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Old 02-13-2008, 08:19 PM   #1
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rookie polisher

I read the vintage trailer supply polishing information, and spent several hours reading the polishing threads but still had some questions.

It got into the high 50's and low 60's yesterday so the polisher and Nuvite that have been sitting on the table since Christmas finally made contact with the trailer. Granted I only had about a half our to play with it last night, but saw immediately encouraging results on the front corner. I also tried below the front window where the skin wasn't in quite as good of condition and found the small marks polished off pretty well, but there were several horizontal scratches, that are small enough that you can't feel them by finger tip but can catch them ever so slightly with a fingernail. Are these types of scratches too deep to polish out? I'll take pictures tomorrow but missed daylight this afternoon due to getting home late and had no luck with lights or flash on the camera.

Also, planning on removing lights and replacing them as we polish, are there tricks for protecting the wire while polishing around it, and are there tricks to keep from snagging the bonnet on the burs from screw holes and where the wires protrude from the skin.

thanks!

oh and so far we've been using the f7 polish with a harbor freight polisher per forum recommendations.
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Old 02-13-2008, 08:26 PM   #2
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It sounds like you are getting the hang of it. Those scratches probably won't buff out if you can catch a nail on them, but they will most likely be minimized. We call them beauty marks...
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Old 02-13-2008, 08:48 PM   #3
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Hang on there, we're sending the sun back up north to ya, you'll be getting it back in a bout two months. Thanks for the moisture ya sent down to us, the snow melted and we gots mud allround at work. The range heaters you ordered will be in about July, we just got our area air conditioners last month.
In order to get home from work before the sun goes down, you gotta leave work before you get there today so the boss didn't see ya leave tomorrow.
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Old 02-13-2008, 09:01 PM   #4
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haha isn't that the truth! We've been in the single and low double digests since December, and tons of record snow fall, then in 2 days, all gone, warnings of floods etc, and blue skies (we're at the top of a big hill in the middle of town, so we'll stay well above the river level).
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Old 02-18-2008, 08:14 PM   #5
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Started polishing this afternoon, only got 2 hours of work in, and some of that was talking with friends that stopped by to see what the heck I was doing. I wanted to post a couple pictures of what I've done so far to see if people had suggestions or thought I was doing it right/wrong.

Just before stopping I went ahead and removed the front clearance lights because new ones will be going on after the polish, so need to clean those areas up before polishing and finish removing the old glue from a sticker that was up above at some point. I ran out of time tonight but hope to work on the front all tomorrow.


this much was done with wool bonnet on harbor freight polisher with F7 polish. I know I have lots of detail work left then of course 2 more levels of compound but wasn't sure if I'm going about it correctly or not. It seems rather uneven/splotchy especially on the upper rounded segments.
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Old 02-18-2008, 08:29 PM   #6
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I don't remember if the 1960 and 1969 trailers are both of Alclad, but I had a similar experience with uneveness on the curved segments. I just couldn't get the same quality of shine as the flat sides. I think I read in another thread that it may have to do with the molding or stretching process of the curves during manufacturing.
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Old 02-18-2008, 08:30 PM   #7
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I would get a deburring tool to remove the burrs around all the light openings and screw holes.
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Old 02-19-2008, 06:04 PM   #8
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7 hours of polishing and some progress to report. think I'm starting to get the hang of it, but after that long today think I'll be feeling it tomorrow. Heavy pitting under one of the stickers up on the end cap, deep enough I can't polish it out, so may get a sticker over it later. Ordering a deburring tool to finish around the lights etc before reinstalling those. The front panels took way longer than I thought, but had tons of blemishes from years of the TV kicking stuff back I'm guessing. Actually cleaning up well despite some rock dents.

Here's a few pictures of progress so far. Still using F7.

Also got gears installed in the skyliner and it works now...
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Old 02-19-2008, 07:15 PM   #9
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Looking good. It's pretty satisfying to get those results. Congrats.
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Old 02-19-2008, 08:21 PM   #10
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beautiful! are you gonna clearcoat it? nice to see another '69 get pampered.. are your front curvy windows actual glass? mine are very cloudy but haven't determined if they've been replaced with plexi or what... I wouldn't worry about the shine differential between curves/straight..either way it's gonna look a whole lot better than when you started!
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Old 02-19-2008, 08:59 PM   #11
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thanks, happy how its going so far, but it still will have plenty of character marks. I know I'm not going to clear coat (don't ever want to strip that beast again), but don't know for sure yet what my plans are, probably some type of wax. The shine is coming but the curves seem to take way longer than other parts on the trailer, and the front section below the windows (in the middle) was murder today, so many blemishes to remove. Curbside wing window is original glass, the street side is nearly toasted plexiglass (its all spider cracked). I know there is a 69 curbside wing window on ebay right now, go figure I need the other side, though may pick it up for a back up. I'm guessing yours are both plastic. I've not ordered one from Airstream because they are tinted and I want to keep all my windows clear. Not sure how I'm going to polish the window frames yet either.
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Old 02-20-2008, 08:33 PM   #12
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It shines!

Wow, the elbow grease is paying off. Dealing with the road rash, etc. is a tough go. I've finally learned to live with the character marks on mine. They keep me from being too proud and show that my Tradewind is having an exciting life.

At least you are already considering your window frames. I haven't even gotten that far yet. Keep us posted.
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Old 02-20-2008, 08:55 PM   #13
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the crud on the panels (I think referred to as filform or something of that nature) is really bad on the bottom panels, but almost non-existant on the upper panels. It almost looks like left over plasticoat rather than oxidation, but stripper doesn't remove it but lots of applications of F7 seam cut it pretty well but I'm probably spending 45 minutes to an our for 2-3 square feet and still plenty of swirl marks and polishing to go. As far as the window frames, yeah, thats the A.D.D. talking I guess, its gonna be a long time, especially after seeing how flawless most of the polished trailers I see on here are, and how mine looks so far. I know pictures hide a lot, but mine looks good by daylight, but the swirl marks pick up the headlights coming into the driveway and it looks horrible, even though they are barely visable in the sun.

I'm hoping to find a used Cyclo I can pick up for a good price to get those out on the A pass. The wife is tired of hearing the phrase "a couple hundred bucks" and Airstream, even though she's the one that convinced me to buy the darn thing, and the one that already has vacation spots booked in June....
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Old 02-21-2008, 08:09 AM   #14
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Clear Coat

Quote:
Originally Posted by goransons
I know I'm not going to clear coat (don't ever want to strip that beast again), but don't know for sure yet what my plans are, probably some type of wax.
Hey there,
You may want to re consider your clear coat options. With as much work and effort you put into the finish, it would be a shame if it turned back to ugly again.
I can't speak for other clears you may find on the market, but when I use Sharkhide to protect a polished finish, there's no reason to have to strip it off. I just make sure I dont scrape or scratch it off, or let it wear through. As long as I do this, there's no reason to ever have to re polish again. The only maintainance I have is to swipe another coat on every few years. If you do need to remove an area for some reason, it's as simple as wiping it off with thinner.
I don't like to polish at all, and I like the thought of having to wax something on a regular basis even less.
Clint
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