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Old 10-01-2008, 10:06 PM   #1
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Can I polish out fine scratches?

I have a few decals that I've been trying to remove from my 61 avion T-27 trailer. Today a well meaning friend, without my knowledge, tried using a wire brush on the decals which resulted in many fine scratches on the surface of the skin. I was wondering if anyone knew of a way to remove the fine scratches. I believe the 1961 avions have non anodized Alclad aluminum. Will polishing remove the scratches? I had planned to clean and polish my trailer this week. I don't really want a mirror finish like some of the airstreams I see. Can I control the amount of shine by the polish grit?

Any recommendations for polish or polish methods greatly appreciated.

Thanks.
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Old 10-02-2008, 12:43 AM   #2
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Having polished one trailer to a reflection, I would say yes you can control the shine. Just don't move on to the fine grit of polish. You will obviously have to first work the scratched area to remove the scratches, then polish the rest to match.
Start with a coarse grit then move to a finer grit until the result satifies you.
Check out perfectpolish.com for info on types of polish and methods.

Not knowing the composition of your panels, be very aware of any color changes as you work out the scratches. Some of the panels have an outer "coating" that shines up more than the underneath layer. If in polishing the scratches out you break through to the under layer, it will not match the rest of the trailer.
Maybe one of our polishing experts will chime in.
Sorry this happened...
Dave
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Old 10-02-2008, 08:51 AM   #3
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Ditto. Yu can get them out with elbow grease and time.

I've never heard of such sacrilege. Did you wire brush your friend?
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Old 10-02-2008, 10:09 AM   #4
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Aren't Avion panels anodized? I would think it would be difficult if not impossible to polish a portion of a panel or two without doing the whole thing if they are.

Shari
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Old 10-02-2008, 10:39 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies. Avion trailers didn't start using anodized aluminum until 1963. My avion is 1961 so I think if I wanted to I could shine it to a mirror finish...but I'm more concerned with the scratches. I'm assuming if I used a coarse grit I may be able to remove the surface scratches but might end of up with a spot that is shinier then the rest of the trailer?
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Old 10-02-2008, 10:51 AM   #6
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Ditto. Yu can get them out with elbow grease and time.

I've never heard of such sacrilege. Did you wire brush your friend?

hehe...no but I was very frustrated. I kept my cool though. I'm thinking a good punishment would be to make them polish the whole trailer.
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Old 10-02-2008, 11:00 AM   #7
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Thanks for the replies. Avion trailers didn't start using anodized aluminum until 1963. My avion is 1961 so I think if I wanted to I could shine it to a mirror finish...but I'm more concerned with the scratches.
That's good to know...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoky View Post
I'm assuming if I used a coarse grit I may be able to remove the surface scratches but might end of up with a spot that is shinier then the rest of the trailer?
We had a couple of panels on our '64 GT that had been scratched pretty badly by a PO with either sand paper or a wire brush and another with lots of deep rock dings. We WERE going for a mirror shine finish...and achieved it by wet sanding the area first with 1000 ultra fine color-coat sand paper. It worked very well...you can see pictures on our website here:

Stripping & Polishing

Good luck in whatever you decide to do!

Shari
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Old 10-02-2008, 12:23 PM   #8
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Let's remember it's not like sanding imperfections out of wood or even hard metals. We aren't looking to remove material to that the surrounding area is the depth of the deepest area of the imperfection. Rather we are smoothing the area by moving the aluminum around to fill in the imperfections. Helping a liquid reach it's own level.
I've used the wet sanding technique for a first pass on parts of my 59 and will be using the technique for the rest of the trailer. Orbital random finishing sander with a hose and a series of finer papers. I think I started with 600 for the pitted areas and worked up to 2000. This yield an uniform gray finish which I actually like for the antique look. Then the whole buffer thing will follow. ( Lots of threads on that here) Starting with a medium or fine compound.
You want to make sure you have all the residue from that decal off. Try orange stripper. Cleaning the trailer like it's going to a car show before you start and after you do an area will actually save you time.
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Old 10-02-2008, 12:29 PM   #9
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you can see pictures on our website here:

Stripping & Polishing

Good luck in whatever you decide to do!

Shari
Your website is cool! I'm a bit confused because it says you compounded with nuvite C medium fine polish and polished with nuvite F7 which they describe as medium coarse. Are they two different products? I thought you had to polish from coarse to fine?

I think I'm going to order nuvite F7 because my aluminum is in pretty good shape and I'm not concerned with a mirror finish. If it doesn't take out the scratches I will try your Ultra Fine 1000 grit color sand paper method.

Eric
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Old 10-02-2008, 12:51 PM   #10
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Your website is cool!
Thanks!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoky View Post
I'm a bit confused because it says you compounded with nuvite C medium fine polish and polished with nuvite F7 which they describe as medium coarse. Are they two different products? I thought you had to polish from coarse to fine?
You do...but the "F7" starts off with a coarser grit it's actually a softer grit and it breaks down much quicker when in use so it actually ends up being less coarse. The "C" is finer "grit" but it doesn't break down as quickly so we found it cut better.

The bottomline is to check out them all and use works best for you - there is no real "one way" to polish. Many have had success using various methods and products, I can only share what we have done and our results.

Check this out for some additional tips.

Hope this helps ~

Shari
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Old 10-02-2008, 06:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Over59 View Post
Let's remember it's not like sanding imperfections out of wood or even hard metals. We aren't looking to remove material to that the surrounding area is the depth of the deepest area of the imperfection. Rather we are smoothing the area by moving the aluminum around to fill in the imperfections. Helping a liquid reach it's own level.
I've used the wet sanding technique for a first pass on parts of my 59 and will be using the technique for the rest of the trailer. Orbital random finishing sander with a hose and a series of finer papers. I think I started with 600 for the pitted areas and worked up to 2000. This yield an uniform gray finish which I actually like for the antique look. Then the whole buffer thing will follow. ( Lots of threads on that here) Starting with a medium or fine compound.
You want to make sure you have all the residue from that decal off. Try orange stripper. Cleaning the trailer like it's going to a car show before you start and after you do an area will actually save you time.
FWIW
The sandpaper worked very well on this project. Post 493

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f142...s-31743-5.html
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