Aircraft Polishing

Well, I certainly don’t know what I am doing, but I decided to polish the plane for a bit prior to committing to paint. I started with the right wing top surface:


Since I don’t have the good stuff yet (Nuvite), I just did a quick pass with stuff available at autozone. I bought a 6″ random orbit buffer, some foam pads, and used microfiber cloths under the foam pads to apply the cleaning polish. My first goal was just to git rid of the surface oxidation and remove the discolored lines left from the removal of the blue plastic along each side of each rivet line.

Although this still looks like crap, it is 100% better than before where it was milky/blotchy with obvious marks on each side of the rivet lines:IMG_0588

Getting better:IMG_0594


You sure go through microfiber towels quickly. I took these home to wash and it took two cycles in the washing machine.



Today (1/3/16), I did the left wing, with help from Rachel and Zack:


6 thoughts on “Aircraft Polishing”

  1. I bet Zack is really good with the orbital sander:-) Saw your post from VAF. I have a polished 6. Can’t decide if I am going to keep it, or paint. Anyway, yours is looking super. Keep up the great work!


  2. Hi James – saw your post on VAF and continued reading here. I’m looking for a polish that’s good enough to please most folks, and don’t really care to please the ultimate polishing fanatic since our airplane is intended to be a “go-er” not a “show-er”.

    If possible, would you be able to share some of the details around using the random orbital to do the polishing work, please? I’ve been looking at Cyclo but our aircraft (a Glasair Sportsman) would require the underside of the wings to be polished and I’m not sure I have a youthful enough body to support a Cyclo for that application, hence the interest in the random orbit technique. At the moment I might go with the purple polish from California Custom. Yes, I’m definitely not looking to go with the whole Nuvite regimen. I want to fly, too! πŸ™‚

    Thanks for posting this helpful info.


    1. Hi Mark,
      Thanks for the comment. I’m certainly a brand new beginner at this so take what I say with a grain of salt. I added some pictures and details on the equipment today to this blog. Let me know if that is what you were looking for. I also just ordered a 3″ random orbit buffer from Griots and a variety of pads in 3″ size. I’m interested in using that in smaller confined corners and seeing how that works out. I’ll keep this updated as I make progress.


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