Lens, dome etc cleaning and polishing

JohnMarcson

Site Founder
Administrator
Here's the archive of the existing info:


Please post all dome cleaning and polishing tips as a reply here.
 

cpdchief

Member
Can someone post a video of thier wet sanding method? Or at the very least, provide detailed instructions, i.e. use of soap and water vs. plain water, soak the sandpaper, or just use a spray bottle, ect.
 
How hard is it to use the novus cleaning stuff?? I want to get some but want to make sure I know what I'm getting into. Any pointers would be helpful.
 

rwo978

Site Regular
Tritonhoward64 said:
How hard is it to use the novus cleaning stuff?? I want to get some but want to make sure I know what I'm getting into. Any pointers would be helpful.
It's like wax. Wipe it on, buff it around a little, let it dry, buff off. It's simple.
 
OP
OP
JohnMarcson

JohnMarcson

Site Founder
Administrator
Tritonhoward64 said:
What is the diffrence between the level 1, 2, 3??
3-rough high grit


2-light grit polish


1-Shining spray
 

rwo978

Site Regular
8 oz will last you several years. In 10 years, I've only gone not wuite thru 2 bottles.
 

shott8283

Member
experimented with the 3M headlight kit from the parts store. worked well. still left scratches, i think it needs a 1000 1500 grit stages and then the foam trizacs pad, then a compound and then a final polish. i like the size of the pad and it being drill mounted, way easier to control then my full size high speed buffer. uses less material too!
 

aj9j

Suspended
Hey. I started polishing a pair of dome s on a light force mini bar, they are clear, so i began with 1000 grit wet, 1500 then finished with 2000 grit. I then used a buffer with plastx but it still seems cloudy, what to do know, start over? here are some pics of the process and finish. thanks1000 grit sanding.jpg[/attachment:38zovdxd]230519568130.jpg[/attachment:38zovdxd]1500 grit sand.jpg[/attachment:38zovdxd]after wet sand 2000 grit.jpg[/attachment:38zovdxd]final 2000 grit polish.jpg[/attachment:38zovdxd]

230519568130.jpg

1000 grit sanding.jpg

1500 grit sand.jpg

after wet sand 2000 grit.jpg

final 2000 grit polish.jpg
 

WPD8908

Member
aj9j said:
Hey. I started polishing a pair of dome s on a light force mini bar, they are clear, so i began with 1000 grit wet, 1500 then finished with 2000 grit. I then used a buffer with plastx but it still seems cloudy, what to do know, start over? here are some pics of the process and finish. thanks

You need a rubbing compound. I like Fracela, 3m works very well. make sure its for 1500 or finer scratch remover. I use a "cutter" buffer, then fallow up with a soft polish buffer
 

toon80

Veteran Member
Polishing AeroDynic domes are known to be very time consuming.


I just used a set of "3M Headlight Lens Restoration Kit" and the results were truly amazing. I am halfway done (1/2 side) and have used about half of the kit. I your lenses are badly scratched, like mine were, I'd say 1 kit will be enough to do 1 complete side. This operation took me a little less than an hour. Once you get used to the procedure, you'll probably be able to do a whole bar in 3 hours. I wet-sanded Aerodynic domes by hand before. The results were not even as close as those of the 3M kit and it took me a whole week-end and a whooooole lot of elbow grease.


The kit is to be used with a hand drill. Follow every 17 steps (yep, 17) and you will be pleasantly surprised.


My dome came out as close as I can imagine from being new.
 
OP
OP
JohnMarcson

JohnMarcson

Site Founder
Administrator
toon80 said:
Polishing AeroDynic domes are known to be very time consuming.
I just used a set of "3M Headlight Lens Restoration Kit" and the results were truly amazing. I am halfway done (1/2 side) and have used about half of the kit. I your lenses are badly scratched, like mine were, I'd say 1 kit will be enough to do 1 complete side. This operation took me a little less than an hour. Once you get used to the procedure, you'll probably be able to do a whole bar in 3 hours. I wet-sanded Aerodynic domes by hand before. The results were not even as close as those of the 3M kit and it took me a whole week-end and a whooooole lot of elbow grease.


The kit is to be used with a hand drill. Follow every 17 steps (yep, 17) and you will be pleasantly surprised.


My dome came out as close as I can imagine from being new.

Is this the kit?

 

toon80

Veteran Member
JohnMarcson said:
Is this the kit?

That's the one, John. Got 2 kits on sale for 40$.


Great results for sure. Not like new, of course, but very close! :D


I took some pictures while underway. I'll upload them soon :)
 

elite907

Registered Member
I have also used the 3M Headlight Restorer kit.


Except I do not use the sandpaper ,since it leaves the scratches on the lenses.


And after it is all done I use the Liquid Ice Paste wax it is Great and it will not leave the white residue like others do.


And if you use a nice clean micro fiber cloth to polish it up with ,they will look great.
 

WPD8908

Member
Shadow-D said:
That looks like a good kit.
I wonder if using a DA sander with 800G,1000G,1500G etc would work then followed by a foam pad on the DA with a good plastic polish :?:
800 is pretty rough. I wouldn't go.that deep unless the domes are pitted bad
 

Stemlite

Junior Member
There's a product over here called 'Tcut' I use it all the time on lenses that are 'cloudy opaque' without any serious scratches.
 

Shadow-D

Gold Supporter

Lightbarnut

Senior Member
All I ever do is use 2000 grit. What I do is put the lens under a running water faucet and commence to hand-sand 'till resistance is gone(I can feel rough patches). After that I use a Mothers powerball and some Plast-x. I did a set of Twinsonic domes this way. Turned out good. I'm fixin' to have to do a set of Aerodynic domes. CFD125 told me to polish them on the bar. Any other advice on polishing Aerodynic domes :?:
 

toon80

Veteran Member
Lightbarnut said:
All I ever do is use 2000 grit. What I do is put the lens under a running water faucet and commence to hand-sand 'till resistance is gone(I can feel rough patches). After that I use a Mothers powerball and some Plast-x. I did a set of Twinsonic domes this way. Turned out good. I'm fixin' to have to do a set of Aerodynic domes. CFD125 told me to polish them on the bar. Any other advice on polishing Aerodynic domes :?:
I did 2 Aerodynics. 1 by hand, the other one with buffer/sandpaper on a hand drill. I found it easy to do with the hand drill by leaving the domes on the bar. I found it easier to remove the domes from the bar if I wet-sanded them by hand. I feel I can have more control on the sanding this way. By hand, I rest them vertically on a towel and there you go. One hand on the lense top, the other on the sandpaper.


If your domes are not very scratched, it should not be too tedious to do. If they are scratched and faded bad, you are in for a long haul. I did every section independantely on top but I could go all the way on the bottom part. On the top of the Aerodynic lense, the lip of every section prevent the sandpaper to glide easily so until halfway down, I do them one by one. Further down, the lips seems to merge flat against one another so there is no ridge anymore; making it easier to sand. Good luck!
 

toon80

Veteran Member
Polishing AeroDynic Lenses


Hey all. I finally managed to finish the polishing of my AeroDynic LAPD-style domes. I'll show you a before-after picture of the blue side.


As you can see, the shape they were in was quite rough. I started by removing the deeps scratches with very rough grits, like 220 and even some 80 in the beginning. I gradually went from there to 120, 400, 600, 800, 1000, 1500 and wet 2000. Results were good but not that great. I then tried the "3M polishing kit" from the start and did every 17 steps. I find the results better with hand-sanding then 3M kit.


Let me know what you think about it. They are not perfect but sure look very well. I don't think I could get them to look any better after all the long hours I put in them. Aero domes are a PITA for sure. But regarding the price for new ones, considering you have time on hand(I must've spent somewhere like 12-15 hours on the bar so far) , I'd try to restore them. :)


I hope it helps you out as many people asks for AeroDynic lenses restoration/polishing.


Before:


ai767.photobucket.com_albums_xx311_toon80_AeroDynic_20lense_20restoration_038.jpg


After:


ai767.photobucket.com_albums_xx311_toon80_AeroDynic_20lense_20restoration_DSCN0283.jpg


Toon
 

Jennifer Rose Towing

Established Member
I was very board and gutsy tonight. I decided to tackle some very bad domes tonight. My main interest was to make a short "how to" video because I needed a project to work on. I have never actually wet sanded before but give my self a 96% out of 100%.


I started with a 400 grit using pressure, moved on to 1000, 1500, 2000, then 2500. The final 2500 I did 1st with pressure on the paper then again with VERY light pressure. I kept a trickle of water in the dome as I was working and only sanding in circles (small and large). I then followed up with Plastx, all done by hand no tools of any type.


Before and after, not bad for a first try

DSCI0001.jpg

DSCI0002.jpg

DSCI0006.jpg

DSCI0018.jpg

DSCI0021.jpg

DSCI0038.jpg

DSCI0039.jpg

DSCI0054.jpg
 

tsquale

Site Minion
Platinum Supporter
shott8283 said:
experimented with the 3M headlight kit from the parts store. worked well. still left scratches, i think it needs a 1000 1500 grit stages and then the foam trizacs pad, then a compound and then a final polish. i like the size of the pad and it being drill mounted, way easier to control then my full size high speed buffer. uses less material too!
+1 I just used this on some severely worn lenses and they look almost as good as new. While I agree it needs a 100 and 1500 grit stage, it does a darn good job for the price and the little time required to do. Well worth the $15.
 

rwo978

Site Regular
What kind of materials/paper is used for this?
 

nydiver

Junior Member
I've been polishing in one capacity or another for a long time, cars, metal, plastics. The domes have been a little interesting. Fed sigs are easy as pie, I assess them to determine where to start, but 500 if they're really clouded and rough surfaced, 1000 if they're not too bad, always wet, always with a smidgen of dish detergent to lubricate and to aid in floating away the particles. I then step down to 2000, 3000, and ~4000, I use a 1800 RPM 6" buffer with a spiral wound cotton on one side and a 3 wheel stack of loose cotton on the other. I apply a liquid micro cut compound and buff against wheel rotation for inital pass, apply a straight polish compound and buff with the wheel for the final pass.


I can turn out a hawk dome in under 15 minutes from screwed to "Is that brand new?". Aerodynics take a little longer, about 30-45 minutes.


The ones that piss me off is the code3 MX's with some hard coat on them. That stuff sucks to take off without mucking up the plastic in a hurry. I end up using a spiral wound wheel that I have glued aluminum dust to, I'm basically micro grinding that crap off, it makes refinishing those domes ALOT harder and longer.


I do alot of hawks and more and more MX's so I'm currently making a form for them so I can just do reflow on them and eliminate totally having to buff them, just stick em on the form, in the "oven" and let em cool, basically brand new.
 

kadetklapp

Veteran Member
Would someone be kind enough to post pictures of results from using the 3M Headlight restoration kit? I'd be particularly interested in TwinSonic domes and AeroDynic dome results using this product.
 

toon80

Veteran Member
kadetklapp said:
Would someone be kind enough to post pictures of results from using the 3M Headlight restoration kit? I'd be particularly interested in TwinSonic domes and AeroDynic dome results using this product.
I did the AeroDynic domes with the 3M HeadLight restore kit. Check my before/after results in the same thread, post #35.


Rough scratches were done by hand with VERY rought grit to "eat" through the plastic, then finishing using the exact steps of that 3M kit. It's not NOS-like, of course, but displays very well. I will probably continue polishing my lenses with finer grits ( I have up to 12,000). Results are better than the pictures shows.
 

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