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Old 04-23-2013, 08:34 PM   #301
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I initially thought that one of the panels had been replaced. It was an area right below a broken window, but what I thought were Olympic rivets aren't. They look like a buck rivet with a hollow stem.

So what are they? Are they original or a repair.... and more importantly should I drill them out and buck new rivets?? They are all along the bottom of the window, the ribs on one side and on the stringer. And they leak, of course.

And speaking of the horizontal stringers, does anyone know what metal are they fabricated from?

All the time I was working, I had a faithful companion hanging out with me.I think he likes to look at his reflection in the shiny belly pan!
Shelly,
Those hollow rivets are "exploding" rivets. They are a blind rivet that had a small charge in the hollow portion that explodes when heat is applied to the head. I don't believe they are available anymore for obvious reasons.

The stringers are made from Alclad offcuts.
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Old 04-24-2013, 06:25 PM   #302
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Exploding rivets! Way cool, OSHA takes all the fun out of things!
All we have are stupid leaky Olympic rivets

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Old 04-24-2013, 06:33 PM   #303
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These guys could probably fabricate you some vintage correct exploding rivets...

Sons of Guns : Discovery Channel

Of course it may be a bit over the top...
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Old 04-24-2013, 07:43 PM   #304
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I love that show!. And I watch Fast N' Loud too!
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Old 04-25-2013, 01:09 PM   #305
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Hey Reinergirl,

I've just finished reading this thread and checking out the blog, thank you for all the great info and pics!

In my reading I noticed you had Colin paint your tub aqua; do you have a color scheme in mind for the bathroom that you would share with us? I have an aqua tub I want to keep but I've been struggling to decide what other colors to do with it.

thanks!
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Old 04-25-2013, 05:42 PM   #306
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I love aqua paired with a hot color, aqua and red is classic, trendy right now is aqua and coral.

I find Pinterest to be a great place to get ideas. Put the colors in as search terms and voila, instant inspiration. Do you have the aqua stove too? I looked at a 67 that I loved but it was in pitiful condition and the windows were all gone, no belly pan, the guy advertised it as camping ready

If you wanted a more subdued palette aqua and gray with touches of yellow is lovely too!
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:11 AM   #307
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Thanks for the suggestions! I will check out Pinterest, I hadn't thought to enter the colors as a search.
Yeah, he has the aqua stove. I have to confess that that was probably what closed the deal for me. I kept looking at this 30' length of aluminum that was going to be a TON of work and thinking: just by new and then I'd think but its a vintage airstream two miles from home complete and functioning, when will that ever happen again? and then I thought about the aqua stove and it was SOLD.
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Old 05-15-2013, 06:56 PM   #308
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Polishing is kicking my butt! I try to keep posts to this blog light hearted but it turns that polishing may be a dark art, disturbing and unsettling in it's very nature. I have tried a variety of polishing methods and I'm sorry to report that shortcuts don't exist.


I finally settled on the Jestco method that I saw demonstrated by Levon at the Restoration Rally in New Mexico. See here for the instructions. Jestco actually makes an Airstream polishing kit.


Levon's a funny guy and I'm starting to think that a sense of humor is necessary. At the very least it helps!


I started with the grey rouge bar but had to drop down to the more aggressive black black bar that I got from Caswells. The grey just wasn't cutting it...... literally. I'm about 25 hours into it and still learning. That's a heck of a learning curve! There's an optimum speed, amount of polish, even a temperature of the metal and air. I'd share with you what they are but I haven't figured it out yet! All I know is that some days it goes great and other days I feel like I'm going backwards. Every single panel seems to have a "sweet spot" and none are exactly alike.


Today, I started getting little tails of dried polish under where I was working. What's up with that! I had to keep stopping and removing them. Maybe because it was too cold? I use the rouge pretty sparingly.


I also find myself going through something like the five stages of grief errr... polishing that is.....:


Denial - I know everyone says polishing is bad, but it won't be for me.. after all.I like the detail stuff, some Itunes and the right tools and it'll be great!


Anger - Four hours today and that's all I have to show for it!! A cloudy mess!!


Bargaining - One more pass, just one more pass and I'll be able to move on.


Depression - Okay, it took me 20 Hours to do this one section, if I continue at the same rate I'll be done uh uh uh next year?


Acceptance - Looks pretty good..........from 25 feet away!


I just got a phone call from my sister, turns out my daughter called her and said " You have to talk my mom down from the polishing tree!!" Ha Ha Ha..... Sis tried to commiserate with me but since her husband has done all the polishing to date, I'm not buying it. Hey sis, call me back after you've put in your first 25 hours!


Tomorrow's another day and no, I'm not posting pictures. I'll post pictures when I'm happy with how it looks, maybe never.
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Old 05-15-2013, 07:27 PM   #309
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I wondered what you had been up to! Are you going to work on the interior?
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Old 05-15-2013, 07:54 PM   #310
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Perfect Polishing isn't perfect

Shelly,
Polishing is a tough job. It is different every day, every panel, the beginning of the day, the end of the day, it all changes. I have done on site polishing consulting and have been told "Wow, you go really slow and apply a lot of pressure."
There are so many differences. What works for me, may not work for you. I'm currently polishing a trailer, so I know what you are going through. You have to find what works best for you. Keep on working on it. It will come to you.

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Old 05-15-2013, 08:01 PM   #311
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Originally Posted by reinergirl View Post
... A cloudy mess!!

...

Tomorrow's another day and no, I'm not posting pictures.
Polishing is miserable work and my best answer is to hire a strong, young kid! We hired a neighborhood college kid and he spent well over 25 hours on the first cut.

I've played with Jestco Black and Grey and compared it to F7 and F9. You're right that different areas require different techniques! I'm sure I don't have it down yet -- it will all make sense when I'm done.

I did a side-by-side test on a dull, oxidized panel with Black bar and F9. The F9 was definitely shinier and the Black left a dull finish. It seemed like the Black bar dug "deeper" into the corrosion and I have the sense that the corrosion will come back faster if I just used F9. The Black followed by F7 started to look pretty good.

I think it was Shari's husband that mentioned on an old VAP that you have to "move the metal" before it really starts to polish well. Seems like the Black does that, but definitely doesn't leave a shine.

Are you seeing clouds from corrosion that won't leave or from polish that comes and goes?

Also, I seem to see more tails (looks like a comet behind the rivet) when the wheel is dirty or I used too much compound.

Final thought: Colin did a little polishing after knocking out a dent for us. I was quite surprised at how hard he pressed and how much the rpm of the polisher dropped. I asked and he guessed that he was dropping the rpm about 20%. He was much faster at bringing out the shine that I have ever been.

Hope at least one idea helps. At the very least, there is more than one sympathetic ear on the forum.

John
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Old 05-15-2013, 08:04 PM   #312
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I polished for about 8 hours today. Yep, I paid someone to mow my lawn so I could submit myself to polishing. I could hardly peel my old, arthritic hands off of the polisher & right now I can't straighten my arm cause my elbow is killing me. Are you happy now that misery has company? (have some pretty good shine going on, though!!!)
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Old 05-16-2013, 06:45 AM   #313
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I feel your (the) pain too! I used the Jestco on the rear compartment door; DH and friend thought I was wasting time and should have used Bushes as they did on a test area on Lily. That was a month or so ago.

Since then, I've tried to start polishing to "get her done!". To make DH happy, I agreed to try Bushes aluminum polish -- DH said something's wrong -- maybe a different type wheel? We went to an old car swap meet and came across someone selling different type polishing wheels, polish, etc.; DH liked his line and we bought some "Wizzard's Finish Cut Compound" along with various wheels -- I wanted some of the little cone shaped ones for getting into tight places. DH tried the Wizzard's and wasn't satisfied, "We must need another polisher..............oh wait, I do have another, old one in the shop, let's try it! There's just so much corrosion!" I said, "I just think I need to go back to the Jestco rouge bars, bite the bullet, and put in the time." DH got out the old polisher and it did worse than the others. So far we've tried (as far as machines go) an orbital polisher; two grinders; and one new, more powerful cordless drill for the little cone shaped wheels!!

My conclusion is...............if there's a lot of corrosion, there's no shortcut to polishing. Just settle in on a system and go for it. I agree, it is time consuming and hard, hard work!

What I'm wondering, Shelly, is what are you standing on to do the top/upper sections?

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Old 05-16-2013, 07:24 AM   #314
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We're starting to come to the conclusion that we'll have to bite the bullet and polish also. We've played around with several different compounds "you just rub on and the shine comes up". Yeah, right. We have a lot of corrosion around the top of the trailer. We're just trying at this point to get her looking a little better after taking off all the clear coat, and are trying Purple Polish that I read about on a polishing thread. I don't know if I will have the strength in my hands and arms to be much help with any of this. It may end up being a hubby job, but not this year for the heavy polishing. Nice to know that our trailer is not unique in this frustrating respect! (Kind of like stripping the Clearcoat: " used suchandsuch and the clearcoat just fell off." Didn't work that way!).

Kay
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Old 05-16-2013, 10:25 AM   #315
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Nice to know that our trailer is not unique in this frustrating respect! (Kind of like stripping the Clearcoat: " used suchandsuch and the clearcoat just fell off." Didn't work that way!).

Kay[/QUOTE]

We just stripped a 73 Safari a few days ago & we used Removal 220, then pressure washed it, & it "just fell off". I don't think that's available anymore at VTS but he does have some sort of new environmentally correct stripper on his site now.
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Old 05-16-2013, 11:36 AM   #316
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I'm on my third trailer that I've polished. This one has the worst corrosion of all! I've tried all the methods, and seem to have come across a pretty good secret. Before polishing, I'm sanding with 600 grit wet paper & following with a burgundy scotch pad on a random orbit sander that is made by Skil & was $20. Then I start with the Nuvite polishes & work my way down. The sanding gives it a big jump IMHO
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Old 05-16-2013, 11:41 AM   #317
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That is what we used, Colin, from VTS, and we still have small patches of clear coat on the lower parts of the trailer...... There is not much left after 2 coats of VTS stuff and then Citristrip after we ran out of the VTS stuff. More clear coat than we had realized on the lower parts, and none at all on the roof areas. Sigh.

Kay
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Old 05-16-2013, 11:43 AM   #318
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Thanks Becky!

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Old 05-16-2013, 12:31 PM   #319
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Becky, as Kay said, thanks for the info. I had no idea that the Scotch Brite pads came in colors -- are the ones you are using already cut to shape for the orbital? (I'm assuming round.)

DH mentioned he was thinking of trying some 1500grit or 1200 grit sandpaper, but I backed away and I think he could tell by my frown that I didn't want him to get too crazy with trying things. Now, I guess I should tuck my tail and apologize to him -- if Becky's trying it, but must be okay. So, wet sanding? Do you spray the aluminum with clear water then sand?

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Old 05-16-2013, 12:50 PM   #320
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We just stripped a 73 Safari a few days ago & we used Removal 220, then pressure washed it, & it "just fell off". I don't think that's available anymore at VTS but he does have some sort of new environmentally correct stripper on his site now.
Colin
Yep, Removal was awesome. I used that stuff on a clear coat and a painted top and it was amazing.

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