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Old 01-02-2010, 10:22 AM   #1
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1969 21' Globetrotter
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Help clarify my polishing options

Reading of this forum, it appears that polishing consists of a compounding phase and a final polishing/buffing phase. For the compounding phase there appear to be two options. One is to use a polisher and a series of paste type abrasives. The other is to use a grinder with fabric wheels (such as used on a bench grinder) and a series of abrasives in solid bar form. The polishing phase has only one option, that being the use of a cyclo and paste abrasive. Based on what I've read so far, I propose to use the grinder for the compounding phase since there are many comments that say it is faster, less expensive and leaves marks/swirls that are easier to remove in the final phase. Here are my questions.
One, am I generally on target with the above assumptions? Am I missing something?
Two, what would be the offsetting advantages of using the polisher method of compounding?
Three, what are the ideal specifications for the appropriate grinder such as size, speed and models (manufacturers). My 4 1/2 grinder is certainly way too fast and too small for this purpose; right?
Four, what do you think of the idea (consequences) of not proceeding with the final phase? How will it look? Does anyone have photos of the results after a thorough job of compounding only?

John
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Old 01-02-2010, 11:13 AM   #2
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Old 01-02-2010, 11:17 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoePfznik View Post
One, am I generally on target with the above assumptions? Am I missing something?
Yes, you've paraphrased the options pretty well

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoePfznik View Post
Two, what would be the offsetting advantages of using the polisher method of compounding?
With the "grinder" method there is more of a chance to polish through the Alclad layer on the aluminum because the use of more abrasive compounds. As long as you don't "camp out" in a particular area too long, you should be fine. But with the Nuvite (polishing method) it's less likely to happen - still can, just less likely.

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Originally Posted by JoePfznik View Post
Three, what are the ideal specifications for the appropriate grinder such as size, speed and models (manufacturers). My 4 1/2” grinder is certainly way too fast and too small for this purpose; right?
We use the same compounder whether using the flat wool pads for the polishing (Nuvite) method or the buffing wheels for the bar method - you just hold it differently. You can use a drill for the bar method though. (see pics below) <on edit> I can't seem to find a picture of the bar/wheel method using the compounder - if I do, I'll post it.

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Originally Posted by JoePfznik View Post
Four, what do you think of the idea (consequences) of not proceeding with the final phase? How will it look? Does anyone have photos of the results after a thorough job of compounding only?
With the wool pad/polish method, you will have circular swirls with the wheel/bar method you will have linear swirls. Both will leave you with a "less than mirror" finish. The third picture below is of our GT after polishing, before cyclo'g - looks cool, but not finished.

We used the polishing/pad method on our GT and are using the wheel/bar method on our Safari. Both seem to produce the same mirrored finish when done. We will be completing our Safari this spring - right now it's a work in progress. I haven't taken many pictures of the polishing in action - but we are further along (the end caps are done) than just the seams as shown in the last picture.

Shari
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