|To:||"Michael Tope" <W4EF@dellroy.com>,"Rick Stoneking" <email@example.com>,"TowerTalk Reflector" <firstname.lastname@example.org>|
|Subject:||Re: [TowerTalk] Polishing a plastic meter face to remove scratches?|
|From:||Jim Lux <email@example.com>|
|Date:||Fri, 12 Nov 2004 11:45:46 -0800|
At 07:23 AM 11/12/2004 -0800, Michael Tope wrote:
When I was in college, I worked for the physics department. We were fabricating adiabatic light pipes out of acrylic. Before we went to laser cutting, we would saw cut the acrylic, sand it, and then use a paste loaded with alumina particles to polish the edges to an optical finish. This was probably the same stuff that Jim W6RMK was talking about for polishing aircraft windshields. I think you could specify the particle size if you wanted to polish in steps. Wish I could remember the manufacturer (too many dead brain cells since then).
This reminds me of another way to get a very high quality polish on plastic: firepolishing. Might be a bit dicey on a meter faceplate though! Here's how you do it.
Polish with fine grit til the surface is smooth. Then, use a single edge razor blade to scrape smoother. Then, carefully play a clean flame over the surface until the small remaining pits and bumps melt and merge. Works really, really well on acrylic or polycarbonate edges, for instance. Large surfaces are tricky. Don't try this on styrene (ignites too easily!). You need a very clean, blue flame too, or the soot will cause problems. An alcohol lamp burning methanol works, as do those little butane torches with a flame spreader. The ultimate clean flame is oxyhydrogen. A hot air gun might work, if you have the right kind. Some of the guys at the shop I used to work in were great with the hot air gun for this, but I never got the touch. The butane flame was easiest for me.
See: http://www.mscomputer.com for "Self Supporting Towers", "Wireless Weather Stations", and lot's more. Call Toll Free, 1-800-333-9041 with any questions and ask for Sherman, W2FLA.
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