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Old 05-02-2005, 12:50 PM   #15
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This is thread is more work than polishing............ but think I need to clear a couple of things..... the first trailer I polished was a 59 with no clear coat. There really is not much difference between a 70's model for polishing and a 50's model - yes a 50's may have more oxidation, but the methods and materials are the same. You should not run your buffers at 5000 rpm - They should be run no faster than 1000 rpm.

Once again I think there are many ways and materials that can be used for polishing - each of us has to use what we are comfortable with. For hobbist like me, from my research, polish works best for me.

When I first looked into polishing, it was Jim Weston himself who recommended only using wet sanding for polishing out scratches - then very carefully. When this subject came up again later I talked to the folks at Oasis - a very well known and very reputable vintage restorer and they told me under no circumstances should I sand alclad.

I've tried to steer clear of these recents posts, my concern is someone who has never polished before really needs to hear the reasons we are not doing what you are suggesting.

Again, I repeat, its NOT because we a close minded to other ways, nor are we pushing any products, we are following long standing advice.

Ken J.
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Old 05-02-2005, 01:20 PM   #16
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HERE WE GO AGAIN....suffice to say if you want info on polishing, do a search there is more than you could ever want to know. AND_ a lot of good advice !
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Old 05-02-2005, 05:45 PM   #17
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The Westons-

A quick call to Airmark revealed that they suggest not wet sanding anything but scratches when using their products, as they have a coarse compound, that is NOT used on a rotating pad, but on their spinning drum system, and it does NOT leave multidirectional swirl marks on the skin. It takes that skin down in a manageable fashion, and then its polished to a brighter luster with a softer pad and a finer polish- ALL rouge based. All the compounding abrasives are being used in one direction- just as wet sanding is.

I prefer not getting kicked off by posting anything negative about any other systems that they said to me- so if you'd like to know what they say about the coarse compound and the rotational marks and scratches as well as the damage, please feel free to contact them directly, or write them through their site. www.airmarktools.net

They also say that a trailer can be polished with their system in about 3 days, as did Spec in Canada.

Airmark did not really pump their polishes, and Spec says he likes a combination of Matchless for cut, and Rolite for finish, but admitted that any rouge based polish used with his machines should do fine as long as they were properly configured with the proper abrasives for the task at hand.
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Old 05-02-2005, 08:39 PM   #18
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I successfully polished an Airstream trailer a year ago by gleaning all the info I needed from these forums at that time.
The advice and tips from other "amateurs" on this site who have actually polished their Airstreams served me well.
I didn't go to an airport to ask how they polish airplanes or to an auto body shop to see how they prep sheet metal skin for painting.
I think all this "new" second hand advice is just muddying up the water.
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Old 05-02-2005, 10:39 PM   #19
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im happy to report

that im now completly compounded down to "C" except for the roof. (that will happen at a later time)> I did some test areas with my cyclo and I have to say what a great tool it is. Dont knock it until you try it. I think no matter what method you use, unless you do it everyday your going to get swirls. And the cyclo not only took the swirls out it brought out the finish im trying to achieve. I feel like I could cyclo the whole trailer in a day... We will see, as I will be posting more pictures of my progress.
Im having a hard time around the lettering. I did fair on the larger airstream lettering, but in the rear I have a script international badge that is a bear to get into. I tried the dremel with buff wheel on it. but it leaves marks that I cant get rid of. Maybe at least to get all the dried compound out of there I will try q-tips and paint or laquer thinner.
Quite the learning curve as you go... I have an arsenal of different polishes, rouges, tools (drills,buffers,grinders) I ended up using nuvite with a milwaukee variable speed buffer. Weighs in at 13.5 pounds. That makes the cyclo feel like its as light as a feather.
Again I cant stress how impressed i am with the cyclo. the sweatshirt seems to need to load up too often but it really goes super fast (compared to compouding. That is my first hand opinion.
I tried to seal an area with mothers canauba wax... It seemed to dull it a bit. the people that sell rolite sold me some boat wax I will try that tomorrow as I ran out of sunlight. Does anyone have a suggestion for a sealer that they have used. I really am concerned with water spots Would live to avoid them as much as posible. Im also going to inquire about an indoor rv storage near my house. Its 275 a month but I think it would be worth protecting my time invested.
Sure is awesome to see it coming together now.
on another note I let my wife pick out drapes and cusions...$2,200.00 I about had a heart attack since I bought my trailer for 3K...Over the last few months ive done the interior and now the exterior. thank god I havent kept track of what ive spent, I know I already spent more than that on the interior alone heheh... and my new aluminum tanks are at a polishing shop. Has anyone installed steel braided lines for the exposed lp lines??? Sounds like a good idea but am I getting out of control??? I doubt it since I already polished every nut,screw and bolt, window cranks etc etc inside the trailer hehehe.
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Old 05-03-2005, 01:23 AM   #20
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Wow compounding done. Your almost there!

Some of us like NuFinish. It comes it a orange bottle and claims to be a once a year car polish. Although if you carefully read the instructions it says to reapply in 30 days... go figure!!

Works good and does not seem to dull the finish. I use the bottle.

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Old 05-03-2005, 06:00 AM   #21
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Ed-

Still waiting to hear from your polishing shop on wet sanding, if you can ask them...
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Old 05-03-2005, 07:30 AM   #22
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Travel Cloud... The polishing shop im using for my tanks and some interior parts wont sand. They also wont touch an airstream. they use high horsepower buffers with different rouges. they mainly do production line jobs. When I was in there they had about 100 intake manifolds they were doing. I was using some .0000 steel wool with thinner to get some left over clear coat off... But when I did some wet sanding I did more damage than good. In fact the upper portion of my entrance door is pretty trashed. But that is part of the learning curve for me....Ive been happy with the results ive been getting.
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Old 05-03-2005, 10:59 AM   #23
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I use the Rollite Sealer - I really like it a lot, goes on very easy and comes off easy...

I may try Nufinish sometime - I have heard good things about it too.

Ken J.
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Old 05-03-2005, 03:44 PM   #24
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Unhappy Scared Off!

I think our perpetual arguing over polishing techniques has scared off the original poster! That'll teach em for asking a question like that around here! How to clean and polish an Airstream - what was he thinking?

Do you think the Holiday Rambler owners battle over slideout lubricants like we go on a crusade for polish?
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Old 05-03-2005, 04:19 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swebster
I think our perpetual arguing over polishing techniques has scared off the original poster! That'll teach em for asking a question like that around here! How to clean and polish an Airstream - what was he thinking?

Do you think the Holiday Rambler owners battle over slideout lubricants like we go on a crusade for polish?
Do you blame him?

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Old 05-03-2005, 05:13 PM   #26
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Well, I've learned something important. Never start on the door. Maybe I'll start out high on the roof!

Thanks for the lesson, Ed. Sorry about the door.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Starman
In fact the upper portion of my entrance door is pretty trashed. But that is part of the learning curve for me....Ive been happy with the results ive been getting.
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Old 05-03-2005, 05:16 PM   #27
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Hmmm thats interesting - I've always started at the door - - - guess I figured it was the smallest section of trailer that would give me encouragement to go on.....



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Old 05-07-2005, 08:30 PM   #28
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Exclamation To polish or not to polish?

Hello everyone, I'm new to the group and just pulled our '75 Excella 500 (31') to our home. I've read tons of threads about stripping and polishing, etc, yet even though the AS has patches where the clearcoat is gone, I'm not sure if I'm ready to strip it. I may eventually strip it since what several of you have done looks really cool, but being a 'convert' from the boating community, I'm pretty tired of buffing something that is 31 feet long:-).

In this light does anyone have a suggestion concerning the polishes I could try? I look forward to your responses.

Mitch
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