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Old 06-17-2009, 05:20 PM   #1
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60 year old trailer getting all shined up

Hey folks-
About this time last year I was hauling my 1949 Airstream Trailwind up from J'ville FL to my home state of Alabama. I actually found the 18 footer on craigslist for a grand. The wife and I took it on a voyage last fall out to San Francisco and all stops between and the it pulled like a dream.
Now it is time to get it looking nice. I started on the front end cap and I used the truck box polish with a 3" polishing wheel attached to my drill. By the way, this was just a test to see how much progress I could make realizing I will most likely upgrade to a variable speed hand grinder with a larger polishing wheel to move it on through. Otherwise, I would be out there for years.
Not sure if we are really after the mirror shine or if we like the mid-range shine. Man, this is so fun and we are so happy to have picked up this diamond in the rough. I am attaching a couple pics of the progress. Suggestions, comments, and snide remarks are welcome.
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Old 06-17-2009, 05:24 PM   #2
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Very nice!
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Old 06-17-2009, 07:23 PM   #3
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Great start. I think if you are really into the process, you might check out some of the threads on polishing and get some of the products (polish) and a cyclo and take it all the way to a mirror shine. There are so many folks that have brought their diamonds in the rough back to real Hope Diamonds!

Either way you decide to go, keep up the good work.
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Old 06-17-2009, 10:25 PM   #4
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Very nice! Its great to see the old boy back among the living Airstreams again. Here's an interesting polishing tip to try. Go to any autoparts store and pick up a small can of Mothers Mag and Aluminum polish. Its about $5. You can polish a sheet of an endcap in about half an hour using elbow grease only! No swirls from the compounder, no heat. You will get really great, reflective finish and then if you want to go on from there with a cyclo and Nuvite you can skip the course compounds.
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Old 06-17-2009, 10:34 PM   #5
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I agree with cosmos. I used only Mothers and it work fabulously. MelodyRanch also had a great tip that probably works well. You'll need to search for the post. It's a little involved but seemed to make great results. I would also recommend a Makita variable speed polisher it's a little pricey but worth it! It's light and the variable speeds is great! No matter what you use it's never easy but, it's all very satisfying! The picture is my trailer after a once over with mother's, it took about 4 days of labor. What ever you do wear a mask!
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Old 06-17-2009, 11:10 PM   #6
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Thanks everybody. I will definitely have to check out these products that have been recommended. Yeah, I'm no stranger to elbow grease but I am trying to get a process down so we can rock it out. Ever since we picked up this trailer my family has bugging me to have a polishing party so we could all take part in the process and enjoy the results together. I will report back with more pics and will post up some invitations to the polishing party...plenty of beer will be provided.
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Old 06-17-2009, 11:21 PM   #7
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Benjo,

When's the trial for stealing that trailer for a grand?!!?! Beautiful little trailer.

Melody ranch uses a green buffing bar smashed to bits, and mixed with mineral spirits. I hope to have to chance to compare Melody Ranch's 1940's shine against Oldtrucksrule's 1940's shine this September.

Steve
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Old 06-21-2009, 08:31 PM   #8
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What auto part store would you recommend looking for Mothers aluminum polish?
Thanks,
-benjo
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Old 06-21-2009, 09:42 PM   #9
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Great job your doing!!! You can get Mothers at any auto parts store...Its in a red squeeze bottle. It seems to work better than Truck box. An old polish I got hooked on from the Air Force days....used to polish VIP planes....was Met-al. Its the same as Semi-chrome but available in quart cans. Use corn starck on a Wal Mart micro fiber cloth to get the black off and final polish.
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Old 06-22-2009, 08:01 AM   #10
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Mothers

Its in any autoparts store. I found it in small, white jars with screw top. Its a white cream. A squeeze bottle, though, would be better.
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Old 07-04-2009, 06:54 PM   #11
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Me an Angel used the LARGE SIZE 'Gravel in a bottle' I think you can Google it...This stuff stays wet longer while you are cutting thru the grime...Then, we wipe away as much of the black oxidation with paint thinner and a rag...then we finish with MOTHERS and this seem to satisfy us...but the there is almost nothing compared to the nuvite s product for finishing...whats out there that compares to nuvite S? BY the way 3M Heavey duty rubbing compound is the real name for the Gravel nicknamed product.
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Old 03-15-2010, 11:56 PM   #12
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green buffing bar and mineral spirits? is this true?
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Old 03-19-2010, 03:29 PM   #13
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How do you guys keep it looking so good after it is all polished up? Clear coat it or is that still on the panels and your just cleaning them up!
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