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Old 01-13-2013, 10:39 PM   #1
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Sewn Cotton or Wool pad to polish? Pros & Cons?

I'm seeing alot of "how to's" on polishing- some using the sewn cotton wheel, and others using the wool buffing pad. However, I'm not seeing much from anyone who has done both and can speak to both methods.

Seems like the cotton wheel is MUCH less mess, but possibly slower.

However, the wool pad might cut quicker?? BUT I remember my years of detailing cars, the hi-speed buffer throws a lot of dirty compound everywhere. I can only imagine the mess of the black aluminum oxidation.

Interested to hear what everyone has concluded to be their best method.

Thanks!
Micky
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:04 PM   #2
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I use them both...different polishers, however. I use the sewn cotton for the compounding and maybe on some bad corrosion areas. Then I go to the will pad with a variable speed polisher. Always finish with a Cyclo.
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Old 04-09-2013, 06:03 PM   #3
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Sorry to revive this thread, but I am trying to figure this out as well.

Wool/Polisher:
I've watched several videos on youtube, most of them use a car polisher with a wool pad. And I understand that you can expect to spend 8hrs per foot of trailer. I actually watched Matt Hoffmann's tutorial several times. ("HofArc" on youtube, and airstreamplanet.com) But his methods are very similar to many of the other tutorials that I've read.

Cotton Wheel/Grinder:
Then on the other hand, there's the methods outlined here: Jestco Products Buffing Supply - Airstream Polishing Kit (for lengths over 24 foot) #799L (Powered by CubeCart)
Which they claim to take about 1/4 the time to get the same results.

This is my guess at the differences:
The grinder works at 3,000-3500 RPM and concentrates its work on a smaller area at a time. Maybe works faster, but will burn quicker, and could produce varied results without proper practice?

The polisher works slower at 800-1000 RPM, but more evenly, and generates less heat in a focused area. Easier to get an even polish, but takes more time?

I'm OK with putting in the time, but sheesh, if I can cut the time down from 208 hrs to 52 hrs, I'm willing to listen to some other ideas. Not that I'm lazy. There's just a better chance of me getting it done in this lifetime if I have a faster technique.

Thanks in advance.
-Kevin
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Old 04-09-2013, 06:16 PM   #4
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BE VERY CAREFUL if you go the cotton route. I used wool pads and Nuvite for the first cut on my old 68. It was hardest and nastiest job every. I watched videos on using the sewn cotton buff wheels it ordered several and compound. It cut a little faster but I think that it heats the surface too much. I have a lot of "indented" rivets now that I did not have and I think it was from the cotton buff wheels. 8 hours per foot is conservative. If you use the wool buffs be sure and order the spur for cleaning them (get several pads because after a polishing seession you have to wash all the gunk out of the pad and it takes a day or so to dry), it is a must have on the first cut as the buffs load up with "funk" pretty fast.
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Old 04-09-2013, 06:26 PM   #5
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That kind of matches up with what I thought. I already bought a variable speed polisher, but I'm just making sure I don't miss the boat here. I'm getting ready to order some of the other parts of the kit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 68 TWind View Post
8 hours per foot is conservative.
Sorry, does that mean more or less than 8hrs per foot? I have a 28' trailer, and the body is 26' long. Is this really going to take me 200 hours? If I work 20hrs a weekend, that's 10 weekends. That's all summer!

We might have to re-think this whole idea.

-Kevin
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Old 04-09-2013, 07:10 PM   #6
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I doing mine with nuvite6 foam pad from orileys then grade s with new foam pad the pad is white and I use mineral sprits in a spray bottle buff grade 6 until dry then spray a little then buff that clean. works for me.
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Old 04-09-2013, 08:57 PM   #7
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I have not done my whole trailer yet, but I am doing the edges where I strip out the vulkem around windows, vents, etc. That way, I can lay a new bead of vulkem over the already polished area. I bought ALL grades of Nuvite because it was driving me nuts which grade I "might" need. I tried going with the lightest grade first, then slowly became more impatient to the point where I'm now doing exactly what that guy Matt on youtube does.... F9, F7, C, S. I've bought a Harbor Freight buffer, and then went to a local Professional car detailing supplier and bought bunch of wool pads. The pads are velcro and I can swap them for each grade in a matter of seconds. I have not tried any of the sewn cotton- it seems harder and like it will take longer. Hitting with each grade, I can do a 20" by 20" Square through F9, F7, and C within 15 minutes. The cut is pretty quick, but the cleanup is the messiest part that is a real pain. I wipe down with mineral spirits to clean up the rivet heads and seams, but someone has suggested cornstarch, so I'll try that next. My bet is that moving forward with maybe another cut of C, and then S with the cyclo will be MUCH cleaner and faster process that could be more enjoyable. No rush for me to become mirror finish- C leaves a nice finish compared to what I started with. Now every time I do it, it will gradually become more and more shiny.

Hope that helps!
Mic
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Old 04-10-2013, 02:15 PM   #8
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cleanup

Just a quick note on cleanup. Instead of mineral spirits, try Kerosene. I found it much easier to work with and had better results as well. Good luck!
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Old 04-10-2013, 07:45 PM   #9
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This link shows my experience:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f441...ml#post1135361

`
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Old 04-10-2013, 08:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Splitrock View Post
I think that's the 3rd time I've read that thread. Excellent advice and documentation. And I love the final results. That thing is beautiful.

So you used both. I think I'm going to have to do some experimenting with both then. I bought the polisher for $29 on sale at HF. For $10 I got a 2yr warranty. I expect to use it at least once. I'll probably do the same thing for a large angle grinder.

My trailer is a 1996, but the shoulders are missing all the clearcoat. Otherwise it seems pretty well protected by the clearcoat. The other problem is a bunch of clearcoat wear marks from the PO using a tarp over it. Whoops!

I haven't seen too many newer models polished. Just a few, and they look amazing just like the older ones. I'm on project #5 so far, and polishing might be project #7 or 8.

Thanks for the tips.
-Kevin
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Old 04-10-2013, 08:18 PM   #11
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I think I spent a total of about $800 on the polish job including all my false starts and some good equipment, like the Cyclo, I'll use again. Thinking about the job was worse than doing it.
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