My package from Velo Orange arrived the other day with fenders, decaleur, pedals, Ostrich bag, and a nice Japanese bell.
The fenders are the 48mm fluted version with a matte finish. I wanted to polish them up a bit but I wasn't real sure how to polish aluminum. Most of the info I came across described cleaning the surface with oven cleaner or other household cleaners and then wet sanding with very fine grit sand paper and steel wool. I wasn't looking for a mirrored finish, I just wanted to brighten them up a bit. One web site suggested cleaning the surface with a household cleaner and then scrubbing the surface with cream of tartar (used to make meringue). You then finish up with Brasso. A quick trip to Wal-Mart and I was ready to get started. I used some Mr. Clean wipes to clean the dust and aluminum shavings from the fenders before making a paste with the cream of tartar. It turns out that the cream of tartar is a fine abrasive, the website didn't really mention the reason for using this stuff. I scrubbed the fenders for a while and then wiped them clean. I applied the Brasso and was pretty happy with the results. I repeated the process and scrubbed a little longer with the tartar which improved the shine quite a bit.
Here's a picture of one the fenders after shining. I know, it doesn't look in any different in the photo, you have to see them in person to appreciate the difference.
4 hours ago