Sunday, January 15, 2012

Long Awaited Update. Part 2

Polishing, we LOVE POLISHING!!!!

We had the honor of polishing up this 1967 Caravel recently. Her owner had stripped and done the majority of the compounding in past years. FTW was hired to take it to the next step. We also pulled a significant dent and installed a new AC unit on the roof.

Somehow the removal of the original unit missed my camera lens. It is just as well, for it was a huge challenge to get it off. The original unit was installed to never be removed or replaced. First we had to cut an opening and then install a rib into the ceiling to support the new unit. The original shroud was riveted to the longitudinal ribs in the ceiling, so the weight had to be redirected for the new unit. On top of slipping a rib into the ceiling, we also boxed in the opening with some C channel I bent up.

The windows and many seams had to first have multiple layers of sealants removed. There were also a number of errant holes to deal with.

The hardest part of polishing these previously clear coated trailers, is that when said clear coat fails, it does it very very slowly. The failure allows aluminum oxide crystals to form under the clear surface and this is the resulting damage. This is called filiform corrosion and trust me, it is a bear.

Many many cuts with black rouge on a very stiff wheel are required to get it off. Often, we sand with 600 grit wet/ dry paper first, then go at it with the wheel.

100% removal is virtually impossible. With determination, one can put a serious hurtin on it though.

On the 1966-69 trailers it is VERY important to protect the glass. We put double layers of blue tape down. I do not want any heat from the polishers or even worse, any polishing chemicals to touch the glass. Remember, this glass is chemically tempered. You do not want to chance any unknown chemicals might un-temper that glass. I have heard that some of the acids in some polishes has caused damage to some windows. Fortunately, we have avoided this.

Wayne loves to chew on his cigar and watch his face get clearer and clearer in the aluminum. He often says, "I can see just how ugly I am now, time to move to the next section..."

When originally polished, one of the steps used was very aggressive. It took considerable effort to get through this stuff also.

Here is a good shot of the new AC unit on the roof. These little Caravels are so sexy!

I mentioned earlier a dent we pulled. How is that one? Right up front where you could not help but see it, over two feet wide.

We have some tricks up our sleeve though. Here you see it significantly reduced in size.

97% gone...

99.4% gone. My standards were missed by only 0.6%. I will have to try harder next time.

This Caravel is not the Shiny Hiney, but her hiney sure did take a shine!

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