rim shops, most do in-house anodizing, but will need the parts stripped of all plastic first.

on the 12 and 15" powerbooks the lcd cover comes off after removing the screws at the base of lcd face, then working around the edge with a plastic stick. pop off the cover, then remove the AP antennas to get it the rest of the way off.

Powder coating would work- that's paint, but please don;t try to buff the surface unless you have enough service parts on hand to fix the mistake smile
Posted by: TCPMeta

Re: can you get mirror finish - 11/07/06 05:19 PM

Or if you want to do it cheap as you can you can try the Dupli-Color Metalcast paint.

http://www.duplicolor.com/products/metalcast.html

You can use the primer for it to ftill in then sand smooth then paint it.
Posted by: modyourmac

Re: can you get mirror finish - 11/07/06 05:35 PM

That Metalcast paint looks so hokey though. I played with it back in my spray paint days, and I just wasnt impressed. So far, the mirrachrome is the closest I've seen to a really good mirror shine. At some point, I plan to order some of the mirrachrome, and spray a kandy orange over top of it in a light coat. I should end up with a mirror reflective kandy color. We'll see.

Oh, and while I knocked duplicolor's metalcast, I have to give them props for their sandable primer, and clearcoat, its not like shooting House of Kolor products, but they get the job done for sure.
Posted by: manhackman

Re: can you get mirror finish - 11/08/06 11:19 AM

Originally Posted By: "modyourmac "

That Metalcast paint looks so hokey though. I played with it back in my spray paint days, and I just wasnt impressed. So far, the mirrachrome is the closest I've seen to a really good mirror shine. At some point, I plan to order some of the mirrachrome, and spray a kandy orange over top of it in a light coat. I should end up with a mirror reflective kandy color. We'll see.

Oh, and while I knocked duplicolor's metalcast, I have to give them props for their sandable primer, and clearcoat, its not like shooting House of Kolor products, but they get the job done for sure.

The duplicolor looks rad as tinited clear coat in my opinion...  I've never tried it on reflective surfaces, but it can give some nice depth.  may be a nice combo with the mirrachrome since you need to clearcoat it anyways.  is the "Kandy orange" a specific coating? 
Posted by: Qtip42

Re: can you get mirror finish - 11/11/06 06:05 PM

Anything's possible with the aluminum.  I wouldn't use a rattle can paint EVER because it'll probably diminish the value of whatever item you're using.  For the inexperienced folks, take the parts to a plating shop.  Ask them to polish the hell out of it. 

Exotic colored automotive paints like the chrome effects kind are entirely too expensive.  You'd be better off getting the aluminum chromed.  Aluminum is also expensive to chrome but at least it holds nicer than the overpriced paint would.