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Old 10/09/2017, 08:28 PM   #1
ozorowsky
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Acrylic buffing :( I'm doing something wrong please advise

Hey all,

I have a 340 gallon acrylic aquarium I'm buffing out. It had minor scratches, and a couple bigger but for the most part not too bad.

I got a makita palm sander, and began with 600 grit on the end panel. I worked back and forth at a medium pace left to right on the panel. Then I went to 800 and did up and down patterns at a medium pace. Then I did 1000 alternating direction, 1500 and finally 2000. I wiped off the residue between every coat.

Everything seemed uniform and the scratches gone, so I then moved on to Novus step 3. I used a headlight restorer buffing ball and massaged the glass.

Next I applied step 2 liberally, then buffed it off with a clean microfiber cloth.

Lastly I applied step 1 and buffed it out with a microfiber cloth.

If I look at the tank having only buffed the one side of the panel it looks amazing clear.

If I look through the glass with a light there's like a haze, and some very small fine scratches, possibly from me sanding it. The biggest thing that bothers me is the haze look as once tank is filled I don't want to have this haze.

Did I miss a step or any tips how to perfect this?


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Old 10/09/2017, 09:30 PM   #2
ozorowsky
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Here are pictures of what I'm working with. Please note I haven't touched the outside. If you look at the tank through the light you can see the cloudiness I'm talking about coming from the inside.

How do I get rid of this cloudiness for a crystal clear finish?


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Old 10/09/2017, 10:09 PM   #3
luu78
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2000 grit is not fine enough and will require excessive compound buffing. Find a small new pc of acrylic and buff the 2000 grit like you did on your tank and then compound buff like you did and compare results. If the haze is the same size then you need to go finer or more compound buffing. If theres no haze on the sample acrylic then you missed some courser prior steps. I have the Lifeguard Scratch Removal Kit by LifeGard Aquatics way back when and it goes up to 12,000 grit. Here's a pic of the kit. Hope this helps




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Old 10/09/2017, 10:12 PM   #4
ozorowsky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luu78 View Post
2000 grit is not fine enough and will require excessive compound buffing. Find a small new pc of acrylic and buff the 2000 grit like you did on your tank and then compound buff like you did and compare results. If the haze is the same size then you need to go finer or more compound buffing. If theres no haze on the sample acrylic then you missed some courser prior steps. I have the Lifeguard Scratch Removal Kit by LifeGard Aquatics way back when and it goes up to 12,000 grit. Here's a pic of the kit. Hope this helps




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I can go get more sandpaper tomorrow. How high up you think I should go with sanding?


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Old 10/09/2017, 10:45 PM   #5
Breadman03
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Acrylic buffing 😞 I'm doing something wrong please advise

Check out Sleifís thread if you havenít. Iíll see if I can find a link.

ETA: not the thread, but the YouTube video of it:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dXthrMx7sq4


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Old 10/09/2017, 11:15 PM   #6
luu78
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You have to go to an auto body supply and hope they have wet sandpaper finer than 2000 grits. Auto body usually goes up to 2000 before buffing


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Old 10/09/2017, 11:19 PM   #7
luu78
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Originally Posted by ozorowsky View Post
I can go get more sandpaper tomorrow. How high up you think I should go with sanding?

You also should buff diagonally from the previous grit. This is how you will notice if you sanded off the previous grit completely. For example, if you sanded 1500 horizontally, you need to sand 2000 vertically until the horizontal scratches are completely gone. Use a squeezy to wipe during sanding is a quick way to verify between sandings


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Old 10/10/2017, 04:59 AM   #8
ozorowsky
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Advance has 2000 then 3000 grit. Think i should give 3000 a shot?

Also for each coat of sand paper that's how i did it. Say 600 horizontal, 800vertical, 1000 horizontal and so on.


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Old 10/10/2017, 05:36 AM   #9
luu78
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I will def help. Will just require more/longer buffing with the compound. Some uses baking soda as a dry buffing compound too. Not sure what grid baking soda yields though...good luck


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Old 10/10/2017, 07:06 AM   #10
shaginwagon13
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Acrylic buffing 😞 I'm doing something wrong please advise

Iíve only ever seen it done this way, mind you itís far easier when there is nothing in your tank.

https://youtu.be/cHlwBgTbe8E

Please donít try this with your electric angle grinder, these guys use air powered grinders for inside the tank as they get wet. I would have to assume the water acts as both a lubricant and a coolant.

I would assume the bidding of any acrylic would be the same in principle, make sure your using compound, staff with a courser grid and work your way up slowly to fine grit and then finally a polish, and donít leave the grinder in one spot; always keep the grinder moving.


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Current Tank Info: 550 Gallon SPS Reef l 200 Gallon Sump l Skimmer: Vertex Alpha 250 l Return Pump: Reeflo Hammerhead l Tank Circulation: (2) Maxspect Gyre XF280 l Lighting: (3) 400w Halides & (3) AI Hydra 52 HD
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Old 10/10/2017, 11:23 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luu78 View Post
2000 grit is not fine enough and will require excessive compound buffing. Find a small new pc of acrylic and buff the 2000 grit like you did on your tank and then compound buff like you did and compare results. If the haze is the same size then you need to go finer or more compound buffing. If theres no haze on the sample acrylic then you missed some courser prior steps. I have the Lifeguard Scratch Removal Kit by LifeGard Aquatics way back when and it goes up to 12,000 grit. Here's a pic of the kit. Hope this helps




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+1...

If using a machine to buff things out, I would go to at least 6000 grit prior to using the machine buffer. Heck, if it were me, I would likely go up higher than that just to minimize the polishing effort.

I would suggest going to youtube and finding some videos on color sanding and polishing automotive paint. Particularly clear coat safe processes. You don’t need to use the Novus system but Novus, 3,2,1 work well too. You ultimately kind of want to treat it like a car paint and the higher the grade of wet sandpaper you use, the less effort required during the polishing process. You can get micro mesh sand paper all the way up to 12,000 grit.


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Old 10/10/2017, 11:26 AM   #12
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Here is a thread I put together on scratch removal in a full tank. The same process could be used in an empty tank with the difference being that I would use the electric sander and finish it off with machine buffing using either Novus or automotive grade clear coat safe buffing and polishing compounds.

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh....php?t=2538092


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For All Royal Exclusiv & Bubble King questions please refer to our Sponsor forum: http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/fo...play.php?f=745

Current Tank Info: 480G display mixed reef, 90G sump, 90G refugium, 60G display refugium. Check out my build thread: http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1783476
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Old 10/10/2017, 02:59 PM   #13
ca1ore
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I'm generally scornful of utube video, but that was extremely useful. I'm about to have my first acrylic tank and petrified of scratching it up.


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Old 10/10/2017, 05:16 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by ca1ore View Post
I'm generally scornful of utube video, but that was extremely useful. I'm about to have my first acrylic tank and petrified of scratching it up.
If you are talking about the LA Fish Guy video I put together, I can assure you that Acylic is really nice because you can easily erase scratches. My tank is 25 years old now and I can remove scratches and make it look like new. Something you canít do with glass. Not sure if you saw the link I posted above to the thread but there is a lot of good info and pictures in there documenting the compete step by step process of scratch removal on a full tank.

Fear not.


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For All Royal Exclusiv & Bubble King questions please refer to our Sponsor forum: http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/fo...play.php?f=745

Current Tank Info: 480G display mixed reef, 90G sump, 90G refugium, 60G display refugium. Check out my build thread: http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1783476
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Old 10/10/2017, 06:51 PM   #15
ca1ore
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slief View Post
If you are talking about the LA Fish Guy video I put together, I can assure you that Acylic is really nice because you can easily erase scratches. My tank is 25 years old now and I can remove scratches and make it look like new. Something you canít do with glass. Not sure if you saw the link I posted above to the thread but there is a lot of good info and pictures in there documenting the compete step by step process of scratch removal on a full tank.

Fear not.
Yes, that was the video I saw Scott, very useful. I've been keeping reef tanks for almost 30 years, but always glass. This one this time around just got big enough that I decided to go acrylic.


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Simon

Got back into the hobby ..... planned to keep it simple ..... yeah, right ..... clearly I need a new plan! Pet peeve: anemones host clowns; clowns do not host anemones!

Current Tank Info: 450 Reef; 120 refugium; 60 Frag Tank, 30 Introduction tank; multiple QTs
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