Repair of Brushed Alum. Face???


Does anyone know how to repair or restore the gold-tone brushed aluminium face found on many HP calculators such as 71B or HP-11C etc.??

I would truly appreciate your reply!!


Scottie, ol' pal, you may want to take a closer look at your 71B and 11C. Those calcs don't have gold tone aluminum trim -- it's silver!!!!! One more time so everyone is clear: financial calcs have gold trim, scientific calcs have silver trim. Got it, everybody???? As for restoration, it depends on what's wrong with the trim in the first place!!! Give us more details so we can help you.


Your Hp-71B may be silver but mine & proobably others are gold!


Mine is gold too. I have compared my 12c(financial) to my 71b, and you could transplant trim from one to the other. They're the same color: gold.


Franko, ol' buddy, can't cut a guy a break, huh? Feel better now that everybody's "got it"? Thanks for the lesson (funny.. I didn't hear anybody asking?).

When I look at my 11C, I notice it's brushed aluminum face has horizontal brush strokes (from the factory). Over the years, small dings and scratches have developed that are obvious because they run in directions other than horizontal. This is par-for-the-course for "any" calculator that has brushed aluminum trim. Unfortunately, I don't know of an easy way to re-brush the aluminum (short of complete removal from the calculator) that wouldn't damage the calculator's plastic case. Good luck Scott.


No breaks, Matt. Life is tough, then you croak. Deal with it.

Anyway, on the trim, I once tried some metal polish applied with a cotton swab. It didn't work too well -- seemed to polish the area to a nice shine, but it didn't match the rest of the aluminum. I think it's something Scott will have to live with.


Good response, Frank. Really. I don't understand why you couldn't have provided a constructive response to Scott's question, as you just did, the first time you wrote.

I just went back and re-read a series of postings titled "The people on this forum...," (March 6 through the 11th.). I agree with "Ron's" message, in which he congratulates "Dave for running one of the most professional, helpful, cleanest, and respectable boards on the net. Thanx.".

Then I looked at some of your prior responses to people's questions. "Cracked Display" and "burroughs adding machine" are beauts.

I'll end with this. I wonder if anybody has ever read this forum and decided not to ask their question, for fear of being ridiculed? That would be a shame.


Never having re-done a calc face, and not knowing your disassembly problems, or the severity of your damage, there are a number of preparations at metal/hardware shops for gently stripping/etching small metal parts, and for application of the proper metallic tint. Note we are not talking paint here, but very thin flowable tint that doesn't cover embossings, grain, brushing details. Even a good mechanical design type machine shop has varieties of this stuff to dress their small parts after fabrication. Try a couple of tests to wee what looks authentic. If this thread goes on a bit I will dig out a couple of product names. Good luck.


I took out my HP71 and it is silver. But, I also looked closely and think I know how the "trim" is applied.

It ain't trim. The face is brushed aluminum with the color and key functions silk-screened over. You don't want to apply new trim but new color.

I did post an idea (that never received a reply) for repair for older HP's which had trim applied around the raised perimeter. This may work for you repair.

Hobby stores sell a product used to simulate metal finish on plastic. The product, "Bare Metal Foil", is an adhesive backed, ultra-thin foil you can cut and apply to simulate a finish. It's inexpensive, so worth a try (although I have noticed some on this site are cheap skates - can I say that?)

Check out the product at, a hobby store, or an issue of "Fine Scale Modeler" magazine (my source) or "Scale Auto Enthusiast." I can't say how tedious or durable this is but it's worth a try. You could even make the gold trim you want.


PS. If there is more to this reply, ignore it. I got up to find my 71 and returned to a blank screen.

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