naked macbook pro

dwong506

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 13, 2009
8
0
Canada
Just thought I'd post this up somewhere, I got bored with how the mbp looked and decided to get rid of the stock surface treatment, turns out that takes quite a bit of hand sanding. Anyway, I got lazy and didnt fully polish it (yet) but here is a macbook pro in bare metal, with badly obvious sanding marks and everything. A work in progress, I threw a light clear-coat on it and put all the guts back in and am using it as is for a while. Im thinking of polishing it all the way to a nice mirror next time I get the itch to mess with something. What do you think of it?

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MarcBook

macrumors 6502a
Jul 13, 2008
956
114
United Kingdom
I think it actually looks quite nice! I'm looking forward to seeing it if you can get it down to a chrome-like shine. Keep it up. :)
 

impreza98

macrumors member
Sep 3, 2008
52
0
It looks great so far! I was considering a mod similar to this with a PowerBook using this method. Do you have any plans to do the keyboard/trackpad? Because it don't quite blend in with the rest of the computer.
 

dwong506

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 13, 2009
8
0
Canada
Maybe run a finer grit over it?
Yeah, the hard part was the original outer coat. That needed a medium-rough grit to get through. I went over it lightly with a finer (220 grit I think) paper after and that helped. A really fine grit sanding, then polish maybe with some compounds(?) for aluminum is probably the next thing to come. I dont know much (or really anything) about finishing alu but I figure if it gets a nice shine, or a look that Im happy with, I'll just put a decent clear coat on it and call it done.
Right now I'm happy with the look, and need my computer for the next week or so, which means it wont be getting gutted and polished for a while yet.

@ Marcbook: I'll definitely post up pics if/when I get it shining
 

dwong506

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 13, 2009
8
0
Canada
impreza98:
thanks for posting that link, that outer case look is how I'd like this to end up looking as well. I hadnt really thought about the keyboard or trackpad much, but you are right, they do stand out from the overall look. The button of the trackpad seems to be made of a similar material as the button to release the upper case from the lower when closed (the part with the sleep light), and that actually sanded down to look the same as the metal(!). Surprising when you feel the 'plastic-ness' of the material. Here is what that button looks like sanded, so the button for the trackpad could possibly look the same. That still leaves the keyboard and trackpad...
 

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dwong506

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 13, 2009
8
0
Canada
It looks horrendous.
Didnt take long, I was actually surprised the first replies werent all along the "you idiot youve ruined your computer, it looks horrible" line. Thats what you get when you ask for opinions anyway, everyone has their own. Thats why I asked, maybe some good ideas will result.

Aside from it being not finished, the scratch lines and uneven finish are due to that, what makes you dislike it so much? Do you have any suggestions on how I could improve it, or do you just dislike it because it doesnt look stock anymore?
 

aiterum

macrumors 6502
Nov 17, 2007
499
0
United States
interesting i guess, although i'm having a hard time picturing what it looks like since your camera is the worst on the planet apparently.
 

m85476585

macrumors 65816
Feb 26, 2008
1,222
4
You could try wet sanding it. Make sure you use wet/dry sandpaper, dip it in water regularly, and keep the surface wet. It works for paint, though I don't know if it would help for metal.

Also try Norton 3x sandpaper if you can find it. It has better abrasives than normal sandpaper, so it is easier to use and lasts longer. It also works wet.
 

dwong506

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 13, 2009
8
0
Canada
yeah when I get the chance I'll be taking it apart again and finishing the surface fully.

@aiterum: yeah the iPhone camera is lacking... but thats all Ive got here with me


@m85476585: I ended up having to use the Norton 3x just to get through the original outer coat, normal paper just wouldnt cut through.
 

mingoglia

macrumors 6502
Dec 10, 2009
446
8
It makes me cringe every time I look at the pic... however I know that once finished you can get the shine you're after... the in between though is painful to look at. :eek:
 

m85476585

macrumors 65816
Feb 26, 2008
1,222
4
Normal sandpaper uses aluminum oxide abrasive, and anodized aluminum like the finish on the MBP is also aluminum oxide.

When you polish it, you might also need to find a polishing compound with something harder than aluminum oxide, since a thin aluminum oxide layer forms almost immediately on any aluminum exposed to air.
 

Spandexman

macrumors regular
Dec 5, 2009
124
0
Is that what you WANTED it to look like? No accounting for taste I suppose ;) It'll probably look better when it's finished, but at the moment it looks a bit "rustic". Not to my taste, but whatever floats your boat.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,836
30,359
Boston
Sorry but it looks horrible. You took a classy well designed laptop and scratched the crap out of it.
 

combat

macrumors member
Dec 13, 2009
46
0
Dallas, Texas
That's a big scratch! Haha, it'd look really cool if you did polish it all the way and got like a shoe shiner buff and shined it up!
 

NeuralControl

macrumors 6502a
Dec 3, 2009
917
30
I'll withhold judgement until he completes the refinishing. Maybe this will look really cool if it is polished well.
 

Collider

macrumors regular
Oct 8, 2009
130
0
Not keen on it myself, as it is at the moment, mostly because it has that 'unfinished' look about it (understandably so, since it is :)). Cannot wait to see what it looks like if you can get that mirror shine on it, though; I can imagine the finished product will look all kinds of stunning.
 

dwong506

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 13, 2009
8
0
Canada
Is that what you WANTED it to look like? No accounting for taste I suppose ;) It'll probably look better when it's finished, but at the moment it looks a bit "rustic". Not to my taste, but whatever floats your boat.

Yes and no, I knew there would be a phase where it looked like this on the way to being polished, but I didnt know I'd have to stop work and put the project on hold. I didnt really intend to have to put the thing back together and use it, but I had to. I guess final answer is no, this is not what I wanted it to look like, but its not stuck looking like this either.
In person it looks a bit better than the grainy iPhone pics show, and it really depends on how the light hits it because of the grain left on the unfinished metal.

It was a bit cringe inducing to feel the grit of the sandpaper dig into the macbook pro for the first time, but once I started seeing the bare metal underneath that dull coating I couldnt stop.

It is all up to individual taste, for sure, and I got bored of having the same notebook everyone else has (seeing how many more students each year have mac laptops at university, its easy to believe that apple is taking over...) so I changed mine. No regrets for sure, except of course that I couldnt finish it last time I had it apart.