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Old 03-31-2020, 08:24 AM   #1
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Emblem Repair

I'm in the process of polishing and restoring the cast aluminum emblems and name plates from our 92 Excella. While polishing the curbside Airstream, it got away from me and cracked in two. My question is can it be TIG welded? Click image for larger version

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Old 03-31-2020, 08:30 AM   #2
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I used JB Weld on mine when I did the same thing! It's still holding.
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Old 03-31-2020, 08:30 AM   #3
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I should have looked at those pictures closer before posting as they make the emblem look much worse than it is. The dark lines are not chips or cracks they are polishing residue. The break is just in front of the "M". The rest is fine.
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Old 03-31-2020, 08:35 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBWELL View Post
I used JB Weld on mine when I did the same thing! It's still holding.



Is that a resin based epoxy?
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Old 03-31-2020, 10:29 AM   #5
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It's a steel reinforced quick setting epoxy. Google it for more complete specs. It's available at most building supply and hardware stores. I have found it to be invaluable in doing many different repairs.
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Old 03-31-2020, 11:04 AM   #6
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Grey MarineTex👍
It has been in the AS tool kit all along...tough as nails and more uses than just sticking stuff together👍

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Old 03-31-2020, 11:47 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBWELL View Post
It's a steel reinforced quick setting epoxy. Google it for more complete specs. It's available at most building supply and hardware stores. I have found it to be invaluable in doing many different repairs.
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Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
Grey MarineTex👍
It has been in the AS tool kit all along...tough as nails and more uses than just sticking stuff together👍

Bob
🇺🇸
This is really good to know. I polished the shell about three years a go and never got around to polishing the emblems. Anyway, last week I got them out and was whipping through them. The one I broke was literally the final one I was polishing and I was nearly finished when I got complacent and the buffer wheel yanked it from my hands. The 2x4 I had it screwed to was about 1-1/2" short of being longer than the emblem so a bit stuck out on each end. The end of the "M" hit the ground when I lost control of it. Naturally my heart sank, but I figured all might not be lost. Which is why I posted here on reliable AF. I really appreciate your messages.

I texted with a welder I know who does TIG welding and he has his doubts about welding it. I have one other friend who's a professional welder I have yet to ask. He might say the same thing. So JB Weld might be getting a try.
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Old 03-31-2020, 03:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBWELL View Post
I used JB Weld on mine when I did the same thing! It's still holding.

CBwell, I've done some reading and watched some videos. This stuff is impressive. Are you able to provide me with a description on how you repaired your emblem? Pictures?

Since I've not worked with it before I'd appreciate some additional instruction.

My joint/crack is right across a pop rivet whole. Will that matter? Should I drill a new hole outside the crack line?
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Old 03-31-2020, 03:35 PM   #9
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Mu break was at the same place!! I laid the emblem on a 2x4 with wax paper over it, applied the JB to the joint after mixing and letting sit for about 2 minutes, and then using the vise to hold the 2x4, I clamped the emblem to the 2x4 and let sit for 24 hours. If I remember correctly I put toothpicks in the rivet hole so it was easy to clean out. At the time it seemed like a nightmare, but all ended well. I got some chrome decal material and covered the face of the emblem with that. It took a lot of time to cut around the letters, but turned out well. Will have to redo the decal in a year or two as they are starting to come off. Winter project!!
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Old 03-31-2020, 03:39 PM   #10
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Because I am lazy I have begun refurbishing the emblems in place, for which based on the above comments I am glad.

Did you know you can rearrange the letters to spell I ARE SMART.

I am also taklng the lazy method to redoing the decals. Sand, prime and paint with rattle can paint Redo the small lines with pin stripping.


This might have been a winter project for me thanks to Corona, but now have a lot of time on my hands.


Still vertical
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Old 03-31-2020, 04:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBWELL View Post
Mu break was at the same place!! I laid the emblem on a 2x4 with wax paper over it, applied the JB to the joint after mixing and letting sit for about 2 minutes, and then using the vise to hold the 2x4, I clamped the emblem to the 2x4 and let sit for 24 hours. If I remember correctly I put toothpicks in the rivet hole so it was easy to clean out. At the time it seemed like a nightmare, but all ended well. I got some chrome decal material and covered the face of the emblem with that. It took a lot of time to cut around the letters, but turned out well. Will have to redo the decal in a year or two as they are starting to come off. Winter project!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumatic View Post
Because I am lazy I have begun refurbishing the emblems in place, for which based on the above comments I am glad.

Did you know you can rearrange the letters to spell I ARE SMART.

I am also taklng the lazy method to redoing the decals. Sand, prime and paint with rattle can paint Redo the small lines with pin stripping.

This might have been a winter project for me thanks to Corona, but now have a lot of time on my hands.

Still vertical

CBWELL, Thank you. My take away from your repair description is that you simply filled the crack, without additional reinforcement (aside from clamping). If I've misunderstood you please correct me.

Lumatic, "I ARE SMART", Funny. The issue wasn't removing the emblems and polishing them separately. IMO that made it so much easier and less risky as the Dewalt DWP849X Angle polisher I used on the shell had the power to rip them right off. The dumb mistake was attaching the Airsteam Emblem to a too short bracing board. The rest of the emblems were well protected by the 2x4 in width and length and this made sanding and then polishing them very easy. I centered and then screwed them to the 2x4. I used clamps to hold the 2x4 during the orbital sanding process and and it gave me something beefy to hold unto during the polishing/buffing process. The damage occurred because I got lazy and didn't cut a longer 2x4 for the "Airstream" emblem. the emblem was a bit longer than the 2x4. If I'd just used a longer 2x4 then it would have protected the emblem by taking the brunt of the blow. The emblem letters are polished to a mirror finish and once the background is painted they should look fantastic.

However, (silver lining) I might not have learned about JB Weld and Gray Marine Tex. Both sound fantastic.
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Old 03-31-2020, 04:48 PM   #12
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A small amount of the epoxy seeped out the front and back when putting together. I wiped off the visible excess, but on the back it was contained on the wax paper and spread out about 1/4' on either side of the emblem. Not enough thickness to cause a problem when reinstalling.
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Old 04-01-2020, 03:34 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by CBWELL View Post
A small amount of the epoxy seeped out the front and back when putting together. I wiped off the visible excess, but on the back it was contained on the wax paper and spread out about 1/4' on either side of the emblem. Not enough thickness to cause a problem when reinstalling.
Super information. Thanks. I really appreciate the extra details.
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Old 04-08-2020, 10:04 PM   #14
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The broken emblem dilemma is resolved.

First, thank you everyone for teaching me about some products I should learn to use and include in my restorers tool box.

To keep it short and simple I have a friend locally named Jeff, a very good guy. We connected via Airforums because Jeff is restoring an Argosy. So Jeff, is a man of many talents one of which is welding (40 years). I asked Jeff if he thought my emblem could be TIG welded. Jeff wasn't sure but he knows another guy named Ken. Ken is a shipboard nuclear plant welding inspector and a master TIG welder. Ken agreed to look at my emblem. Because of the times, social distancing, face mask, disinfectant wipes, etc. Bottom line Ken was able to weld my emblem.

His fee, well he just asked me to pay it forward and do something for the next person. Of course I will, and I'll also be baking Ken a nice crusty loaf of sourdough bread in the near future when that sort of thing won't endanger anyone. Come to think of it I guess I need to do the same for Jeff.

Emblem Pictures follow.Click image for larger version

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Old 04-09-2020, 08:01 AM   #15
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Glad it all worked out in the end. You can never know too many people with skills that the average owner doesn't have.
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Old 04-09-2020, 08:21 AM   #16
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Glad it all worked out in the end. You can never know too many people with skills that the average owner doesn't have.
Thanks, I certainly agree.
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