MONTY THE ANSWER MAN ARCHIVE...
POLISHING...

SWIFT MUSEUM FOUNDATION POLISHING VIDEO INFO CLICK HERE

GOOD RESOURCES FOR POLISHING INFORMATION...
From: Doc Moore <darladoc@sport.rr.com>
Subject: www.perfectpolish.com
I have the Foundation's video on polishing, which is very good, but it does not have the needed detail for us polishing novices. I read all of the archives concerning polishing and would ask that you add the following website for the members to refer to. Perfect Polish has a great site with a lot of good information for those of us trying to figure out how to make the metal shine. Their website is www.perfectpolish.com. Over the past few nights I've been trying to clean up some of the original metal on my Swift. The skin between my starboard wing walk and the wing strap is in pretty bad shape. I started by sanding with 400 wet then went to 1000 wet. I then rotary compounded with a Makita auto buffer at 650 RPM using Nuvite F7. The metal never would come up the way I wanted so I went back and re-sanded starting with 600 wet then to 1000, 1500, and finally 2000. Must of sanded on that 2ftX3ft square for over 3 hours total. Then used a foam compounding pad with the Makita and Nuvite G6. It started coming up but when I finished it looked like my wife's tarnished silver. I realized at that point that the metal was not thoroughly dry when I started buffing so I left it alone, came back the next day, put a little F7 on a dry rag and did a 2" square with my finger. It came right up.When I read everything on the Perfect Polish website, and thought back over the Foundation's video, I discovered what I was doing wrong. This information is a great piece for the archive. I suspect lots of folks know about it 'cause Ed Lloyd's Swift is one of the planes pictured on the home page. I'm sure glad I don't have to hand sand my whole bird. As anal as I am I'd have to draw the line there.Cheers, Doc Moore

Doc
Q. How do you get to Carnegie Hall?
A. Practice, practice, practice........
Q. How do you make your Swift shine?
A. Polish, polish, polish.......
-- Jim

DON’T WE KNOW THIS GUY?
(Swifter Steve Wilson replies to a aviation newsgroup question about polishing.)

Well, I have two polished Swifts and have been polishing for almost 30 years. I still do not feel that I am any expert on polishing. It is more of an art form than anything else.

The major problem is that almost everything causes variables in the outcome of the work (even the weather). I think that one of the problems that beginners have is not understanding that there are two steps, i.e., cleaning and polishing. To give you an idea, when you get to the point where you can shave in the reflection, you are about to the point where the metal is clean enough to begin to polish.

Having a feel for the metal is something that you have to develop over time and is almost impossible to teach someone. It can be learned, but I only know a handful of folks who really understand the process. Once you begin to see (and feel) what is going on, the easier the task becomes.

You say that you have tried it all. Well, good! After you start on a really corroded (pitted) finish with a sponge type scuff pad you can move up to sand with progressively finer sandpaper, starting with 800 grit and working up to 1500 grit. I like "Met-al" and "Rolite Pre-polish" for really rough surfaces. Then work up to finer abrasive type polishes like "Rolite metal polish," "Alu-Mag," and/or "Blue Magic."  Take your time ( I work about a 6"-8" square area at a time starting with a circular buffer, working to an orbital buffer, and then the last two or three applications by hand. Overlap your areas and keep wiping the entire work down often.

Don't give up! It's great quiet time (I get a lot off my mind and it beats the heck out of a visit to the shrink). --- Steve Wilson (stevewlson@aol.com)

POLISHED ERCOUPE...
I have tried every product on the market (I think) on my Ercoupe (see it just after it was polished at http://ercoupe.com) I currently suggest 3-M Polishing Paper (hard to find) on an electric 5" orbital sander. It comes in 30 micron, 15, 9 and 3 grades and you use it with 3in1 oil on very poor surfaces. I then use nu-vite polish, which I just found out about at OSH. It is a lot of work but the result is very nice. Email me if you need info on where to buy this stuff. --- David Abrams (dea@ercoupe.com)

TURCO?
Anyone else here ever use Turco? I've tried many polishes as well but this stuff out-performs them all....  It's apparently an industrial grade polished used on airliners. Most of the customers buy it in 55 gallon drums!  I swear by the stuff now and won't use anything else. You may have a little trouble getting it in small quantities. I got mine from a fella who talked a distributor into filling a 5 gallon pail. He kept what he needed and has been selling off small quantities at local fly-in's / airshows. If you know any folks in the airliner maintenance business, ask them if they use Turco and if so, can you get a small sample to play with. --- Bela P. Havasreti (snj-5@mailexcite.com)

ED'S EXCELLENT POLISHING ADVENTURE...  (11199)
From: Ed Lloyd <edlloydaustin@juno.com>
Subject: Polish
Hi Denis,
I see on the "chat" that you ordered some Nuvite. I tried all kinds of stuff on the market and finally broke down and bought the video from the foundation. Learned a lot. I was still getting the milkiness or the milkiness wasn't disappearing. Talked with the guys that made the video and they suggested I use F7, C, and then S. Lotta work but it did the trick. The technique I used was F7 on with a SLOW speed rotary buffer and it does magic. Follow that with C and the cyclo or in my case I used a single head Bosch orbital sander. The rags I used were from Sams Wholesale, white terry 100% cotton( 95-5 not available around here) and turn them four times on each side, and quite often. That last technique took out the swirl marks of the rotary buffer. Since I wasn't able to do the entire aircraft at one polishing, I then cleaned the area, 2x2 or maybe 2x3 with a windex wipe down until the rags being used were virtually not picking up any black residue. I averted the wash job of the entire aircraft as they did in the video. THEN I applied the S and used the Bosch orbital and put the final polish on the job. I'm now satisfied and I'm hard to satisfy. Try it, you'll like it! -- Cheers...Ed

ENDORSEMENT FOR THE POLISHING TAPE FROM THE ANSWER MAN HIMSELF... (040500)
From: Monty747@aol.com
Subject: Swift Polishing Tape
Denis,  Another Minnesota Swifter and myself went together and popped the $29.95 for the Polishing Tape from the Swift Association. It is great! After 35 years of polishing I know how to polish a Swift right? Well, yes but, the tape puts it all together very well. I highly recommend it. -- Jim

DOES POLISHING REMOVE THE ALCAD??? (070101)
From the Perfect Polish <http://www.perfectpolish.com/> website:
"Will repeated polishing remove the Alcad coating? Not according to Boeing. As a quality control measure Boeing polishes all of their exterior skin sections after forming using robotic polishers and Nuvite F-7. Apparently defects in the skin are easier to spot when polished. They once polished a section 370 times and the surface cladding (Alcad) was still there. Boeing says that polishing does not remove metal, it just 'turns it over'. Of course if the surface is badly corroded or has been sanded, the Alcad will be gone. But it will polish up nicely anyway."

NUVITE... USE IT OR LOSE IT???(050102)
From: Pete King <peetking@earthlink.net>
Subject: polishing
Hi Denis,
Went to the horse -- called the folks at NUVITE. The man ( John ) that I talked to was very forthcoming and helpful. He told me that the haze problem could be because of the polish or the rags. Nuvite guarantees the polish for a shelf life of one year from the date of manufacture. Beyond that, factors of heat or cold can cause it to lose it's structure ( effectiveness ). In addition, he cautioned me against mixing up my rags -- only use a rag for one grade of polish -- don't wash a rag used for C and then use it for a finer grade next time you polish ( A or S ). Use only pure cotton rags to reduce scratching. Nuvite does sell their polish in half and quarter pound containers. I hope Swift stocks the smaller sizes -- I'm sure what I have is at least two years old. As for the rags -- another OOOPS ! for me -- won't make that mistake again. Will let you know how the next round turns out. Regards, Pete King

FAIRWELL GLASS WAX - HELLO NUVITE... (AUG 03)
Ah Glass Wax.. Been rubbing that stuff on good Ďol 07Kilo since I was 14 years old. I liked how it cleaned things up between polishing sessions. Now Iíve just about gone through my last container of "Glass Wax" and to the best of my knowledge and research on the internet it is not going to be produced anymore. (I did spot an additional can in Erinís Swift but dare I take it??? Yeah... Right...) So, anyway, it was real nice to read in the latest SMF newsletter that Nuvite has developed something that works, as SMF prez Charlie Nelson stated, "...similar to Glass Wax.". Looks like Nuvite to the rescue. Swift Parts has it. Let the ordering begin. Cheers... Denis

POLISHING A NEW SPINNER... (SEPT 03)
From: Harry Fenton <Harry.Fenton@unison.ae.ge.com>
Subject: Re: Polishing
I purchased a new spinner from Univair and it has relatively deep marks from the spinning process. To achieve a mirror finish, it looks like these marks need to be removed by some other method than simple polishing. Any thoughts on the best way to smooth the surface of a new spinner?

Harry
Sand those marks down with whatever grit sandpaper it takes - preferably the finest that takes off the high spots, the finer grit you use, the less work later on. (say 600) You want to finish up with 2000 grit. (very fine) For the rest of the skin, don't waste your time polishing from scratch. Use the 2000 grit wet before you even start. Avoid the rivets! Also, the Swift Museum Foundation sells an excellent video detailing polishing "secrets." The Nuvite process is very good and the final polish from Nuvite is the best there is, although instead of the coarser grades you can use some "Brand X" polish which may be cheaper. -- Jim

POLISH AROUND THE RIVETS... (DEC 03)
From: Mark Holliday <MarkH85@aol.com>
Subject: Re: December #1 GTS Internet Update
Hi Denis, Old polish around the rivets. The bug and tar remover usually worked for me although I did end up using a toothbrush . Also lacquer thinner with a toothbrush or other nylon brush seemed to work. Although I don't like using it, except extreme cases, an aluminum bightner or etch, like Intex or Dupont 225S will clean old polish away, but your in for a major polish job after the wash and very thorough rinse. Mark

GETTING THAT PERFECT POLISH... (MAR 04)
From: Doc Moore <darladoc@sport.rr.com>
Subject: www.perfectpolish.com
I have the Foundation's video on polishing, which is very good, but it does not have the needed detail for us polishing novices. I read all of the archives concerning polishing and would ask that you add the following website for the members to refer to. Perfect Polish has a great site with a lot of good information for those of us trying to figure out how to make the metal shine. Their website is www.perfectpolish.com.

Over the past few nights I've been trying to clean up some of the original metal on my Swift. The skin between my starboard wing walk and the wing strap is in pretty bad shape. I started by sanding with 400 wet then went to 1000 wet. I then rotary compounded with a Makita auto buffer at 650 RPM using Nuvite F7. The metal never would come up the way I wanted so I went back and re-sanded starting with 600 wet then to 1000, 1500, and finally 2000. Must of sanded on that 2ftX3ft square for over 3 hours total. Then used a foam compounding pad with the Makita and Nuvite G6. It started coming up but when I finished it looked like my wife's tarnished silver. I realized at that point that the metal was not thoroughly dry when I started buffing so I left it alone, came back the next day, put a little F7 on a dry rag and did a 2" square with my finger. It came right up.

When I read everything on the Perfect Polish website, and thought back over the Foundation's video, I discovered what I was doing wrong. This information is a great piece for the archive. I suspect lots of folks know about it 'cause Ed Lloyd's Swift is one of the planes pictured on the home page. I'm sure glad I don't have to hand sand my whole bird. As anal as I am I'd have to draw the line there. Cheers, Doc Moore

Doc
Q. How do you get to Carnegie Hall?
A. Practice, practice, practice........
Q. How do you make your Swift shine?
A. Polish, polish, polish.......
-- Jim

HARRY IS GONNA DO SOME SANDING...(MAR 04)
By the way, I'm getting ready to sand the lower surfaces of the Swift prior to polishing as you suggested. I've got some 2000 grade wet/dry on hand- what is your suggestion for the high and low end for sanding grades? Harry

Harry
I wouldn't use sandpaper rougher than 2000 unless the skin is very corroded and pitted. If it's that bad I would suggest sanding with 600 and painting the lower surface. Nuvite has various grades of polish and after using the 2000 grit one of the coarser grades should be used first. The final polish with Nuvite cannot be beat with any other polish that I have seen. Contact Swift Parts for further information. -- Jim

INTENSE POLISHING DIALOGUE FOLLOWS...(MAY 04)
Subj: Polishing
From: Doc Moore <darladoc@sport.rr.com>
Need some advice. On new metal I had to sand some spots to clean up some junk that wouldn't come off with solvent. I used 600 wet until it was clean. I then compounded the whole piece with G6 followed by F7 (used F7 3 times). The metal came up real well. I then used the Cyclo with F7 followed by S. It shines like a mirror. The only problem is the spots where I sanded are very cloudy and when I rolled the airplane outside it looks like crap. Can't figure out what to do unless I go back and sand with progressively finer paper until I get to 1500 or 2000. I don't think that's the answer and may wash with Alumiprep 33 on those areas. I suspect its silica from the paper and aluminum dust. Got any thoughts or experience with this particular problem? Thanks, Doc

Doc
600 paper is pretty rough, you will have to use finer grit before polishing. You might try 2000 sandpaper, then acid etch with alumiprep. Most polishing problems are from going too fine -- too soon. -- Jim

Doc
Jim's answer is the same as mine would have been with the following addition. I only use the cyclo with Nuvite 'S' for final polishing only. When trying to bring out an old piece of aluminum, new in your case, I use a slow speed rotary Makita buffer with the flat sheep wool buffing bonnet I told you about earlier. By applying F-7 or G directly to the wool, the rotary motion seems to 'cut' better than with the cyclo. Then the final polish is done with the cyclo to take out the swirl marks. The Makita buffer must be slowed down to about 1300 RPM so you don't "burn" the aluminum. I found that once you burn a spot, it is there to stay. No amount of progressive sanding and polishing will take it out. In fact, if you have the polishing video, Charlie and Joe Ranson show that as the way to polish initially on an unpolished surface. Cheers..............Ed Lloyd

MORE INTENSE POLISHING DIALOGUE...(MAY 04)
From: Doc Moore <darladoc@sport.rr.com>
Subject: Re: Polishing
Ed & Jim:
Thanks for your remarks. I didn't make my process clear. I sanded with 600 wet very lightly only to remove the debris on the metal. I then compounded with G6 followed by 3 applications of F7 using a Makita buffer turning at 650 RPM using a 3M wool bonnet. It shines at that point well enough to shave in. I then use the cyclo with 95/5 fleece starting with F7 to remove the swirl marks then switching (with fresh fleece) to S for final polishing. The technique is correct because all of the metal takes on a swirl free mirror finish. The only exception is the area lightly scuffed with the 600. The Perfect Polish website experiments indicate that to go beyond 600 is unnecessary. They also had trouble and solved it by washing with Alumiprep 33. The issue is... do you need to sand your butt off all the way to 2000 or can you stop at 600. On my old metal over the right tank I sanded (probably 6 hours) on that square all the way to 2000... starting with 600 then to 1000 then to 1500 and then 2000. Then I compounded as mentioned above (you don't compound with a Cyclo) and it came up but not clear like new metal. I then did the left side but sanded only with 600 then washed with Alumiprep 33 and then compounded with F7. It wouldn't come up at all (that's depressing!) I then sanded with 600 and let dry overnite then compounded with G6, F7 3 times (I spur that bonnet about every 4th pass), then Cycloed with F7 and S. It came up about the same as the other side. The moral of the story?? I don't have a clue. Just a alot of work without a good result. As Steve Wilson said on the archive... its hard to teach someone the technique... you've got to figure it out for yourself. I'm there on new metal but not on old. Jim, I'll do as you say and go back and sand those areas with 2000 that I hit with 600 on my new metal. Will then etch them to remove the silica and aluminum dust. Then will re-compound them. The beat goes on! I certainly don't have all the answers but want to share with others to assist in the learning curve....both wrong as well as right techniques. Thanks for your input and any future thoughts you might have. -- Doc

Doc
Maybe you are just fussier than me! I can't say I have ever used a great deal of thought or science to my polishing. I get it "good enough" then think, "well there's always next year"..... I did win the best polish award at Ky Dam and Athens a few times tho. Maybe that was because N2334B and N2431B had pretty nice skin. -- Jim

NOTE TO POLISHERS. DONíT PUSH TOO HARD!!! (MAY 04)
From: Elfavi <elfavi@olypen.com>
Subject: Re: May #4 GTS Internet Update
Gerry Mahoney looks at the polishing forum:
As I look at the comments on polishing I always read too much heat in a local area. Read burned! It is very easy to exceed the critical temperature of a particular alloy (24ST, 2024-T3, etc) and reduce the strength. I doubt if you would use skins off of a burned area on a scrapped airplane. Would you use a skin that suffered the same temps from polishing? Just an observation. More to the aging aircraft problem than mother nature.... -- Gerry Mahoney