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Old 09-23-2003, 04:56 PM   #1
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Can you polish out rust?

Is it possible for me to get rid of this rust stain on the aluminum when I remove this light or am I stuck with it? It sure will stick out when I finish polishing the Airstream.
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Old 09-23-2003, 05:06 PM   #2
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Thumbs up IMHO

I'd say, why not? It's nothing more than a stain...You might have to work on it..but, I feel it's worth the try..

Aluminum doesn't rust...

For some ideas, try this website.
micro-Surface

ciao
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Old 09-23-2003, 06:27 PM   #3
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should sand away

Look at stain closely, aluminum does not rust but it can be damaged thru metal interaction. Use fine sandpaper and take your time before you polish ....then polish trailer second after proper prep.....jem
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Old 09-23-2003, 06:33 PM   #4
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corrision

Read my post and realized I should have said aluminun does not rust but it can corrode and interact with other metals, so you will have to assess damage and it may require a patch if very bad. Sanding by hand should do it in most cases though, be careful of power sanding...lol...jem
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Old 09-23-2003, 06:37 PM   #5
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Any recommendations about what grade sandpaper to start with? Is this a wet sand or dry method? I'm new to working with aluminum, so any advice is greatly appreciated.
Thanks again.
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Old 09-23-2003, 06:47 PM   #6
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try a 1200 first. Heck you might try a paste metal pollish first.
You can get a replacement light with a Aluminum base at www.airstreamdreams.com.
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Old 09-23-2003, 07:01 PM   #7
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aluminum oxide cloth backed

I would polish if at all possible, but from your pic it seems there is some deep oxidation type corrosion. If I am right about the severity and the polish doesn't get it, as mentioned start fine at 1200 and keep increasing the grit size only if necessary and then finish with the finest grit and polish. Replace with aluminun or plastic light fixture.
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Old 09-23-2003, 08:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Replace with aluminun or plastic light fixture.
Or at least put a gasket or mylar between the dis-similar metals.

Shari
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Old 09-24-2003, 05:51 AM   #9
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Thanks everyone for the info. I will attack this project this weekend. I already have the correct aluminum base lights to put on it, just need to get this rust stain removed first. Thanks again.
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Old 09-24-2003, 10:58 AM   #10
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I'm not sure the exact year Alclad aluminum was used, I believe it started in the early '60s...but you may want to be careful not to sand to aggressively. Try the finest sand paper first, see how it goes and try to feather it out evenly.

If it is Alclad aluminum and you sand through the Alclad layer, the aluminum beneath could oxidize at a different rate and a "stain" of a different sort could appear. As long as it's just surface discoloration, it should come off pretty easily, if the surface is badly pitted, that's where you could run into some problems.

Good luck & post pictures as you go along...

Shari
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Old 09-24-2003, 11:59 AM   #11
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It is the Alclad aluminum -- I will proceed with caution. Thanks again.
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