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Old 05-13-2022, 04:37 PM   #1
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1986 34' Limited
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Polishing 1969 Globetrotter

Of all the things I have lost; I miss my mind the most. My son has decided to sell his 69 Globe Trotter 21' and I decided it would look better polished. First I polished our 86 Limited 34', then the Overlander 27', and now the 69 Globetrotter 21'. I have spent all winter and spring polishing. I need to seek counseling help right away.

Each one of these Airstreams is made with a different aluminum. The Limited is 3004 H18, the Overlander is 6061 T6 and the Globe Trotter is Alclad 2024 T3. They all polish differently.

The Globetrotter in Alclad is the easiest to polish. This material is coated with a thin layer of pure aluminum for corrosion protection. I first tried the tried and true Nuvite process with compounding wool bonnet with F7. I wasn't having much luck making progress.

So I switch to the buffing process. Caution!!! You can burn through the soft pure aluminum layer easily with a buffing wheel and leave a burn mark that won't polish out. I used a sewn cotton buffing wheel with Caswell fine grit "white" polish. It is working okay for me, no burn marks yet. Then I follow with my Cyclo and F7 medium polish to take the buffing "scratches" out. I'll finish up with Cyclo and Nuvite S

The Alclad material will polish to a very high level of "reflectivity", or a mirror like surface finish. The newer vintage Airstreams are harder to achieve this level of reflectivity. Alclad went away in 1972 I think.

The polishing fool I am.

David
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Old 05-13-2022, 04:46 PM   #2
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Being you have lost your money mind, you can come down from the mountains and polish a 71 Globetrotter.
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Old 05-13-2022, 05:57 PM   #3
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David, Iím with Kip. If youíre going to make that long trip to polish his, dipping down to central Texa wouldnít be all that bad. I have a 63 Bambi that bends to be polished. Half the size of yours. Iíll even supply the extension cords. And, Iíll make up some business cards for you saying ďHave Cyclo Will TravelĒ (before your sanity returns).
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Old 05-13-2022, 06:35 PM   #4
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Thanks friends. I welcome the opportunity. But you will have to wait until I get released from the mental hospital ward. The doctors have not found out what is wrong with me.

David
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Old 05-13-2022, 07:30 PM   #5
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I'm sure a double shot of some fine spirits would help.

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Old 05-13-2022, 07:41 PM   #6
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By all means let us get in line, we have a 62 and a 61 you may polish also. The 61 is pristine oxidation and the 62 had a polish job by a po. Well be glad to wait till you get released as it's kind of hot here in the summer but your welcome to escape your cold and polish in our warm winter weather.
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Old 05-14-2022, 08:46 AM   #7
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Easy now David, easy, just put the buffer down and step away.... Do you golf, would you like to learn? Maybe knitting?
All the best, Mark D
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Old 05-14-2022, 09:01 AM   #8
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A person must be crazy to spend all those hours grinding off corrosion on an old Airstream just so he has to do it again to keep it looking decent. The doctors are suggesting I may have a condition called "aluminaites". Something to do with an addiction to aluminum. I can't imagine.

David
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Old 05-22-2022, 08:23 AM   #9
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Feel. This.
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Old 05-22-2022, 06:08 PM   #10
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Well the therapy worked and I'm back at polishing the Globetrotter without cussing so much. I find the Alclad material is easier to polish, and certainly easier to get high reflectivity, or "mirror" like surface finish. It is also easier to scratch. Just wipe it gently with a dirty rag, and scratches appear.

I find the end cap material is harder to polish than the straight side material on this trailer. I don't know the reason. Maybe one of you folks know. Maybe the end cap material is different somehow. But it doesn't polish as well.

I'll be done with the Globetrotter polishing in another couple of days.

David
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