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Old 11-15-2017, 09:05 PM   #1
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1971 23' Safari
Melbourne , Melbourne Australia
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Which Nuvite Grades to Buy?

Hi Airstream community!

My family and I are going to polish a 23ft Safari Airstream here in Australia. We have to order polish from the USA and will do so before the trailer arrives because of the long shipping time.

I've attached some pictures of the airstream in its current condition. What polish grades would you guys go for if you were doing this. We don't want an immaculate finish, but still a nice shiny look

Was thinking 3-4 passes?
Thanks in advance

Will
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Old 11-15-2017, 09:58 PM   #2
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You know you will want that to be shiny bright and fantastic. It WILL LOOK immaculate! Way to go. I hope you get your polish answer soon. I do not have that knowledge to share. Do you have your polishing machine?

BTW, I loved Melbourne. My avatar pic is Upolu Cay Cairnes
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Old 11-15-2017, 11:20 PM   #3
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1971 23' Safari
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Thumbs up

@rodsterinfl

Yeah Melbourne is great! Glad you liked
No polishing machine as of yet - just thinking about a 7" rotary polisher. But have also heard good things about the buffpro! Decisions decisions...
If you have any tips would love to hear them!
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Old 11-16-2017, 12:22 AM   #4
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F7 and the next grade finer, with either C or S being the next grade finer and the other being finer still. I used over about three jars of F7 on the first pass and part of a jar of the finer.

I had bought the 3rd stage, but I didnít use it.
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Old 11-16-2017, 10:54 AM   #5
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You can buy Nuvite thru Vintage Trailer supply. I strongly suggest watching the You Tube video done by West Coast Polishing. I have watch every video pertaining to polishing my Carvel and I think their method is the best and I found it the easiest.
westcoastpolishing.com
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Old 11-16-2017, 10:27 PM   #6
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1994 34' Excella
Duncan , Arizona
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Already an awesome trailer there! Can’t wait to see pics of it polished up to a shine!

We had some scratches as well as some serious oxidization from removing the blue stripe that was on our Excella. I even had to do some sanding to get rid of the ghosting left from that stripe. Bring out the pitchforks for that admission!

After that, I went with:

3M Super Duty Rubbing Compound to F7 to IIC to IIS

See some pics of our trailer at http://instagram.com/heltzelerice.

Used a Makita rotary for the 3M, F7, and first pass of IIC. Then did another IIC pass and then IIS with the Cyclo. Spent about three weeks on it before my wife convinced me it was good enough to go. Ha. It’s addictive seeing that shine come out. Can’t wait to do it again!

Have fun!
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Old 11-17-2017, 08:52 AM   #7
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1959 24' Tradewind
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Monster Polish

My buddy Shawn has created his own. I'm using it on mine and it works great. My 1959 Tradewind had never been polish so I started with some Zephyr Brown Tripoli for the first cut because it was really oxidized, and Monster Polish after that.

He's has a couple videos with both the buff pro and the angle polisher. I know he was working on a polish that has a little more bite.

Monster Polish

Sammy from West Coast has some great videos that will help getting your technique. It's not rocket science but it does take some time to do and get the hang of polishing.
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Old 11-17-2017, 07:04 PM   #8
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1971 23' Safari
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Thanks for the replies guys! Will go with the Nuvite polishes given it's my first try and there's extensive info on it.
Need to ship it to Australia, so need to get an idea of how much I would buy.

How much F7, Grade S and C would you guys buy for this 23ft guy above? I know it's probably hard to tell.
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Old 11-17-2017, 07:08 PM   #9
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Three F7 and one each C and S, but if I was shipping to Australia, I might up each count by one just to be sure, and I will admit to being kind of stingy with consumable products.
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Old 11-17-2017, 10:54 PM   #10
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Which Nuvite Grades to Buy?

Two and a half jars of F7 the first time round and less than a jar of C and S. Click image for larger version

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I used 2 1/4 jars of F7 the second time, and havenít had time to do the S or the C yet. Click image for larger version

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Thats why the buffer marks are still so prominent in the second photo.
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Old 11-18-2017, 06:05 AM   #11
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1978 25' Tradewind
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Amount - ?

Usually Nuvite comes in 1/4, 1/2, and 1 lb Jars. It would be more helpful to the gentleman down under to specify the size jars, lbs or exact usage. If you are using 2 and 1/2 jars of a one pound jar of F7 for a 30' trailer you are using way way way way way way to much Nuvite to get your desired results. I did my 1955 30' Commodore Vanderbilt with a little more than a 1/4 lb of each of the following; F9, F7 and S. Check the application guidelines. In Nuvite's case, more is not always better.

Next year, I will be using less than the above stated amount.

To preserve your finish after using Nuvite "S", I would recommend sealing the aluminum surface to reduce the oxidation which directly contributes to the tarnish look. Either White Diamond Metal Polish (which has a sealant built in) or Wizard Power Seal. This is done by hand application with applying to a shaded cool surface, letting dry, then buffing by hand to a mirror finish. Remember that the mirror finish comes from the Nuvite Products and your machine buffing, not the sealant which is used to keep the shinny look lasting longer.
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Old 11-18-2017, 08:18 AM   #12
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StevieB gives good advice. After doing 2 trailers, I've found that the less Nuvite you use, the better the results. Better to do 2 light passes than one heavier one.

Since you're in Australia and you do have some "male pattern baldness", I'd go with 1/4 lb. F9, 2 x 1/2 lb. F7 and 1/4 lb. C or S.

Are you able to obtain Aircraft Stripper or something like it to remove the remaining clearcoat?
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Old 11-18-2017, 08:32 AM   #13
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Which Nuvite Grades to Buy?

I was talking about the jars that look to be about a pint, and how ever much you folks use, speaking for myself, I wouldnít be stating that polish job in Australia without three pints of F7 in hand..... we might not all be as thrifty with the polish as you two are....

I didnít use F9, but I did use sandpaper in a few areas before F7, 400 grit to 5,000 grit on a dual action sander that pumps its own water to the surface...

Polishing is a dirty nasty job. If a person busts his ass and stays with it, a 25í plus Airstream can be polished out pretty well in a week, I experimented as I went, more polish less polish, etc. while I donít waste consumable, my time was the most expensive thing I spent, and the thing that I was most concerned with saving.

I also used up two wool polishing pads, and two foam pads. This is a place Where I would recommend an air polisher over an electric, it will save a lot of work because it is so much lighter. But a GOOD 5hp plus compressor will be needed.
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Old 11-18-2017, 10:17 AM   #14
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Hi Will74,
You will definitely have to strip the clear coat before you polish. A good airplane stripper will work best, it can be sprayed on with a paint gun or use a paint brush and plastic scraper. Then a power washer with neutralizer added is a good thing.
As far as the polish and wool pads are concerned, I would buy more than you might need since you have to ship from the US. Good wool pads for your angle grinder/polisher will work best for the heavy polishing (F9, F7, even C) Don't use the same pad from one grade polish to another, change the pads for each grade. VTS has pad cleaner that works amazing. Then a Cyclo polisher to finish with grade (S). You don't necessarily need the Cyclo, but it sure takes out the swirl and shines it like a mirror. You can get the Nuvite polish and wool pads and almost everything you need from VTS, Vintage Trailer Supply, http://www.vintagetrailersupply.com/
Some great advice from every one.
Read and watch videos on the subject.
,
,

One more thing. It is a dirty job! You will get black from oxidized aluminum. Have mineral spirits on hand and plenty of clean soft rags, T-shirts, micro fiber, etc. Don't walk in the house after polishing, take off your shoes. Find a laundry mat to wash your rags and clothing. Have fun with it.

-Dennis
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Old 11-18-2017, 10:36 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by batman View Post
Hi Will74,
... It is a dirty job! You will get black from oxidized aluminum. Have mineral spirits on hand and plenty of clean soft rags, T-shirts, micro fiber, etc. ...
-Dennis
Some use microfiber cloth with flour to get the first bit of old polish off -- especially around the rivets. Don't leave it behind or it will corrode.
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Old 05-15-2018, 11:26 AM   #16
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In the process of doing my 31 right now...rainy day today and i'm off so thought I'd skim the forums. So far everyone is right on. Mine had some heavier corrosion on front..so I bought 1/4 lb of the f9 then a 1/4 of f7 and 1 pound of G6 (the special one) which I have been using a lot. Also bought 1/2 lb of the final polish (S I think). about half way through and lots of G6 and maybe 1/4 of the others except final polish left. Will probably order another F7 for good measure. Double up on the pads and I highly reccomend the VTS ones. I've bought some cheap ones on ebay and some at local store and they don't work well at all.

To polish I've been using a 7inch rotary buffer from local chain here Canadian Tire..was about $100 CAD and has been great. Get one locally with a good warranty in case you burn it out. Also get some nylon scrub brushes and med type gloves. A mask is nice along with goggles...you will get black polish residue all over you.

I'd suggest stripping in AM or PM so the sun doesn't bake on the stripper. This has been the hardest part...finding a good one. I purchased the coveted Aircraft stripper and it was ok...have been using a combo of products I've found locally. Brushing on seems to speed the dryout and then it's a pain to remove...if you keep it thick it will be easier to simply scrape off with a plastic scraper or good nylon brush. A powerwasher would be great as well.

To clean the side bumpers and window sills and if you have the plastic inserts...I ve found magic eraser with some mineral spirits to work really well.

My trailer seems to give me different problems with each panel...maybe some are replacements and some have less or more clear coat. I will caution that you will uncover many imperfections you hadn't noticed before...but I suppose that's all character. I find music and beer helps the process!

Good luck...
Mike
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Old 05-15-2018, 11:57 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hopmonster View Post
In the process of doing my 31 right now...rainy day today and i'm off so thought I'd skim the forums. So far everyone is right on. Mine had some heavier corrosion on front..so I bought 1/4 lb of the f9 then a 1/4 of f7 and 1 pound of G6 (the special one) which I have been using a lot. Also bought 1/2 lb of the final polish (S I think). about half way through and lots of G6 and maybe 1/4 of the others except final polish left. Will probably order another F7 for good measure. Double up on the pads and I highly reccomend the VTS ones. I've bought some cheap ones on ebay and some at local store and they don't work well at all.

To polish I've been using a 7inch rotary buffer from local chain here Canadian Tire..was about $100 CAD and has been great. Get one locally with a good warranty in case you burn it out. Also get some nylon scrub brushes and med type gloves. A mask is nice along with goggles...you will get black polish residue all over you.

I'd suggest stripping in AM or PM so the sun doesn't bake on the stripper. This has been the hardest part...finding a good one. I purchased the coveted Aircraft stripper and it was ok...have been using a combo of products I've found locally. Brushing on seems to speed the dryout and then it's a pain to remove...if you keep it thick it will be easier to simply scrape off with a plastic scraper or good nylon brush. A powerwasher would be great as well.

To clean the side bumpers and window sills and if you have the plastic inserts...I ve found magic eraser with some mineral spirits to work really well.

My trailer seems to give me different problems with each panel...maybe some are replacements and some have less or more clear coat. I will caution that you will uncover many imperfections you hadn't noticed before...but I suppose that's all character. I find music and beer helps the process!

Good luck...
Mike
When you start the final pass with S, I would suggest getting a Cyclo polisher. They are very well built and don't leave swirls.
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Old 05-15-2018, 01:14 PM   #18
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Thanks AZFlycaster...I had seriously pondered that initially, but we've decided to sell this one near the end of summer so I'm trying to limit how much I put into it. If I keep it I will buy one as I'm not too pleased with the results using the pads alone.
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