aluminum / aluminium corrosion

Hi - I have acquired a large batch of Adana chases made of aluminium/aluminum. Some have a white crust in parts, which I’d guess is corrosion from water damage.
Is there an ‘official way’ of cleaning them, or is it as simple as emery paper and machine oil?
I’m not really keen on painting them as the paint will surely chip given the softness of alu.
Really appreciated!

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Many people would like some inexpensive magic potion to remove the oxide from aluminum or type. It hasn’t happened yet. Mechanical abrasion gets it gone. I use a wire brush. Wear face mask.
Aluminum does not reject paint. Perhaps as good or better would be a good coating of automobile wax nicely buffed down.

I use lemon juice to soften the corrosion and then scrape it off.

Sandblast and powder coat if you want it to stop.

(Since they’re chases, wouldn’t presumably affect the function of the part, unlike other parts on an adana.

Give them a good brushing with a wire brush , emery the real bad ones and spray them with mag alloy wheel spray paint , the clear stuff the auto shop sells for keeping your car wheels pretty, if it resists the stones off the road it will take most of the stick you will give the chase !

Aluminum is difficult to paint and takes real preparation. You need to stip and clean the metal, removing any corrosion, then paint with a self-etching primer designed for aluminum, and coat with a compatible finish coat of the desired color. There are online directions for more elaborate metal preparation, but the steps listed above should give you a serviceable coating to protect the chase. The paints you need should be available at a local auto paint store. The color that best matches Adana color is called Dull Aluminum.


I presume you are joking about painting an Adana chase. Just picking myself off the floor from laughing.

Can I have a gold one please with yellow chase iron screws?
No, change that order make it a pink one that matches Adana red.

Once you start using them with real ink, real type and real spirit cleaner and not hanging them up for decoration your chase will look how it is supposed to look, used.

Platen printer
No it is not meant to be a joke , many presses did have chases that were painted , although heidelberg chases were blued like a gun barrel I have had some that were enamelled . If the adana chase keeps oxidising what harm is there in painting it with clear laquer ,yes it will eventually chip and peel or even get burned off with the chemistry but as this occurs the metal will naturally pick up a layer of ink staining that will build up and eventually protect it ,so yes i would suggest a coat of paint till the natural order takes place .
If you wre using iron chases like i do and picked up red rust in one night you would do the same or does all your work have rusty finger prints everywhere ?
I dont do hobby work mine is all commercial , keeping clean hands is difficult in the damp climate here when rust is a constant battle with the autumn sea air and damp mists . I have a steel cutting plate that hasnt been mirror like for fifteen years , genuine heidelberg so not stainless !
if i could paint that i would do so too .

Fairly simple and cheap cleaned (via any of previous learned friends methods) Acid Etch Primer from an aerosol can,quite cheap £10 ish in U K,you can see it burning into the metal gently of course,and then throw on virtually anything,thinned down ink mixture, paint, laquer, varnish, if you chip with use just recoat , the acid etch primer will stay fast. I treated the exposed parts of my lathe (which sweats in my ill ventilated workshop) about 3 years ago, and even being in use every other night the top coat on the chuck has chipped, the primer is still perfoming although the chuck is probably getting more accidently hammered than a chase on a small machine. Thats my best shot, its working for me, admittedly not on a printing machine but comparable. Regards Mick.>>>>>>>>>>><<<<>>>>>> but apint ,

Our friend at Haven Press seems to be suggesting the most durable option Car wheels are usually powder coated and recoated upon upmarket refurbishment, but it would be quite expensive per chase, A glance at to establish if their plating system extended to aluminium, in which case you could possibly plate every aluminium chase in North America for about 10cents per item. Silly thought maybe, but I would be quite happy to be on 10% if you hit the big time, I could buy loads more Monotype spares. Mick. ,

Just find a good welding shop that has a powder booth and sandblasting facilities to match.

Here in Greenpoint, brooklyn, New York, there is Hussar Metals. They do a phenomenal job for the money and something like this, if you had about 6-10 chases, might be worth it to you at about 10 bucks a chase? That’s what I estimate the cost to be, though Mike at Hussar might have other thoughts.

The original question is about Adana alloy chases which were produced for the H/S2 (also sold as an inner chase for the 8x5), the 5x3 and the H/S1. They are made of alloy, do not rust and therefore do not need coating. Sandblast one of these and you won’t have a chase left.
The Golding, Model and Adana 8x5 chases I use are all painted, the Heidelberg ones are are not, the old proofing chases in the corner can stay rusty and the one proofing chase I do use is painted matt black so that I can write on it.

Ahoy inky fingered

aluminum alloy

sand blast no
walnut shells yes
but why bother

I just wire brush the worst of the crud
then use the chase

if you clean them up after each use
not leave for years on damp concrete floor

they will not crud up again

also aluminum after cleaning
immediately forms a thin oxidized layer
this protects the metal

have 75 year old aluminum radio chassis
that show no corrosion

don’t worry its just a hunk of metal

yours truly