Greetings all,

Jake and I were talking the other day and came up with this question:

Has anyone out there used Scotch Brite pads to prepare the aircraft surface for polishing?

We were thinking of putting the Scotch Brite on a orbital sander pad and start working smoothing out

the grain, using red, brown, gray and finally white pads prior to using Nuvite.

I have the info published on matronics, Swift and Airstream and have started to polish with the three

recommended polishes, but????

Surely, there has to be an easier way???


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Comment by Jerry Latimer on March 3, 2010 at 9:50pm
I'm just about finished polishing my plane. Only have the bottom of the left wing to do. I've used 1500 grit wet/dry sand paper in a couple of areas prior to applying the polish for various reasons. These areas polish up faster. By that I mean that it takes fewer passes with the F9 to get a good finish. Seems that on really rough aluminum knocking down the high spots with something could save some time with the polishing. On the smooth sheets I think it will actually add to the total time.
Comment by Jake Reyna on March 3, 2010 at 7:12am
Here is a link to a grit chart for Scotchbrite, it is a PDF. I've had excellent success starting with 6444 Brown and then 7447 Maroon, both are Aluminum Oxide. The problem had been attaching to the orbital sander with velcro. The solution was to use old sandpaper discs and 3M Super 77 adhesive. sells Scotchbrite by the box.

I have done the bottom skin on one wing and it worked great using light pressure. The Brown leaves a nice metallic look and following with Maroon gives a smoother look. It actually looks like the surface is painted. I'm not going to paint, and I'm too lazy to polish. Total time for the bottom wing was about 10 minutes. It's less abrasive than sandpaper and doesn't damage the rivets. I'll post pictures one of these days.
Comment by Ron Lendon on March 2, 2010 at 10:32pm
I think the scotchbrite might be a little coarse. I polished my aluminum motorcycle wheels using 400, 600, 1000, and 1500 grit wet sanding before using polish. It came up very brite quickly after preping the surface. There were actual tool marks in the wheels that's why it took so much wet sanding. I would try your process on a sample and see how it works. Check the thickness before and after to see how much material it removes.

Otherwise, 1500 grit wet sanding might be all you need to get it done quicker.

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