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Old 08-09-2010, 12:29 AM   #1
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Gords Aluminum Polish - test 2

Someone kindly asked about my current progress using Gords Aluminum Polish on exterior aluminum so I decided that I'd post some photos of the ongoing work since it's often hard for me to judge a process when I only see before/after snapshots.

I applied Gords by hand to the rear endcap and you can see where. I bought a low-speed adjustable buffer that slows to 600 rpm and the results are more robust. I'd say I did the side portion in just over two hours. It took some time for me to adjust my skills to the new weaponry.

When you get close, you can see it's not perfect, and I'll probably hit the cloudy spots in this area once more before I'm finished. The real bonus is that it acts as a sealant as well, so you've got a nice little wax coat appearance that "allegedly" helps keep the oxidation from returning so quickly.

So, including the $60 buffer I found online, and the 16oz of Gords I used so far ($100/gallon)... what you see is 2.5 hours of work and $75, including the tool.

I'm working with the stuff much faster now than at the beginning but I'll probably need to dip into the 2nd gallon to finish the entire Airstream.
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Old 08-09-2010, 10:40 AM   #2
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Just curious if you are going to go the Cyclo route in order to get that "mirror shine"?
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Old 08-09-2010, 12:37 PM   #3
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4 different product grades and 15 passes?

Will I be going the Cyclo route? Not just no, but hell no. See reference to Labor of Sisyphus in "test 1" thread.

Soyboy, I don't think you understand, and it's probably because I didn't explain it properly so here's the quick math.

It cost me (10 minutes and $1 of product)/sqft to get the results on the SIDE panel. What do you think those numbers would look like with Cyclo/Nuvite? (Ignore the back panel, I did that by hand and I can't hand-buff at 600 rpm.)

Clearly the results are not the same, but compared to the condition of the aluminum oxide visible in the top panels, the results are fantastic. In the areas that I did perfectly, you can't even see the aluminum - it just disappears and all you see is a reflection.

I will say this - it's not a good method to remove scratches. It doesn't remove them at all and the black aluminum oxide tends to collect in the large gash marks and make them more visible by contrast. Little scratches like the kind made by branches and rocky road debris are unaffected by this.

Again, right now I'm averaging 10 minutes per sqft, and $1 per sqft. Maybe one day I'll eat my words about the Cyclo, but I doubt it. I'd rather spend that money on camping supplies.
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Old 08-09-2010, 12:59 PM   #4
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Space Egg. That's great, I was just curious. I am glad you are getting such great results. It just that from what I have read the Cyclo is the cream on the top in most polishing projects and really pops it out. But it sounds like you are very pleased as is and that's awesome.

In any event you are saving big bucks over having someone else polish it.
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Old 08-09-2010, 06:15 PM   #5
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Oh, I see what you meant now - Cyclo as a finishing touch. Maybe I got a little too defensive in that last post. Not a bad idea as simply a finishing touch, but I'm not sure how compatible the two methods would be, because...

It seems the Gords stuff removes the aluminum oxide without sanding down the aluminum, which is how I understand the Nuvite method to work. Maybe that will be a good project for someone else...

Happy trails!
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Old 08-09-2010, 06:38 PM   #6
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I have tried a little of,Nuvite,Gord's,Truck Box,Mothers,Never Dull wadding,and Abrasive bars .I have ended up using the bar method.I did visit the top polisher in town and he showed me a gallon of secret sauce that looked an awful lot like Gord's.He said it was a green abrasive bar he melted down and mixed with mineral spirits.I mixed some up and it works on par with Gord's.The bar was $9.00 and a gallon of mineral spirits $12.50.I use the Gord's I have left for window areas and small pieces.
The polishing and getting out all the scratches is no easy job.
I guess it just depends on how thorough you want the job.There's no correct way,just your way and what works for you.
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Old 08-09-2010, 06:39 PM   #7
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No problem Space Egg, and I see what you are saying about Gord and what you thought I meant about the Cyclo. The most important thing is if you are happy with it, that is ALL that matters.
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Old 08-30-2010, 08:16 PM   #8
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I ran across Gord's on the web and thwn found the forum links. I'm wondering if you had to strip the clearcoat off first. My moho is peeling badly in some areas while other areas are fine.
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Old 08-31-2010, 11:20 AM   #9
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strip clearcoat? yes

Yes, you want to strip the clear coat first. Luckily I didn't have to, because the clear coat on my trailer stripped itself off about thirty years ago.

Gord has some tips on how to best strip the clear coat, but so do all the people on these forums. I just called the guy, and spoke directly to him. He's a crack-up.

Good luck.
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Old 08-31-2010, 11:35 AM   #10
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buy Removall from Vintage Trailer Supply and use that to strip your clearcoat.
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Old 08-31-2010, 01:37 PM   #11
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I understand your choice. The amount of work I invested was daunting. I went the Nuvite route but only spent about $150.00 2 jars of F7 and 1 of S. I used wool buffing pads for the low speed grinder and sweatshirt material for the Cyclo (cost does not include grinder and Cyclo as I already owned them for several years). The results were fantastic but very time consuming. About 90% of the shine came from the compounding with the low speed grinder. The Cyclo put the beautiful mirror on to complete the job. Now that 45 years of oxidation has been removed perhaps it will be much easier next year.
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Old 09-01-2010, 09:46 AM   #12
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my eyes! help! I'm blinded!

Thanks for sharing some $$ numbers. I think I'm a little under-informed about how much cash is spent when using the Nuvite method - I just noticed everyone saying it's expensive.

But you can't argue the results. Your trailer looks fantastic. You did one hell of a job. Enjoy your Saturdays, I mean Everydays.
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Old 09-18-2010, 10:55 PM   #13
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id suggest "zip strip" about a gallon of the nasty stuff, do small areas to avoid chemical burns and keep it out of the sun.
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Old 08-25-2014, 12:21 PM   #14
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Space Egg, just looking for update on using Gords. I'm getting ready to strip my Ambassador, but dont have the time to spend days and days and days polishing. Plus my unit has so many dings, scraches and dents that it would never look right with a mirror shine. Really just looking for something to shine it up a bit.
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