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From digest.v7.n841 Mon Dec 29 13:01:40 1997
From: "Alan Alfano"<>
Date: Mon, 29 Dec 1997 10:19:51 -0400
Subject: Re: Polishing Lenses

In v07.n840, From: Jonathan Lukens <>

>>Also you might not want to use steel wool on the lenses - they're
>>plastic and this might only make things worse. I just polished mine
>>with some tripoli compound on a nice rag wheel. Worked like a charm.

>Can you elaborate on the tripoli compound?


Plastic is a delicate item, IMHO start with the least abrasive solution first. Do not use steel wool.

  1. Consider using Meguiars plastic polish (less abrasive), or Meguiars plastic cleaner (more abrasive than polish). Other sources for plastic cleaner/polish would be a motorcycle shop (used for helmet visors). With a very soft cloth use side to side motions, as a circular motion creates a twinkling effect in the sun light. I was able to restore my original Austin-Healey reflectors using this technique to as new condition. Consider this for soft plastics.
  2. The Eastwood company (in Pennsylvannia) sells a plastic buffing wheel and plastic buffing compound. IMHO, do not use Tripoli compound. Tripoli is used for removing light scratches in aluminum, brass, copper, and die cast. The trick with plastic is to not let the heat build up and to make sure that the compound is doing the work, not a dry buffing wheel. The plastic buffing wheel is stringy which dissipates heat quickly. With this technique, you will have to be careful with the raised lettering, as you can easily buff them smooth. Use masking tape to protect the lettering. Clean the lettering with Meguiars plastic polish. Removing the lettering could be a desirable modification. I was able to restore my original Healey plastic knobs to as new condition with this technique. It also works well on 'bakelight' plastic from the 1950s. Consider this for hard plastics.
  3. If there are deep scratches, use 1000/1500/2000 grit wet-dry sandpaper with a rubber block to get it leveled. Then use the plastic buff/compound to get the gloss back.

Disclaimer: no financial gain/interest with the Eastwood Company.

Alan Alfano

BMW CCA #30492

1988 BMW 325iX
1956 Austin-Healey 100M (2)

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