How to remove anodizing (rims/cranks) / Polishing aul. to mirror finish.

Alright, I would like to polish my kh 08 trials rim to mirror finish, along with some koxx cranks. I’m not 100% sure how, I have access to drills and grinders, so maybe a wire brush? If so, what kind? I’d like to know for sure before hacking my unicycling up. Also, would this work for my kh 08 frame?

As I said, I’m wanting to polish these parts, so I don’t want them to have extremely coarse surfaces.

Thanks for the help.
I searched.

Anodizing is a forum of oxidizing which means that it is the aluminum on the surface that has changed colour. It is not like taking off paint you will need to remove a thin layer of aluminum from the surface.

I think KH frames are powder-coated though so you should be able to strip that a little easier with the help of some paint strippers.

On anodized parts I think the best bet would to sand them down with fine grit sandpaper then polish with a buffing wheel. Not sure the best way to keep things shiny as aluminum will react with air and oxidize again once you remove the protective (anodized) layer.

EDIT: I would stay away from wire brushes on the anodized parts as the anodized layer is harder than the aluminum below it.

Thanks, I tried sanding an anodized rim before, got no where and was three for an hour or two. I’ll have to get some sort of power sander. I’ve used the dermel bits and smaller things, and alu just clogs those up and makes them worthless.

I was planning on either clear coating, or using a reflective clear coat.

Yeah, kh’s do have powdercoat, I just heard they were hard to strip, so I figured I would ask.

Who was the guy who polished and airfoil? I should shoot him a pm.

To polish, I was also planning on using really fine 600 grit sand paper, well prep.

I think it was Pete Perron (unisk8r)


Take it to an electroplating business and just pay a reasonable amount as they can do it in a short time and can take the powder coat off as well. They polish metals before chroming, are experienced in polishing and can do a great job on aluminium. The next step is to take it to an anodiser and get a bright finish. I have had a KH 36 frame, an airfoil rim and some cranks done and they look great.

Do you have any pics from that? Would like to see that. (Parts and complete uni if possible :slight_smile: )

Not yet. I will have a few by the weekend.

Yeah I never thought of that, that would be awesome to see. About how much did it run you to get all of that done? Are you in the us? If not, I’ll need to convert. I just want a general number.

Easy off!

I have no idea how many things I removed anodizing from back in the bmx days. Spray oven cleaner like easy off takes the anodizing off. I don’t recall how long you leave it on, but a little trial and error should get you there. It really was easy though. I don’t even think we had to scrub it. I think it really just wiped off.

Remember, once the anodizing is off there won’t be anything to prevent oxidation of the aluminum, so you might want to be ready with some clear polyurethane after you polish the metal.

Thanks for that tip! Any idea if I could damage the raw alu with that stuff if I left it one for along time? I would just spray it over night and let it sit. I could use my oven since it’s broke, well has been for a few years now.

To be honest it has been at least 25 years since I have removed anodizing from aluminum, so the details are a little fuzzy.

I did a quick web search on oven cleaner anodizing removal and found this thread in a different formum:

It has a few good pointers, and a couple of different ideas about chemical removal of anodizing.

I had good luck witht the oven cleaner, and polished the aluminum to a mirror finish. Apparently it was really luck more than anything. The posts in that form lead me to believe that getting a good finish with oven cleaner is very difficult.

Thanks a bunch.

Sounds dodgy to me. I might give it a try, or just have it done some place. I don’t want an ugly rim now.

I am thinking of doing my K1 cranks with oven cleaner, but I have one question:

Will de-anodizing remove enough material to make the crank loose on the hub? I don’t think it will but i just want to make sure before I start.

I don’t think a clear coat will be needed, as the cranks have a raw logo on them, and being on the cranks, it would just rub off anyway.


Again it has been a long time since I have done it so keep that in mind.

I removed the anodizing from a pair of Sugino Maxi Cross cranks once and they never had a problem with fitting tight on the spindle. It didn’t really seem as if metal was coming off of the cranks, just the color.

If you’ve got some old aluminum part laying around you should probably try it before you commit your nice stuff to it.


Anodising is only a few thou(sandths of an inch) thick, so if you remove only what is necessary, and where it’s necessary (not the splines) you shouldn’t have problems with the crank loosening.

Thanks for the tips guys, I’m going to buy some oven cleaner today or tomorrow, so I will see how it all works out and hopefully post up some pics.

Thanks again,

Alright so I de-anodised my cranks and seatclamp today. Here are some pics:



The process was fairly simple, I just placed all the parts in the caustic soda, then after about 10 minutes took them all out and rinced them. (Some of the anodising needed a bit of a scrub with scotchbrite in parts.) Then, I polished them up a bit in the tricky spots with the buffer bit on my dremel.

I gave up halfway through polishing the cranks because it was getting dark and I’m lazy… I think it looks way better than it did before and I am going to get rid of all the red in time…

Tell me what you all think,


I like… very nice.

How much did that run you?

I finally got around to getting my rim stripped, it’s a kh 08 19". Oven cleaner did the trick, nice and easy, I did it more than once, just taking it slow as to not damage the surface to much. At first I was pretty worried, the surface is really, really ugly, but after a good amount of sanding, I find it to be workable. Alu. is soft, so it wasn’t all that hard. I’ll get some pictures tomarrow.

I’m going to work my way though polishing very slow, all the way to wet sandling with 1200 grit, then on to alu. mag polish. I’m also going to try brass polish, not sure how it will work out, but I’ll give it a go.

With the sanding and the anadozing gone I probably saved like 5 grams!