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Old 11-07-2013, 02:23 PM   #1
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To sand or not to sand ?

I have a 31 ft vintage kin trailer. I have just started polishing. Most of the clearcoat is off except for where it is baked on. I have used aircraft stripper to no avail. The only way it comes off is if I use grey scotch brites with the stripper and then again with thinner. It does scratch the surface, however it seems to polish out.(I am using F 7 with a compound polisher.) I am not looking for mirror finish. Should I try wet sanding with sandpaper? Are grey scrub pads safe?
Also my trailer has a "mill" finish .

Frustrated Jon

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Old 11-07-2013, 03:47 PM   #2
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Isn't that anodized aluminum? This thread might help:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f441...ect-78246.html
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Old 11-07-2013, 07:12 PM   #3
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It is not anodized aluminum. At least I don't think so ... The clear coat came off like butter on the bottom half of trailer. It is the top half where it is lingering.
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Old 11-07-2013, 07:49 PM   #4
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Here is a couple pics...

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Old 11-07-2013, 08:10 PM   #5
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Old 11-07-2013, 08:23 PM   #6
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1978 travelux
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Old 11-07-2013, 09:25 PM   #7
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1978 travelux
She'll be a real beauty all polished up.
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Old 11-07-2013, 11:18 PM   #8
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Thanks...she might look like a beast for a while though!
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Old 11-08-2013, 02:24 AM   #9
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IF it were me I would keep down the road you are traveling... You may want to use MEK for final wipe down. I would not go to the sanding rout if you are simply trying to get clear coat off. Sanding should be a last result and is used with major surface scratches to try to smooth an minimize deep scratches.
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Old 11-08-2013, 09:04 AM   #10
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Lightbulb Are you sure it's clearcoat and not oxidation / etching?

Looking good!
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It is not anodized aluminum. At least I don't think so ... The clear coat came off like butter on the bottom half of trailer. It is the top half where it is lingering.
Are you sure it's clearcoat and not oxidation / etching?

I know when we stripped & polished our '64 GlobeTrotter, the clearcoat had failed over time and where it failed earlier it started oxidizing sooner. As it continued to fail, it continued to oxidize in layers. It looked like a peeling sunburn - but it was etched with oxidation - those sections that failed first had more oxidation. It even had a slight ridge, like clearcoat would except it is a negative impression.

With work, it all polished out - but the top was definately more difficult than the sides as that's where the sun compromised the clearcoat the most & first.

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Old 11-08-2013, 10:03 AM   #11
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Thanks for the responses! I guess it could be just corrosion...it does not turn black with toothpaste and a white rag though. Would you suggest that I keep on using the grey scotch brites? They really seem to help, but they do scratch.
I have also bought some 3M polish (Gravel in a bottle). Well I am not sure if it is the same as everyone else uses. It says it will remove 1500 grit scratches.
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Old 11-08-2013, 10:40 AM   #12
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In my experience wet sanding anodized aluminum is the fastest and least toxic way of getting a nice finish. 3M wet sand paper lasts a lot longer than a dry sand paper and there's no dust.
I usually start with a grit # that most quickly removes the coating with minimal scratching and work up to a grit (say1200-2000) but this depends on the desired final finish. Then go at it with what ever paste or rouge that works best.
An air power sander (DA) is good for the larger surfaces but hand sanding would be best for your narrow seam areas with curves.
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Old 11-17-2013, 04:41 PM   #13
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Not to sand!

Well after experimenting on the roof and the between the windows.
I have come up with a game plan that is working well for me.

1. Wipe down surface with clean cotton rag and laquer thinner.

2. Scrub surface with grey scotchbrite and laquer thinner.

3. Wipe down srface with another clean rag.

4. Polish with Nuivate F7.

There is not really any clearcoat left on the roof. Between the windows there is though...the laquer thinner and scotchbrites seems to help an awful lot.

I am now only compounding 2-3 times.

Getting the right amount of polish seems to be the trick...as well as the right rpm and the speed at which you move.

I like the look of the mill finish polished...it is not flat and glassy like some of the mirror finishes I have seen online. It kinda has a metallic look to it.
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