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How'd you source the gas struts? Did you have to do a whole lot of calculations or was it fairly easy to work out the size etc?

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Ebay was the source - they have many uses ie caravans, ute covers.

The measurements were guesstimates based on AA's knowledge of such things.

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Here we have the beginnings of my instrument panel with abit of work to go yet and a few instruments.

image.jpeg

image.jpeg

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Considering a polished finish to portions of this plane and I am aware there is a lot of work involved in doing this. I have watched a couple of you tube bits about it so my questions are 

1. What products are out there to do this with? I understand that auto polish kits can be used.

2. Is the  polisher vital to do this with?

3. What do you use to remove excess primer?

i reserve the right to ask more questions.

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36 minutes ago, planet47 said:

No advice, no answers? 

More info needed from you about what surface you are polishing, but ...

 

Depending on which primer you used ... most of them wash off easily with methylated spirit.

 

Did you use Alclad or 2024 or 6061 bare sheet? Alclad surface is very soft because it's pure aluminium, consequently it polishes very easily by hand. Typical products readily available are Solvol Autosol and Reflection. I prefer Reflection. Follow the directions on the package or you can probably find them online.

 

If you used bare high tensile sheet then it's much easier to use a polishing machine and just do the final finishing by hand. Don't buy the cheaper small ones, they make you work harder. The ones that look like a 5" angle grinder are the go, about $90 on ebay. Better still, see if you can find one that's random orbital rather than just spins. But, the random orbital's real advantage is to help prevent 'swirls' which are more of a problem with dark colours than light ones, swirls don't show up much on white or silver colours. On black they cause all paint polishing people to have nightmares ... so you don't really need a random orbital unless you can find one easily at the right price (probably not).

 

Make sure you buy a multi-speed polisher, usually 6 speeds, something like 600-3000rpm. You'll start at 600 and end up using about 2000 once you gain confidence and experience.

 

Watch online (Youtube) videos of how to go about polishing. Start very gently. Don't even think of using a lambswool type of polishing head, they are very aggressive. Use the smooth orange foam type, add a tiny spray of water from a spray bottle to keep the polishing gentle. As the polish dries out it starts to work harder and do a better job but beware the sudden 'bite' as the surface gets hot. Run a piece of wood across the (spinning) foam surface every now and then to clean off built up polish.

 

You only use the polisher for putting on the polish/cutting, the actual 'polishing' (wiping off the polish) is done by hand. Many people think the lambswool buff is for wiping off the polish - it's not, it's for aggressive cutting of old and faded/chalky paint surfaces.

 

I finish the job with Starbrite Premium Marine Polish, do it twice within thirty days for a finish that lasts 1-2yrs.

 

Tip - practice on some metal offcuts securely screwed/clamped to the workbench, beware them getting picked up by the polisher and flung at your midriff like a spinning blade!

 

EDIT - another tip - if you get completely hooked on polishing (it's very satisfying once you work it out), it's all to do with the fineness and the type of abrasive used and the type of material being polished. Ultimately though, the finest abrasive known to man is Rouge (yes, the stuff the Parisians discovered makes the young pale ladies' cheeks look prettily flushed - and the colour in the first lipsticks). Anyway - it's properly known as "Jeweller's Rouge' and is what jewellers use to polish gold to such a fine lustre. You can buy it on ebay from time to time, it's a red powder, usually comes from UK, not expensive. You can mix a little in with the Marine Polish, to really give the final sparkle to the job, and if you rub the polish in straight lines instead of circles, you'll get rid of the swirls which can only be seen in bright sunlight anyway.

Edited by Head in the clouds

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Thank you HITC for your response.  Is the polisher shaped like an angle grinder usable on 6061?  I was having a look at various types of polishers in a shop today and I was very unsure of where to go with it for several reasons. I just wanted to play with this as  a finish on different parts of the project if not all of it and then again I may not go for this finish in the end anyway. I just want to experiment with it and see if it is viable.

 

Another question concerns the use of some sort of reflective dulling material around the outside of the instrument panel (pictures above).  The plastic is off it and I have riveted it together and the only clecos remaining are along the very bottom where it joins the tunnel.

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Couldn't you use a matt paint on the outside of the instrument panel?

 

 

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You mean a Very high polish like this.

The orange is wrap, I believe.

spacesailor

ShineyHB.jpg

Edited by spacesailor
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All really good aircraft have a polished finish. Paint is a waste of money, time and weight.

 

I agree with wrap where needed. Easy to apply and remove without effecting the skin.

Edited by Litespeed

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1 hour ago, Litespeed said:

Paint is a waste of money, time and weight.

If you've ever seen a corroded airframe, you'd know that's not true.

A quality and properly applied surface finish (inside and out) is good insurance for longevity.

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3 hours ago, Litespeed said:

All really good aircraft have a polished finish. Paint is a waste of money, time and weight.

 

I agree with wrap where needed. Easy to apply and remove without effecting the skin.

 

Depends on the plane.  I considered polished finish but big square slab sides do not lend themselves to it - they show every crease and ripple.  You really need a curvy fuse, like Spacey's Hummelbird or a Ryan ST (or a Lockheed Connie for that matter) to really look nice in polished ally.

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OK I admit I would keep my polished beasty in a hangar.

 

And it would have nice curves.

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