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Thread: How to clean old aluminum floor polisher casting?

  1. #1

    Default How to clean old aluminum floor polisher casting?

    The maintenance fellow brought us an old polisher which has the main casting and one of the flip-up wheel holders broken. Both are aluminum castings which have been soaked with floor polish and who-knows-what-else for years.

    I tried cleaning just the surface for welding the smaller piece, but the gunk just keeps boiling up from inside when it gets hot.

    Is there any reasonable way to get all the old gunk out so I can get a good weld?

    Roger

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    On the Oil Coast,USA
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    16,858

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    Do you have a pot large enough to boil it out? That works pretty well for some wax contaminated pump castings I get in from time to time.
    I just need one more tool,just one!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Lexington, Ohio
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    2,579

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    wierdscience's idea was what I was thinking along with I believe someone (maybe Evan???) at one time mentioned dish soap.

    Maybe boil/soak it in wax remover ?????

    EDIT:
    And, hopefully it's not pot metal.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Bellingham WA
    Posts
    315

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    The professionals sometimes strip really bad floors with strong straight ammonia. I don't know about soaking aluminum in ammonia..but it would disolve the floor wax.

    Maybe soaking in stoddard solvent would remove the wax....then clean with alcohol... then preheat with a propane torch?

    Cheers
    Mac.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Regina and Assiniboia, Saskatchewan
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    5,950

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    Wax burns...I'd hit it with a propane torch to boil it out. Just don't get it too hot or you'll seal the inner stuff in.
    You never mentioned the process you are using???????
    If it's tig...prepare for the worse. Dirty ol castings and tig can drive you nuts.
    Try to gring to some fresh metal before you start. You may have to butter then grind several times to get a good base to weld on.
    REMEMBER...if using tig on dirty crap...it is imperative that you hold the cup very close to the surface. You'll see a big difference.
    Also...turn up the cleaning action if your tig has it....that does help also.
    Good luck...I feel your pain
    Russ
    I have tools I don't even know I own...

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