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Old 07-06-2011, 01:04 AM   #1
YoungManGoneWest
 
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Shropshire , England
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Question Newbie - Silver Streak Clipper

Hello all. Post from Shropshire, England. I have acquired a Silver Streak Clipper, and have a number of immediate questions, and would be very appreciative of any help that members can provide:

1. Is there a way that I can find out its year of manufacture? From what I've read so far of Silver Streak, it must be somewhere between 1949 and 1954, but I'd like to place it exactly.

2. What is recommended for stripping off internal paint? I'm using Nitromors and steel wool, but it's taking ages, and am wondering whether experienced people might know a shortcut?

3. Does anyone have any plans of the original interior of these trailers please? This one has the alumimium floor to ceiling lockers and the four banks of overhead lockers (two fore, two aft), and that's it for the moment.

4. Does anyone have any internal photographs of these trailers please?

5. Finally (for now), what must be an oft-asked question. What's the first step I should take in cleaning, and ultimately polishing, the exterior?

Very many thanks. My email address is youngmangonewest@hotmail.com. Pop in if you're ever in Shropshire!

Regards,
Richard

www.ymgw.blogspot.com
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Old 07-06-2011, 10:09 AM   #2
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welcome Richard

i`m also fairly new (here on this board and to the addiction of aluminum )
so i can not help you with point 1 to 4...
but maybe on point 5 ;
i like to use 3M HD Rubbing compound as the first step to polishing after washing.
"Rubbing compound" is gentle and removes grime and oxidation but is only very mildly abrasive (IMHO very important if you work with Alclad)

by rubbing the body first you save on more expensive polish later...
it is only ~$60 a gallon compared to ~$60 a pint for aluminum polish like Nuvite.

btw, i recommend to use a big 7" polisher with electronic spindle speed control for rubbing ... you will need the slow speed
(Makita makes an excellent and lightweight one )
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Old 07-06-2011, 10:34 AM   #3
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One may join the Silver Streak Mailing List at Toms' Web Page

I'd look there through all the advertisements and other info on SS trailers.
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Old 07-06-2011, 05:00 PM   #4
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For the brits... T cut is the same as rubbing compound.

There are several long threads on polishing if you look around or do a search.
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Old 07-06-2011, 11:23 PM   #5
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Hi Richard,

Congratulations and good luck with the new trailer!

I've got a 1952 SS Clipper that is awaiting restoration. The interior is in pieces, but includes everything that you've described as well as a small sink in counter. At the moment, I'm unable to picture how it all goes back together, but I'll try to get a look at it when I get a chance. Sorry that I can't offer any info on the serial numbering system.

Regarding paint removal, look for a product called "Removall 220". This product was originally manufactured by a company in the USA, but I believe it was sold to some entity outside of the States. It was available, then unavailable, then available again (that was about a year ago). I think it may be distributed by a company called "VINTAGE TRAILER SALES". If you can get hold of some, it will be worth your while. I used it to strip the clearcoat from the exterior of my Airstream Classic Motorhome. As products of this sort are concerned, it is very "friendly" to work with. It does not throw off a lot of toxic fumes, and doesn't burn your skin as do most chemical removers. While you don't have clearcoat on the outside of your "Streak", it should do a good job on the interior paint. I will be using it for my interior paint removal. A fair amount of fresh water rinsing is required after use however. That could be problematic, depending upon the status of your floor?

I think you mentioned that you are working with steel wool. Be careful! That stuff can be pretty abrasive, and you may be doing some surface damage that could be a headache to get rid of in the future, especially if you're considering a polished interior.

When it comes to polishing, it is definitely advantageous to start off with the cleanest possible surface. I recently purchased a product called "Streak Master" from Dan at VINTAGE CAMPERS. I have not yet used this product, but he describes it as a new generation of acid surface cleaners. I have seen trailers that he has washed with the stuff, and the results are impressive.

For all of the polishing that I have done to date, I have used "Nuvite". I believe that this product is made in Brooklyn, NY. There is another similar line of products sold under the name of "Rolite", made in Canada I think. Both have been developed primarily for use on aluminum aircraft, which is essentially what we have, minus the wings. Both brands offer a range of grades that are designed to go from "heavy cutting" to "mirror polishing".

Polishing is a labor of love for sure, but the results can be impressive. Just keep in mind that once you commit to polishing, there is really no turning back. Good luck.

Hope this helps,

Charly
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Old 07-07-2011, 01:30 AM   #6
YoungManGoneWest
 
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Thank you all for the advice, especially Charly for the detail re. paint removal and polishing.

The thinking behind using steel wool is to use coarse to get the worst of the interior paint off (it looks flakey but is actually very resistant), then medium to get off the remainder, then fine to clean up and take out the abrasions, then a gentle abrasive polisher to polish up those parts that will not be repainted. The floor has been relaid with 3/4 inch marine ply, so will be able to cover this with plastic sheet and give the interior a good washing down.

Charly, it sounds like we might have the same model. I too have a sink in a (currently freestanding) cabinet. I can supply photos of how the other components are fitted in if desired. Also, take a look at pages 100-103 of Douglas Keister's book "Silver Palaces" - a couple of useful photographs of a 1952 Silver Streak Clipper, with an overhead locker above the fridge chopped out by the look of it. ISBN -13: 978-1-58685-325-5. ISBN-10: 1-58685-352-X.

Best wishes, Richard
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Old 07-07-2011, 02:27 AM   #7
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Hi Richard, I have a '55 Clipper ( I think its 55, it is down at my workshop, not handy ), if your trailer still has it, the " Silver Streak Clipper ", badge to the left of the entrance door will have some numbers stamped on it, year/ month, serial number. Not necessarily in that order.
I can post some pics of the layout if you would like, although the front is not original, I believe. Not sure if the layout is the same as a '52.
I would not recommend using steel wool anywhere on the aluminium skin, apparently fragments of the steel wool can embed themselves in the softer aluminium, and ultimately rust over time. Not pretty.
Every polished Clipper I have seen looks absolutely mind blowing and incredible. All those panels and crazy windows....Flash Gordon stuff.
Does your trailer still have its pipe frame?- If so, check for slumping.

Good luck with your project.
Pete
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Old 07-07-2011, 08:34 PM   #8
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Old 07-08-2011, 01:24 AM   #9
YoungManGoneWest
 
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Hello Pete.

The badge to the left of the entrance has stamped into it the number 2514. The same number is stamped into the hitch end of the pipe frame. So, would I be right in thinking this indicates that it's a 1951?

Yes, it would be really helpful to have some photographs of the layout of your trailer. My email address is youngmangonewest@hotmail.com if you wish to send direct.

I shall heed the advice re. the use of steel wool! It will be good to have it ultimately polished up - it was indeed the shape of the front windows that caught my attention. I immediately thought of the original of the film, "Jason and the Argonauts".

Yes, it still has its pipe frame, but this seems to be okay - it has been strengthened with box section before the new floor was fitted.

Regards,
Richard
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Old 07-13-2011, 04:08 PM   #10
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Hi Richard,

Take a look at this site as you set about polishing your trailer. There is a lot of good info here.

http://www.perfectpolish.com/PolishingTips.htm

Regards,

Charly.
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Old 08-13-2011, 08:40 PM   #11
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You are very lucky to have a Clipper, congratulations!
I have a Silver Streak & vintage trailer links page, you can find it here: silverstreak - Posterous
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Old 08-13-2011, 10:42 PM   #12
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To clean the inside use TSP (tri-sodium phosphate). Cleans great, but what sets it apart is that it leaves no residue whatsoever when it dries. Perfect before painting (or not). It's readily available at home improvement or paint stores. Have fun!
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