Sunday, February 10, 2013

Custom aluminum scales

Building your own scales in wood or plastic isn't the most difficult thing to do, but when it comes to metal scales it becomes hard labour and requires a lot of patience... I used a piece of hardened aluminum of 4mm thickness. Drawing the outlines is perhaps the easiest part, because soon after, I started sanding and slicing (with the Dremel-tool) the larger pieces away. Once you reach the outlines you need to carefully start grinding with the metal-file till you have a nice straight edge. I wanted a clear mirror finish and started sanding the scales with a 150 grid paper and ended with a 600 grid paper. Afterwards I used steelwool to even the surface up. To get the mirror finish you can use a polishing tool (Dremel) or a liquid polishing paste and cloth. I used them both, just to be sure... The result is amazing! It has the same bright shine as silver. This is a very labour intensive job, but extremely rewarding when you reach the end! You can always grind your name or some drawing in the aluminum, but I went for the "less is more" design....

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