Articles, Blog

My Secret Weapon For Making Aluminum Look Amazing!

October 12, 2019

hey guys lately I’ve been doing a lot of
sanding and grinding on aluminum as you can tell but this time around I came
across a secret weapon that I’m gonna bust out and this should make a world of
difference so what I’m referring to is a rubber sanding drum that goes on a bench
grinder I’ve had this around the shop for a few years but never really have
the right sandpaper nor a reason to use it
I’ve got a few aluminum parts here that I’m gonna try out with that sanding drum
a lot of this stuff has casting marks on it such as this triple clamp I’ve got a
casting line and all the casting texture see what I can do with that the linkage
has casting line on as well I think they’ll look pretty cool if that was
smoothed out and then I’ve got the smooth arm this one is gonna be a ton of
fun to stand out all right the drum just slips onto the shaft like so so kind of
how this works is the sandpaper belt the slips onto here and you can see it’s
kind of a loose fit but as soon as the wheel is spinning the rubber expands and
holds that sandpaper into place I didn’t mention this in the previous sanding
videos but it should be pretty obvious you’ll definitely want to use a good
respirator and goggles whenever you’re sanding any type of metal especially
aluminum all right let’s get to work one last thing before I get started with
sanding I’m gonna try using this grease thick on the belt and I’m hoping that
helps with the cutting action and also prevents the material from building up
on the sandpaper what the fuck is up so far the sanding
drum is working amazing on these more open areas but in the tighter spots
can’t really get in there so I’m gonna swap out the drum for the coarse
scotch-brite wheel so I was able to get the rest of the casting line out with a
scotch-brite wheel now I’ve got the drum back on and I’m gonna finish her off all
right so I’ve got most of the linkage sanded
down so far and it is looking super smooth really impressed with how well
that sanding drum is working but it’s easy to go over the top and remove too
much material as you can see right here I kind of made some gouges but I’m gonna
clean that up with a cartridge roll and then getting these tighter areas as well we don’t gotta be on the road maybe
that’s super super happy with the finish I ended up with here on the outside
looks incredible now for the inside I’m gonna touch that up with a little wire
wheel on a drill man this piece turned out prime and I
should be able to get the connecting arm looking just as good that’s what we’ll
be working on next all I can say is holy crap
looks like these parts just rolled off of a CNC machine absolutely stunning
now my hope is to get the swingarm looking just as good that is going to be
a one thing to keep in mind if you’re
gonna be standing the sides of a swinging arm
they are anodized and sanding that anodizing off could be really dangerous
if you’re not wearing a respirator so the reason I’m standing down on the
sides and the top is to remove the anodizing
and also just to get it to a clean smooth finish again as you can see on
this side I haven’t touched it yet and there’s some scratches here and all that
will come out with sanding so basically what I’m gonna do here is knock down
what I can with the sanding drum and then attack the rest of the swingarm
with the coarse scotch brite wheel at this stage I’ve done everything I can
do with the sanding drum and now with the cartridge rolls I’m gonna knock down
some of these other markings and then finish it off with the scotch brite
wheel this thing is starting to take shape
let’s see what the coarse scotch brite wheel can do now all right here is what she’s looking
like right now scotch-brite wheel definitely did some work on the bottom
side here wasn’t too picky about it but got looking pretty good so now I’ve just
got the inside right here and back here as well so I’m gonna knock down these
casting lines with a sandpaper roll since I can’t get into the inside of the
swingarm with the buffing machine I’ve got a scotch-brite wheel on a drill see
what kind of damage I can do with this I’ve got the swing I’m looking pretty
good but it still got that rough finish to it
so far most of the work has been done with a rough scotch-brite wheel and now
I’m gonna put the finishing touches on the swing arm with a finer grade
scotch-brite wheel both of these wheels are available over on my website by the
way and they are absolutely necessary if you’re going to be doing any type of
finishing work on aluminum I’ll put the links down in the description so she is looking sweet after that last
buff but as you can see the finish is somewhat inconsistent and that’s usually
how it is buffing such a large part on a machine I’m gonna finish it off by hand
with the scotch brite pad and that should give it a lot more consistent
look the key here is gonna be the buff in the same direction the whole time
on this part I’ll be buffing in the length of the swingarm so I’ll be moving
in this direction here and that’ll give it a really consistent feel if I go
across the grain like that it’ll have crosshatch marks and that won’t turn out
very good well guys here is the finished product I
am pretty stoked with the outcome but I have way too much time into this thing
though so my favorite thing about this type of
finish especially on a swing arm is when it gets dirty stained scuffed up all
only to do is grab the scotch brite pad give a little buff and she’ll be looking
as good as ever with the swing arm finished up let’s take a little halftime
break and pick the winner from the giveaway a few videos back once again
I’ll be using a random comment picker so this is gonna pick a complete random
comment from a few videos back as soon as I click start here it is gonna pick
the random comment who will it be all right we’ve got hunter green up and he
says prime so hunter green up shoot me a message here on YouTube and this prime
MX hat will be yours for the rest of you you could pick up your own prime of X
hat at prime and XCOM and now for the rest of the parts pretty much gonna be
the same exact process starting with a sanding drum and then moving on to the
two different grades of scotch-brite wheels these top triple clamps are always a ton
of fun to sand since they look super cool all smoothed out so I’m done with
the sanding drum I’m gonna move on to the scotch brite wheel and that will
take care of all these tighter areas alright guys these parts are now finally
done what a fun project this was I learned a ton throughout the process of
refinishing this stuff well that is it for today if you guys
enjoyed the video give it a big thumbs up and don’t forget to go grab yourself
a scotch-brite wheel over on prime MX comm if you’re going to be doing any
sort of metal refinishing these come in super handy and as far as the sanding
drum goes if you’re gonna buy one of those use the link down in the
description alright guys I will see you around
take care


  • Reply davi souza March 22, 2018 at 3:06 am

    Agora os vídeos ficaram top com legenda em português

  • Reply Dj Mystery March 22, 2018 at 3:14 am

    This bike is probably 10lb’s lighter from sanding alone 😂

  • Reply Muhammad Haiqal March 22, 2018 at 3:21 am

    perfect stuff

  • Reply UNDERDOG PROJECTS March 22, 2018 at 3:28 am

    Pryme build bro

  • Reply Cam 48 March 22, 2018 at 3:44 am

    Always enjoying the videos

  • Reply Quade Ericsson March 22, 2018 at 3:45 am

    You should powder coat the triple clamps the same red as the spring. I reeken on it will look awesome

  • Reply JyeLittle69 March 22, 2018 at 3:47 am

    do another rm125!!!!!!!!! A tear down video.

  • Reply Alex Salazar March 22, 2018 at 4:00 am

    Nooooooo the honda logo 😞

  • Reply ProfabDesigns Inc. March 22, 2018 at 4:06 am

    Hi Cam,
    I know your vids are probably a few old with editing, but use parafin(candle wax) because it isn’t as sticky and does not allow the aluminum to break down the aluminum oxide as fast. Also, get a medium to firm rubber sanding blocks will help conform to the shape and produce an awesome finish. Last step is triple 000 or 0000 steel wool pads, and will give the aluminum a crazy brightly polished finished look. Way shiny than what you had(and it looked great too. Scotch bright wheels are 320-400 grit, and can tend to be pretty rough. Light gray scotch pads are 1about 600 grit. That’s why I use the 0000 steel wool pads and a bit of WD-40 or Marvel Mystery oil as it will lube the process and keep the metal from loading up on you. I’ve been a Machinist a very long time(38 yrs). I know how how to polish anything even clear plastic. Your doing a great job, and. The little hints will take you up a level or two. Try the 0000 steel wool pads from Home Depot/Lowe’s just by them selves, you’ll see exactly what I’m saying. Good luck brother, Dean.

  • Reply Michael Poynter March 22, 2018 at 4:08 am

    Powder coat the connecting arm red!!

  • Reply My_Name_Is_ Chef March 22, 2018 at 4:20 am

    The "casting mark " is commonly referred to as flash

  • Reply Jourdon Gulick March 22, 2018 at 4:32 am


  • Reply Graham Vandermark March 22, 2018 at 4:32 am

    What year cr250 is this?

  • Reply RTS Motorsport March 22, 2018 at 4:46 am

    Looks spot on bro 👍 Suprised you did this with the bearings in though. what you going to seal it with? otherwise that lovely finish is going to oxidise and your going to end up right back where you started

  • Reply bryce86777 March 22, 2018 at 6:03 am

    Good attention to detail. I like you you just got in there and did it.
    I stripped a cbr 900rr by sanding what I could, used oven cleaner on the swing arm. Sanded through 2000 grit and polished to a mirror. Looked good, but I will never do that again!

  • Reply jannie van niekerk March 22, 2018 at 6:48 am

    Well, it is not a secret anymore.

  • Reply Just another rider March 22, 2018 at 7:51 am

    Better that brand new from the factory

  • Reply Benjamin varcoe March 22, 2018 at 8:15 am

    This bike is going to look so awesome by the time you are done

  • Reply Vini March 22, 2018 at 8:49 am

    Magnifique ! Très bonne vidéo, on dirait des pièces taillait dans la masse !!! 👏👍👌😉😁💨💨💨💨

  • Reply Nico van Duin March 22, 2018 at 10:06 am

    Great work! Maybe it would be an idea to invest in a vapor honing setup in the future, would save you alot of time 😉

  • Reply Brentan Coates March 22, 2018 at 11:10 am

    I’m so keen to see this bike finished ahha, can’t imagine how you feel

  • Reply William Beck March 22, 2018 at 11:25 am

    You shore your not strength out of the welds sanding the welds down like that should look sweet though once finished can’t wait to see it

  • Reply Robert Andri March 22, 2018 at 1:25 pm

    I found my new fav youtuber

  • Reply m1ke2001 March 22, 2018 at 1:32 pm

    Have you sourced a seat cover for the build yet?

  • Reply Justin Bong Sison March 22, 2018 at 1:35 pm

    Amazing…how Shiny! Its better than new👍👍👍

  • Reply Do RC March 22, 2018 at 1:41 pm

    The secret weapon to make bare aluminum look good is lots and lots of elbow grease. And the understanding that it'll look like crap again in 6 months.

  • Reply Do RC March 22, 2018 at 1:42 pm

    I hope those were junk head bearings….

  • Reply Juraj Kováč March 22, 2018 at 2:02 pm

    i really looking forward for bike build itself, i hope i will see it soon. 😀

  • Reply Collin Breshears March 22, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    Anyone else not a fan of the everything machined aluminum look?

  • Reply Josh Gilespi March 22, 2018 at 3:23 pm


  • Reply It's Me Savage March 22, 2018 at 5:41 pm

    You should powder coat swingarm black or red!!! I think it should come out amazing !🔥

  • Reply Nick Hayes March 22, 2018 at 5:47 pm


  • Reply Nick Hayes March 22, 2018 at 5:48 pm

    great job on parts!!

  • Reply ProfisT March 22, 2018 at 6:09 pm

    Better and better videos bro 👊👊

  • Reply stuart cole March 22, 2018 at 7:05 pm

    15:00 you’re getting a lot of abrasive residue in those bearings, I hope you cleaned or replace them?

  • Reply Laimonas Vasiliauskas March 22, 2018 at 8:16 pm

    It's not worth of such a hard work and time effort, you spend a hours while finishing this, and its gonna last only for short period of time…. Unfortunatly… Yeah awesome video, keep going Cameron

  • Reply wrench One March 22, 2018 at 11:50 pm

    Braaap …so clean bro.

  • Reply Braaap 317 March 23, 2018 at 12:02 am

    Good job brother. Looked hella good. Thanks for the klx clutch plated I ordered from your website. Definitely good quality used product for a good price. Would definitely recommend to anyone looking for used parts that are in good condition!!!

  • Reply Nick Childs March 23, 2018 at 3:02 am



  • Reply noah_rides82 March 23, 2018 at 3:19 am

    Can’t wait to see the final product of this project

  • Reply TNT MOTO March 23, 2018 at 4:02 am

    Nice to see you kept the aluminum look. I think it looks better than the polished mirror finish that a lot of people go with.

  • Reply Saved from the grave March 23, 2018 at 4:13 am

    this is what I'm doing to my 1986 kx 125

  • Reply Jack Cissell March 23, 2018 at 4:50 am

    Different music next time please

  • Reply Cameron Ciancanelli March 23, 2018 at 6:05 am

    You should do a before and after on your tools set up

  • Reply REYNA FAMILY March 23, 2018 at 6:22 am

    Looks sweet

  • Reply David Royev March 23, 2018 at 6:26 am

    You should powder coat those parts

  • Reply Science Militia1 March 23, 2018 at 9:05 am

    Don't wanna take too much off the top of some cast aluminum parts though. That outermost part of the aluminum is harder than the internal parts, because it cools faster after the casting opens up when its made. Its called the "skin". And it adds a lot to the strength of a part.

  • Reply PGC March 23, 2018 at 12:19 pm

    Bro nice work. You need a real dremel or better yet a die grinder with scotch brite wheels.

  • Reply crazydude764 March 23, 2018 at 11:13 pm

    Make an academy course for the pressure wash cabinet like you did for the parts washer

  • Reply Gary A March 24, 2018 at 3:57 am

    Great vid, Cameron. The music not so much… 😬

  • Reply Julio Ribeiro March 24, 2018 at 2:40 pm

    Quero parabenizar você sempre que possível assisto seus vídeos e curto motos e motocross e também a mecânica das mesmas e vc capricha, e sempre com novidades sou brasileiro e uma vez a minha esposa perguntou se eu entendia o que vc fala? E respondi a ela , não entendo o que ele fala mas entendo o que ele faz. E o engraçado é que poucos dias depois recebi sua notificação de novo video e para minha surpresa está com legendas fiquei muito alegre e agradeço por isso legal mesmo valeu até novo video.

  • Reply Ben D'Andrea March 24, 2018 at 8:13 pm

    Try anodizing aluminum parts.

  • Reply Ben D'Andrea March 24, 2018 at 8:15 pm

    By that I mean try at home anodizing.

  • Reply Ben Dover March 24, 2018 at 8:38 pm

    Try a Scotch Bright Flap wheel next time. It will eliminate the sanding wheel process since it's a combination of sand paper and the Scotch Bright Pad itself in one product. It comes in various grits obviously and will make this job much easier and faster.

  • Reply Manuel Perez Martinez March 25, 2018 at 7:50 am

    Hi! Awesomechannel brother, you´ve motivated me to follow my passion in moto, I´m 35, and gettig my 6 y/o into motocross, and currently getting all tools and gear together to perform proper service to his bike. Can you tell me which drills you use (impact, regular) ?? thanks!!

  • Reply Hts427 March 26, 2018 at 3:49 am

    Please tell me where you get the drill bit scotch Brite I need that so bad!!!

  • Reply Michael Hafke March 28, 2018 at 1:51 am

    Cameron, you are such a freaking perfectionist…I love it! Another killer video. 😊

  • Reply Jon Harvey March 29, 2018 at 3:17 pm

    You could really benefit from a foredom rotary tool for the detailed bits. Nicer to use then the drill. Looks good tho keep it up!!!

  • Reply Joel387 suzuki March 29, 2018 at 11:19 pm

    Thing will look to pretty to even send it for the boys lol

  • Reply hintzofcolorconcepts April 3, 2018 at 3:22 am

    Brasso works great for polishing aluminum into a shiny chrome like finish.

  • Reply IvicaKX450 April 3, 2018 at 2:22 pm

    Good video, dont have these grease tube here in Sweden. What kind of greas is it?
    Thumbs UP

  • Reply Aaron Howe April 4, 2018 at 9:56 am

    Couldn't you lacquer the parts to prevent oxidation? I wouldn't expect them to stay looking like that for very long without it. It would make them a bit shinny but better that than losing all the hard wok you put into them.

  • Reply sonny rico April 4, 2018 at 11:11 pm

    I just picked up a 1977 harley I'm going to use this method on the aluminum parts

  • Reply John Slaughter April 5, 2018 at 4:31 am

    I have the only existing Penn aluminum stepvan in the universe and would like to polish it out. How the heck would you tackle a job that size?

  • Reply Timothy Queen April 6, 2018 at 3:48 am

    Now it needs neverdull by eagle one.

  • Reply jfd889 April 6, 2018 at 2:22 pm

    days of polishing work, seconds on track to reverse said work…

  • Reply Craig Keller April 8, 2018 at 6:41 am

    Sacrificial gloves are better than loosing skin

  • Reply Naomi Clanton April 8, 2018 at 2:58 pm

    I prefer flap wheels on the buffer either 220 or 320 grit to knock down casting.Flap wheels on the dremel will also avoid most of the tendencies to cause an uneven surface.Its good to see different way to obtain the same outcome. Good vid.

  • Reply Torben Brunnfors April 10, 2018 at 5:45 pm

    Mycket bra information!

  • Reply Jonny Zadrazil April 11, 2018 at 10:52 am

    Nice vid man. Do you plan on doing the frame and subframe?

  • Reply Bikergal31 Triumph April 11, 2018 at 5:25 pm

    This GAL loved the vid. Awesome look in fact wicked!! Do you coat it with anything for protection?

  • Reply Ali S April 12, 2018 at 3:26 am

    After all that work, would you protect it with a clear coat or leave as is?

  • Reply Tig Trager April 12, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    Not bad.  About 10 years ago I did similar when I ported and polished the plenum on my 1988 TPI Corvette.

  • Reply JUKE179r April 13, 2018 at 7:53 pm

    daaaaaaaaaaamn! that's bad ass!!!!!

  • Reply Zuti List April 19, 2018 at 1:58 pm

    I personly like the casting look more

  • Reply SKSOUTH2012 April 20, 2018 at 3:46 am

    Nice work on the parts. You could really benefit from a good adaptable sander / grinder. Check out this one Jeremy built.

  • Reply MickHornbak April 24, 2018 at 6:48 pm

    I just recently discovered this channel. Great stuff, Cam!

  • Reply Aspired329 April 26, 2018 at 5:08 am

    Now need buffing wheels and rouge to finalize, well and another days time.

  • Reply Kevin Nguyen April 30, 2018 at 9:14 am

    I just discovered your videos. DAAAAMN. I love your work, very helpful. Keep it coming! Do you use any liquids when sanding with the power tools?

  • Reply 27 GH April 30, 2018 at 7:28 pm

    What grit is the sanding belt? 2500 grit?

  • Reply Aussie Digger May 2, 2018 at 9:37 am

    Damm that Shogun Honda is gunna look a million bucks! Great vid Cam.

  • Reply Michael Cochardo May 13, 2018 at 4:06 am

    0000 steel wool and Semichrome polish to finish and it will look like chrome.

  • Reply Cafe Racer Garage May 28, 2018 at 11:50 am

    This is awesome brother, I will definitely do this on my current build and give you a shout out when I do, thank you for the tip

  • Reply Paul Scarpa July 4, 2018 at 8:07 am

    They came up awesome I love doing stuff like that as well

  • Reply MotoXMadness July 13, 2018 at 7:42 pm

    Did anyone elses audio cutout

  • Reply mike maxwell August 10, 2018 at 11:31 pm

    To take paint off aluminum you can use oven cleaner just don't leave on too long it will dissolve your aluminum.

  • Reply Anthony Lawrence August 13, 2018 at 11:05 pm

    i did my top triple all the way up to 3000 grit. mirror finish.

  • Reply Chris King August 17, 2018 at 4:42 pm

    Cameron, Great videos as always. Can you tell me where you can find a sanding wheel like the one in this video? Thanks,

  • Reply rdizzo1313 October 10, 2018 at 12:49 pm

    I feel like it would weaken the parts in the long run. 🤷🏽‍♂️

  • Reply Edgar V. October 22, 2018 at 7:56 pm

    Damn, now that I´ve seen this video i know what is possible but I will never ever get my LC4 swingarm like that by hand 🙁

  • Reply bass 1776 November 14, 2018 at 4:05 am

    I bought both of the scotchbrite pads off your website last week and got too use them today. Honestly its mindblowing lol. It just drives me nuts because I can't get a consistent finish all the way over what I'm trying to do. Its gonna take some getting used too

  • Reply Junior1986 December 2, 2018 at 1:24 am

    Cameron my brother..first off i hope all is well with you. Second im looking for a way to keep the shine on my aluminum for a long time. Iv cleaned up a few sets of engine cases and i was wondering if there is a hi temp clear coat or somthing i could put on them aswell as other aluminum to keep the shinny look for a long time.. If it's possible could you or anyone help me out with ideas..thank you as always an to anyone who can help

  • Reply eksine December 27, 2018 at 6:57 pm

    use aluminum polish for a real shine, like maguire's aluminum polish

  • Reply Aussie Wombat January 14, 2019 at 4:34 am

    try bbq cleaner and scotch brite

  • Reply Jason Gibbs January 23, 2019 at 1:29 pm

    Hey Cam great work bro!! Got a question though, all this work you put in on these bikes does it pay off when you sell them? I've flipped dirt bikes and motorcycles for many years and really appreciate your work and effort, I know what it takes to do such things and it's not easy. That being said, do you make anything on your time and efforts? Thanks if you respond.

  • Reply Scott Lane January 28, 2019 at 7:24 am

    How do you protect the finish once it's done?

  • Reply Wayne Flint January 28, 2019 at 7:55 am

    Finish off with 8" felt wheel and green compound then a soft cotton polishing wheel. Craytex rubberised abrasive wheels are a handy gadget.

  • Reply Tony Spinks February 5, 2019 at 12:33 am

    I just ordered another batch of your red 8 inch scotch brite pads. I friggin love those things. I ran my last batch down to the nub on my bench grinder. They really do make aluminum look awesome. I refinished the forks on one of my bikes and then clear coated them. Looks killer! glad I found your videos. Thanks!

  • Reply Pay Channel February 22, 2019 at 7:20 pm

    why don't you use a vapor blasting machine??

  • Reply o2o.rider February 27, 2019 at 10:41 pm

    Hey Camreon, impressive job! Do you put any kind of protection layer on those elements before mounting them on the bike?

  • Leave a Reply