After reading roadhogdawg
question about being confused, I would like to relate my experience. I have polished 9 Airstream trailers. I used the slow rpm (900) method on the first 5 trailers. This method removes the oxidation using different grades of polish...then using a cyclo polisher for removing the swirls that the slow 900 rpm method left. It takes several (cuts) to remove all the swirls to get to the mirror finish...takes a lot of time.
The last 4 trailers that I have polished, I have used the grinder method. If you use a very high speed grinder (over 6000 rpms +) you WILL burn the metal. I use a variable grinder (top speed 3000 rpm). I have tried to burn the metal on some extra pieces and have not been able to do that. This method using a gray bar for the 1st cut (removing oxidation) leaves vertical lines instead of swirls. These vertical lines are then refined by using a red bar that are more easily removed (with the cyclo) than the swirls, and you can see the results immediately.
It was taking me approx. 300 hrs. to polish a 25' trailer and about $200.00 in supplies with the slow rpm (swirl) method. Now, with the 3000 rpm (vertical line) method, it takes me approx. 100 hrs. to polish a 25' trailer and about $100.00 in supply cost.
If a mirror finish is what you are wanting the end result to look like....it's a no-brainer. If you are going to get scratches and such out, it will be very hard to remove them without shinning that portion and blending it.
, I am not too far from you...if you would like a hands on demo, let me know and I will make time.
Let me make it clear...there are many ways to polish and get the mirror finish result...I choose the shorter and less expensive method...to each their own. Attached are a few of the finished ones that I used with the grinder method.
Good luck with your project.