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Old 01-24-2003, 10:56 PM   #15
Creampuff
 
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1957 22' Flying Cloud
1971 31' Sovereign
1976 29' Ambassador
Malibu , California
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I'm just getting started on polishing our Safari.What I seem to have noticed is that most of your start-up time is getting used to the various componds/polishes and what their properties are.Getting the plasticoat off was the easy part (I use Jasco stripper and a sponge with ammonia in water for the rinse-off).My advice is to only strip as much work as you can reasonably tackle in a short period-reason being that the segments oxidize before you get to them and your work is harder.Streaks and water spots are almost as hard to compond out as some of the scratches.Bottom line is it will take you a good chunk of your leisure time,and discouragement will come if you are not realistic about the process.I'm working on the tail section,having removed all light fixtures and name plaque.This allows me easy access to the skin and besides I needed to replace the running lights as it was getting to be a pain walking around and tweeking them to get them to ground!(Good repos at Airstreamdreams.com).I found that I can get a reasonable starting surface using an inexpensive rubbing compound on a car waxer,thereby saving some on the Nuvite,but I may be adding to the project time-I'll report further as I progress.
My questions are : WHAT IS THE WAX OF CHOICE to keep the finish protected.I have heard Carnuba,but the only one I can find has a 'cleaner'additive.
The other is: ARE YOU GUYS STOPPING AT THE RUBRAIL ? (not a bar in Vegas)
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Old 01-25-2003, 06:38 AM   #16
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Murray,

I am not stopping at the rubrail (great name for a bar, though). Take a look at my airstreamphotos.com if you get the chance. I have the roadside to do yet and I am going to take your suggestion about compounding with a rubbing compound to see if it works as well a Nuvite and if it causes more work. Also your stripping method is worth a try. I am using Aircraft Stripper. It is very toxic. I tried Citristrip without much success, but I may not have used it properly. I will try it again too. It certainly smells better than the stripper I am using.

There are several suggestions for waxing. Turtle Wax, Carnuba,
Rollite has a preservative as well as others. Nuvite does not recommend one since they claim the 'S' polish contains a preservative. I haven't decided yet but am tending toward waxing if my arms hold out.

Vic
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Old 01-25-2003, 08:44 AM   #17
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Most of those who have polished their trailers have stripped the who trailer before polishing. When I first polished my trailer several years ago I was concerned about getting the polish on fast enough because I was concerned it would oxidize before I could get to a section. What I have learned is that the skin will hold its polish certainly as long as it takes to polish it. I would also be concerned about getting stripper on a polished surface and removing whatever sealer is in the polish.

As far as a final sealer, I think rollite is best - to me its made for aluminum vs other wax that is made for paint. It is VERY easy to use, I use it two times per year.
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Old 01-25-2003, 08:27 PM   #18
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Vic
Today I used a 4" tight stitched buffing wheel on my 1/2 "drill.It works very well with 'tripoli' compound stick at getting out scratches.I did a whole segment,cleaning the wheel regularly (on the bumper edge)It gave me a real good finish overall which I then Cyclo'd with Nuvite "C'.The shine result was great but in retrospect I will add a buff over with jeweller's rouge,to reduce the cutting scratches.I think that a final polish with Nuvite "S' should top it off.Total time for the one segment (large lower ,left of taillight) was about 4 hours.I may abandon the rubbing compound in favor of this technique.The wheel works pretty well on the rubrail as well.
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Old 01-27-2003, 10:18 AM   #19
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1962 22' Safari
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Thumbs up

I kept a fairly accurate running tab when I polished my 22' Safari this past summer. Actual polishing time was about 55 hours. This did not include the time it took to remove all of the external items like side vents, access doors, lighting frames, awnings, gutters over windows, roof vents, A/C unit, bumper. It did not include time to clean up, repair and re-install these items. I did not have to remove clearcoat but I had quite a few scratches and a fair amount of oxidation to remove. Here's basically what I did.
1. Removed all external items. ( couple of days)
2. Replaced broken rivets and repaired some aluminum skin and pulled dents. (couple of days)
3. Wet sanded scratches and oxidation with 600 grit 3M sandpaper. ( 1/2 day)
4. Polished with half inch drill and 7" lambs wool buffing pad. ( $5 each at auto parts - used about 10 pads) Polished with Turtle Wax rubbing compound - $3 a can - 15 cans) This removed sandpaper scratches and oxidation but leaves swirl marks. (40 hrs)
5. Cleaned and caulked all seams.
6. Polished with dual action auto waxer with Meguire's medium Glaze Polish. (2 bottles - 10 - 12 hrs)
7. Polished with dual action waxer and Nufinish sealer/wax. (3 - 4 hrs)
8. Cleaned up and installed old parts, new awnings, seal parts, etc. (Probably another 40 hrs or so)
It's not a perfect mirror finish but on a scale of 1-10, I give it a 7 or 8. People that see it cannot believe it's the same trailer I started with a year ago.
Good Luck!
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Old 02-01-2003, 03:43 PM   #20
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Murry

I will try your method as soon as I can get the materials. Jeweler's rouge in an interesting idea. Thanks for your input.
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Old 02-02-2003, 12:22 AM   #21
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7,8,9,?

This spring when the weather breaks ... I'm buffing for an 11!

Got a Midwest Forum rally to attend!

DMC
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Old 02-02-2003, 12:37 AM   #22
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I can do better!

And interesting before and after.
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Old 02-02-2003, 05:02 AM   #23
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after polishing

hi every one, specialist in polishing,
after polishing, do you cover " the mirror" with a special vernish or you let the aluminium like that ?
Then, do you clean with a special method to keep the mirror in the great condition ?

thank you , I envy you... when the work is finish.

Bruno.
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Old 02-06-2003, 10:32 AM   #24
 
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Hi-
Everyone has there own favorite systems for polishing, and backgrounds that they come from before starting to polish a trailer can effect the system they like and use- Here's mine, and I'm in the Harley and yachting business- so its different.
I get different trailers every year that have different amounts of neglect/damage.
Old oxidized with no clear- I found this stuff, Southern Shine- at Harley shops, and it takes the "blueing" from exhaust pipes- its a strong compound, and has a lot of rouge, coarse and green. I hit my 22 Flying Cloud with it for about 5 or 6 hours, and got the whole trailer shining and only minor scratches and swirls remain- some from the process and some that were hidden. I'll now wet sand the deep scratches heavy oxidation spots that I've uncovered, and will then start buffing with a soft foam- Perfect-It pad from 3M, and will use Flitz- which has no abrasives. The areas that won't shine up easily will get a mild polishing with a very light abrasive to get them to the point that I can use the Flitz. I use 8" and 3" pads- mostly 3M, which comes in 3 hardnesses, but the softest, the yellow pad, is the best one- you don't need any harder, and you'll have less damage. I use a variable speed grinder.
For clear coated- I found a clearcoat remover for metal sold in NAPA paint stores, which are getting hard to find. Also, in France they have a paint remover made by a company called TriMetal, and it works as well. These leave the aluminum in clean undisturbed form, and reduce polishing time by eliminating steps. If you can salvage the finish as the clear comes off, you simply hit it with a foam pad and Flitz, unless you have spots or scratches that require attention.
Also in Europe is a French product that is great and I forgot the name, but its in a blue can at marinas in St. Tropez- and it is as good as any polish/compound here- I'll look for the name if needed.
To resist problems and extend the life- the water that you wash with is more important than anything! I use a water softener that is portable- www.softwetspot.com and wash it, rinse it and drive it around or blow it off with a leaf blower- no chamois! Shammying will actually leave some minor scratches that will build up.
I'm looking forward to using a Cyclo. I'm not sure how fast it is, but I've done a trailer 21' start to finish in less than a week, and while I won't say it was a 10- I'll give it an 8.5...
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Old 02-06-2003, 06:23 PM   #25
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Is that Harley polish an acid? If so thats not a good thing to use...
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Old 02-06-2003, 11:12 PM   #26
 
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No acid in it- rouge and liquid wax for texture. Flitz has ammonia, and some people shy away from it, but I get good results, and it has NO grit, so it won't leave any additional scratches or swirls.
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Old 02-07-2003, 09:57 AM   #27
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1971 31' Sovereign
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Wow.a whole trailer in a day-I've got that into 2 segments of an endcap!
Obviously there's "mo than one way to skin a cat"!
How much do you figure it cost in materials with the Southern Shine" and Flitz?I know Flitz is not cheap (although it goes a long way),but it comes in small tubes.How large is the S.S. product and how much?
The jury is still out on this whole polishing question but it sounds like you have the best time saving solution I've heard so far.
I'm really a fan of ammonia as a cleaner/degreaser and use it to cut the wax from the stripper (which all tough products have to keep the only active ingredient (methylene chloride) from evaporating) in the wsh off-but I've often wondered if it may contribute to oxidation,since it's basically animal urine (guys,correct me if I'm wrong)!
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Old 02-07-2003, 08:07 PM   #28
 
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Flitz is available in quart cans, and I smear it on with a paint brush- foam, so theres no extra scratching- even minimal. You can call Flitz or go to there site and ask where to buy quantities, and they pack 4 Qts to a box, and will give you a wholesaler. Getting nickel and dimed by a hardware or marine retailer will cost you a fortune.
The SS I got really lucky with- a guy I know bought a big order to become a distributor, and never really tried hard to move it. He got stuck with it and sells it to me for $4 a bottle, and I did my whole FC 22 with 2 full bottles.
I don't think the ammonia hurts anything. I'm trying Armor All on my finished aluminum as a protectant, in a test spot. My friend uses it on his aluminum fishing tower on his boat and swears by it. Its anodized- so its different, but cross your fingers.
I can get alot done- and quickly. I'm young strong and 6'5" tall and work like a madman. I only need a ladder for the 3 feet across the very top!
If you're 5'10" and have a beer belly that prohibits you from reaching the trailer, plus need a ladder, and a beer every 15 minutes- better quadruple the time.
The SS is great at getting it going though- and I didn't even pre-wash it with Eagle 1.
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