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Old 08-17-2011, 10:10 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
bluemoontwo's Avatar
1958 18' "Footer"
San Luis Obispo , California
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 42
Polishing our new Girl!

We've done a ton of research here on the forums as well taken the advice from many members and decided to get down to it and see what our girl will look like after she's polished out. We know that we have a lot of work to do (in general) on our AS but obviously polishing is a big-ticket item so we wanted to polish a section to get some motivation....

We purchased the AS kit from Jestco and followed the process. We started with the Gray Compound Bar and did 2 passes on our section. We then moved onto the Pink Bar (Red Jewelers Rouge) and went over the section with our polisher. Attached is a picture of our results so far.

As we are working through this we have had several questions. The first question is how much of the bars should we be adding to the buff each time we add it? We have spent about 2 hours on this section and it still is extremely hazy and looks nothing like the mirror finish we see other AS'ers are getting.

Another question we have is what are the dull gray areas on the surface of the panel (we've circled one in the picture attached). The picture doesn't show it well but it is really noticeable. We have tried buffing it out but it's stubborn as anything! We're not sure what it looks like under the Alcad but we're hoping we didn't burn through it! We don't want to do any damage.

We are documenting our restoration and want to share it with everyone. Is there a specific thread area that we should include our process in?

For those interested, we've uploaded quite a few pictures which can be viewed here: Justin and Mary Teague's Photos : Livin' the 'Stream | SmugMug. The pictures of me polishing are before we purchased the Jestco products. We'll upload more in the next couple days.

Thanks and we look forward to hearing from everyone!
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Forum Thread: The Chronicles of the Shiny Tiny

Happy to finally be part of the (t)in crowd!
bluemoontwo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2011, 06:40 AM   #2
1 Rivet Member
1960 22' Safari
Delano , Minnesota
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 15
Images: 33
I too am polishing my airstream. I'm working on a 1960 Safari and have done the entire trailer in grey, twice. The first time we were anxious to see some section as they would appear after pink and the polish and went too quickly with the grey, thus the need to go back with another pass.

The buffing wheel will take up more polish as you use it more - it becomes easier to work the polish into the buff. Hold the bar to the wheel at a pretty good speed for several seconds in the early going and when the buff is saturated you will only need to bump it several times. Work the polish in an area about 12" x 12", moving from top down. I hold the wheel vertically and move horizontally which leaves a line of polishing compound below the area polished. Work this line downward in your work area and when you can't see a good line of polish, add more to the buff. There are a number of good videos on YouTube and that's where I got the technique described. If I were to do this again, I would buy two right angle grinders so I could go from grey to pink by grabbing another machine.

Good luck.

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Old 09-17-2011, 07:03 AM   #3
3 Rivet Member
star kitty's Avatar
1967 20' Globetrotter
denver , Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 147
I too had the gray dull marks on my polishing job this year. I called them "ghosting" and didn't know what it was from. Whether it was poor technique, improper compound application or the aluminum skin.

You are lucky to be able to polish inside of a building. I had to polish mine under a tree and sometimes in the sun. My technique became very obvious as the sun changed position in the sky and I often times had to go back over a panel when I could see better.

Anyway, I don't have any answers to your questions as I was a rookie polisher and learned as I went along but I do know that in the end, she looks real perty! Someone will come along here and provide the answers. I also found certain panels to polish much easier than the others. The front curved panels will take a little more time.

Good Luck.
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