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Old 04-25-2005, 12:55 AM   #43
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Just thought I would chime in on this polishing thread.I have been polishing my 61 Overlander but have a long way to go.I have worked as an Aircraft Mechanic on large Aircraft for 25 years for a few different outfits.They all used Met-All polish.They used to use the cyclo polishers but swirl marks are not a concern on large aircraft and they now use an air powered compounder with a 7" wool pad and Met-All.The skins on the large aircraft are much heavier than the Airstream and they can really lean on the polisher to get the cutting action.
I tried wet sanding but it takes too much compounding to get a shine after so I am only wet sanding some scratches.I found the best way to get rid of the oxidation was to hand rub with the Met-All on a white scotch brite pad then buffing the dry compound off.
I have tried the Nuvite F9 and F7 and have had good results in removing scratches.
Most of the swirl marks I have seen on my trailer were dried compound on the polished aluminum and came off with a little hand rubbing with a clean rag soaked in varsol.
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Old 04-25-2005, 07:31 AM   #44
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Thanks for chiming!
So you'd agree then that using an abrasive system in a horizontal motion is better than applying the additional multi directional buffer swirls from a coarse compound? Mainly because its easier to get them off? I see the white, green, and red 3M Scotchbrite pads- funny how they follow the same grades as rouge, isn't it? The Scotchbrite pads are supposed to be in place of sandpaper, and it appears as if you save a step by applying it with the pad, which should clean oxidation as its applied, and then buff it off.

Is it possible that you tried polishing after too coarse of a wet sand step? I was told they went over the particular trailer I saw 3 times in some spots- 800 grit on scratched areas, followed by 1200 and then 1500 on the whole trailer. The difference after polishing once was tremendous, IMO...

How familiar are you with the drum polishers out there? I found a guy locally who has one and will ask about it from him as well. Waiting to hear back.
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Old 04-25-2005, 08:29 AM   #45
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I'm not taking sides in this topic, but I did find a very informative site that sells polishing supplies, and they also have a user forum.
http://www.caswellplating.com/buffs/buffman.htm
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Old 04-25-2005, 09:19 AM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markdoane
I'm not taking sides in this topic, but I did find a very informative site that sells polishing supplies, and they also have a user forum.
http://www.caswellplating.com/buffs/buffman.htm
I used that site as part of my research as well- great stuff. I noted that they are using mostly bench wheels, and are doing smaller stuff. Also the bench wheels are like 1" thick versions of the airmark pads! They contact with the surface in the same fashion and spin against, rather than circular and on. This is obviously the best way to go, but the pads and wet sanding seem to be accepted everywhere as well.

I never went on their forum, but see that much polishing is for motorcycle parts.

I really like the fact that they're not hard at work pumping their products and swearing that there is only 1 way to do it. It makes more sense. I am leary of folks who sell something and are telling me things like- "never wet sand" and "you'll burn your aluminum" in an effort to scare me into buying what they have. I have hundreds of paint jobs under my belt from wet sanding and buffing when I was younger- I know the feel and how to use a buffer, and its easy. All this translates into aluminum in a different way, but the surface is actually stronger and harder to mess up than a laquer paint job on a car.

All that fear should be put to rest- as long as no one takes a wire wheel to their skin, all should be OK. The next most damaging system is the coarse compounds on a high speed wheel- better to wet sand and a fraction of the nuvite cost and time to remove scratches is involved.

Thanks for contributing to the discussion!
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Old 04-25-2005, 09:26 AM   #47
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don't discount the use of wire wheels just yet....

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as long as no one takes a wire wheel to their skin, all should be OK
you should have seen a trailer that was for sale last year! it was wire wheeled for a "unique" look!

it was customized by an "artist" and i use that term loosely! perhaps someone that has a better memory than me could find some pics of this "gem".

john
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Old 04-25-2005, 09:44 AM   #48
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That would be this laugher here.
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Old 04-25-2005, 12:11 PM   #49
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I have not seen a drum polisher in action .They used to use cyclo polishers here but have switched to a 7" wool bonnet compounder from CP.I am still searching the storage for the old cyclos.The white scotch brite does not scratch but with polish strips off the oxidation quite well.I would not use the red as it would scratch.I tried wet sanding working fron 800 up to 2500 and it still takes about twenty passes with the f7 nuvite to get the shine back.This seems to be the only way I can get rid of scratches.I was thinking I would try using red rouge on the edge of a 7" bonnet on the scratches.I have found that the easiest way to get a good shine is to replace the skin.Too bad I can't get the end caps.
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Old 04-25-2005, 01:14 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg176
I have not seen a drum polisher in action .They used to use cyclo polishers here but have switched to a 7" wool bonnet compounder from CP.I am still searching the storage for the old cyclos.The white scotch brite does not scratch but with polish strips off the oxidation quite well.I would not use the red as it would scratch.I tried wet sanding working fron 800 up to 2500 and it still takes about twenty passes with the f7 nuvite to get the shine back.This seems to be the only way I can get rid of scratches.I was thinking I would try using red rouge on the edge of a 7" bonnet on the scratches.I have found that the easiest way to get a good shine is to replace the skin.Too bad I can't get the end caps.
Seems like they go for $150+ on Ebay to the folks who still think they work.

Makes you wonder why they stashed them.

As far as the wet sanding- what I posted was one pass with a buffer and those guys home made polish- that was what left a green residue, and you can see the difference. They said it was the first of 2 passes and thesecond leaves it mirrored. The first was enough that if my trailer was that shiny, I'd be happy- I think.

From reading everything I've read, it seems that cutting it down to clean aluminum is necessary first. Polishing to bring out shine is second. swirl removal and a luster pass are third- but I haven't done it yet- just studying the heck out of it and watching what these guys did in less than 1 week of afternoons.

I've been dropping by there to see when the next one shows up- nothing yet...

Those little trailers they make there are pretty shiny too- makes you think they are good enough at it- www.tourstream.com Do they pass as mirror to the guys who've done lots of polishing?
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Old 04-25-2005, 01:57 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by coriolis1
That would be this laugher here.
ahh yes who could forget "zenstream" aka how not to polish a trailer!

john

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