Polish scratches from polycarbonate lens?

mbirds

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Jun 16, 2006
Messages
117
Location
Virginia
Hi,

I have a Barbolight U-04. For durability it has a polycarbonate lens (is that lexan?). Mine has seen rough use on many dives and has some scratches on the lens. Is there any way to polish them off? I have a dremel with buffing attachments but I really don't want to screw up this light... any thoughts? I don't really care about artifacts but am more concerned with output. If the scratches don't affect output that much then I'll probably leave as-is unless there is a simple solution.

Thanks!
 

harddrive

Enlightened
Joined
Dec 21, 2006
Messages
392
Location
Australia
Do a search for "toothpaste". You will find a heap of references to using it to polish scratchs from the plastic lens on surefire G2s. Sounds odd but apparently works well.
 

Mr_Light

Enlightened
Joined
Dec 4, 2005
Messages
518
Location
Silver Spring, MD
Home Depot sells a liquid Lexan Polish which seems to make the lens more transparent. It's in bottle about 12oz and is next to the display of DIY plastic (acrylic) sheeting.
 

TJZ

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Jan 6, 2007
Messages
169
Location
Ohio, USA
Displex, it works fantastic. I have used it on everything from cell phones
to watches. It has taken out all my scratches 100%, even deep ones.
You can get it on eBay or the internet.
This looks similar to polywatch that lskov suggested.

Be VERY careful if you use it with a dremel.
This will cut very very fast and can cloud up the lens and ruin it
due to too much heat from the buffing wheel. I have had this happen.
The best and fool proof way is to do it by hand.

Also no one here has said that you will remove the AR coating
with these products if there is one on the lens.
Most flashlights lenses have AR coatings.
 

mbirds

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Jun 16, 2006
Messages
117
Location
Virginia
Thanks for all the info. Does an AR coating do anything underwater (I don't know if it even has one). I will avoid the dremel for sure and do this by hand.
 

IsaacHayes

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 30, 2003
Messages
5,876
Location
Missouri
TJZ: I don't know of any polycarbonate lens with AR coating... Usualy that is glass lenses... Besides AR coating on the INSIDE is what matters the most (as it helps light get out of the lens and not reflect back).

I would put some tape or putty around the bezel to keep the polishing compound away from the bezel, so you don't get the white residue in the cracks/etc by the bezel.
 

GarageBoy

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 12, 2004
Messages
3,975
Location
Brooklyn NY
I'll do you one better than polishing compound.
There is this REALLY fine 3M sandcloth. They come in different colors and polish arcylic watch crystals no problem. Only problem is REALLY hard to find
 

TJZ

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Jan 6, 2007
Messages
169
Location
Ohio, USA
IsaacHayes said:
TJZ: I don't know of any polycarbonate lens with AR coating... Usualy that is glass lenses... Besides AR coating on the INSIDE is what matters the most (as it helps light get out of the lens and not reflect back).

I would put some tape or putty around the bezel to keep the polishing compound away from the bezel, so you don't get the white residue in the cracks/etc by the bezel.

I figured they did just like many flashlights with a glass lens do
like Fenix and so on...
Eyeglasses that are made of polycarbonate are what I'm thinking of.
I don't see why anyone wouldn't put it on a polycarbonate lens flashlight.
This lets more light through the lens from what I read on CPF.
 

IsaacHayes

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 30, 2003
Messages
5,876
Location
Missouri
TJZ, ah yeah eyeglasses. But I don't know of any plastic lenses in flashlights with AR coating. My guess is if you want AR you want glass too, so they don't bother.
 

TJZ

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Jan 6, 2007
Messages
169
Location
Ohio, USA
IsaacHayes said:
TJZ, ah yeah eyeglasses. But I don't know of any plastic lenses in flashlights with AR coating. My guess is if you want AR you want glass too, so they don't bother.
IsaacHayes, Thanks for the information. I now know more about
plastic lenses in flashlights, AR coatings are not used for them.
Maybe the AR coating is not that big of a deal. Sellers tend to
make you think so...
They sure work great on glasses though.
 

gunga

Flashaholic
Joined
Nov 29, 2006
Messages
8,079
Location
Vancouver, BC, Canada
First, always practice on a test piece pf plastic.

Now, try, Brasso and/or silvo. Use a polishing cloth or makeup removal pads, and expect to work a little while.

THis works well, and can help remove or lessen big scratches (but you will still have light swirls in the lense).

This is a known trick for fixing up scratched iPods (polycarbonate face).
 

mbirds

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Jun 16, 2006
Messages
117
Location
Virginia
Thanks guys. I tried toothpaste, then brasso since I have both in the house. The toothpase seemed a little rough, but the brasso worked well. I didn't spend too much time but it was already making a difference. I was using q-tips. I figure I'll give it the full treatment after my big dive trip in March.
 

Norm

Retired Administrator
Joined
Jun 13, 2006
Messages
9,512
Location
Australia
Another +1 for displex half the price of polywatch here in Australia.
Norm
 

Barbarin

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 30, 2001
Messages
1,305
Location
Pamplona- NA- Spain
We are using Makrolon GP, a polycarbonate by Bayer, with a scratch resistant finish. Probably one of the best! It is 5 mm thick, and it is difficult to replace the lens whitout some skills, but if yours is scratched we can send you one and instructions.

Contact me at id(at)barbolight(.)com.

Regards
 
Top