Monday, October 11, 2010

Help. I am drowning in a sea of aluminum!

It is a good thing that no one was here to witness my latest melt down, as I lay on the floor staring into space mumbling…”What have I gotten myself into?” What is it that has reduced me to a pool of snot bubbles on the floor? This pile of aluminum parts, pieces, and windows in my garage. All of these pieces need to be cleaned, repaired, smoothed, and polished. 

The only thing that makes me happy about this picture is my Chevelle in the background.

Here is a picture of some of the chemicals and things I have used so far on this pile of stuff. Some previous owner had a love affair with silicone sealant and it is on everything, just getting that off has proved to be a huge challenge.

Here is a picture of some of the tools I have tried so far to accomplish my mission.

I have read many tutorials created by people restoring their trailers on how they managed this process and have tried many of their suggestions. I am currently developing a process that works for me. Here is what one of the windows looked like before. 

Dirty, rusty, and just plain gunky. Pieces are bent, scratched, and otherwise trashed. It took me a couple of hours just to get this window apart, get all the old gasket and silicone cleaned off, and get the pieces all hammered back into some shape that resembles its birth shape. Two hours and I haven’t even begun the cleaning, filing, sanding, buffing, polishing. Here is a picture of what my windows won’t look like. This gentleman, I refer to him as the Aluminum Polishing God, has spent 18-20 hours per window just in the cleaning/polishing stage…does he have a life????? 

 While these look incredibly amazing (they look like chrome OMG!!!), I will be happy to have mine just looking clean and marginally shiny. Here is my progress so far on window one.
It hasn’t been polished and buffed yet, but is clean and all the rust and 52 years of smoke, food guck, pet odor, and the like are gone. I have spent a small fortune on things to help with this task and imagine I will spend more before the process is complete.Great aluminum polisher is a job I would have rather not added to my resume :)

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