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Machine Polishing Need help with Machine polishing

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Old 10-12-2016, 06:45 PM   #11
tosh
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Restoring plastic headlamps

All I can say is if you've sanded at 800, 1200, 2000, 2500 then there aren't any swirls left!

Thinking about it; got to be your pad/polish combination. I used to use PlastX on a white pad; when I ran out of that, Menz IP on an orange and white pad.

I was left with sparkly lights which were stone chips because I didn't go deep enough with the sanding. But no swirls. Again I was on a rotary.

Bet you'll never do these lights ever again!


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Old 10-12-2016, 08:18 PM   #12
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That's what I'm thinking- having wet sanded as you've said, how can there be swirls? Admittedly I may have caused then by initially using a power drill/backing plate/pad combo bit how have I not polished then out yet?? I've literally spent 30-40 mins every night this week and still they remain!!
I'm either dealing with the worlds toughest plastic (granted they are 16 years old) or I'm causing them as I go, with a DA.
Am thinking that I'll wet sand again at 2500 then try PlastX on a soft pad, if that doesn't sort it then I quit!!
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Old 10-12-2016, 08:27 PM   #13
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You may have got some dirt/grit in a sanding disc, then gone to the next stage without realising.

Sounds stupid, but I sometimes do it when sanding scratches out of glass, it's a royal pain...
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Old 11-12-2016, 08:53 AM   #14
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Fair point. I didn't use a sanding disc, did it by hand and worked as clean as possible. I think my mistake was to start the compounding with a pad fitted to a corded power drill, as I've only got a DAS6 pro plus that can't run any smaller than a 5" pad. I figured this would be too big on my headlamp, bit have had to resort to using it anyway, although I have discovered that you can put a 4" pad on a 5" plate- you just need to be incredibly careful!!
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Old 11-12-2016, 08:04 PM   #15
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I would try hand polishing to see if that removes the swirls. 2500 grit paper marks should be easy to remove, so I wonder if you have gone too aggressive. Not tried a long throw polisher so no idea how suitable it is for headlights but rather than go more and more aggressive, try going softer.
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Old 13-12-2016, 08:38 PM   #16
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Thanks. That's my next plan of attack!!
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Old 17-12-2016, 06:33 PM   #17
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Right, so I started on the other headlight, to try and work out where ive gone wrong.
Wet sanded by hand from 800-2500. Have got rid of all the sanding marks without too much problem and it looks fantastic- until you introduce some light. Bloody swirls are evident again!!?
I've tried every combination of pad/compound/speed I can think of and nothing is working. Honestly at a complete loss and thoroughly fed up with it.
Anyone got any idea what the hell I'm doing wrong? It seems I'm causing them but I've no idea why...
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Old 17-12-2016, 10:35 PM   #18
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I would try and hand polish at this stage, don't use the machine.

Alternatively, either borrow a rotary or drill mounted backing pad and try again with a new 4" pad and the lightest polish you have. The throw on your polisher may be the culprit.


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Old 19-12-2016, 09:39 AM   #19
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Thanks Tosh. I have got a backing plate for a drill, that's how I started polishing the first lamp, and what I thought was the culprit for the dreaded swirls.
Lightest compound I've got is M205, either that or PlastX, which I'm told is fairly light.
Had thought the plastic would be hard, but am now thinking maybe it's very soft. Watched an Ammo vid on YouTube about polishing with just water for very soft surfaces- might give that a go too. Thanks for your help and I'll let you know...
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Old 24-12-2016, 09:51 AM   #20
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Me again! Still fighting!! Was making zero progress so admitted defeat and went to my local professional. They suggest a very light compound and a soft pad should be sufficient, just experiment with amount of time spent on each pass. Bought some Rupes white compound and used a rupes white pad..
Well, I've done that and, guess what- zero difference!!?
Genuinely at a loss now ss to what I'm
Doing wrong. May have to admit defeat and just seal the bloody things.
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