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Old 09-08-2009, 01:31 AM   #1
Dave KG
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Exclamation Glass Polishing by Machine - Defect Correction

Search the forums and you will find thousands of threads about the correction of defects from paint - hard paint, soft paint, white paint, black paint, pink paint etc etc etc... But you'll also notice a complete dearth of threads about removing defects from glass! In this thread I am going to introduce a technique and polishes I have been using on glass in testing in recent months, with further threads to come with more detailed results as well.

First things first - glass is tough! Very tough! Think the hardest paint type, and multiple by "A Large Number" and you're getting there! Many glasses you can clean with steel wool and not scratch them! So, as you can probably imagine, the use of traditional paint polishes and abrasives is rather out of the question. But how then, can we deal with marks like this on glass?







These marks are wiper sweep marks, typical on a lot of glass. In particular, Porsche owners complain of their windscreens being afflicted by this wiper sweep marking which can be very distracting on a sunny day!

Removal of such marks requires specialist abrasives designed for task - cerium oxide is one such abrasive type, and is found in a few glass correction products. The one used for these tests is Liquid Glass, produced by Rapid Autocare. It is supplied in a kit designed for use with a drill - comes with the polish (very watery) and a couple of rayon pads. A a sponge which I am sure has a use, but not sure what it is yet - was useful for blowing my nose though.

Now, one major concern here is heat. The correction of glass requires a lot of effort owing to its hardness and this can lead to large heat build up. It is important to monitor this very carefully, as high heat can disform the glass, distorting vision and making a replacement necessary. Always be aware of this when glass polishing! Using a drill, if you stay in the same place too long, you will distort the glass - trust me

The techniques that we have been working on for glass involve the use of a rotary polisher, a 2" backing plate (Ben at Carnaubawax Shop has them ), and 2" Rayon pads (again, Ben has these, or use the ones in the kit). The pad is primed with the watery polish, and a region of about 6" square at a time is polished as follows:
  • Spread at 600rpm
  • Begin to work at 1200rpm, light pressure and maintain this speed until polish well spread to avoid splatter later
  • Work at 2000rpm, light to medium pressure, slow machine movements for a minute or so
  • Work at 2500rpm, medium to heavy rotary pressure*, slow machine movements monitoring the heat very carefully until polish starts to dry a little
  • Finish at 1200 - 1500rpm, light pressure and faster machine movements

* Be very careful not to bow, or break glass with too heavy pressure and at all times monitor the heat. It should never get too hot to tap by hand, perhaps a little too hot to hold for a while.

Essentially a high-speed Zenith Point technique, with a typical set lasting three or four minutes. Care was taken throughout to monitor the heat of the glass (did I mention heat again? Its important ). The results, here on Vauxhall Astra glass, are as follows:







A definite difference, and a definite improvement! These results have been replicated during details too thus far, most notably on a Porsche 911 which Gordon detailed recently

Further testing is still required for dealing with deeper glass scratches, and further writeups will follow based on this and alterations of the above technique. Hopefully this will give a flavour for what is possible on glass though with a rotary polisher and the right products

I would like to thank Gordon (caledonia) and Davy (badly_dubbed) for their help in this test ... We three are the lab monkeys!!

Last edited by Dave KG; 09-08-2009 at 02:10 AM.
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Old 09-08-2009, 01:38 AM   #2
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Quality work as always Dave. Excellent write up and already looking forward to the next installments
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Old 09-08-2009, 01:46 AM   #3
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Interesting Dave, thanks for that.
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Old 09-08-2009, 01:59 AM   #4
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Any forseable issues with the laminate in the middle getting hot and possible discolouring do you think?

how about it's use on the heated front screens?
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Old 09-08-2009, 02:03 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chunkytfg View Post
Any forseable issues with the laminate in the middle getting hot and possible discolouring do you think?

how about it's use on the heated front screens?
This was a heated rear screen that it was used on in this example here.

Triplex glass, the one with laminate inside as you describe, is susceptable to heat - I know this through testing However, it was not discolouration, but rather distortion of the glass, perhaps the laminate getting too hot and distorting. But in all cases, you would want to be very carefully monitoring the heat build ups and minimising them where possible. While this glass correction is possible and can be achieved, it should be viewed IMO a bit like wet sanding - its a last resort option, required only if you cannot sleep at night because the glass scratches are so bad! The possibilities for issues are there and should always be considered, and a new pane of glass would be needed in the event of discolouring or distorting.
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Old 09-08-2009, 02:58 AM   #6
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Very interesting, thanks Dave!
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Old 09-08-2009, 03:40 AM   #7
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Very interesting.
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Old 09-08-2009, 02:57 PM   #8
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Thanks for the write up Dave, will come in very handy!

My windscreen is a right mess
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Old 09-08-2009, 09:03 PM   #9
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Hi Dave.

Great write up. The reason we include the Sponge is so you can clean the glass and check progress. This is needed when customers use the retail Kit as the drill is more difficult to control than a rotary and you can actually create quite a lot of mess.

Also in the instructions we advise that if any of the Glass Polish should get on the paint, to use the sponge fully wet with water to lift off the polish due to it's high level of abrasiveness
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Old 09-08-2009, 09:10 PM   #10
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a very good read there may have to look into getting some
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