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Old Sep 19, 2005, 01:02 PM   #1
oskar
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Aluminum PowerBook Scratches and Dents

I've been searching through the forums for quite a while now and have found very little information (or just too much info scattered) in various posts.
I was wondering what are the best solutions, if there are any, for removing or hiding a scratch on an Aluminum PowerBook. I have a scratch on the top part of my PowerBook about 2 inches long which appeared "out of nowhere." I heard about a product called Conceal or something, but can't find anything like it in Amazon.

What about dents? Yes, call me unfortunate but I dropped an old (= heavy)external zip drive on the left palm rest area of my PB and got a dent that isn't that noticeable anymore, but you guys know how we are about our Macs. I know I should of been more careful, but stuff happens. The only half-reasonable solution is changing the whole part, but it costs $250 in pbfixit .

Thanks.
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Old Sep 19, 2005, 01:26 PM   #2
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most people suggest silver coloured paint to cover scratches

as for dents, they are not covered on applecare or anything so you may have to pay for them to be removed, as they are purely cosmetic. (unless of course they affect thescreen/hardware performance, im which case you may be eligible for c ertain insurancees or applecare cover.

i cannot recall a DIY solution for dents.


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Old Sep 19, 2005, 02:04 PM   #3
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I would think that the only way of getting a dent out of a PB would be to disassemble the interior hardware, and using metalworking tools to smooth out the dent. You may have to use a small hammer if the dent is big. I wouldn't advise trying it unless you are really really really careful. Even then I wouldn't do it.

I don't know if there is an easy way to buff aluminum to fix the scratches. I would think that silver paint would stick out like a sore thumb. Is there a clear polymer scratch filler that might work?

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Old Sep 19, 2005, 02:26 PM   #4
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There are silver-colored pens in art and office shops that work very nicely.
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Old Sep 19, 2005, 06:57 PM   #5
oskar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim.
I would think that the only way of getting a dent out of a PB would be to disassemble the interior hardware, and using metalworking tools to smooth out the dent. You may have to use a small hammer if the dent is big. I wouldn't advise trying it unless you are really really really careful. Even then I wouldn't do it.

I don't know if there is an easy way to buff aluminum to fix the scratches. I would think that silver paint would stick out like a sore thumb. Is there a clear polymer scratch filler that might work?

Jim
Actually I did do this to the dent and it helped with the dent a lot. But the problem is that even though I hit it "softly" enough it brought up other small details where the dent was. It kind of made the finish lighter as when you bend something. This can only be seen at about less than a 45 degree angle, so it didn't get all that bad compared to the dent I kind of smoothed out. The dent is still there only smaller (depth-wise).

Quote:
Originally Posted by iGary
There are silver-colored pens in art and office shops that work very nicely.
Is this a joke? I'm serious, I really don't know.
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Old Sep 19, 2005, 06:58 PM   #6
oskar
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I'd post pictures but I need to take them in sunlight because with the flash, it's hardly even noticeable. Oh and I don't have a place to post them.
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Old Sep 20, 2005, 09:31 AM   #7
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Wanna buy a new top/bottom case for it? Cause mines kinda ****ed from water damage


The computer that is.
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Old Sep 20, 2005, 02:44 PM   #8
oskar
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I just ordered the ICLEANER Ultra Pro Kit for iPod or iBook from Amazon to polish my iPod and someone else's iBook. I know it's designed to be used principally on the white plastic design, but has anyone ever tried it on a PowerBook or on an iPod mini?
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Old Sep 21, 2005, 04:10 PM   #9
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What about those dent poppers you use on cars? Think those would work on a PB?
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Old Sep 21, 2005, 04:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oskar
Is this a joke? I'm serious, I really don't know.
The silver-colored pen suggestion is likely valid. After all, he did not recommend anything in red, green or blue.
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Old Sep 21, 2005, 04:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinnamon Swirl
The silver-colored pen suggestion is likely valid. After all, he did not recommend anything in red, green or blue.
It wasn't a joke - they make silver gel pens that work very nicely.

I use them all the time to sign framed photos with. They work very well on aluminum.
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Old Sep 23, 2005, 02:26 AM   #12
oskar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinnamon Swirl
The silver-colored pen suggestion is likely valid. After all, he did not recommend anything in red, green or blue.
Ha! Hmm, might give it a try.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iGary
It wasn't a joke - they make silver gel pens that work very nicely.
I use them all the time to sign framed photos with. They work very well on aluminum.
What do you mean? On the glass? They're like markers then, aren't they?

Last edited by oskar; Sep 23, 2005 at 02:30 AM.
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Old Sep 29, 2005, 03:35 PM   #13
oskar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iGary
It wasn't a joke - they make silver gel pens that work very nicely.

I use them all the time to sign framed photos with. They work very well on aluminum.
I bought a $5 dollar silver pen and it works nicely with other silver stuff I have but NOT with aluminum. I guess the PowerBooks aren't "silver-enough". The pen's color is way too shiny. I could try a darker colored pen, but I guess I'll leave it at that. There's nothing like polishing, except that I guess there's no easy way to do it.
As for the dent, I guess I'll just stick the Apple sticker that came with my PowerBook. Not much to do I guess.
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Old Sep 29, 2005, 04:15 PM   #14
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Oh man. I would rather have a dent than take a gel pen to my baby...

(There there, they weren't talking about you.)
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Old Sep 29, 2005, 07:54 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yg17
What about those dent poppers you use on cars? Think those would work on a PB?

NO! You can very easily do more damage with that than the original dent. Even if you could fit the surface on the PowerBook, which is doubtful, they're made for stronger materials and deeper dents. The thin aluminum shell could be seriously warped as a result.
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Old Sep 29, 2005, 09:22 PM   #16
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ya, just yesterday I accidently scratched the top of my powerbook while trying to push down a bump. By the way, dont put the wrong screws in the battery compartment or it will make its way to the top of your powerbook!

So now iv been trying to find a clean way of concealing the bumb and scratch.. The scratch isnt bad, it looks more like a pencil mark but regardless I would like to conceal it someway so I won't be reminded constantly of my stupidity.

A silver pen or sharpie doesnt sound promising....

looks like my apple sticker is finally finding a home!
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Old Sep 30, 2005, 06:33 AM   #17
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You could repair the dent by filling it with body putty, sanding it down so it's smooth, and then repainting the entire panel.

If you don't have experience with that, you might take it to an auto body shop and asking them (with a straight face) if they could do it. I'd suggest a shop that deals with Audis, since they'd be used to dealing with the aluminum body panels on the A8.
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Old Sep 30, 2005, 06:50 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oskar
I bought a $5 dollar silver pen and it works nicely with other silver stuff I have but NOT with aluminum. I guess the PowerBooks aren't "silver-enough". The pen's color is way too shiny.

I haven't had any luck with silver pens either. I tried a couple of different ones on my TiBook but they had barely any effect. I was wondering if they were more effective on an AlBook; sound like not.
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Old Oct 9, 2005, 05:46 PM   #19
oskar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackmouth
A silver pen or sharpie doesnt sound promising....

looks like my apple sticker is finally finding a home!
The pen sounded like a good idea, but I found that it is too reflective, so the effect is practically the same as the scratch my PowerBook has. From a 90-degree (perpendicular) angle the scratch is dark and clearly visible. From a 45 or smaller degree angle the scratch becomes less and less visible. The pen's ink works the other way. It conceals the scratch (moderately) from a 90-degree angle and is more and more visible at 45 and smaller angles.

I think I might end up putting a sticker on it. So here goes another question: Where can you buy cool stickers online?
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Old Oct 10, 2005, 02:28 AM   #20
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Not sure where you get stickers for that sort of thing but you can get PowerBook skins here:

www.skinit.com

I have one on my PowerBook. I posted a pic of mine once but the consensus seems to be that most owners prefer their PowerBook naked and that skins ruin the simplicity of design. But if it's scratched anyway, might as well try the skin or some kind of sticker.
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Old Oct 18, 2005, 01:16 AM   #21
oskar
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I just received my iCleaner polish I ordered for my white iPod. I've been wondering about using it on the scratch of the PowerBook, but I don't want to screw it up more...
I looked through the product's website and all they mention is that they have not tried it and don't know what will happen.
It just seems that the surfaces of the iPod mini and the PowerBook are so similar although I know the PowerBook is actually aluminum and different from the mini's. Still, I wonder if it could be used? Does anybody know if it would work?
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Old Oct 21, 2005, 12:47 PM   #22
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For a brief incarnation I trained to be a PDR (Paintless Dent Repair) Tech; that didn't last. Nevertheless, there is one basic principle I learned, once metal has been bent as in a dent, it will not be "like new" again under normal circustances. When the metal bends in a dent, its actual thickness is reduced to provide for the increase in surface area, and there is no way to fix that 100%, short of melting it down and recasting. so the best you can go for is "can I live with as good as I can get it?" If not, then the only solution would be to buy a new case.
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Old Oct 23, 2005, 07:53 AM   #23
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my scratch repair results

i just used one of those silver paint markers to cover up a fairly large scratch on my 15" TiBook. the paint beaded up to make a 3D silver blob on the case, so i hit it with a blast of compressed air to flatten it out. the paint is slightly darker than the original paint, but at least it's not as shiny as the metal underneath. paint markers take a couple of hours to dry completely, so plan to leave the powerbook alone for a while.
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