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Old 06-11-2011, 08:12 PM   #15
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Looks great! I saw pictures of a polished Silver Streak once (can't remember where) and it looked really sharp. Welcome to the world of endless polishing! Can't beat the look, though!
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Old 06-11-2011, 08:25 PM   #16
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I have have experimented with a few different tools, cleaners and polishes. Research on these forums, as well as many from various locations on the internet, including youtube, have been very helpful.

As you can see from the pictures I posted of my Silver Streak, its exterior in horrible. At first I tried to “clean it.” I literally tried everything I could find locally. Nothing worked. I had read about some “acid washes”, but they were too expensive to try, given that the reviews from users didn’t seem satisfactory. I even thought of painting it, (gag).

Doing a little more research, I stumbled on a clip from youtube about how kids were de-anodizing aluminum RC car parts with spray oven cleaner. I tried it on a small spot on my trailer. And lo and behold it WORKED.

Before investing in many of the tools shown on some the polishing threads, like the Cyclo, I decided to try some of the tools I already have.

I will list the tools, cleaners, and polishes that I have tried so far, with pictures!!
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Old 06-11-2011, 08:39 PM   #17
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CLEANERS: When I started this project. I wanted the trailer to be clean first... of dirt. grease, oils, wax, or anything else that was on it. I used ordinary dish washing detergent. No picture needed.

DE-ANODIZER: I used spray on oven cleaner. knowing that it would take a pretty good bit of oven cleaner, I tried the cheepest first. It so happens that the cheepest has the same ingredients as the brand name. I have used oven cleaner from Dollar General and Fred's and they work exactly the same. Just make sure, if you do this, do NOT use the fumeless oven cleaner. It will NOT work.

Also for SAFETY!!! This process make noxious gases. DO NOT BREATHE!!! I do a 4' x 4' section at a time, and stand upwind. Once sprayed on, I stand away for about three or four minutes so as not to breathe fumes.
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Old 06-11-2011, 09:03 PM   #18
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TOOLS: If you are reading this, you no doubt have probably read some other polishing threads and info from other websites. You may have heard of the Cyclo polisher. However I thought I would use what I have already. Most of the power tools I have sem to work pretty good.

Tool list:
Black and decker radom orbital buffer/polisher.
McCulloch angled variable speed buffer/polisher.
Dewalt variable speed drill.
Buffer spur tool.. for cleaning buffing pad, wheels
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Old 06-11-2011, 09:15 PM   #19
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TOOL SUPPLIES: The wool buffing bonnets that are on the Black and Decker come from their website. I could not find this size anywhere else.

The buffing wheels on the Dewalt drill and the McCulloch buffer are from Lowes. they have a section for this. The Yellow one is a harder wheel than the white one. Per instructions on a polishing website, they use a courser polishing rouge for the yellow pad, and a finer polishing rouge for the white wheel. More about this later, and I wil try to find the website for reference. It as pretty interesting.

I did have to make an adapter for the McCulloch buffer to use the polishing wheel. The shaft on it was too short for the wheel. I welded three 5/8 x 11 nuts together and insert a threaded rod into it before installing on the mcCulloch. Last picture shows this.
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Old 06-11-2011, 09:24 PM   #20
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Thanks Becky, I saw a video on youtube once, of a polished Silver Streak. I think I remember that it was an older trailer that was not anodized like mine. Being anodized makes it harder to do....at first I thought impossible. It is going to take some time and effort, but I think I will be happy with it.

I will do a little bit, stand back, look, and then just stand there with my mouth open like a little kid. It is hard work, but I can't wait to do just a little more...and then a little more!!

This whole aluminum thing, along with airforums has bitten me hard and I'm having fun.

Thanks for the comments!!

Jerry
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Old 06-11-2011, 09:36 PM   #21
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POLISHES: When I first got, what I thought, was a little section de-anodized I tried to polish it with Mother's aluminum polish. I tried this because I already had some that I used to polish aluminum on my motorcyle. and because it is non abrasive.

As I applied the Mother's to the Silver Streak, it turned black, as expected. Then as I wiped the black off, the first hint of a "baby" shine started to appear. When I got all the black off, IT WAS GLORIOUS!!!! I ran in the house, got the wife, and made her come stand in awe with me!!!! What a sight!!! I think I still have that "baby" shine picture.
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Old 06-11-2011, 10:01 PM   #22
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POLISHES: I ordered some Nuvite form Vintage Trailer Supply, in the various degrees of courseness.

While I was waiting for the NUVITE to come in, a friend suggest I try some Diamond Brite Truck Box Polish from Lowes. While I was at Lowes I also bought some "stick" polishing rouges in a couple of different cuting grades.

The diamond bright, along with the Mother's will work great, I think, AFTER the first polish job. Neither will get rid of small scratches and such.

The stick rouges from Lowes and the Nuvite are what I will use for this first polish. I am still not sure what works the best. I am actually using both, separatly, and in combination, with great results. I will let you know what I find that works best, in a couple of days... I am still deciding which is best, and easiest!!
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Old 06-12-2011, 09:42 AM   #23
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Your trailer looks great. Thanks for all the details on yout progress. Hope you keep track of your time involved to give the rest of us an idea of what we might be in for.

Regards,

Mitch
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Old 06-12-2011, 10:05 AM   #24
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Mitch, I have spent an estimated 16 hours, "experimenting" with this process. Now that I know for sure that it will work, with great results, I will keep a time log of time spent de-anodizing and polishing. And as best as I can I will also track the costs. I think the costs will be similar to a standard polishing of a similar size trailer, with the addition of the oven cleaner, which is around $1.80 per can. I have been doing a 4x4 section with one can.

This WILL be time consuming and will take more time than a "standard" polishing. The de-anodizing take some time to accomplish, because you can only do a small section at a time.

I'm not a writer, so I am carefully working on my wording for a complete step by step explanation for this process. I have attempted to describe what I have done so far. I hope that the info is helpful. And I am open to any and all questions in the mean time.

Thanks,
Jerry
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Old 06-12-2011, 08:12 PM   #25
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I understand (correct me) that you have chosen NOT to do the roof at this time. I was wondering if your experimental period will include what the results would be if a roof section was de-anodized above a polished section? Would there be any damage to the polished finish and could it be re-polished after the oven cleaner run-off?

I much appreciate the time and detail plus pics for all who are interested. None of us can deny the appeal of a shiny trailer! Hope you'll keep a rough reckoning of your time as it relates separately to de-anodization and then polishing as a reference. X-amount of time per square foot once the job is done as a guide for others. Same for polishing, be useful to know how close the time may be to an A/S major polish job that the owners contemplating this can look at their 19' and say, yeah, (or the 34' owner who, like me, will probably "live with it" by further experimentation short of this set of steps).

I wouldn't rule out paint. Some AVION owners swear by a CAYO-recommended facility to clearcoat theirs; and there are pics of an EVERBRITE coat of an SS on the Net. On this site see BobThompsons fine A/S paint job.

Am looking forward to how NUVITE works out. Seems that a Cyclo and that product line are the key.

.
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Old 06-12-2011, 08:31 PM   #26
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Rednax, Yes, the run-off of the oven cleaner onto an area that is already done, polished or not, will "mess" up that area. However, if I only do a small section at a time, am very careful, and keep already de-anodized sections sprayed down, then it seems to be ok. On places where I have let some splash over and dry, I have work a little harder to get it off with the Nuvite. Its not really too much trouble, just a little aggrivating.

So, if and when I decide to de-anodize the 4' strip down the middle of the top, I will have to keep the already done parts sprayed down. I have been doing this alone, and if I do the top I will get my wife to help with the hose, to keep it sprayed down. However, if I do the top, I will want to remove the vents, a/c, etc. That is why I am waiting to do that part.

Great questions, by the way. No-one can think of everything, so questions are actually a help to me. Makes me think!!
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Old 06-13-2011, 10:45 AM   #27
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Amazing! I wish I had the gumption to shine mine up but, unfortunately, there are more pressing issues that I must attend to first ... sometime....

But, I always remember this post from Airbuckled and would entertain experimenting with this Gravel in a Bottle if/when I polish my gal.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f441...tle-63278.html

Laura
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Old 06-13-2011, 12:52 PM   #28
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Laura, Actually, I think your AS would be easier to polish than my Silver Streak. My SS is anodized, which takes a good deal of time to de-anodize.

Thank for the link, though. He has a couple of things that I might try.
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