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Old 11-15-2014, 09:37 AM   #1
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Half polished. Half arsed....

We bought our trailer with a pretty lame polish job. In all fairness, it was covered in graffiti when the previous owner purchased it and they were most likely happy enough once it was semi-shining with the rattle can paint off of it. It looks ok from a few feet away, but you can tell they only did one pass with a polishing tool, probably a grinder with a polishing pad by the looks of it.

At night, when a light is shining on the airstream, you can see it was an amateur job at best, so I'd like to go over it and do it right.

I'm not so sure I want to invest 200 hours of my time and don't necessarily want it mirror finished. I just want it clean with a nice appearance. I actually prefer it to have a little less shine. Perhaps on the matte side. I don't mind mirror -- but not enough to take a 3rd or 4th pass to achieve it.

What's the best way to go about it? It's dirty & had a marginal polish done about 5 years ago.
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Old 11-16-2014, 09:52 AM   #2
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1964 22' Safari
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You might be seeing the swirl marks from the PO using a compounder or other rotating machine. Part of the approach may depend on the year of your trailer. Pre-1969, Airstream used a different (Alclad) aluminum sheeting. The early trailers give a mirror finish better because of the 5 mils of pure aluminum on the surface of the Alclad. You may want to make one pass with a finer polish and a Cyclopolisher. Because of the orbital nature of the Cyclo, it doesn't leave swirl marks. A less expensive approach may be to use an inexpensive orbital polisher or orbital sander, with a wool bonnet and a bottle of truck box polish from Lowes for that pass. If the swirl marks aren't too deep, this may work for you.

Good luck,

Roy and Marie
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Old 11-16-2014, 10:37 AM   #3
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There is no fast and easy method of a good polish.


1/2 Ton 4WD Truck, 72 Sovereign Hensley Arrow
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Old 11-16-2014, 11:10 AM   #4
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Sounds like you're seeing all the swirl marks at night from the compounding. How about some pictures?
Try googling how to polish an Airstream. Lots of different methods all require some pretty good effort and the right equipment. I'd try one more pass compounding the trailer and one with a Cyclo or similar swirl removing tool. Stop when you're happy with look.
Warning it is addicting when you see it really start shining up.
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Old 11-16-2014, 03:42 PM   #5
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Half polished. Half arsed....

It cleaned up pretty good actually. The truck box Polish did a decent job but I think it will need a little more grit to clean out the spots.

Most of the trailer had an attempt to polish, so I think I have a head start.

Here's a pic:
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Old 11-16-2014, 04:47 PM   #6
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Lookin good
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Old 11-17-2014, 12:41 PM   #7
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1964 22' Safari
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And it begins... Looks like she will shine up pretty well, but note that each year you'll probably want to give it one pass. The more protected your storage the less work that requires each spring, but it's still a lot of work. Your trailer looks like a '64 (long one), so it is Alclad.

Couldn't help notice how deep the rear bumper is. With the rack/rail it could almost be a back deck...

We hope you enjoy the immediate feedback your polishing effort affords you more than you dislike the work.

Roy and Marie
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Old 11-17-2014, 12:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 64airstream View Post
And it begins... Looks like she will shine up pretty well, but note that each year you'll probably want to give it one pass. The more protected your storage the less work that requires each spring, but it's still a lot of work. Your trailer looks like a '64 (long one), so it is Alclad.



Couldn't help notice how deep the rear bumper is. With the rack/rail it could almost be a back deck...



We hope you enjoy the immediate feedback your polishing effort affords you more than you dislike the work.



Roy and Marie

Haha! I actually don't mind it! It's just that it moves so sloooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwww ww!

I have some nuvite on the way, so we will see
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Old 11-21-2014, 05:02 PM   #9
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Well .. Totally worth it! The nuvite seems to work like a charm. Just did one panel, but it looks incredible!
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Old 11-22-2014, 05:41 AM   #10
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1964 22' Safari
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You know you're hooked when...
No more trips to the gym for upper body workouts.
Dedicated clothes for polishing.
Portable scaffold for better access to high areas.
New bigger scaffold to reach the roof, even though nobody sees it.
Collection of wool bonnets too dirty for the washer.
Searching fabric stores for 100% cotton sweatshirt material.

Enjoy,

Roy and Marie
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