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Thread: Removing "shadows" on titanium brushed finish

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    Default Removing "shadows" on titanium brushed finish

    My Vamoots RSL is coming up on it's 5th birthday and I'll be replacing the stickers that have flaked or peeled. I don't want to replace the stickers on the chain stays and seat tube but not doing so leaves a "shadow" from the stickers that used to be there. Is there an easy way to remove or even out the finish on the frame? I have access to a bead blaster but I'd rather not go that route or any other that requires me to disassemble the bike. If there's not an easy way to go about this I can deal but figured I'd ask. TIA

    Bob

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    Default Re: Removing "shadows" on titanium brushed finish

    They may fade with time... another idea is to scrub the whole frame with red Scotchbite to knock down the blasted finish. I do it here, usually going around the circumference of the tube with a shoe-shine action, then clean with alcohol (the frame, not me), then finish with Pedro's Bike Lust. Repeat as needed. But, yeah, the existing decals will be an issue.
    Steve Hampsten
    www.hampsten.blogspot.com
    "Tighten the wingnuts!"

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    Default Re: Removing "shadows" on titanium brushed finish

    Thanks Steve, I'll give that a try. At some point I'm going to commit heresy and get it painted so no biggie if the finish isn't perfect.

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    Default Re: Removing "shadows" on titanium brushed finish

    I use Mothers Polish on all my Mootsies and Hampsten Mootsie and a soft rag. Then WD 40 to take off the Mothers residual. I do that on Stems Seatposts and the Ti frame. It also takes out small scratches. Like Mr. Hampco said, clean with Alcohol. But I usually drinks the alcohol while I am cleaning that always seems to help. All my Ti bikes are at least 10 years old and never got the factory refinish work so they are sort of half way between brushed and semi polished. WD40 is magic on Ti frames. Makes them look new as the showroom floor.

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    Default Re: Removing "shadows" on titanium brushed finish

    I also give you extra points for less decals. Moots IMHO puts way too many on the bike. I stick with their head badge and down tube stickers only. Way easier to clean/wipe with the WD40 that way and lets the Ti look good.. Of course my Hampsten has the Piggy on the head tube. Hampsten on the down tube and smiling Andy on the seat tube. Got to have Andy on there for good fortune.

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    Default Re: Removing "shadows" on titanium brushed finish

    Has anyone tried Barkeep's Friend cleanser on Ti? It's acidic and makes me wonder if it might do the trick.

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    Default Re: Removing "shadows" on titanium brushed finish

    I tested some Barkeeper’s Friend on a spot and it works well. For those of you not familiar, it’s made for stainless steel and other kitchen stuff is sort of like Comet or Ajax but acidic. I’ve learned the hard way to not leave it on stainless steel surfaces for too long because it will ruin the finish so I’ve been wiping a thick paste on the bike and scrubbing with my fingers and then wiping it off quickly.

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    Default Re: Removing "shadows" on titanium brushed finish

    I had the liquid version of Barkeepers Friend recommended to me for my stainless bike. No idea what the difference is.

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    Default Re: Removing "shadows" on titanium brushed finish

    Titanium oxidizes slightly and turns a bit darker. The oxidation only goes so far and stops. The shadow is there because the exposed ti has oxidized and the ti under the decals hasn't. The decal itself also might leave a residue that prevents oxidation.

    I had good luck using Mcguiars polish. I used the polish they make for paint, but they have a metal polish you might try also. It does a fast job of removing the oxidation and brightens up a frame. The ti will oxidize again in a week but then it will be even on all parts of the frame.

    I would be wary of Barkeepers friend. That's oxalic acid, isn't it? I don't know what that does to titanium.

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    Default Re: Removing "shadows" on titanium brushed finish

    I'm going to try some Mother's polish for the oxidation. I agree that you should be very careful using Barkeeper's Friend due to it being acidic. I wiped on a paste and rubbed it around with my finger and then immediately wiped it off.

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    Default Re: Removing "shadows" on titanium brushed finish

    Quote Originally Posted by 9tubes View Post



    I would be wary of Barkeepers friend. That's oxalic acid, isn't it? I don't know what that does to titanium.
    Oxalic acid will initially etch (corrode) titanium but in doing so it will thicken the oxide layer on the surface which will slow down subsequent attack.

    Oxalic works on steels because it has the interesting property of reacting with iron oxide to form iron hydroxide and then linking to the iron hydroxide to pull it into solution. When this occurs on the surface of stainless it leaves the nickel and chromium behind, effectively increasing the concentration of the corrosion inhibiting elements of the alloy at the surface.

    FWIW I did a bit of research on surface modification of Ti seeking to improve bonding performance before I decided not to use Ti fittings on my bikes: the carbon footprint of Ti is so high that the fittings were 20% of the GHG equivalence of a frame despite being a much smaller percentage of the weight.

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