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 Post subject: Aluminum Cleaner/Polish
PostPosted: December 5, 2018, 7:55 pm 
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Joined: April 22, 2010, 4:43 pm
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Location: Livermore, Calif.
For those of you who have not painted your entire car and left some of the aluminum natural, have you found some good quality cleaner for the aluminum? How about a good polish?

Cheers,
Roy

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PostPosted: December 5, 2018, 9:21 pm 
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Location: Holden, Alberta, Canada
I found elbow grease is very effective in making and maintaining the aluminum shine :rofl:

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PostPosted: December 5, 2018, 11:38 pm 
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Great!
Elbow grease and what?

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PostPosted: December 6, 2018, 12:00 am 
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Location: Los Angeles
Prior to building my Birkin, I flew a Gulfstream business jet for a while. I asked my ex-mechanic about polishing the aluminum and he contacted his buddy who did the completion work at the Gulfstream Delivery Center in Long Beach. They use Nuvite aluminum polish in various grades. This stuff is available from Aircraft Spruce. The basic process, depending on the finish you start with is grade G6 followed by C (coarse) followed by S (smooth). If you have any visible scratches or stone marks, start with 800g W/D with water followed by 1200g and then 2000g. Then go to the G6 and work it on down. There is a link online to the Collins Foundation. They restore warbirds similar to the Confederate Air Force and they use Nuvite. They have a whole series of videos on how to do it. The stuff isn't cheap but it goes a long way. This is mostly hard work.

My lower body and scuttle were easy, a day each. I just do a little touchup with the Grade S every 3-4 months. The bonnet, on the other hand, is still a work in progress two years later. The bastards used a different grade of aluminum for the bonnet. It also have 152 louvers in it that had to be hand polished.

It all looks great to the spectators; I'm the one that notices the faults the most.


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PostPosted: December 6, 2018, 12:14 am 
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Joined: March 19, 2011, 10:22 am
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Location: Holden, Alberta, Canada
US
https://www.harborfreight.com/14-piece-aluminum-polishing-kit-98707.html

Canada
https://www.princessauto.com/en/detail/deluxe-buffing-and-polishing-kit/A-p8263022e

I did not use the small buffing pads in these kits, I bought a low speed polisher and several buffing discs
https://www.princessauto.com/en/detail/8-in-treated-spiral-sewn-50-ply-buffing-wheel/A-p8066656e

The reason I use several discs is because of the different clay bars, you don't want to cross contaminate the polishing compounds.

And yes, even with an electric buffer, lots of elbow grease. A side panel would take a few hours to polish, and I ended up looking like I was working in a coal mine for a complete shift, very messy work.

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Perry

'If man built it, man can fix it'
"No one ever told me I couldn't do it."
"If you can't build it safe, don't build it."

Perry's Locost Super Che7enette Build
Perry's TBird Based 5.0L Super 7 L.S.O.
Perry's S10 Super 7 The 3rd
Perry's 4th Build, The Topolino 500 (Little Mouse) Altered


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PostPosted: December 6, 2018, 12:33 am 
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I agree with Perry. Work outside on a cloudy day. It's a messy process. You will probably want to wear a mask as well as gloves (My favorite is the nalgene ones. Some people react poorly to latex.) The pros wear a long apron as well.


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PostPosted: December 6, 2018, 1:27 pm 
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Papak and Perry-
Thanks guys for the ideas.
Cheers,
Roy

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PostPosted: December 6, 2018, 3:24 pm 
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Joined: April 12, 2012, 11:56 am
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Location: Pemberton, BC
Roy,
I use this all the time; https://www.aircraftspruce.ca/catalog/c ... kkey=50253
It is not like a mirror polish, as on an aircraft, but it works really well. With a bit of elbow grease and a bath towel rag, it shines up nicely.

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My build log:
viewtopic.php?f=35&t=14520&start=0
My build video:
https://vimeo.com/143524140 password "matovid"


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PostPosted: December 6, 2018, 4:12 pm 
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Joined: April 1, 2010, 10:26 am
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I have un-polished my car. It was just too much work. So not I use 0000 3M synthetic steel wool and Simply Green. only rub in a single direction. Then go over with a detail polish. I like the finish and I spend little or no time maintaining it.

Graham


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PostPosted: December 7, 2018, 1:45 pm 
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Graham,

Can you post a picture?

Kevin


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PostPosted: December 7, 2018, 2:10 pm 
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Location: Livermore, Calif.
Kevin-
I think Graham has some good pictures on his latest build log.
http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=16975

Looks like somewhat of a "brushed" aluminum look. Not bad. Maybe he's got some better photos of the surface.

Cheers,
Roy

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PostPosted: December 7, 2018, 5:06 pm 
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My build log was from prior to the un-polishing. I don't have any good pictures out in the open, so just snapped one in the garage with very poor lighting.

Graham


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PostPosted: December 8, 2018, 1:39 am 
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Joined: July 17, 2008, 9:11 am
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Location: West Chicago,IL
Come on guys, if you don't want the polished aluminum look or work. Why not just paint it silver? Or skip the aluminum altogether and use fiberglass.

Of course if you want the aluminum, by all means do what makes you happy.

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Visit my active Cushman Truckster resurrection log: over HERE
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PostPosted: December 8, 2018, 7:44 pm 
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I beg to differ, it's a lot more practical finish than paint. My car has a hard life, track days, lots of trailering. Any scratch or stone chip, just sand it out and hit it with the 0000 and it's as good as new. I have split the parts of a rear fender due to trailer damage, it will just get welded up and sanded out.

Graham


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PostPosted: December 9, 2018, 10:56 am 
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Hey Graham. How you doin?

I have no problem with the brushed aluminum look. Mine started out the same as yours.
The same ease of repair can be said about the glass fenders. Just grind a groove, rough up the surface a bit, then slap on some resin and glass. I'm not saying what you suggest isn't appropriate for racing, nor even for your vision of a road car. "Fit and finish" is a personal choice of aesthetics, and in some instances, a choice of maintenance as you point out. :cheers:

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“Any suspension will work if you don’t let it.” - Colin Chapman

Visit my active Cushman Truckster resurrection log: over HERE
or my archival Locost build log: over HERE


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