View Full Version : How To Restore Aluminum Finish Around Drivers

03-04-2005, 09:07 PM
I have a pair of le5-12 mids and the aluminum finish is a little tarnished but there are no scratches on them does anyone have any ideas on what i should use on them to restore the finish i am going to have them reconed after so i think i should do it now.:applaud:

03-04-2005, 09:20 PM
Some emory paper, or some 200 grit sandpaper rubbed with the grain of the satin finish should do what you are asking.

Mr. Widget
03-04-2005, 09:33 PM
You can use sandpaper, but it tends to get blotchy looking. If you go to a better hardware store you can buy metal finishing pads. They are basically heavy duty Scotch Brite pads. They come in different levels of abrasion. I like 3M brand and use the burgundy one for aluminum touch up. The trick is to build a jig so that you can keep your passes straight. If you do it by hand with a pad or sand paper your abrasion lines will be wavy and it won't look right.


Alex Lancaster
03-05-2005, 08:39 AM
:) If You have access to a bench belt sander and give them a quick pass, they will be great, I guess thatīs the way they did them originally.

03-05-2005, 10:35 AM

DON'T use power tools as it will burn the aluminum!!!

(1) Buy some stick-down 1/2 sheets of sandpaper ( 150 grit )

(2) Stick it onto a sheet of plywood scrap ( or any very flat surface )

(3) Note the direction of the existing sanding and place the speaker facedown on the sandpaper

(4) PUSH DOWN and along the length of the sandpaper with the grain

(5) Make repeated passes until you get the finish back. Turn it 180 to compensate for wear.

This way you will NOT round off the edges and get straight lines.

This also works well for the LE14 but you need a pissload of sandpaper...:)



03-05-2005, 10:53 AM
Great input. I have a pair of 2122s that will get this type of attention today!

03-05-2005, 11:01 AM
That's exactly the method I've used subwoof. :yes:

I also like my beadblasted frames but that method is a real pain in the butt to ensure beads don't get where they don't belong. The grit matters as the frames have voids in them and heavy grit will blow the really soft material away leaving nasty pits. The super fine beads yield a nice satin finish.

03-06-2005, 11:02 PM
thanks for all your good input and i was able to restore the finnish using 120 grit paper on 1 foot block going in one direction with the grain it turned out perfect thanks again from all of you for your help:applaud:

03-07-2005, 01:42 AM
I have used a good wire brush in this capacity, as others have said, keeping it straight is the key. Use an edge to run aganst or something so it won't wander off line.. I have found this method makes less "dust", but emory cloth is also fine, (Hughhh. no pun intended) RE

03-07-2005, 03:46 AM
I also like my beadblasted frames but that method is a real pain in the butt to ensure beads don't get where they don't belong. The grit matters as the frames have voids in them and heavy grit will blow the really soft material away leaving nasty pits. The super fine beads yield a nice satin finish.

What do you mean by "Bead Blasted" are you talking about the finish on the Alnico magnets ?

03-07-2005, 05:23 AM
Giskard is refering to a method of metal prep that falls under the catagory of sand blasting. However I believe he is refering to (and I know he will correct me if I mis represent him - right?)is instead of using "sand" per se, the media, or material used to remove the paint, corrosion and other debris on the metal, is glass bead. The glass bead comes in varying weights and bead diameters, the finer or smaller the bead, the less abrasive the cut and the smoother the finish. Think 50 grit sandpaper vs 600 grit sandpaper. The down side is that thin metals warp under the heat generated, you need to cover or seal any area that you do not want blasted (gap and vent areas for instance)
In recent years the metal prep industry has discovered that using baking soda in a water solution using high pressure (pressure washer style) is a viable method of paint removal as well. This has 3 benefits. The water cools thinner metals that would ordinarily warp under the the heat generated by the bead/sandblasting process. The finish is smoother as the baking soda removes just the coating and not metal, and lastly it leaves a somewhat protective coating on the metal so that it does not corrode in the interim of coating removal and recoating.
The down side is that baking soda will not remove rust and you cannot really recover the used media too well.

Those are the highlights in 1000 words or less anyway.

03-08-2005, 04:38 PM
Hi vertical800
What I have found out is the same as subwoof axplained in an earlier post.
The sandpaper I use (#100 or #120) is made for sand belt machine. I cut the belt to form a strip. Putting two strips together side by side on a piece of plywood for example is very good.

Then the clue is to move the loudspeaker along the length of the sandpaper with the grain. Subwoof explain all of that much better than a "norwegian

This will be the result if everything goes your way (the 2105/LE5 is an original JBL finished speaker) The one I have restored is an LE8T (re-foam project)

03-08-2005, 07:36 PM
This is outstanding. I have a pair of le 5-2 speakers and I was concerned about the faceplates. I was afraid to sand them for fear I would get a different color face, one that was not original.

Goes to show the old world quality in these drivers. The plastic junk made today can't be refinished if it fades or dulls from cleaner attack.

03-08-2005, 07:53 PM
I recieved my first 044 today (YAY!). I won this ugly duckling on ebay, luckily.

03-08-2005, 07:56 PM
I disassembled the tweet and got out a red scotchbrite pad and some gojo. I spilled a bunch of gojo on the scotchbrite pad and started twisting the tweet in circles. 20 minutes later this is what I had

03-08-2005, 08:00 PM
The pumice and the base in the gojo make for an easier time of it. Don't forget to do the screws. Cleanup is warm (hot) water then a rinse in windex followed by an application of armour all and you have .....

03-08-2005, 08:01 PM
Then align the diaphragm per Giskards instructions and your all set for 044 lovelyness.

03-10-2005, 06:38 PM
Hey Verticle, Try some MOTHERS ALUMINUM POLISH available at any auto parts store. Soft cloth and a little elbow grease with shine 'em right up without the metal filings all over the place...:applaud:


03-11-2005, 01:12 AM
Hi Hector.

Nice work.

I bought a pair of 2402's on ebay just around christmas. I should have understood there was something wrong when only the back of the drivers where shown.

Anyway here's the results of a little effort with 240 sand-paper.