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Old 06-15-2006, 11:24 PM   #1
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THEM DOGGONE SWIRL MARKS! And other polishing woes.

Scottanlily brings up a good point about needing to use something to remove heavy oxidation, and the steel wool thing is scary if a manufacturer is suggesting using it on aluminum.

He makes an additional good point about using the finer grades of polish, rather than a coarse compound and more passes- but you have to have a lot of patience to achieve this. It works well with an Airmark/Spec/L&L type polishing system, but isn't as necessary because these systems don't swirl on aluminum, they rotate against it.

Scotchbrite pads or wet sanding are used professionally to address this, but are used in a horizontal motion only, not swirled. The grit has to be judged by the user, to get results and utilize the least abrasive system possible.

Laziness creates all kinds of problems in polishing- as it seems people dig for ways to "get it done" quickly and easily. There is no way I would ever consider using gritty compound- be it Nuvite, Rolite, 3M or anything else, combined with a wheel. These people telling you this will possibly do so to sell you the next 3 grades to be necessary to remove the damage they just advised you to do.

Unfortunately, for most folks, the Airmark/Spec system is expensive to buy, and justifying the great results and time savings are not so clear when they start on the journey- but would probably do so after the job is half done.

Somebody with Photoshop expertise help me out...
These professional tools not only cost a lot, but they have another drawback- you need a LOT of air to run them- like 95psi @ 35cfm....
I'm taking my high powered, gas engined WEED WHACKER, removing the mono line head, and attaching a rod with threads on the end, then we'll take a stack of 10(!) bench wheel type polishing wheels- where the outer circumference is the polishing surface, and insert it on the rod and bolt it down! This will give us about 14" of polishing surface, NO swirl marks because its the soft end spinning against the aluminum- Voila! A backyard, poor boys version of the Airmark! No big compressor, no cords or hoses- heck- you can go and polish out in the middle of nowhere!

OK- You guys have fun with this while I start making my $5 plans to sell in Pop Mechanics

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Old 06-16-2006, 06:46 AM   #2
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Be Careful!

Hey MAS,

Be really careful of your device. It sounds great but you will be generating a lot of inertia from the spinning weight of those polishing buffs and the wacker might not be able to take it! I've been wheel polishing for 30+years as a custom goldsmith. I have a 2 HP polishing motor and only use 1 buff at a time on the spindle and I generate a lot of force just by pressing a little piece of jewelry against that buff head. It spins at 3450 rpm.

Hope it works, just watch for flying pieces!!!

Lew Farber...RVIA Certified Master Tech...ABYC Certified Master Marine Electrician
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Old 06-16-2006, 07:01 AM   #3
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If you mount 10 or 12 of them weed wackers on an old swing set, you could have the first Drive-Thru polishing machine.

And if you set it up outside the International, it would make a mmillion$.
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Old 06-16-2006, 08:33 AM   #4
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I'll loan the Overlander for the R&D phase. Once that's perfect you can do the OT&E verification and validation on the Sovereign. No one touches the Caravel until the system is perfect!
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Old 06-16-2006, 09:02 AM   #5
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I'd pay cash money to see THIS in action!

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Old 06-16-2006, 09:30 AM   #6
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Nice to see another benchie outside the trade networks.
35 years at the bench, 20 of them under it.
Check out my post in general repairs about laser welding since you are a service tech, you might find it interesting.

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Old 06-16-2006, 10:20 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by markdoane
If you mount 10 or 12 of them weed wackers on an old swing set, you could have the first Drive-Thru polishing machine.

And if you set it up outside the International, it would make a mmillion$.

Good one Markdoane!

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