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Old 09-03-2009, 09:32 PM   #1
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Removed the clear coat...what now?

Sorry to start another thread but wading though all the existing ones was taking too long to find an answer. I have removed the clear coat on my 74 AS but the chalky looking blotches remain and I suspect it is oxidization. I intend to polish the AS but how do I get rid of the blotches and any other form of mark that shouldn't be there? I started this task with the idea to remove the blotches but they are still there.

I've tried rubbing compound in a small area with no success. What polish do I use? And would a high speed buffer do any good?

Here's another question. The side panels appear do be different than the rounded panels and flat panels at the front and rear....a different shine. Why? Also the blotches appear on the side panels and not so much on the rounded ones and the flat panels at the read and front.
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Old 09-03-2009, 09:44 PM   #2
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Polishing aluminum is trial and error. If you want fast results use sandpaper or a sanding sponge. It is cheaper than polish, with fast results. then you can go back and polish it. befor that you my want to reapply the stripper to make sure you got the clearcoat off completey. get back with me in 1000 hours.
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Old 09-03-2009, 10:06 PM   #3
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thatscool's advice is not cool

Papa-

I am not far ahead of you and STRONGLY recommend that you don't use sandpaper on the aluminum. The PO of my trailer did, and it's a problem that will take a while to correct.

I stripped the clearcoat with Aircraft polish, then used Nuvite F7 polish for a first cut. The difference is dramatic and the trailer is more uniform. The male pattern baldness and splotchiness is gone. There is a problem -- there is a haze and a residue of visible scratches from the F7 polish.

I honestly don't know how far I'll take it, but the first cut is well worth it.

See VTS for supplies and advice. Polishing Advice

I think there is also good advice on the Perfect Polish website.
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Old 09-03-2009, 10:39 PM   #4
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There is a problem -- there is a haze and a residue of visible scratches


How much did you pay for the polish to have these scratches? compare the cost and time. Iam not giving bad advice I dont think. your going to have scrathes either way. there is no easy way, no fast way, or no cheap way of doing the job. Use very fine paper then go to the polish and repeat. I have polished aluminum for years, it works for me.
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Old 09-04-2009, 03:35 PM   #5
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Papa,
65CV is following the same trek I made a few months ago. I read through Perfectpolish.com's information and learned alot. Our 31' is 30 years old and the top half lost its' clearcoat years ago and had some rough oxidation. After removing the clearcoat using paint stripper, I started with Nuvite F7 polish with a drill motor attachment buffer. Some areas took just a coat or 2 and some I went over 8-9 times to get rid of the hazy look. This gives an almost mirror finish if you use the buffer almost flat on your last passed, keeping the swirls going the same direction. Most important, use mineral spirits to wipe off all polish residue and then wash and wipe with water or you will end up with a rainbow chemical discoloration (happened when I started polishing and after the water wash, seemed to stop). In sunlight at the right angle, you can see the swirls with the F7. I went on with Nuvite S fine polish and the Cyclo to get the finish below. The hours I have invested were not small at all. I think I am up to 300 hours and have half the rear endcap left to finish.



Now in this picture below, the panel between the 2 windows in the picture only have F7, not the S yet. From this distance, you can't tell the difference between it and the panels above it. Up close, you can see the swirls.

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Old 09-04-2009, 06:21 PM   #6
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I have begun the process as well. It is not cheap nor easy!!!! I used the F7 to start with. After several hours probably close to 30 in all I was able to remove a very large amount of oxidization from the trailer. I am now using nuvite C. There are foggy areas however I keep going over and over again until I can see myself clearly in the trailer. I suggest you buy mulitple jars of nuvite. At least two per round of each grade of compound. It is a lot of work and I am not sure that I will do it again. However at this point I have invested in a dewalt polisher, cyclo dual orbital polisher, and a few hundred bucks worth in buff's and polish. My wife is making sure I finish this project. Anyway if it was easy and cheap we would all being driving around in polished trailers!!!! I will say the neighbors are less ticked off about the trailer in my driveway now that she is shining up
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Old 09-05-2009, 07:01 AM   #7
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Your trailer looks great! My neighbor owns one that was finished to a mirror shine. That has been a few years ago since the previous owner had polished it. It isnt the mirror shine it once had but it still looks really good. The trailer looks uniform and is aging nicely. It could be repolished but in my opinion it still looks good from 10 feet away.
I have had my 31' for a couple years, it has extra trim on it and I recently started refurbishing the trim and doors. The aluminum around the entry door and screen door was very pitted and corroded, I had to take a wire brush on a drill to get it to the point where it doesnt look dirty. Then heavy sanding to get the brush marks out. It now looks clean and bright.
I would suggest you follow the advice of these vetran polishers and use the Nuvite on the skin of the trailer, just dont get impatient and use it as a grinder or you can burn the aluminum. I did use 320 grit sanding sponge by 3M on the front of my entry door, then hit it with a " mothers powerball " and some mothers polish. it has no sanding scratches and looks good to me for a first time around. It didnt take more than a half hour. When I get to the point of doing the skin I will probably use the proven method of Nuvite and cyclo. But for 25.00 you can buy a powerball and some mothers and get a decent shine. The powerball will last for years and easily do your whole trailer.
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Old 09-05-2009, 10:36 AM   #8
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There are as many techniques for polishing as there are polished trailers. We polished our '64 GT using the Perfect Polish method. It's outlined very clearly here. We are very pleased with the results - even 5+ years later.

However, on our '56 Safari we are doing things a little differently with the compounding. We are using tripoli & rouge bars with huge cotton buffing pads to remove the bulk of the oxidation then moving into the Nuvite & Cyclo Polishing. It seems to be going a bit quicker although we have just done the detail work around windows, trim, seams, etc. at this point.

Shari
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Old 09-05-2009, 01:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InsideOut View Post
However, on our '56 Safari we are doing things a little differently with the compounding. We are using tripoli & rouge bars with huge cotton buffing pads to remove the bulk of the oxidation then moving into the Nuvite & Cyclo Polishing. It seems to be going a bit quicker although we have just done the detail work around windows, trim, seams, etc. at this point.

Shari
We are using this method around the obsticles after watching I think your thread on the issue and have been really pleased with the results, much faster and clearer, then back to Nuvite F and the cyclo for the body.

I do agree that sand paper is to aggressive, with the slightest touch perminantly scaring a panel and nearly impossible to polish through. It may add a shine to the trailer but up close, even 20 feet or so the scratches are very visable (the 66 we had was polished in areas by the PO with wet sanding). Attempts to polish the sanding marks out were unsuccessful.
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Old 09-05-2009, 10:38 PM   #10
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Our trailer looks pretty funny right now...we have all the seams polished - did that before seam sealing - but haven't touch the "flat" panels. It looks like orange segments! I'll try & post a picture tomorrow ~ it's one of those "points in time" photos that if we don't document, we'll never see again ~

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Old 09-07-2009, 04:24 PM   #11
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Thank you all for your advice. I had the trailer at our camp site for the weekend and someone thought I had a new one and I'm not even finished getting the clear coat off yet....wait for the polish!! Where do I purchase Nuvite? And "thatscool", what the heck is a mother powerball and mothers? That's Greek to me! I do have a buffer at my disposal so that should help.

Shari, could you explain tripoli and rouge bars to me please and the method? Thanks.
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Old 09-07-2009, 06:31 PM   #12
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go to www.vintagetrailersupply.com and you can go into the polishing section, Nuvite comes in several grades of how course it is, but their discriptions are great, and they even have a how to there to read through.
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Old 09-08-2009, 11:37 AM   #13
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Shari, could you explain tripoli and rouge bars to me please and the method? Thanks.
Well, there really isn't much to explain...it's just applying a jeweler's/metalworker's mindset to an Airstream. This actually was the most accepted way to polish prior to Rolite & Nuvite hitting the scene and gaining popularity with 'streamers from the aircraft angle.

As I have said before in different threads, there are as many different ways to polish as there are polished Airstreams. The key is finding what works for you. We don't have anything against the Nuvite/compounding process, we did that primarily on our '64 GT - it's just for the initial cut of many, many years of oxidation, this seems to be working for us. I actually used tripoli/rouge bars on the detail work & tanks on our GT - it's easier to get into tight areas & cracks around openings than the compounder. I used small buffs and even my Foredom tool (similar to a Dremmel tool). I have a jewelry background and had bars, so I used them then to help while Mr.InsideOut did the big compounding. Because there are so many more "detail areas" with a 13-panel trailer, we have been sticking with it and applying it to the whole trailer - so far, we are very pleased with the results. At the recent RMVAC Rally, we did a demo and just about everybody agreed, the results were good and it seemed to make a bigger difference, faster.

All this can either be done with a drill or a compounder - I use the drill & smaller (6") pads because the compounder is too heavy for me (I have bad elbows). Mr.InsideOut uses the compounder - its just a matter of we can both "do our thing" at the same time if we use the different tools - I do the details, he does the bulk of the work. We are using black & brown tripoli bars to cut through the oxidation using a large (12") stitched cotton buffing wheel. The black is more coarse than the brown - so we use the brown primarily and only use the black for tough scratches or difficult pits. If the black is used, then follow-up with the brown, cleaning the surface between the two and using different pads for each. These do leave minor scratches - just like compounding does. The difference is instead of swirls, they are lineal. The red rouge gets rid of the minor scratches and is the "finish" for jewelry, we use this with a (12") loose cotton wheel. We then use the Cyclo polisher w/"S" to put the protective coat on. ("S" has wax-like characteristics). We haven't worked our way through all the steps on the entire trailer yet, however - based on test panels we have done, the 53 years of oxidation seems to be removed with less effort using the buffing wheels & tripoli than the Nuvite and the directional scratches are less apparent.

I believe we got everything at Caswell's, I have a list of the buffs & bars, which I can post later.

Shari
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Old 09-08-2009, 08:20 PM   #14
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It looks like orange segments!
Dontcha think?!

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