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Old 05-16-2005, 07:22 PM   #1
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Polishing done cheap! (well....)

I would like to start by saying that until last Saturday, I had never polished aluminum before and to be honest, I had my reservations about having to spend a great deal on equipment and polish to get good results.

Over the last year I had read numerous postings on the topic and did my own investigation both via the web and phone calls to manufacturers. The one thing that really got me frustrated was the initial investment into equipment and the idea of spending upwards of $500 was out of the question.

I ended up doing the following:

1. Variable Speed Polisher - Chicago Electric
harborfreight.com cost $29.00 (yes that is right)
Chinese knock-off of the dewalt polisher. Pretty nice machine,
considering the price.

2. 9 polishing pads (3 deep cut, 3 medium cut, and 3 light cut)
lakecountrymanufacturing cost $73

3. Rolite Polish - Rolite direct 3 types
cost: $120
I chose rolite mainly because of the positive reputation of the polish
and the fact that Rolite's main market is aircraft.

Grand Total: $222 (plus approximately $10-15 in shipping)

4. My splurge: System 2000 Pad cleaning system $150. Works awesome and cleans the pads extremely well.

So, my out of pocket expense for my polishing supplies and equipment is less than $400. I suspect I'll have other supplies such as wax and rags, but the big ticket items are done.

I started the process on Saturday on the worst part of my 65 GT, which was the front where the tire hanger used to be. The results have been very positive.

I'll post some pictres as I work through the process. I fully expect to be polishing every Saturday and Sunday morning for the next couple months!!!


Mud
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Old 05-16-2005, 09:32 PM   #2
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Mud

You will pleased with the results and your wife will like your new manly arms.

The first time I polished I was in a bit of a hurry because I was concerned (this was way back in 1999) that if I didn't do it all at once, buy the time I got to one end, the other end would need polishing. Not true - you can take your time and you will have a nice shiney trailer.

Ken J.
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Old 05-17-2005, 06:58 AM   #3
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so the quality of the Chicago Electric polisher is ok for the money? I have been looking at ones that cost 50- 100 , can't quitepony up for a Makita or Dewalt at $160+ as my use is not to polish the whole AS, just small areas and keeping up the paint on my cars.
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Old 05-17-2005, 08:43 AM   #4
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I can also vouch (sp) for the Chicago brand from Harbor Greight. Don't expect it to do much more than a polish job on one trailer. Its not a tool that will last a lifetime but it does the job quite well.

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Old 05-17-2005, 09:04 AM   #5
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thanks, i am bidding on a "Rand" variable speed on Ebay, but not too sure about its quality either, should end up being 60 dollars total though. Found a used Makita and a Dewalt here locally for 100 each, but used does not tell me HOW used.
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Old 05-17-2005, 09:33 AM   #6
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Chicago Electric

The quality is pretty good and so far I have been happy with the purchase. The kit did not come with a good attachment for using buffing pads, but my local Ace hardware store carried one. It also included a spare set of brushes.

I've had dewalt and Makita tools in the past and have been pleased with their performance and I also own several Grizzly tools, which are made in Taiwan. So far, I have had very good success with these and based on my recent use of the polisher, I suspect it will last several years of polishing. For the money I could by four or more of these for one dewalt polisher.

My 1/2 cent opinion.

Mud
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Old 05-17-2005, 10:43 AM   #7
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I am pleased with my Chicago Electric polisher(for compounding).So far so good.It did not come with a good wheel for the polishing bonnets but I had one under the big pile in the garage.
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Old 05-17-2005, 10:45 AM   #8
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Any pics??
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Old 05-17-2005, 12:56 PM   #9
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Pictures

Pictures of the panel I polished, the pad cleaning system, and the polisher.
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Old 05-17-2005, 02:07 PM   #10
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FWIW - I love my DeWalt - it will flat throw you off the trailer its so powerful -

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Old 05-17-2005, 02:23 PM   #11
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Old 05-17-2005, 02:25 PM   #12
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Mud

How does that pad cleaning system work? And where did you get it?

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Old 05-17-2005, 07:19 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken J
FWIW - I love my DeWalt - it will flat throw you off the trailer its so powerful -

Ken J.
I could not agree with you more. I just bought a DW 849 with electronic speed control, and it's absolutely wonderful to work with. It keeps the same speed, no matter how hard you dig in, which makes polishing very predictable. I decided to spend the bucks after trying a cheap polisher for a day. Not my idea of fun. I feel that the Dewalt with electronic speed control feels better to work with, and one does not fatique as quickly while using it.
I, too, want to know about this pad cleaner system. Looks promising.
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Old 05-17-2005, 07:33 PM   #14
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Yup

Back in pre-historic days of polishing - before anyone knew what a cylo was, that was the machine of choice - and I was forwarned to be careful with it because that electronic control will keep at what ever RPM you set it at - you just can't stop it! Therefore I was warned that if your not careful, it could throw you off a ladder - so be careful and make sure you are always sure footed.....



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