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water hazard

Polishing an older powder coated wedge foil

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water hazard

I have a 2002 VLX that has a manual wedge. The foil was powder coated black but now most of of the black color has worn off. Has anyone removed the foil from the arms and polished it and clear-coated it? What did you use? Any dangers to watch out for?

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Bill_AirJunky

If it's truly powdercoated, then you can have it media blasted or use aircraft stripper. Each method has it's issues & should be done safely & appropriately.

But I believe any Wedge I've ever seen was anodized (including my own). You can use regular kitchen oven cleaner to remove ano.

Powdercoat is usually thicker than ano, and a solid consistant color & can chip easier. Anodizing lets you still see the "grain" in the aluminum & tougher to chip the finish.

I've never seen an aluminum Wedge polished. Depending on how much perosity the aluminum has in it, the polish may look good or not.

Edited by Bill_AirJunky

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dalt1

I can tell you that the waters in TN will erase all your hard work of polishing in a short time. I don't know if sealing it will help or hold up. On a polished Sky Ski foil it will begin tarnishing on the first ride after polishing it. I have the same concerns with my 06 wedge. I have tried Line X coating last year. Looked great but pealed off the first time it was used. Rust-oleum paint has held up pretty well except when it begins to pit. I believe the pitting is actually caused by by stray electric current in the waters. Anodes are supposed tho help with this but it still happens. If you find a finish that holds up let us know. I hate my ugly wedge hanging on the back. I know I could go with the Floating wedge to cure it but, $$$$$. Still may consider that option if I sell my fixed wedge first.

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Sunsetter95

I have polished my wedge. Sanded out the ano and polished to a shine. The blade requires a lot of work to remove the scratch marks from the sanding. I would like to have mine polished and chrome plated to preserve the shine.

As is, It needs to be polished about twice a season to keep it looking nice. Our water is hard but not acidic that I know of.

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martinarcher

Well done. That's the first non-stainless manual wedge that I've seen that actually looks good! Thumbup.gif

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water hazard

That looks awesome. What did you use to polish it? A buffer with polishing compound or something more agressive?

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onamission

I had the wedge foil and bracket powder-coated after the first year on our old boat. Also added anodes to the bracket and the arms. Looked good for 2 years then started to chip and peel. Personally if your boat is left in the water for any length of time the only thing to do is upgrade to one of the stainless steel models, anything else is just a band-aid.

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Bill_AirJunky

And like Dalt said, TN lakes are rough on polished aluminum. Specifically Center Hill & Dale Hollow. One 30 minute ride in either of those lakes & my SS foil looks worse than a whole season here at home.

Look around for a shop who can do "hard anodizing" or type 3 ano. They usually have black, clear & colors like red or orange. Anodized foils usually look good a lot longer than polished ones. You can even polish it with a decal on the aluminum (ie; Malibu) and when they do the anodizing, there will be a shadow left behind where the decal was.

We use green jeweler's rouge & a 3400 RPM grinding/buffing wheel to polish them. The wax in the rouge usually will protect the aluminum against any tarnishing for a few months.... here at home.

Edited by Bill_AirJunky

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Baddog

And like Dalt said, TN lakes are rough on polished aluminum. Specifically Center Hill & Dale Hollow. One 30 minute ride in either of those lakes & my SS foil looks worse than a whole season here at home.Look around for a shop who can do "hard anodizing" or type 3 ano. They usually have black, clear & colors like red or orange. Anodized foils usually look good a lot longer than polished ones. You can even polish it with a decal on the aluminum (ie; Malibu) and when they do the anodizing, there will be a shadow left behind where the decal was.

We use green jeweler's rouge & a 3400 RPM grinding/buffing wheel to polish them. The wax in the rouge usually will protect the aluminum against any tarnishing for a few months.... here at home.

They filling those TN lakes with acid? Not sure I would want to ski in one if it does that kind of damage to a wedge in 30 minutes.

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martinarcher

They filling those TN lakes with acid? Not sure I would want to ski in one if it does that kind of damage to a wedge in 30 minutes.

That is a bit scary! Surprised.gif

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Sunsetter95

That looks awesome. What did you use to polish it? A buffer with polishing compound or something more agressive?

I just sanded the original ano off. It was in really bad shape. Ugly purple looking.... I used many different levels of abrasives finishing with 1200, then a good polishing with a course compound topped with a finish polish and wax.

After reading the above posts, I may go get some SS and make another one and polish it. For me, it will be cheaper than buying one.

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dalt1

That is a bit scary! Surprised.gif

The lakes are beautiful and waters are clear and deep, they just don't like you putting polished aluminum in them. I don't know why they are so hard on it but they are.

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Baddog

The lakes are beautiful and waters are clear and deep, they just don't like you putting polished aluminum in them. I don't know why they are so hard on it but they are.

Any idea of what the actual pH is for those lakes?

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martinarcher

The lakes are beautiful and waters are clear and deep, they just don't like you putting polished aluminum in them. I don't know why they are so hard on it but they are.

Actually my wife and I honeymooned in TN and that is where I got her talked into boating. We rented a Cobalt for a day in Lake Douglas and had a blast. Just the two of use and she had never towed a skier. I spent the afternoon teaching her to drive the boat and how to pick up object form the water. I had her practice picking up the fender out of the boat. We made sure the one end of the lake didn't have any water cops and I got some skiing in. After that day she was sold that we needed our own boat. Thumbup.gif

Lake Douglas was an awesome lake, but was very low when we were there (summer of 07)...

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