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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 10:01 pm
by Chappy
Has anyone had any experience with Sharkhide? I came across it when it was featured on Eastwood's website recently:

It's been around for quite awhile but I've never heard it mentioned. It looks like it could be of great value to us (especially in the humid, warm South) in protecting any unfinished aluminum components. Almost seems like it was made for our D-spars, but should be good on any unfinished aluminum part. I went ahead and purchased some to try out, but was hoping someone here has had some real world experience with it. I've tried a few industrial type metal protectants over the years but they were all wax based and not suitable for our use.

The company website with lots more info:


PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 3:38 am
by Wayne
So how is the sharhide ? whats the verdict.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 10:36 pm
by Chappy
Well, it goes on real easy. Polish up the aluminum, then clean all the residue of the polish off with a solvent. Then just wipe a couple coats on with a LINT FREE cloth. I made a test piece and it's hanging in our shower, but that won't tell me anything for quite a while. Maybe I'll throw it in a bucket of water now that it's dried for a while. I don't expect to see any problem in the finish for years considering that it is supposed to last for several years on aluminum boat hulls!

I don't hang around boats or marinas so I wasn't surprised I hadn't heard of Sharkhide, but no one I have asked so far has either. I sure wish I had know about this stuff 25 years ago. Maybe I wouldn't have a barn full of rusted and corroded tools and other stuff. I plan on keeping a can of it on my workbench and use it whenever I have unfinished metal parts/projects that could be preserved with it. If I had a Lazair I was refurbishing and I didn't want to paint or anodize it, I'd sure give this a try. It goes on very thinly and is crystal clear. It's very convenient that it doesn't have to be sprayed.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 5:00 am
by Wayne
how about some pics and keep us updated \
does sharkhide clear the blemmishes that appear on alloy in the form of corrosion on the surface ? or is it only good as the surface you start with ?

PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 7:11 pm
by Chappy

No pictures needed, just imagine it's not there. That's what it looks like. And no, don't expect it to hide anything. What you've got is what you'll see. If the aluminum is all pitted, you'll have to talk with someone like Shannon that's restored a bunch of old pitted Lazairs and painted their airframes.

From my pitiful little experience with Sharkhide, I'd say I like it. A $50 quart sure looks good to me compared to either continuously polishing the airframe and spars over and over, or anodizing ($$), if you want a natural looking airframe. And considering it's sold for use on submerged aluminum boat hulls, it will probably last for a very long time for our application.


PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:43 am
by Shannon
I've done a bit of both. Painting is great as a preventive measure on new aluminum and metal with heavy oxidation and/or light surface corrosion. I've never delt with really "Deep" pitting on any airframe. In that case you'd probably need to sand things really good, acid etch, rinse/clean, prime (zinc chromate), and then paint. Done correctly the corrosion would be halted for many years but man what a huge job on a bad airframe. In my opinion there are definite benefits in painting. Obviously you aren't going to be polishing anymore. You can also fix-fill minor dinks on the D-cells with bondo during preperation for painting. Of course painting requires tools..skill...time.. money... adds weight....ect ect.

I think the best thing one thing can do is keep the wind flowing over the plane as much as possible. Keeping the airframe dry with lots of flying is probably the best thing that can be done for a Lazair haa haa.

PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:45 am
by Shannon
Polishing pretty much sucks and you have to be careful with high speed orbital polishers. On a covered plane the polish gets under the tape in spots and can generally cause a mess if not careful. Heavy polishing to remove oxidation-surface corrosion is way better than doing nothing however.

If you've never done it you'll be amazed at how you can bring the aluminum back to life if you really work at it.

PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:52 am
by Shannon
If you have corrosion inside the spars you really don't have much choice other than to sand-etch-clean-prime-paint.

PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 1:35 am
by Wayne
I do like the polished alloy look
I have one D-cell with a dicolouration and a few parts with a "snail trail' if you know what I mean, nothing too serious.
What type of polish did you use in the Pic of the D-cell with a cloth on it Shannon ?
What about when it comes to covering ( my Mk111 is not covered yet) would I have to clean off the polish area with alchol to allow the tedlar tape to adhere ?


PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:53 pm
by Shannon
Best bet is a 6-8 inch polisher (Side grinder looking deal with Terry cloth type bonnets) using MET-ALL or MOTHERS aluminum polish. Lacquer thinner or Naptha are the suggested cleaning agents.