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Old 02-05-2011, 10:22 PM   #1
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Is there anything wrong with this polishing?

Would this technique work on an airstream?

Why do people say dont use a polisher that goes above 3600 rpm? The guy in the video is using a 6000 rpm polisher.

Would the the 600-800 grit sand paper he sues in steps 1 & 2 have the same effect on an Airstream that he is getting on his aluminum?

YouTube - Dirty jobs How to Polish Aluminum - Aluminum Polishing

this sure seems a heckuva lot faster than the other videos I have seen.
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Old 02-05-2011, 11:09 PM   #2
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Having done a trailer using the "buffer and cyclo" method, I would like to try this method.
As I recall, those who recommend the slower speeds for buffers, are using them in the flat manner instead of using the edge of the pad. This would have less surface contact, and therefore less heat - as long as you keep moving. He keeps moving at all times.
It's hard to argue with results...but undoubtedly, some will.
And truly, I'm not prepared to say that one method is better than the other, I've only tried one method.
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Old 02-06-2011, 01:11 AM   #3
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The skin of an AS is lot's thinner than the alum panels used to make truck fuel tanks!

It would be real easy to 'burn' a hole right through your AS's hide using one of those high PRM polishers - also you could heat the surface to the point it will warp, and could be work hardened so the 'warp' doesn't flatten out again when it cools...

There's just no 'easy' way to git-her-done...takes lots of 'elbow grease' no matter how you look at it...
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Old 02-06-2011, 08:37 AM   #4
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I compounded my 1976 with a variable speed and Nuvite and flat buffer. It did a good job. I tried the edge buffer to get out some bad places and was not happy with the results. It left vertical screened that were harder to remove then circular It caused me lots more work.
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Old 02-06-2011, 09:09 AM   #5
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The skin of an AS is lot's thinner than the alum panels used to make truck fuel tanks!

It would be real easy to 'burn' a hole right through your AS's hide using one of those high PRM polishers - also you could heat the surface to the point it will warp, and could be work hardened so the 'warp' doesn't flatten out again when it cools...

There's just no 'easy' way to git-her-done...takes lots of 'elbow grease' no matter how you look at it...
"HIDE" = Alclad...which truck tanks do not have

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Old 03-23-2011, 10:13 PM   #6
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FYI-- I just got done doing it like this on my trailer-- You can polish your entire trailer with compounds from Fastenal bought locally-- about 30 dollars in black and white bar and a variable speed grinder / polisher-
The Pad method is ridiculously slow-- I will be honest-- the outcome of our trailer is the brightest shine I have ever seen on an airstream. It is pretty ridiculous.
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Old 03-23-2011, 10:30 PM   #7
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FYI-- I just got done doing it like this on my trailer-- You can polish your entire trailer with compounds from Fastenal bought locally-- about 30 dollars in black and white bar and a variable speed grinder / polisher-
The Pad method is ridiculously slow-- I will be honest-- the outcome of our trailer is the brightest shine I have ever seen on an airstream. It is pretty ridiculous.

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Old 03-23-2011, 11:21 PM   #8
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Old 03-29-2011, 09:02 PM   #9
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these pictures are done before the cylco and bottom beneath the trim. I am waiting to do the cyclo until I remove the air conditioner and do more exterior modifications. This was done with a black bar for cutting and white bar second pass from Fastenal, a 7 dollar pad from Harbor freight and a 34 dollar polisher.

I was having a lot of trouble with the pads and the compounds Jestco sent me-- it was WAY too much work. I called Jacksonlea and told them what I was doing and asked them their advice. He told me the compounds I was using were a waste of time for the application and do it more effectively, I should use the balck emery bar and the white for a second polish.

It went much much faster-- I ran out of the black bar one day and went back to the grey bar I was originally sent by Jestco. I did it for about ten seconds until I decided I would rather go home than waste my time using that ineffective grey bar. The white went extremely fast and makes it way brighter than the red Jestco sends in the AS kit. The second white polish was done in about 4 hours for the entire upper portion of the trailer.

The black and white bars are available on Jestco's website, but it is just unnecessary to order any of them online as you can go to your local fastenal and get them- Jacksonlea also highly recommended a yellow, stiff buffing wheel- the soft ones Jestco sends you in the kit took me about 5 times longer to cut thru to the part of the aluminum I wanted to get to. I threw those pads away and went with stiff ones they recommended and the results in regards to time were night and day.
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Old 03-29-2011, 09:06 PM   #10
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whoops-- wrong attachment didnt mean to show the inside on this post.
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Old 03-29-2011, 09:25 PM   #11
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looks really nice. i do have to ask. Why all the 2 x 4?
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:09 PM   #12
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The trailer is for my wife's business- we got it and it was in really bad shape-- we gutted it and are converting it to a food trailer-- the blocking is to reinforce the frame for added weight (ventilation system, double air conditioners, attaching tables, equipment to the walls, shelving, etc.) It might be a little much, but I dont like the fact when I lean up against it to get the AC or access a vent, or polish the top that it feels like I am going to crush it-- so..... I simply blocked the hell out of it and it is stiff.. as a board.
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Old 04-06-2011, 05:01 PM   #13
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Mine turned out all right busplunge: I've been busy... Airstream busy
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Old 04-06-2011, 07:08 PM   #14
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Three separate points you can take any way you wish...

I use grey then red rouge on the jestco wheel. I have tried every color, every compound, every polish, and chemical related to polishing aluminum and nothing, yes nothing, works as good and effectively. I follow up with a cyclo and Nuvite "C" and it is done. This works for me the best. My opinion.


The "Stiff as a board" is not a good thing. The trailer is designed to flex, twist, and bow as it goes down the road. It is a semi monocoque structure and flexing is part of the design. When you stiffen it up you cause stress cracks in the skin, you cause the trailer to shake at every bump, and you are dragging a big block behind you. Stiffening is something many feel compelled to do when repairing a frame and once again it is screwing with a good thing. There are reasons things are engineered the way they are and messing with them only causes issues. The 2x 4s you used have also added a very significant amount of weight to something that does not need any more weight added to it.

The plywood is nothing but pieces on the floor. It should be full sheets. The floor is supposed to be one mass. It is part of the structure of the monocoque construction and should be as few seams as possible. Do the scabs of plywood actually go under the channel? Was all that plywood bolted to the frame or was it screwed into the frame?

It seems that every thread I have commented on leaves me peeing on someone's campfire tonight, sorry.
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