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Can I polish the Acrylic Side panel window?

 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-21-2014, 05:21 PM - Thread Starter
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I have a Switch 810 and the window on it is not exactly that perfect anymore so I'm thinking of replacing it with Laminated glass.

But then looking at Build Logs I saw people polishing the EK waterblocks. Could I polish the side panel window to get rid of the small scratches and make it shine?


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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-21-2014, 08:11 PM
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Yes there are products specifically for that.
What tools you have will determine which one to use, ie electric drill, buffer, buffing wheel, just cloth etc.

I've had very good results with a 10" buffing wheel at 1750 rpm and a compound specifically made for plastic polishing.
You can remove some pretty deep scratches, but you have to be really careful about heat though.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-21-2014, 08:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billbartuska View Post

Yes there are products specifically for that.
What tools you have will determine which one to use, ie electric drill, buffer, buffing wheel, just cloth etc.

I've had very good results with a 10" buffing wheel at 1750 rpm and a compound specifically made for plastic polishing.
You can remove some pretty deep scratches, but you have to be really careful about heat though.
I have access to cloths and a power drill.

Why would you need heat? Heat caused by the friction I assume?


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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-21-2014, 08:59 PM
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Quote:
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Why would you need heat? Heat caused by the friction I assume?

No, you don't want heat. The friction generated by using powered equipment to polish will easily generate enough heat to melt the plastic if you're not carefull.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-22-2014, 04:47 PM
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I've cleaned and polished delrin and acrylic on water blocks using a Novus kit I bought on amazon, it works great. I just use a microfiber cloths well as some fine paper towels that and polish them gently by hand.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-30-2014, 06:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lefik View Post

I've cleaned and polished delrin and acrylic on water blocks using a Novus kit I bought on amazon, it works great. I just use a microfiber cloths well as some fine paper towels that and polish them gently by hand.

This. Novus works great.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-08-2014, 05:53 PM
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Yes indeed you can, I restore aircraft poly-carbonate and acrylic windows at my work and fix up and clean new bubble windows we manufacture for helicopters. I have a repair technique I've written for some of the guys at work.

As Raul-7 indicated Novus is a quality product I use. It comes in Novus 1, Novus 2 for fine and course grades. For deep scratches I use the micro-mesh system that wet sands out the scratches. Early in my career I used power tools and wool and foam pads, but I never use power tools now, strictly by hand. We had problems with the small orbital scratches left by the polishers. Then it was filled with waxes or glazes that eventually wore off and the orbital scratches were still there. In bright sunlight, these fine scratches actually blinded the pilot from seeing out.

Some would balk at that at taking too long, but I achieve better results since air power tools seems to glaze up and mark up the window and you have to mechanically remove all scratches, that means even by elbow grease!

Just go at it by hand with some super fine soft microfiber cloths. I just bought a good one from Simoniz (Detail Microfiber Polish cloths). I bought the pack that contains 3 X 14"X14" cloths for $5.00. I cut the band of stitching off the perimeter because this can leave super fine scratches. After I'm done hand polishing with the Novus 1 and 2 coarse and fine I give it a coat of Mothers glaze to get rid of all residue and it leaves a nice shine. I also like to spray mist my polish cloths with water and very light spray on the surface I'm polishing and it reduces the static buildup that attracts dust. With the fine mist you keep the compound wet and it dries on the surface as you're polishing, you can feel the grab and bite of the action, then when it dries too much I give it another shot of mist and repeat this over and over.

If you can't find Novus you can use paint clear coat polish and this will work as well, although Novus is specifically designed for plastic.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-08-2014, 06:23 PM
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just use a microfiber cloths well as some fine paper towels that and polish them gently by hand.rect
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-09-2014, 07:29 AM
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Speedster,

Heat buildup from too much RPM might cause distortion, or breakdown of the acrylic surface even causing crazing (fine cracks). Some acrylics are harder than others too. Polishing in one spot too long I've seen can cause distortion. It behaves like an optical lens if you take off too much material, say if you focused too much polishing on one spot on a deep scratch with your finger. You want to spread the repair over a larger area like I do when fixing a dent in body work, using a cross hatch sanding motion. Another trick s to wrap your polish cloth in a foam sanding block, 3"X3" square this keeps everything nice and flat and polishes evenly.

I would stay away from paper towels with all due respect, these will leave very fine scratches, if you do use them, use paper towels in the coarse stage, I use the softer thicker shop towels from auto parts dealers and then use the better cloths (super fine and soft microfiber cloths) in the polishing fine stage. Polish cloths, rags, paper towels make all the difference in the end product. One piece of grit and start over, so cleanliness is of absolute importance!

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