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Old 03-04-2015, 07:39 AM   #113
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No towing but Slim and the new project are almost like cousins. Both American icons, one a 67 and one a 68. I'm just hoping everything pans out, 18 hours on the road is a long way to go to not bring it home. We leave next Friday night and are planning to be back Sunday. As a good friend tells me "Melissa, our tongues are gonna be hangin' out".
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Old 04-06-2015, 03:02 PM   #114
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Old 04-06-2015, 03:19 PM   #115
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I haven't done very well about keeping this thread up to date, so a recap of current events...
Progress on Slim continues, although as always its more a slow slog than a rapid race. Most recently hubs built me a new cedar table, table surround and even added a dvd/book shelf. We fixed a short we caused and we installed new reading lamps. And we talked about Polishing. Polishing is capitalized because 30' of aluminum is going to be a hell of a job. It is such a big job that I believe even talking about Polishing should make the accomplished list.
Progress has gotten even slower than our normal snails pace because we did go to OK and bring home that other project, Slims cousin, a 68 Chevelle. I still haven't come up with a good name for the car. Suggestions? Keep it clean people. (Red, I'm looking at you)
We also brought my daughter her first project, we found an awesome lawnmower called...Big Mow. Nope I didn't name it that, the factory did. It is a belt and chain driven three wheeled mower and when my husband pointed it out to me, I knew the young'un needed it.
And even though we continue to work on the camper and there are a few big projects remaining (a/c, axles, upholstery, and POLISH-AHHHHH!) we are actually using it some as well. We attended a music fest and Canopener, we are going down the road to the Gulf State Park this week for Spring Break and my daughter and her best friend have made it the official clubhouse. They camped by themselves in the back yard two weekends ago and built tents...in the camper.
So we may not be expert Airstream restorers and it may be the slowest restoration in history but we continue working on and enjoying our Airstream and isn't that what its really about?
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Old 04-06-2015, 05:01 PM   #116
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We've been talking about Polishing for 2 summers, and still haven't done it. And may not. We'll probably do something about the corrosion and even up the surface, but Polishing is probably not going to happen. Not the Nuvite - Cyclo- mirror finish kind of Polishing, anyway.
And you're NOT the slowest! We're starting on 8 years and STILL not done!

Kay
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Old 04-13-2015, 09:10 AM   #117
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Thanks Minno! You are allowed 8+ years though, ya'll have done some amazing woodwork in your trailer.

We took Slim out this past week, went to the Gulf State Park and really had a good time. The park was very clean, facilities were great and we had a great group of travel mates. I also got to meet another forum member. Basscan, was in attendance with their grandkids. Glad to finally meet in person Basscan. I think we may have been the only silver trailers in the park, we actually had people wave at us when we pulled out on Sunday.

Slim did great, the almost 50 year old a/c even kept up despite temps in the 80s and high humidity. Most mornings we looked like a Coors can fresh out of the ice chest. We did find two window leaks, minor, but one did get hubs bed a little soggy. So we will be fixing those and I really want to strip the clear coat and see how it looks. Maybe no polishing right now but that clear coat is looking kinda leperous.

For all of you also working on your own projects, get out there and camp some! Even if its just you and the kiddos in the backyard, it makes all those laborious hours worthwhile. You may not be completely done, you may look like the Clampetts have come to town but it is a great reboot for the next round of work.
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Old 04-13-2015, 05:01 PM   #118
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We were amazed at the improvement when we stripped the clear coat off. You may just stop there..... We seem to have!
It's not exactly fun and aircraft stripper is the way to go (there goes the environment, but oh well). It's not the worst job we've done either. Taking off the belly pan is probably the worst!
Oh, and in my humble opinion, anyone who has done what we all have done is an expert now.

Kay
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Old 04-13-2015, 07:27 PM   #119
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Thanks Minno, I'm definitely going to strip the clear coat. Did you wax yours after?
-melissa-thinking this post is sounding like a seedy dive with dancing girls :-)


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Old 04-13-2015, 08:51 PM   #120
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Yes it does have that "feel" doesn't it! We did a polish with something called "purple polish" or something like that. Now we're thinking of Walbernizing or polish waxing with something. We'd like to get the corrosion off the top edges but not go to high polish. We don't want to spend half our very short summers re-polishing every year.
I do like stripper canoes.....

Kay
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Old 05-05-2015, 08:01 AM   #121
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If there were ever any doubts, its now official, I've lost my mind.

I stripped the clear coat, well I stripped half the clear coat, the other half is gonna get it as soon as I recover from the smell of aluminum baked citrus.

Stripping the clear coat has helped...some...in certain areas. But there are a lot of areas that have corrosion, scratches, etc and it really just made those obvious. So part of the trailer looks better, the other part looks worse. In an effort to reduce the worse I decided to polish. Not fully, just the car buffer/alum polish method. It is helping and definitely makes the trailer more even in appearance. It is faster than the other methods but I have learned a few things along the way.

1-polishing is work, lots of work...and yes the car buffer method is less work but it is still work and the end results are not nearly as satisfying as the other methods.
The car buffer method basically reduces haze and removes the years of built up grime and oxidation. It does not 'cut' the metal so you really aren't doing a whole lot more than spit shining the aluminum. It does look better but since I am already going to be doing about half the work I think I would have been happier biting the bullet and going all the way to the Nuvite or Jestco methods. I will probably go ahead and finish with this method but I see more polishing in my future, maybe this winter.

2-there are no shortcuts. If you try, with any method, you will just be re-polishing the area you just polished.

3-take your time. When you can no longer feel your arms, its probably a good time to stop because, really, if you can't even hold the buffer you really aren't accom-polishing anything. (see what I did there)

I have many hours of polishing left in my future so I'm sure I will have more do's (okay I'll be honest it will mostly be don'ts) to share.

What do you think, should I swap to the more intensive methods or finish what I have started? Bear in mind that it is almost summer here in South Alabama and Slim is 30' long.

some pics attached - the polished rear end and the line where the polishing starts/stops. Its pretty good at 100yards, any closer and you can see the problem areas, in some areas its hard to tell any difference up close.
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Old 05-06-2015, 06:22 AM   #122
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I used a DA and lots of sandpaper, started with 600 where it was rough, then went to 1000, 1200, and finally 1500 before going back to polishing, first with a polisher, then with a cyclo. I still have a long ways to go, but it looks good at 50' and the surfaces are pretty even. I will do the whole thing again with Flitz Polish before our next trip. It is a lot of work, and being crazy probably does help. Happy Buffing! Rolland


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Old 05-08-2015, 06:50 AM   #123
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Thanks Rolland! I may have to try the sandpaper on the bad areas. Your trailer looked great in the photos, I'd be happy with that. At least until my next bout of crazy.


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Old 05-08-2015, 08:50 AM   #124
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Way to jump right in and take on the challenge! I'm still in the sitting back wondering when I'll be brave enough to start phase. Can't wait to see more pics...
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Old 05-11-2015, 07:18 AM   #125
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C'mon over to the dark side Joy! Who needs sunshine when you can have the aluminum self-tanner.
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Old 06-02-2015, 01:42 PM   #126
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Adding a wireless backup camera and portable directv dish this month, hope to get back on the road to NM soon


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