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Old 09-29-2010, 03:19 PM   #1
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1974 25' Tradewind
Berryville , Virginia
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Posts: 143
removing scrape

I have a 74 Trade Wind which had a 3' crease down the side , I have removed the interior panel and worked out the indent. I now have two horizontal scrapes running down where the crease had been. These were deep enough to look like someone pulled a tool down it and too deep to simply buff them out with course polish. You can feel the crease running your fingernail over it and it is plainly visible.

Could any one advise me to the grades of emory paper and technique in taking out the gouge? Do you sand in circular or run horizontal? Is this removed by a hand or mechanical?

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Old 09-29-2010, 03:58 PM   #2
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Hi batt

I don't have your answer.

I'm considering painting my trailer just because of issues like yours that are difficult to repair to a like new condition. My trailer was never finished. The metal was just left bare and clear-coated. That film started to fail in short order and now it looks worse than terrible. It's a bad plan at maturity.

An older Airstream with a scratch along the side of the trailer is, by value, totaled out. Because it costs more to fix that than the trailer could be sold for to a third party.


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Old 09-29-2010, 05:41 PM   #3
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Nahhhhh! Scratches are beauty marks. Our vintage Airstreams are expected to show some wear and experience. A deep scratch can be reduced with either an aggressive compounding or sanding (aluminum oxide) to a point where the compounding/[polish can take over. A common deep scratch that many of us face is the infamous too close bush or shrub that , wind blown, has caused deep scratching. If nothing else....make up a good war story as to the origin of the wound. Polish away.
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Old 09-29-2010, 06:02 PM   #4
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If the scratch is deeper than 2% of the skin thickness then to get it out you'll be into the core of the sheet and not the Alclad anymore. I'd keep the scratch rather than abrade away the shiny protective coating.
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Old 09-30-2010, 08:33 AM   #5
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1974 25' Tradewind
Berryville , Virginia
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ok , I will just polish and forget about achieving perfection, you are right its not new , just trying to do everything I can while I am at this stage.
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Old 09-30-2010, 09:13 AM   #6
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If it really bugs's not too bad or expensive to replace a straight panel yourself. Curved ones you have to purchase "Airstream-specific", but straight panels are just plain Alclad aluminum. We did it on both our trailers and a friend's and it only took 2-1/2 people two weekends. If you have the interior panels out - use buck rivets, but if not Olympics work great. You can see our documentation in my "It's a Girl!!!" thread, starting around post #209 then skip down to #224 or so for more meaty posts.


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