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Old 11-27-2020, 03:20 PM   #1
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Austin , Texas
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But WHY should I polish my aluminum?

Itís funny. Iíve asked the interwebs this question 8 different ways and find no answers to WHY just HOW.

WHY should I polish my Airstream? (2024 t3)

Is there any benefit other than cosmetic?

Thanks!
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Old 11-27-2020, 03:27 PM   #2
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Colin Hyde doesnít polish his. He likes the patina look. Polishing is a lot of maintenance. I donít think polishing adds any more protection to the aluminum exterior than just keeping it in the patina stage. Call the Podcast asking the question and leave a message with Colin and Tim Shepherd. Theyíll answer the question on the air. Stay safe.
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Old 11-27-2020, 03:41 PM   #3
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I polish because I love the look of it. I also rent my airstream out and people love the polished look, I believe it helps with my rentals, stands out above the rest, can't imagine a airstream without the high mirror finish. Ever since I was a kid that's what I remember, shiny airstreams with a mirror finish
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Old 11-27-2020, 03:57 PM   #4
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So that the cows can come and lick it. Or they might do that anyway.
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Old 11-27-2020, 05:15 PM   #5
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You don't state if your AS is vintage or not - some like it mirror shine other like it dull (not so bright). Now if your AS still has it's original factory finish (like ours) we use a ceramic based polish (wax) inorder to maintain/protect the finish and assist in sealing areas such as rivets and seams from water.
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Old 11-27-2020, 06:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drbrick View Post
You don't state if your AS is vintage or not - some like it mirror shine other like it dull (not so bright). Now if your AS still has it's original factory finish (like ours) we use a ceramic based polish (wax) inorder to maintain/protect the finish and assist in sealing areas such as rivets and seams from water.
Ah, well, it's homemade but the community here and Colin got me started on the right foot. It's all Buck Riveted 2024T3 ... so... same as vintage?
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Old 11-27-2020, 06:59 PM   #7
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Looks great to me.
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Old 11-27-2020, 07:03 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Bubba L View Post
Looks great to me.

Thanks, nothing like your work that I just checked out! nice!
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Old 11-27-2020, 07:24 PM   #9
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Wow! Really looks great! Lots of work , thanks for the show!!
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Old 11-27-2020, 07:36 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by bass-o-matic View Post
Thanks, nothing like your work that I just checked out! nice!
Thanks. Is that a Shasta logo forward of the door? Give us some history of the build. Very interesting.
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Old 11-27-2020, 07:41 PM   #11
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1966 22' Safari
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I went through your statistics and read about what you have done with the build. Great work.
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Old 11-27-2020, 09:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bass-o-matic View Post
Is there any benefit other than cosmetic?
Nope. But I like bright shiny objects...

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Old 11-27-2020, 10:35 PM   #13
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If that's home made, I'd love to see details of the build.
Looks great!!
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Old 11-28-2020, 05:14 AM   #14
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A really good real world test for the OP would be to visit the Pima Air Museum in Tucson. There you can see what happens to aviation duraluminum skins over the course of say 50 years. Aluminum skin in outdoor environment with a plethora of examples....ranging from formerly daily waxed skin of former Air Force One “Columbine” to “just leave it alone” historic puddle jumpers. Aside from it being one of the best “old aluminum” museums in the world, its a real world example of preservation effects on metal skin......
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Old 11-28-2020, 07:35 AM   #15
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If that's home made, I'd love to see details of the build.
Looks great!!
Oh sure. Check out this link.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/bJX9tkBRKtaQoFze7

I owe the whole thing to Colin, this forum and it's members who walked me through it over the years. This album starts out with two trailers I originally thought I was going to refurb and after a lot of work abandoned them both because they just had bad bones.

I don't loooove the shape I ended up with and I was really limited by the fact that I had no shop to work in. Literally, just a single driveway. So enjoy the crazy frames I build to hold up the aluminum framing and all it's pie cut C Channel! Although my wife had a lot of input on the shape to make it usable and I do admit she was right. She, my kid, and I all fit in there on two week trips just fine thanks to the bunk in the front. I mean the thing is only 10 x 7 at the base!

The only thing left from the donor trailers is are the windows. Everything else is new. Including a new frame I had welded from 1/4 inch steel (or close to it) when the original Frame broke in half in Amarillo $6,000! Now I'm confident in it. it's been all over and pulls great.

Some stats.

#3200lb loaded
2024T3 aluminum from aircraft spruce -- $7,000? I stopped counting.
300 watts solar, charge wizard, pure sine wave inverter
5000btu AC hidden in a kitchen cabinet that rolls out the side when needed.
Sig9000 propane fireplace.
Sleeps 3.75 (Table drops down to a 3/4 bed)
retractable bunk
retractable bench seat
7 years in the making ... really just 2 once I abandoned the idea of a refurb
26 gallon total water with hot water heater under the bench
Banana pulp foster speakers with 600w subwoofer
2 burner stove
Oak floors
7000+ fasteners
birch interior stained cherry with clear coat on both sides
insanely thick floor. 1.5 inch frame, .75 subfloor impregnated with smiths, .75 nail and glue oak on that ( An engineer friend told me to make it heavy for better center of gravity
2 x 6v deep cycles
2 x propane
Monroe shocks AND SUmo springs, Goodyear endurance tires
$2,000 of custom upholstery (sigh)

If I had to do it again I would start with a new aluminum trailer, double axles, TIG weld the frame of the body and use a roller bender to get smoother curves. And less rivets and more VHB taped seams. I'm thinking about it.

I think I'll add all this to my signature!

Thank again AirForums!
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Old 11-28-2020, 09:30 AM   #16
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Thanks. Is that a Shasta logo forward of the door? Give us some history of the build. Very interesting.
thanks for the interest!

Nope. I based it off the Pan Am flying boat "Sleeperette" now defunct. I mocked it up and a friend turned it into a vector based graphic for me. Then for $10 I got it printed at https://www.carstickers.com ... real easy site to use. My wife says she is the Sleeper in "Sleeperette".
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Old 11-28-2020, 09:39 AM   #17
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Super nice job!

-Dennis
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Old 11-28-2020, 09:44 AM   #18
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Back to the OP's question - "why should I polish"?
Because we're Airstreamers - that's what we do!
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Old 11-28-2020, 10:30 AM   #19
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"Why should I polish?"

Not what you asked but... You shouldn't.

Why spend $100 a foot or hours of your labor to.

Blind over drivers when the sun reflects off your shined up trailer.

That same reflection will start brush fires. Melt the plastic car next to it and end the world as we know it. (In theory)

Save your money and time and go camping.
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Old 11-28-2020, 10:42 AM   #20
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Victoria , British Columbia
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Very very nice !!
I would call mine a 1/2 polish ....I spend about a day once a year giving it a going over.
I thought I wanted the total mirror once upon a time but realized that it was alot of work and maintenance.
Its kind of like I now like the flat black finish that Harley Davidson came out with ....I really got tired of polishing all that chrome and just wanted to ride ..LOL
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