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Old 02-01-2003, 11:22 PM   #21
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7,8,9,?

This spring when the weather breaks ... I'm buffing for an 11!

Got a Midwest Forum rally to attend!

DMC
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Old 02-01-2003, 11:37 PM   #22
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I can do better!

And interesting before and after.
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Old 02-02-2003, 04:02 AM   #23
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after polishing

hi every one, specialist in polishing,
after polishing, do you cover " the mirror" with a special vernish or you let the aluminium like that ?
Then, do you clean with a special method to keep the mirror in the great condition ?

thank you , I envy you... when the work is finish.

Bruno.
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Old 02-06-2003, 09:32 AM   #24
 
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Hi-
Everyone has there own favorite systems for polishing, and backgrounds that they come from before starting to polish a trailer can effect the system they like and use- Here's mine, and I'm in the Harley and yachting business- so its different.
I get different trailers every year that have different amounts of neglect/damage.
Old oxidized with no clear- I found this stuff, Southern Shine- at Harley shops, and it takes the "blueing" from exhaust pipes- its a strong compound, and has a lot of rouge, coarse and green. I hit my 22 Flying Cloud with it for about 5 or 6 hours, and got the whole trailer shining and only minor scratches and swirls remain- some from the process and some that were hidden. I'll now wet sand the deep scratches heavy oxidation spots that I've uncovered, and will then start buffing with a soft foam- Perfect-It pad from 3M, and will use Flitz- which has no abrasives. The areas that won't shine up easily will get a mild polishing with a very light abrasive to get them to the point that I can use the Flitz. I use 8" and 3" pads- mostly 3M, which comes in 3 hardnesses, but the softest, the yellow pad, is the best one- you don't need any harder, and you'll have less damage. I use a variable speed grinder.
For clear coated- I found a clearcoat remover for metal sold in NAPA paint stores, which are getting hard to find. Also, in France they have a paint remover made by a company called TriMetal, and it works as well. These leave the aluminum in clean undisturbed form, and reduce polishing time by eliminating steps. If you can salvage the finish as the clear comes off, you simply hit it with a foam pad and Flitz, unless you have spots or scratches that require attention.
Also in Europe is a French product that is great and I forgot the name, but its in a blue can at marinas in St. Tropez- and it is as good as any polish/compound here- I'll look for the name if needed.
To resist problems and extend the life- the water that you wash with is more important than anything! I use a water softener that is portable- www.softwetspot.com and wash it, rinse it and drive it around or blow it off with a leaf blower- no chamois! Shammying will actually leave some minor scratches that will build up.
I'm looking forward to using a Cyclo. I'm not sure how fast it is, but I've done a trailer 21' start to finish in less than a week, and while I won't say it was a 10- I'll give it an 8.5...
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Old 02-06-2003, 05:23 PM   #25
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Is that Harley polish an acid? If so thats not a good thing to use...
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Old 02-06-2003, 10:12 PM   #26
 
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No acid in it- rouge and liquid wax for texture. Flitz has ammonia, and some people shy away from it, but I get good results, and it has NO grit, so it won't leave any additional scratches or swirls.
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Old 02-07-2003, 08:57 AM   #27
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Wow.a whole trailer in a day-I've got that into 2 segments of an endcap!
Obviously there's "mo than one way to skin a cat"!
How much do you figure it cost in materials with the Southern Shine" and Flitz?I know Flitz is not cheap (although it goes a long way),but it comes in small tubes.How large is the S.S. product and how much?
The jury is still out on this whole polishing question but it sounds like you have the best time saving solution I've heard so far.
I'm really a fan of ammonia as a cleaner/degreaser and use it to cut the wax from the stripper (which all tough products have to keep the only active ingredient (methylene chloride) from evaporating) in the wsh off-but I've often wondered if it may contribute to oxidation,since it's basically animal urine (guys,correct me if I'm wrong)!
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Old 02-07-2003, 07:07 PM   #28
 
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Flitz is available in quart cans, and I smear it on with a paint brush- foam, so theres no extra scratching- even minimal. You can call Flitz or go to there site and ask where to buy quantities, and they pack 4 Qts to a box, and will give you a wholesaler. Getting nickel and dimed by a hardware or marine retailer will cost you a fortune.
The SS I got really lucky with- a guy I know bought a big order to become a distributor, and never really tried hard to move it. He got stuck with it and sells it to me for $4 a bottle, and I did my whole FC 22 with 2 full bottles.
I don't think the ammonia hurts anything. I'm trying Armor All on my finished aluminum as a protectant, in a test spot. My friend uses it on his aluminum fishing tower on his boat and swears by it. Its anodized- so its different, but cross your fingers.
I can get alot done- and quickly. I'm young strong and 6'5" tall and work like a madman. I only need a ladder for the 3 feet across the very top!
If you're 5'10" and have a beer belly that prohibits you from reaching the trailer, plus need a ladder, and a beer every 15 minutes- better quadruple the time.
The SS is great at getting it going though- and I didn't even pre-wash it with Eagle 1.
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Old 02-08-2003, 07:46 PM   #29
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My father was right-you learn something every day!
Today I refined my rouge technique by stepping up to a 6" tight stitched buff on my 3200 rpm drill.I'm next going to gang 2 buffs together).I switched to the white rouge stick instead of tripoli (brown).For those not familiar with buffing compounds,they are like grades of sandpaper-different amounts of abrasive for different results.For non ferrous metals like aluminum the 3 are (in order of cutting ability)tripoli,white and jewellers.The tripoli works great but leaves scratches which you then have to go over to remove with the white.Today I moved up to the white for my first cut and found it gave good results and a shine that can be easily brought to a 8-10 with minimum work on the Cyclo or a softer buff and jewellers.Maybe the Flitz would work as a final too just to reduce the swirls.What took me 4 hours before is down to an hour for the large lower endcap segment.One nore thing -the buff needs regular cleaning against a sharp edge to remove the caked up material you are taking off.At a certain point the buildup leaves scratches .
I"m still looking for the S.S.to try it out-18 feet to go!
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Old 02-08-2003, 09:31 PM   #30
 
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If you're going to use rouge sticks- the ones that are cheap and work great are from a company in Oregon called Sattex, and they have all the grades, and pads as well. www.sattex.com
Call them and ask for Karlene if you want to buy some quantity, or she'll tell you where to get it from locally.
The other cool trick I heard about and want to try is to take a cotton flap type wheel- like you use on a bench grinder, and space it properly on a hand grinder, and then use only the edge. Its supposed to leave no scratches.
I clean off my pads every 3-4 minutes- any more than that and you start making more problems than good.
LOVE THAT BLACK MUD, DON'T YA?
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Old 02-09-2003, 09:02 AM   #31
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That's the technique I'm using -but's it's on a drill .No scratches when you use the finer rouges and clean often.
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Old 02-14-2003, 08:55 PM   #32
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TAKING NOTES!
Well my Wife just inherited her dads 59. We pick it up tomorrow and I see it for the first time ever and she hasn't seen it in 12-15 years.
That puts us pre clear coat according to what I have read so a big savings there. As far as my wife knows it has never been pollish since her dad owned it. He has had it since the late 60's before she was born. I have been showing her pictures of all the polished ones and she really likes it and does want to get a good shine out of the old girl.
Great information and I will be taking notes on what makes the job a little easier.
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Old 02-14-2003, 11:28 PM   #33
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Welcome to the "elbow grease club"!
Actually I'm of the opinion that having a clearcoat saxed me a lot of work since the metal was not oxidized.
Here's a helpful site for a company that does buffing and polishing supplies and has good advice.

http://www.caswellplating.com/buffs/buffman.htm
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Old 02-15-2003, 11:38 AM   #34
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How long to polish ????

Polishing an Airstream, when done properly, is very time consuming.

If you consume one beer per hour of polishing, your going to get awfully drunk. Best you buy the beer by the cases, or a very large keg.

On the other hand, the more beers you drink, the better the trailer looks. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

But when your all done, your not done!!! Now you have to wax it every 30 days, or if near salt water, every week. What this simply means, is even more beer.

Perhaps though, if you don't drink beer, you shouldn't polish your Airstream.


Andy
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Old 02-15-2003, 01:22 PM   #35
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Zero Beer Polish

Mine is a zero beer (or other ETOH) polish ....

Had to give it up a couple of years ago.

Both my brain, my liver, and my airstream are shiny-er for it!

(Nothing against those who still burn that fuel)

Dave
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