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Old 11-12-2008, 02:37 PM   #29
Buffing Supplies
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Larry in MO is correct.
My process uses a high speed right angle grinder(3000-6000rpm) and 8" soft buffing wheels to buff the surface. This actually removes scratches and smoothes out the metal, or heals the surface, for the best possible finish. Buffing naturally leaves some swirls but they are easily removed with an orbital polisher or Cyclo polisher. I use the same process on aluminum boats, canoes, and airplanes.
It usually takes approximately 40hours using this process on an Airstream 21 foot or less. It's a dirty job but well worth it.
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Old 11-12-2008, 03:51 PM   #30
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Larry in MO is correct.
My process uses a high speed right angle grinder(3000-6000rpm) and 8" soft buffing wheels to buff the surface. This actually removes scratches and smoothes out the metal, or heals the surface, for the best possible finish. Buffing naturally leaves some swirls but they are easily removed with an orbital polisher or Cyclo polisher. I use the same process on aluminum boats, canoes, and airplanes.
It usually takes approximately 40hours using this process on an Airstream 21 foot or less. It's a dirty job but well worth it.
Jester, we are going to put your method to work hopefully this weekend, we received our kit from your company this week we will keep you posted. We have a 28' trailer, I am sure it will take us more than 40 hours.
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Old 11-12-2008, 04:55 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Jester View Post
Larry in MO is correct.
My process uses a high speed right angle grinder(3000-6000rpm) and 8" soft buffing wheels to buff the surface. This actually removes scratches and smoothes out the metal, or heals the surface, for the best possible finish. Buffing naturally leaves some swirls but they are easily removed with an orbital polisher or Cyclo polisher. I use the same process on aluminum boats, canoes, and airplanes.
It usually takes approximately 40hours using this process on an Airstream 21 foot or less. It's a dirty job but well worth it.
Wow! You must have the manual dexterity of a concert violinist with the moves of a salsa dancer.

I TOTALLY believe this is possible. After working in body shops and using grinders for over 20 years, I believe I could do it myself. But please kids, DO NOT try this at home. You could hurt your trailer and more important, you could hurt yourself badly if the grinder catches on something and goes out of control.
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Old 11-13-2008, 07:18 AM   #32
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Another Artistic View

The dude is not much to look at but the work in progress is kind of neat!
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Old 11-21-2008, 07:33 PM   #33
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I might be in heaven. I haven't even finished the purchase of my first AS and I've never discussed them with anyone.........and I've been wanting to go polish it where it sits For Sale. I would never have voiced that I wanted to polish something I don't have the title to yet, but apparently I'm in good company. I have no judgement about anyone who chooses not to polish. For me it came as a natural yearning. I'm not OCD about anything else (well, maybe I do pick up a lot of litter).
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Old 11-21-2008, 08:20 PM   #34
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We called it patina...
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Old 11-22-2008, 03:57 PM   #35
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To Polish or Not To Polish. That is The Question

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We called it patina...
And any decent antique dealer will tell you NEVER to touch or damage that patina.

But me, I don't listen. Mostly to what I don't want to hear anyway . When (if ever?) the inside of my trailer's rehab is finished, I will polish . It's just a personal thing and I love 'em all - 'natural' or polished .
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Old 11-22-2008, 09:02 PM   #36
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I'll take my AS any way I get it, Get It!!
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Old 11-22-2008, 10:07 PM   #37
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Wondering the Same

Just picked up my first Airstream...a 1976 International. I pretty much are in-line with you on the hours and expense of a polish. My only concern is that I have some pretty heavy areas of oxidation....clear coat gone long ago. Im the kind of guy who likes to do maintenance and keep things up. I certainly dont feel like polishing....not to mention, going through all the work not to then clear coat and protect all that $ and effort....but what's the solution to stopping oxidation and providing protection? Mine will be more of a park model too, exposed the dire extremes of 4 seasons....
any thoughts?
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Old 11-23-2008, 07:01 AM   #38
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Just picked up my first Airstream...a 1976 International. I pretty much are in-line with you on the hours and expense of a polish. My only concern is that I have some pretty heavy areas of oxidation....clear coat gone long ago. Im the kind of guy who likes to do maintenance and keep things up. I certainly dont feel like polishing....not to mention, going through all the work not to then clear coat and protect all that $ and effort....but what's the solution to stopping oxidation and providing protection? Mine will be more of a park model too, exposed the dire extremes of 4 seasons....
any thoughts?
Greg,
Post#34...We never "polished" the old girl. Just a real good cleaning when we got her. The heavy areas of oxidation were cleaned with 3000grit wet sandpaper with the hose running. Her 15 years with us were spent outside and she kept her good looks with annual cleanings and waxing right up to the time we sold her in 2004.

Plus.. I was always dissappointed when traveling, trying to catch up to what I thought was a polished vintage only to realize it was a milk truck.
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Old 11-23-2008, 08:25 AM   #39
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Hey Louis

Be careful with that high speed stuff - if you use a DeWalt as I have - it will throw you off the trailer if your not careful - not to mention all the stuff you can tear off of it and burning of the alu. I'm on the multi year plan like Shari - I think 09 will be year four - after trying eveything, because I was being cheap to buy a cyclo, I'm going to get one because its the only method that seems to effectively remove the swirls - at least in my experience.

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Old 11-23-2008, 09:48 AM   #40
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Hey Louis

Be careful with that high speed stuff - if you use a DeWalt as I have - it will throw you off the trailer if your not careful - not to mention all the stuff you can tear off of it and burning of the alu. I'm on the multi year plan like Shari - I think 09 will be year four - after trying eveything, because I was being cheap to buy a cyclo, I'm going to get one because its the only method that seems to effectively remove the swirls - at least in my experience.

Ken J
Thanks Ken,

Point well taken, we are nearly halfway done and it is looking really great. we will start a new thread and post some pictures soon. We are taking it slow and steady.
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Old 11-23-2008, 02:23 PM   #41
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Wow can't wait to see it!
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Old 11-24-2008, 07:16 PM   #42
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Wow can't wait to see it!
Ken here is the link to the thread we started aptly named "28 feet of fun"

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f441...fun-46545.html
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