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Old 03-22-2004, 01:47 PM   #1
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Yet another Southern Shine question

If a guy does a good job of removing the clearcoat, is the sanding really necessary? I'm aware that a really fine grade of sandpaper isn't much coarser than a polishing cloth but I just can't get past the notion that sandpaper or pads will scratch up the skin on my Caravel.
I'm still waiting for a warm weekend here in Mich for the polishing if it ever comes.
Has anyone tried polishing with SS w/o sanding or am I just worrying needlessly?

Rog
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Old 03-22-2004, 02:07 PM   #2
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Its all in the Course

All polishing is performed by some sort of abrasion.

Even Fiber Optic glass is polished to a degree of perfection, (without blemish) with a "sanding paper".
It is very fine but an abrasive never the less.

Body shops polish out scratches by wet sanding with a very fine grit sand paper.

So, it is okay to sand, just be aware of the grit you utilize.

Start with a very fine abrasive and if that does not "cut" it, get a coarser grit and prepare for the long haul.

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Old 03-22-2004, 02:45 PM   #3
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TY smily, fine like in how fine? 1,000 grit?

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Old 03-22-2004, 02:55 PM   #4
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No sanding needed....

The perfectpolish.com website actually recommended against sanding. Their testing showed it actually embeded materials into the aluminum that could not be removed w/o an acid wash.

If the SS is not course enough to get you started, perhaps you could find something more suitable for the first stage and use the SS for the second step.

Good luck. It sure makes a huge difference when you get that mirror shine!
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Old 03-22-2004, 03:03 PM   #5
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I've never sanded........

Compound should be all you need - the only time I would consider sanding is it I've got a scratch that I'm trying to remove - even then I would sure think about it - that alcad is pretty thin


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Old 03-22-2004, 03:24 PM   #6
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ok, tyvm

I'll try a small area w/o sanding and see how it looks.
Since a Cyclo polisher is not within my budget right now, I bought a 5" Black and Decker random orbital polisher for $30.
I've discovered that cotton crew socks fit nicely over the pad and are far cheaper than Cyclowraps. I'm hoping that the end will justify the means. I'll post pics when finished.

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Old 03-22-2004, 04:40 PM   #7
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The socks will leave swirl marks, which eventually seem to fade - should give you an idea of whats involved though..

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Old 03-22-2004, 06:24 PM   #8
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To sand or not to sand... That is the question

Rog,
I have polished my 31' Excella. After I stripped it with Aircraft Stripper by Klean Strip, there was really no reason to sand. I used a cyclo polisher and various levels of Nuvite polish from www.perfectpolish.com . Got my cyclo from them too.

Do the compounding with Nuvite 'C' or equivalent and use a low speed circular buffer and wool bonnets. Have many bonnets that you can wash and reuse until they wear out, then get more.

Using socks will probably not work since they are thinner material and you will need hundreds of them. The polishing is a very, very messy job.

Once compounding is done, the polishing must be done with an orbital polisher. The cyclo is the best. The first polishing will take about 200 hours of work and a new set of arms and shoulders would help.

Read everything on perfectpolish.com. There is no better source for info.

I am having good luck on the second and successive polishings using Master Formula Metal Gloss from www.metalgloss.com put on and removed by hand using the cyclowrap material, then sealing with Nuvite 'S' using the cyclo to get the scratches out from using the metal gloss.

There are as many different ways of approaching the job as there are people who have done it.

That's my .02 cents. Good luck and God Bless.

Click on the photos icon to see my unit.


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Old 03-22-2004, 06:36 PM   #9
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Vic

Did you try Nuvite S by itself - its has a small amount of grit in it, so I seems like that would work for your once per year update.

Thats what I do, but the climate is very dry here.

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Old 03-23-2004, 10:07 AM   #10
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Ken,
Yes, I have tried using just the 'S' and it doesn't have enough grit to take off the water drop and trickle stains. We are about 5 miles, as the pelican flies, from the Atlantic so we have a salt rich environment. That does a job on the finish and requires a little more effort. The Metal Gloss has some sort of chemical reaction that does a great job with very little effort.

The follow-on polishing with 'S' gives a really great shine. Not a 10 but a good 8.5.

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Old 03-23-2004, 11:42 AM   #11
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A little history

I guess it is just semantics but one thing is for certain ALL polishing compounds have a grit. Some are finer than others, hence the grades of Nuvite.

3M sells several grrades of Polishing compounds and they too have a grit.

A good Auto body repair person will tell you that they would not hesitate to hit any surface with a fine wet sanding paper maybe with a grit a high as 1500-2000.

I mentioned earlier that we use polishing paper, (aka sand paper, and the real technical term is Lapping Film), to polish glass for fiber optic connections in the networking and processing world. We use a paper that is measured in minute increments.
The glass is polished to a point that no scratches are visible under a 100 X microscope. You can literally polish scratches out of sunglasses and eyeglasses, as a matter of fact, prescription glasses are adjusted by "polishing" or sanding the lenses. The most sensitive observatories are equipped with mirrors that have been polished to perfection using SAND, (very very fine sand). Lets not lose sight of the abrasion factor that is intrinsic to plain ol' water. Water alone is abrasive.

Just wanted to clear up any questions on "sanding" on an aluminum Airstream. When you polish you sand.

There is a good write up at this thread on using wet sand technique.

http://www.airforums.com/forum...hlight=Sanding

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Old 03-23-2004, 12:35 PM   #12
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Still with the SS??

Rog,

I would not use SS alone for anything. I know this kind of comment has inflamed those who swear by SS.

Over the past year and multiple request by many poeple, Our community has yet to see any photos (before and after) of any A/S polished with sandpaper and SS alone.

I have used all three products (Rolite, Nuvite, and SS) and the
Perfect Polish and cyclo method (IMHO) is the only way to go.
Faster, easier, and cheaper, rarely means better.

The goal is to create microscopic scratches. Using a system of progressively finer grades of coarseness (Nuvite) is the way to go.

I have used fine grade sandpaper to remove deeper scratches,
but that is where I draw the line. Remember that the alclad is only so thick. Much thinner than my thick skull!!

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Old 03-23-2004, 12:53 PM   #13
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I know that you are in the AS polishing business, DMC, and I'm sure that your info is absolutely correct.
The thing is, I'm just an ordinary guy who has no plans to enter his AS in a beauty contest. I just want to shine it up real nicely without spending buku bucks and time on the process. I would like to spend more time enjoying my AS than I do in working on it.
By the way, my son-in-law is offering a cash reward for information leading to the arrest of the villain who raided his sock drawer.

Rog
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Old 03-23-2004, 12:53 PM   #14
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Ken

I may be using samantics myself, it depends on what you call this stuff we are all using. I call it polish and the Rollite final "polish" has no grit in it at all. In fact it took me a while to use the Nuvite S because it does contain some grit - but read somewhere that it was used on aircraft like 300 applications and it did not remove all the alcad. I'm not going to live 300 years as I use it once per year.

Also I'm still am not clear on this, but I understand that polish tends to "rearrage" the finish more than it cuts into it. Anyway whatever it does, I'm not going to worry about Nuvite removing all my alcad.

Ahh the finer points of us polishing addicts......


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