3.01.2013

Airstream Buffing: more B&A

Before

after


As you can see, the airstream was in pretty bad shape when we first bought it. It’s been so long since I’ve seen this picture I forgot how much work has actually been done to the body. The picture below is of the same area. It really is amazing what’s underneath all that oxidation and damage.


Soon the entire airstream will look like this!
First I used aircraft stripper to remove the clear coat. I picked some up at auto zone and purchased some brushes to apply. Use heavy duty rubber gloves to protect yourself when you brush it on. After it bubbles up spray it off (I used a pressure washer). Once the clear coat is removed it’s ready for buffing. I used a 7” buffing pad on a rotary polisher with Nuvite F7 polishing compound. I tried multiple compounds and stand by Nuvite 100%. Nuvite is a little $$ but a little goes a long way and personally I believe it to be at least 3x as affective then other brands on the market. Next you’ll need a Cyclo orbital polisher. It’s the only way to remove the swirl marks left by the 7” buffing pad. I purchased mine used on craiglist.
To clean the black residue left behind by the polishing compound add 2  ounce (+or-) of vinegar in a spray bottle mixed with water. Spray the area and use a microfiber towel. For tuff spots use terry cloth but be carful because terry cloth will leave scratches. The best way I found to remove residue is to cover the Cyclo buffer with the microfiber cloth. It works really well and is quicker than doing it by hand. Here is a list of what I used:

Buffing pad: Presta Double or single sisded BLACK wool cutting pad
http://www.amazon.com/PRESTA-Single-Sided-Cutting-Buffing/dp/B0082LFSPG

Buffing pad attachment: Quick connect adapter
http://www.autodetailingwarehouse.com/dewalt-polisher-makita-polisher-drive-adapter-DP1900.html

7in Sander/Polisher
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Makita-7-in-Sander-Polisher-9227C/100594840

Cyclo buffer:
http://www.eastwood.com/cyclo-model-5-dual-headed-polisher.html?srccode=ga220010&gclid=CMWBrfz24L0CFS1eOgodX3oAyw

Nuvite polish: F7 cut and finish with S
http://www.aircraftspruce.com/pages/cs/cleaners_znuvite/nuvitenushine.php

Terry cloth and Microfiber cloth


5 comments:

  1. May I ask what you found to be the quickest products? We are using wool and thinking of ordering the polish from Airstream Vintage Supply

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I used fine wool on solid aluminum surface with extreme oxidation, like the window frames. I would never use it on the body of the airstream. The best products to use:


      1. Nuvite polish
      2. Presta double sided black wool cutting buffing pad 7"
      Terry cloth and Microfiber cloth are very effective in removing polish
      7. 7” buffing wheel
      8. cyclo buffer to remove swirls
      9. Vinegar and water to remove black stuff left behind from buffing- use the microfiber with this on the body. Terry cloth will leave scratches.

      Delete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you folks. While looking at your pictures, it dawned on me that the black line coming out of my water heater area was my 30 amp cable. There are two black lines coming out of there. One feeds the commode. I think you may have just saved my bacon on this deal. I was going to photograph and cut the lines...Did the photography, and was getting ready to cut.....Thank you!

    ReplyDelete