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Old 05-02-2012, 09:00 AM   #1
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Troubles with cyclo

Hello,

I am new to this forum, so just a quick introduction and some context.... My name is Ian, and since July I have been contracting myself out to my current boss, working at his airstream restoration company. My main role (as well as making teas) is the polishing. Over the course of the past 10 months, I have polished about 10 caravans, mainly dating back to the 1950's, although my current project is a 1960's van. I have therefore racked up alot of experience compounding trailers with a circular compounder using nuvite polish ( and I am more than happy to help if anyone needs any tips or help). However, I have not done much cycloing, and there are currently a lot of trailers in the barn covered in streaks. I have, just to clarify, researched on these forums and online to try to find the answers to my questions.

This brings me onto the issue I hope you can help me with. I normally F9, G6 and then F7 my vans for a more professional finish, followed by and F7 then S on the cyclo, reason being that the F7 cyclo ought to remove all the scratches left by the buffer. However, despite removing the visible swirls, the cyclo does not removed all the small scratches. It is unknown whether these small scratches only visible in good light are from the cyclo, or original compounding. To me, cycloing down, through to the finest grade to buff out these marks seems arbitrary, but the S grade does not remove the F7/cyclo marks either.
The finish I have achieved is extremely good, but when outside in sunlight these scratches are clearly visible.
So, does anybody know difinitively what is causing these scratches, be it the fleece or residual scratches from the initial compounding, and does anybody know a way to remove them?

I am obviously looking for a professional finish that clients would be satisfied with, and as yet, the finish cannot be defined as a 'mirror finish' becuase it simply isn't scratch free.

Any help, personal experiences and links would be gratefully appreciated, and thank you for taking the time to listen to me ramble on.

Regards, Ian
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:14 AM   #2
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I believe that the Nuvite products have a specific sequence that they should be applied to achieve the best finish. The various grades of Nuvite have different "cuts" or "grit" in the polish that remove oxidation/ polish. The F9 and F7 variety have more cut and also create more swirl marks. Applying the polishes in descending sequence reduces the cut at each stage and the swirls will become finer and finer so that the last pass with Nuvite S/ Cyclo removes the remaining swirls and adds "depth" to the reflection and finish.
Now, I believe that in many cases, not every grade is used. I personally used F9/F7, C, then S on mine and had decent results. I would think that for a "perfect" finish, the additional steps would achieve this.
with the orbital polisher: F9, F7, G6, C, A
With the Cyclo: S

Look here for reference: Nuvite Chemical Compounds Corporation - Metal Polishing NuShine II System
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:15 AM   #3
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Hi Ian, sounds like you may have as much experience as any of us. I have had pretty good results using Nuvite C with the compounder after N7. I then use C again with my Cyclo then S. If I still have too many light scratches I will wipe the S down with mineral spirits and use C and Cyclo again and then finish with S. Lots of work but pretty good results. You may also take a look at the Perfect Polish website.
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:22 AM   #4
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Welcome to Airforums Ian!

I don't have any answers that are specific to your current methods. But I think on my next vintage trailer I'll be trying the Grey & Red Bar polish and the methods demonstrated here...

Instructions On Polishing An Airstream - YouTube

Airstream Polishing Demo RMVAC 2010 Rally - YouTube
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Old 05-02-2012, 10:01 AM   #5
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My trailer was polished when I bought it 6 years ago. The 'job' appeared to be hurried. So after much research I purchased a cyclo. I began with F7 because there was a shine already and I only wanted to 'clean' up the look, uneven polishing, swirls etc. F7 I soon discovered, in my case, was a bit too extreme except where the former polishing was 'half hearted' as near and at the top of the trailer. I now begin with C then follow with S. Sometimes it is necessary to 'C' it twice before the S. Except for when I need to remove scatches or road debris chipping on the lower front panels I find the '7' too strong. I have tried the ultimate final polishing technique by wrapping a buffing material like an old sweat shirt over the cyclo heads and that gives a fantastic swirl free shine with the S. But, unless I am planning to 'show' the trailer I ind that finishing with the C and sometimes the S gives me more time for CAMPING.....which is the real objective.

Neil
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Old 05-02-2012, 10:11 AM   #6
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Hi all!

Thank you for all your replies and help! Following some trial and error I have deduced that it is primarily the fleece leaving the worse of the smaller scratches (I tried G6 with the cyclo as i know it degrades quickly, but that left worse marks than the finer F7...logically it seems foolish to try, but in my experience logic isn't overly useful when working on these trailers!). This is a problem I have tried to rectify in the past by ordering in new fleeces, and I am currently using them, so it is slightly worrying that these brand new fleeces are still leaving small marks, however i have decided that the finish does look okay for this stage...

I will certainly check out the A grade, as I have not seen that one, or its results, but I have tried a C grade, which seemed to have extremely similar results to the F7, but will certainly try it, as i understand it is not intended to removed oxidisation, but increase the depth and restore a finish.

I will also check out the bar polishers, as I have heard they are very handy too.

What do you guys use to cover the cyclo then? I have tried the pads that cyclo themseleves sell, they fit over the foam cap, and come in both fleece and microfibre varieties. I found that the fleece style left very bad marks, and decided to set them aside; but I did find that the microfiber style covers did an excellent job of taking off any residual polish, sparing the need for a post cylco hand rub with a cloth.

Thanks again, Ian!
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Old 05-02-2012, 10:24 AM   #7
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Look at the wool "hook and loop" bonnets for the orbital polisher (available at vintage trailer supply here in the USA).
I used a sweatshirt-type rag to cover the heads on the cyclo when I used the S.
I found that having the correct bonnetts and pads on the buffer and cyclo is absolutely critical. I wasted a lot of time trying other methods/ products. There are not many shortcuts in the polishing process.
The VTS Orbital Polisher pads are here:
Rotary Polishing Tools & Supplies
Look here for VTS's take on the polishing process: Polishing Advice
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Old 05-02-2012, 11:01 AM   #8
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Try these for the final polish with the Cyclo. I have yet to try them but they look pretty sweet!
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Old 05-02-2012, 11:46 AM   #9
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Cheers guys,

Both those products are similar to the ones I use, the difference being that with the buffing pads I have the S.M. Arnold wool buffers... it is interesting that you improvise with an old sweatshirt, I have found when using auto glym on my motorbikes that my old boxer shorts seem to provide good results, so i might try that tomorrow.

Thanks again, Ian
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