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Thread: Glass Polishing by Machine - Defect Correction

          
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    Arrow 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
    "A thing of beauty is a joy for ever: Its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness; .... "

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    Lexus Enthusiast Megafast13's Avatar
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    Re: Glass Polishing by Machine - Defect Correction

    Excellent Write up!!!
    Sweet Pictures, and Results

    This will be helpful to a lot of people, the majority of the people on MOL haven't had great success with Glass Polishing.
    Matt

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    aka: 23jam J. A. Michaels's Avatar
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    Re: Glass Polishing by Machine - Defect Correction

    Very informative. Thanks for sharing.
    quality creates its own demand

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    Re: Glass Polishing by Machine - Defect Correction

    errmm...

    thanks for the info


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    Rasky's Auto Detailing RaskyR1's Avatar
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    Re: Glass Polishing by Machine - Defect Correction

    Thanks for sharing Dave!

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    'Pearly Gates' Eddie6th's Avatar
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    Re: Glass Polishing by Machine - Defect Correction

    Nice write up,Dave.

    I'm looking for something like this for my 16yr old buggy. It's pretty much the same as in your pics. Horrible to look at and not nice to drive with at night.

    Is this a kit which is widely available in europe?
    How much does it come in at?
    I'll google search it.If I can't find,can you give a pic of the kit?

    Scratch...Found it...available from UK....No problemo.

    Last edited by Eddie6th; Sep 30th, 2009 at 05:25 AM. Reason: found product

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    aka 2hotford Tim Lingor's Avatar
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    Re: Glass Polishing by Machine - Defect Correction

    Morning,

    Just to chime in here with a word of warning:

    You need to be really careful buffing glass with a rotary polisher as it is possible to distort the glass, thereby ruining your windshield etc! Cerium Oxide is the main compound used for removing marring and scratches in glass. But it also takes a lot of experience in order to use it correctly and safely!

    I see many posts where the intent is to help people, but because of the lack of experience in a product and/or process, damage may occur if it is not used or done correctly. So again, it would be prudent to practice on something that does not matter to perfect your technique before taking it to an expensive windshield.

    Tim

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    'Pearly Gates' Eddie6th's Avatar
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    Re: Glass Polishing by Machine - Defect Correction

    Thankyou Tim.

    That was my intention. I have no problem getting scrap panels or windshields.


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    aka 2hotford Tim Lingor's Avatar
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    Re: Glass Polishing by Machine - Defect Correction

    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie6th View Post
    Thankyou Tim.

    That was my intention. I have no problem getting scrap panels or windshields.

    Hey Eddie,

    It is always good to practice any new technique or product on something like a scrap panel...just in case.

    My warning was in general for everyone as glass can be very difficult to work with and a mistake is very costly!

    Tim

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    Detailing Enthusiast seech's Avatar
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    Re: Glass Polishing by Machine - Defect Correction

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Lingor View Post
    Hey Eddie,

    It is always good to practice any new technique or product on something like a scrap panel...just in case.

    My warning was in general for everyone as glass can be very difficult to work with and a mistake is very costly!

    Tim
    Tim, how about regular water spots etc? Can we just use M105 with a polishing pad? Or does glass require a special glass polish and pad?
    Detailing blog: prodetailing.blogspot.com
    Everything else: theseech.blogspot.com

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