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Old 08-15-2015, 01:34 PM   #1
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mastic beach , New York
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Brushed skin with unrepairable blotch spots

The question is not new, except to me.

I have a 1995 or 97 brushed Safari with blotch spots on the skin which definitely need repair.

Is it a good idea to sandblast the skin entirely and re surface with the same material?



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Old 08-15-2015, 01:50 PM   #2
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Certainly not sandblast. Sand is too heavy and sharp and cuts and stretches the Al. Maybe someonw with sandblasting experience will chime in. I did some Al cleaning with walnut hulls as the blast medium years ago but that Al was thicker and stiffer than the Al skin on a trailer and we still stretched it some. I do not know what to suggest but I do not think sandblasting is the way to proceed.

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Old 08-15-2015, 02:23 PM   #3
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I had a '97 Safari. Had the clearcoat replaced once under warranty. It failed again after a year or so. We bought a couple gallons of stripper at the hardware store and stripped all the coating off.

I used Nuvite and a triple reduction Dewalt drill and polished the whole thing. Big job but it looked nice.

I would not use any blasting if I were you. It will not be good on the skin.
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Old 08-16-2015, 11:18 AM   #4
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Thank youz! Big job sounds about right. A 6" disc on a 27 foot trailer!

These blotches have 3 different tones color.
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Old 08-16-2015, 11:37 AM   #5
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Pay to have it clear coated. If you were near Oregon I'd recommend McIntire. Hell, I still would recommend him.
"If it can't be reduced, reused, repaired, rebuilt, refurbished, refinished, resold, recycled or composted
then it should be restricted, redesigned or removed from production."
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Old 08-17-2015, 01:40 PM   #6
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If you choose to blast, use baking soda as a medium. My 2 cents.
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Old 08-17-2015, 08:05 PM   #7
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I have a photo of polished corrosion marks form work done on my '89 at P&S Trailer Service in Helena Ohio. I highly recommend them and they are fairly close to you. The polishing is just enough to remove the marks and not be too shiny. You do lose the brushed look!

I don't seem to be able to add the image to this post anyone! Do I have to put it on the cloud?? Can't copy and paste

You cannot blast ...not even Soda. Leaves a dull finish that is hard to even polish to bright metal
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Old 08-18-2015, 03:22 AM   #8
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The pictures would be great. Before n after.

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Old 08-18-2015, 12:13 PM   #9
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You can restore and match the brushed finish by usind gray, red, or green scotch brite pads...practice on a piece of scrap aluminum to pick the coarseness of the finish you want. Use light straight strokes in only one direction. It helps to use a short 1x4 as a wrist guide to keep the brush marks straight. Also works great to refinish segment protectors....just practice and go slow.
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Old 08-18-2015, 01:37 PM   #10
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You CAN NOT sand blast the sides, not with anything, it will ruin the finish. Sand blasting with sand will ruin it beyond belief, soda and anything else will leave it worse than your blotches and un-polishable at that point.
As a point of reference I had the banana wraps sand blasted since they get painted anyway. They became so rough and pitted that I actually had to use heavy grit sand paper just so smooth them out. Doing this on the aluminum skins you actually want smooth and shiny WILL RUIN THEM.
Also sand blasting generates a lot of heat, and will warp sheet metal. You'd be amazed at how much heat and how fast it will warp the sheet metal. I could actually see it happen on the banana wraps, but knew I could flex them back later, can't do that with the skins and they would end up all wavy. From about 50 feet away, to stay out of the dust cloud, I could watch the blaster. With literally a second of blasting it was amazing to watch the banana wraps curl up really quickly and so much that it was impossible to miss.

The blotch is likely failing clear coat. Strip the clear coat off completely, then polish, if the clear coat was mostly intact the polish won't be as difficult.

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