Aluminum PowerBook Scratches and Dents

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by oskar, Sep 19, 2005.

  1. oskar macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2005
    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." :rolleyes: 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 .

  2. macOSX-tastic macrumors 6502a


    Jan 9, 2005
    At the Airport. UK
    most people suggest silver coloured paint to cover scratches:D

    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.

  3. jim. macrumors 6502

    Dec 22, 2004
    C-ville, VA
    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?

  4. iGary Guest


    May 26, 2004
    Randy's House
    There are silver-colored pens in art and office shops that work very nicely.
  5. oskar thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2005
    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).

    Is this a joke? I'm serious, I really don't know.
  6. oskar thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2005
    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. :eek:
  7. xFU3Lx macrumors member

    May 24, 2005
    Wanna buy a new top/bottom case for it? Cause mines kinda ****ed from water damage :(

    The computer that is.
  8. oskar thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2005
    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?
  9. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    What about those dent poppers you use on cars? Think those would work on a PB?
  10. Deepdale macrumors 68000


    May 4, 2005
    New York
    The silver-colored pen suggestion is likely valid. After all, he did not recommend anything in red, green or blue.
  11. iGary Guest


    May 26, 2004
    Randy's House
    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.
  12. oskar thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2005
    Ha! Hmm, might give it a try.

    What do you mean? On the glass? They're like markers then, aren't they?
  13. oskar thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2005
    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.
  14. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

    Mar 30, 2004
    Oh man. I would rather have a dent than take a gel pen to my baby...

    (There there, they weren't talking about you.)
  15. matticus008 macrumors 68040


    Jan 16, 2005
    Bay Area, CA

    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.
  16. blackmouth macrumors newbie

    Sep 29, 2005
    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!
  17. Manatee macrumors 6502a


    Oct 20, 2003
    Washington DC
    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. ;)
  18. dkeninitz macrumors regular

    Feb 16, 2003
    Germantown, MD

    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.
  19. oskar thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2005
    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?
  20. erickkoch macrumors 6502a

    Jan 13, 2003
    Not sure where you get stickers for that sort of thing but you can get PowerBook skins here:

    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.
  21. oskar thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2005
    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?
  22. tsaxer macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2004
    Tuscaloosa, AL
    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.
  23. monkeyboyone macrumors newbie


    Jul 23, 2002
    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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