Sunday, May 31, 2009

Polishing 101

I ended Saturday disappointed with how well the second phase of the polishing method (Jestco) was going, but I end Sunday much happier with today's results. The horizontal cloudy haze at the very bottom left of the shined panel is what I was fighting on Saturday on the whole panel. I have now found that in the second step with the polisher and red (jewelers rouge) if I move the soft buff back and forth, is starts to pull out the last of the major haze. So I now believe I am ready for step #3 & #4 on this panel, using the cyclo with Nuvite F7, and then Nuvite "S". The results for now using just the polisher and Jestco Grey then Red Rouge looks pretty darned good.

When you stand 4 feet away, you start to see the fine linear scratches that the F7 should take out. When you stand as far back as picture #2 (click to enlarge), the comparison between the polished (back left) panel and the rest of the Safari is clearly visible from this greater distance. And just think, this trailer had a what I will call a "rough polish" two years ago by the PO. Since it was only polished using a rotary polisher, you can clearly see the swirl marks in the other panets. Having said that, May's exterior is already in better shape than some 1964 era trailers that have never been touched. May is going to be one good looker when she is done. At this rate, that will be a while. I am only working on it weekends, and then no more than about 3 hours per day. I have other things to do of course, polishing gets tiring, and then I have to work when the sun is not shining on the back section I started on. I would say that I have 9-10 hours into it so far. It has been an education so far, and now that I am getting familiar with the tools and technique, I fully anticipate that it will go faster.

This last photo for today shows not only the "almost mirror shine" from the first two Jestco steps, but also the fact that I am replacing all of the exterior lights. I received my package of 5 red and 5 amber teardrop lights from this week. I cannot say enough good things about the great customer service I've received working with them. The brand new bright red light covers against the tree reflection ends my weekend on a positive note. I look forward to continuing next weekend!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

And then there was progress….

Finally after what seems like months (OK, it was months) work on May has begun! It might not seem like polishing should be the first step, and in most cases it is not, but in my case it makes sense (to me at least). It has a lot to do with it being great weather for exterior work, and the fact that I want to shell to look it’s best, before touching the interior. Actually it will be more than just polishing. I will also be replacing the lights, which sounds easy, except all but two lights will need to be modified. More on that at another time.

I am reminded by my last post that I have not recapped the 4 Corners Unit Restoration Rally that we attended in Albuquerque a few weeks ago. Let me just say for now that it was 100% worth the trip. The one item of focus for today’s blog update is that the Rally changed how I was going to polish. “Levon” on the Airforums covered his seminar on polishing by showing us the “Jetsco” method. Basically you use “Buff’s” with compound or “Jewelers Rouge”. Since you use the edge of the buffs, and thus they turn up and down rather than swirl, these first steps do not create swirl marks (they do produce smaller up and down marks not noticed from a very few feet away). I will follow up he two steps of grey and red compound with two cyclos of “F7” and “S” from Nuvite.

You can tell by the picture where I have and where I have not started to shine. This is only after the first pass or two of Grey Compound. I have not touched around the light. The “haze” in the untouched parts is what I am removing. The reflection is not bad for such an early phase. I will be back at the polishing with a vengeance next weekend. I have to run for now, more soon.