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Old 05-25-2008, 06:41 AM   #71
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I am glad

I have been following this. The dread of going over sections 12+ times with F9 was really wearing me down.

I will try some the same procedure today on mine. Thanks for the great summaries.
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Old 05-25-2008, 07:22 AM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckeysor
I have been following this. The dread of going over sections 12+ times with F9 was really wearing me down.

I will try some the same procedure today on mine. Thanks for the great summaries.
I know any aluminum CAN BE polished, but I think yours is going to be very hard due to the alloy.
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Old 05-25-2008, 07:49 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by Fyrzowt
We all have, and are entitled to our opinions, I don't begrudge them. But, my $29 HF polisher/buffer is variable speed and will go from a near standstill to whatever the rated speed is. There is no problem getting it slow enough.

If someone is otherwise inclined to try one, don't let the eroneous speed comment turn you away.

Mine has been working great - but may stop tomorrow. Who knows?
Saved omoney on one of those from HF and it burned up in the first 100 hours. The Dewalt is much more comfortable to use and leave no question that it's up to the job. Hardly warms up.

Polishing an old AS is like building a good marriage. Lots of work, lots of being wrong when you're sure you were right, more work, patiences, MONEY, committment, taking care of the big picture, attention to details, and the joy of it all. Of course the AS won't give you ongoing coaching or a warm hug .
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Old 05-25-2008, 07:53 AM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Over59
Saved omoney on one of those from HF and it burned up in the first 100 hours. The Dewalt is much more comfortable to use and leave no question that it's up to the job. Hardly warms up.
:

I bought one of those variable speed polishers from HF when I first started. I wasn't sure I wanted to do the whole thing.... well about half way through the entire job the HF died. Sent it back and HF said it would be 3 months!!!! for a replacement. Told them to stick it and went to my local tools supply and bought the dewalt. Great product no issues.

To Over59s point about polishing like a marriage, I have to say that the airstream project can be like another wife..... and the first wife can get very jealous when you spent to much time with your Aluminum love

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Old 05-25-2008, 08:00 AM   #75
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I was walking past a pawn shop friday, downtown Baltimore and in the window was a Makita polisher/ compounder. It had a brand new wool bonnet on it and the price tag said $35... it is mine now. Talk about a good deal.
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Old 05-25-2008, 09:51 AM   #76
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Right on Captain Jack, That is looking sweet. I know it is labor intensive, but the results are very worth the effort. Be glad you have a shortie and not a big girl like me. A few extra feet can make a huge difference. I am lucky thought, for I do not have the file-form to contend with. Here is a close up of what salt air, aluminum, and no maintenance gives you.
Those are deep pits of oxidation. I am going to estimate them to be 1/32" deep. I did all the things you described, twice... I will just live with it.
Thanks! The rewards are worth it to me! Especially, when there is a dramatic difference like this. Although I now have a slight sunburn from working in the sun which was partial payment!

Shortie? This Ambassador is a 29 footer! That's a lot of polishing. Although the side panels don't have such deep pockets of filiform just sporadic. This is at the very least what seems like a whole summer project. And I still don't have the new frame and axles back under her! Those will be here soon.

It's difficult to see from your photo but that looks a lot like filiform corrosion to me?

These photos were taken after dark which gives a better impression of the overall general oxidation but not the filiform. The second photo, also taken after dark with the flash, reveals what happened when I didn't use the 320 grade to completely remove the corrosion.

Note the remaining pitting in the area just above the rivet line and inside the polished area. As I mentioned this was just a beginning experiment and I didn't want to overdo things the first time. Now I'll go back with the 320 in those areas and work back up through the grades. Lesson learned: keep working with the coarsest grade until 100% of the corrosion is gone.
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Old 05-25-2008, 09:55 AM   #77
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Todd,

Thanks for taking the time to post your experiments on this, it's great information. Karma to you, and good luck on the continued work.

It's hot out there, be careful. I'll think about you sweating your arse off while I'm out at the lake today!


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Old 05-25-2008, 10:01 AM   #78
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Originally Posted by ckeysor
I have been following this. The dread of going over sections 12+ times with F9 was really wearing me down.

I will try some the same procedure today on mine. Thanks for the great summaries.
Chris, at least on this aluminum the 3M paper described above takes it right out the first time. Take some pictures of what you've got and post em here. I'd like to see what you're dealing with there. If you use the sandpaper post before and after shots of your work. Good luck!
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Old 05-25-2008, 10:17 AM   #79
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el sol

Over59, muddy hollow, 62overlander, Marcus:

As mentioned I settled for the yellow model after considering all the options as well as my wallet. 62O you got lucky brother!

BTW 3M makes a great velco backing plate that matches the wool compounding pad. I found all these at the local south-side auto body and paint supply shop. The pad gets dirty quickly and after only a few passes so I'll probably purchase a few more pads to wash, dry and rotate.

Marcus, thanks! Be careful el sol is definitely full strength now! It'll getcha whether you're working on your trailer in the driveway or your boat on the lake. I'm thinking early morning and late afternoon is the better time for polishing.
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Old 05-25-2008, 11:13 AM   #80
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Meaning of "polished"

Quote:
Originally Posted by 62overlander
I know any aluminum CAN BE polished, but I think yours is going to be very hard due to the alloy.
From what I understand from reading and personal experience is that any alumninum can be polished just not to a mirror shine. 62O is that your meaning????

I have a good chunk of my trailer cleaned, compounded and polished to a deep hye. Which is perfectly fine with me. Actually my wife is an architect and prefers a satin finish over even the shine I currently have.

PS.
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Old 05-25-2008, 11:43 AM   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 62overlander
Those are deep pits of oxidation. I am going to estimate them to be 1/32" deep. I did all the things you described, twice... I will just live with it.
I don't like to rain on anybody's parade but if those pits are 1/32" deep you are in big trouble as the skin is only .032 which is the same as 1/32".
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Old 05-25-2008, 11:45 AM   #82
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I don't like to rain on anybody's parade but if those pits are 1/32" deep you are in big trouble as the skin is only .032 which is the same as 1/32".
That's what I would call sanding/polishing until there's nothing left!

Kip, I assume aircraft get filiform and heavy corrosion too? How is it treated in the aircraft world of maintenance? Is there any knowledge or experience we can learn from them and use here?
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Old 05-25-2008, 12:22 PM   #83
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The general rule is to look it up in the structural repair manual and get the allowable limits for that area. Usually it is around 10 percent material removal with limits as to where on the skin, or structural component, and the size of the cleanup area. If these limits are exceeded then either repair or replacement of the part is required. The first line of defense against corrosion is proper surface treatment and a good primer and topcoat with all mating surfaces sealed against moisture invasion.

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Old 05-25-2008, 12:30 PM   #84
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measuring corrosion

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Originally Posted by Aerowood
The general rule is to look it up in the structural repair manual and get the allowable limits for that area. Usually it is around 10 percent material removal with limits as to where on the skin, or structural component, and the size of the cleanup area. If these limits are exceeded then either repair or replacement of the part is required. The first line of defense against corrosion is proper surface treatment and a good primer and topcoat with all mating surfaces sealed against moisture invasion.

Kip
Very good info and interesting too. How does one calculate the exact percentage of material removed. It sounds as if it's possible to measure that amount? Micrometer? Of course with our "aircrafts" there would be little danger in exceeding limits, since there are none, but it would be interesting to take measurements if it's not too much trouble if only to see how deep the corrosion reaches. Of course I'm not sure how one would use a micrometer in this case without removing the entire panel?
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