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Polishing scratched acrylic domes

Phil G4SPZ

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Oct 18, 2018
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Can anyone recommend an effective polish for renovating scratched plastic domes fitted to later 400-day clocks, please? I’ve seen “Novus” products recommended, but I can buy a new dome for a quarter of the price!

I am hoping that household products may work. I have a range of metal polishes to hand, including Brasso, Silvo, T-Cut, Autosol, Peek, and Greygate No 5, but I’m reluctant to try any these in case they are too coarse and cause misting or fogging.

Any suggestions will be welcome!

Phil
 

Rob_GER

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Jun 9, 2020
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I would think that most of the household products are too coarse. One idea I had, there are products out there which you can use to polish the headlight on cars, I have not used them but saw a test on these which provided really good results on the car headlight and I think price wise they are not too bad. However I couldn’t recommend any specific product and have not yet used these.
 

Phil G4SPZ

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Oct 18, 2018
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Thanks, Rob.

I was just about to post this update when your message came in. I have done some quick tests on a scrap piece of scratched Perspex, and concluded that T-Cut (for the deep scratches) followed by Peek gives a very nice shiny finish with no ‘bloom’ or misting.

Whether the clock dome is made of the same material and will respond well to the same treatment is another matter! I shall just have to try it and see.

Phil
 

etmb61

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Oct 25, 2010
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Any polishing compound you use on acrylic will leave scratches. I learned using white rouge on a buffing wheel. Bonding acrylic is done by softening the surfaces with a solvent that completely evaporates in the process (I don't remember what it was but it works good). I've read you can use a solvent vapor for polishing, probably the same solvent I had used for bonding. I know you can also polish acrylic with a hot flame too, the edges at least, but that takes some control.

Eric
 

Phil G4SPZ

NAWCC Member
Oct 18, 2018
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Thanks for the info, Eric. One of my other interests is my collection of kerosene and gasoline blowtorches, but I won’t be applying a flame to a clock dome...!

The fact is, I have little to lose. A new dome costs £2.50. I already have the polishes, so even if it all goes horribly wrong, I won’t have lost a fortune. If it goes right, I’ll have learned something, and will report the results back here for future reference.

Phil
 

Wayne A

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Sep 24, 2019
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To defog the plastic domes your average car wax works very well. I use Meguiars gold class on them because its what I have for my auto's.
 

Phil G4SPZ

NAWCC Member
Oct 18, 2018
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Thanks, Wayne. T-Cut is sold as an auto body scratch remover, and it worked very well on this dome, which had been scored quite badly all round the inside by being rotated and scraping against the dial. I used T-Cut on the deeper scratches, and followed up with Peek all over. It’s hard to tell from the photo but the dome has come up really well, a lot better than it started out.

C447EF05-9312-485E-B562-FD928A54B53F.jpeg

Phil
 

Wayne A

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Sep 24, 2019
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Seems like some of the plastic domes are clearer than glass, or at least less reflective than glass so it looks clearer.
 

Rod Schaffter

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Mar 20, 2020
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I removed a scratch in the plastic front panel of a Schatz lantern clock with Simichrome polish...
 

Phil G4SPZ

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Oct 18, 2018
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I have seen several recommendations for Simichrome polish, but it doesn’t appear to be readily available outside the US.

Phil
 

Rod Schaffter

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Mar 20, 2020
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Phil G4SPZ

NAWCC Member
Oct 18, 2018
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Ah! My previous search returned only US listings, but now I’m finding it in the UK... thank you!
 

Phil G4SPZ

NAWCC Member
Oct 18, 2018
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Thanks, Martin. I’m sure it’s a great product. The problem is that whilst lucky residents of the USA can buy an 8oz bottle for around $8, here in the UK Amazon are asking for over £25 for the same thing!

Phil
 

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