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Old 04-26-2009, 10:01 AM   #1
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Anyone tried this polishing method ?

A friend of mine who has been a body man for many years was telling me about a method of polishing aluminum using a DA sander ,800# wet/dry paper , and WD 40 as the lubricant. He said it is easy and results in a chrome like shine. Just wondering if anyone has heard or tried this? . If I get time I plan to polish this summer but was planing on the Cyclo Nuvite route.
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Old 04-26-2009, 11:45 AM   #2
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I heard about this a couple of weeks ago so I tried it on a sheet of scrap aluminum (not my trailer). It does clean it up but it left some nasty scratches. Wouldn't think 800 grit and WD40 would scratch aluminum but it does. If you get it to work, let me know.
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Old 04-26-2009, 11:51 AM   #3
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polishing

Sand paper, is sand paper, regardless of the grit. 1600 grit will scratch it too, as it's supposed to do.

Sandpapers of any description, are not an aluminum polishing material.

Polishing aluminum, is an entirely different subject, from polishing other types of metal.

Andy
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Old 04-26-2009, 12:00 PM   #4
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I was waiting for a someone to check in on this. Years ago I made kaleidoscopes and sold them in the arts & crafts circuit. I applied paper backed exotic wood veneers to thin wall brass tubes and turned the wood eyepieces on a spindle (think of a lathe that only attaches to the piece from one end, the eyepieces were face turning). After finishing with a couple of coats of tung oil finish (not pure tung oil), the bodies went back on the spindle for a final sanding with 1,000 grit paper followed by dry paper towel and finally wax. This left a satin finish, not shiny.

I feel pretty confident that even 1,000 grit would not work.
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Old 04-26-2009, 02:11 PM   #5
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... polishing and sanding are both the exact same process. You are making finer and finer scratches in the surface. Why does one sander work better than another? because it makes smaller and more scratches than the other. Compounder with nuvite, rolite, or WD40 is making scratches, you just call them swirls. Go from "F7" to "C", yep you are catching on... smaller scratches. Make those scratches fine enough, and suddenly you are calling it polished aluminum.
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Old 04-26-2009, 02:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 62overlander View Post
... polishing and sanding are both the exact same process. You are making finer and finer scratches in the surface. Why does one sander work better than another? because it makes smaller and more scratches than the other. Compounder with nuvite, rolite, or WD40 is making scratches, you just call them swirls. Go from "F7" to "C", yep you are catching on... smaller scratches. Make those scratches fine enough, and suddenly you are calling it polished aluminum.
You are exactly right. All I'm saying is that 800 or even 1,000 grit will leave larger scratches than you would called polished without finishing with some polishing compound.

1,000 grit is a good way to git rid of a run in a paint job, but the process still had to be completed with polishing compound.
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Old 04-26-2009, 10:04 PM   #7
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I just started polishing my trailer this past week. I used sandpaper, starting at 320 grit and worked my way up to 2000 grit on a section of the endcap (it's a 1986 and has major orange peel on the endcaps). Even though I didn't use WD40, I used water while sanding. By no means was the finish shiny!! After getting rid of the tiny little dents in the aluminum, I had to get rid of the tiny scratches I put in it. After sanding, I then used a polisher/sander with a buffing wheel in it, and used 3 progressive compounds to rid the scratches. It was a long process, but necessary for the newer aluminum. I do have to say, though, that I tried a small section with the buffing wheel and it was incredibly fast compared to the buffer on the drill/compounder (I previously polished a 1976 Overlander with the Nuvite system). I'm doing the endcaps first, since they're the worst, and hope to sail through the rest. Like Frank said, it's all a progress of ridding the previous scratches you put in!
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Old 04-27-2009, 11:45 AM   #8
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It's looking very good, Becky. Are you going to put on new clearcoat?
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Old 05-04-2009, 08:43 AM   #9
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Actually, the pictures in my gallery are before mirror finishing. This one is a picture of the process. The streetside segment has been sanded but not yet polished. I plan to coat the entire trailer with Sharkhide. I used it last year after lightly polishing the trailer & it held up very well. Bird droppings just wipe off, there are no water spots. The biggest downfall is the prep for the product. The surface has be be perfectly cleaned with lacquer thinner. The only reason I went on to mirror finish this trailer is because I liked the results of the Sharkhide. The trailer I previously finished I just applied caranuba wax & bird droppings marred the finish & I just obcessed about water spots. I took a lot of heat here for using this product, but I plan to use it again.
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Old 05-04-2009, 09:23 AM   #10
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The Plasti-Cote on our rig is still intact, courtesy of sitting under oak trees for 25+years and being Walbernized at regular intervals, but when the time comes to refinish it, I want to keep the satin finish and will most likely wet-sand...I've got lots of practice.

Becky, Sharkhide makes good products, but I never thought of using it until you mentioned it. I wonder if the Cleaner would take off Plasti-Coat.
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