POLISHING METALS (INCLUDING JEWELLERY), GLASS, PLASTICS
How to polish metals; how to remove scratches from glass (including windscreens and shop counters)
scratch remover for plastics (including soft plastics such as acrylic and plastic watch crystals)
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This is how scratches were removed in a windscreen factory. Use a polishing motor on its slowest speed. Use a large cotton mop. While the mop is spinning apply by holding the block of rouge against it. The rouge is very soft, it will come off easily, there is no need to mix it with anything. If the scratch is deep enough to feel with your fingernail it is too deep to remove by polishing. I assume that if this method works on glass car windscreens it will also work on ordinary windows and on shop counters and on glass watch 'crystals' (it won't have any effect at all on sapphire 'crystals').
easy is this to do? Well...it's possible, it's worth a try rather than
buying a new shop window or expensive showcase, but it's not necessarily
'easy'. A company specialising in taking scratches out of glass was
going to market a D.I.Y. system of mops and polishes but changed their
mind. They said, if you are too gentle it simply doesn't work and if
you are too enthusiastic the glass gets hot and shatters, which is why
they charge a lot of money to come to your shop and polish a scratch
out of the glass. So I can't promise you'll do a perfect job, but it's
certainly worth a try, just go carefully!
I took my own watch to a jeweller to get a new 'glass' (it was made of plastic and it was badly scratched) and he took it upstairs to his workshop. Ten minutes later he brought it back and it was almost perfect. He realised that the scratches were too bad for the plastics scratch-remover (see below) and so used standard jewellers rouge, but because the scratches were so deep, he had to use a quite 'hard' polishing mop (rather than the usual soft mop) and he had to use rouge rather than the plastics 'scratch remover'. As a skilled polisher, he knew just how hard-and-long to polish in order to remove the deep scratches without totally destroying the 'glass'. So it is possible to polish bad scratches out of plastic but you have to use a polishing motor (you won't manage it by hand) and you need considerable skill.
For acrylics and other very soft plastics try scratch remover. This works well on soft plastics such as acrylics. Typical items made of soft plastics are: some 'watch crystals' (though they should be made of a hard plastic), most display stands, simple handheld magnifying lenses, some very cheap reading spectacles and sunglasses. Scratch remover will not work on hard plastics such as polycarbonate (or any lens described as 'scratch-resistant').
There are many hundreds of different types of plastic, if you don't know if your plastic is 'soft' or 'hard (i.e. whether to use scratch-remover or rouge) try it and see. If the plastic is too hard, the scratch remover will have no effect. If the plastic is very soft, it will probably work. But do take care. My recommendation, for anything expensive (and all lenses) is: if you have a choice between throwing the item away or trying to remove the scratches, then try the scratch remover, you've nothing to lose, otherwise don't risk it.
To use, mix scratch remover with water to form a paste the consistency of double cream, apply with a small felt mop on a miniature polishing motor, go carefully - you are only polishing a scratch not drilling for oil. This is the powder used in the aircraft industry for polishing the acrylic canopies of aircraft. As with the rouge, it will only work on fine scratches.
cleaning jewellery (gold and silver) IN A WORKSHOP:
cleaning jewellery (any soft metal...not steel or chrome), ALTERNATIVE
To remove tarnish (blackening) from silver there is a special chemical, and we have a silver cleaning cloth that is impregnated with this chemical.
Firstly, they are extensively used in workshops ('polishing shops') in the jewellery trade.
Secondly, by saying they are for 'professional' use I assume the user has a polishing motor and a selection of polishing mops and experience of polishing; or maybe wants a wider choice of polishes; or wants to try these out to see if they are better than what he uses already. They are water-based and are therefore 'clean' unlike jewellers rouge which stains everything red and has to be continuously washed off.
The polishers (people) who use these have probably had a three year apprenticeship to learn polishing jewellery, so it really is difficult when we get calls saying, "I've bought your professional Luxi polishes, what do I do next?" - that's a bit like buying a set of spanners then asking, "I've go the spanners, now how do I repair my car?". However, if you are the type of person who can work out how to repair a car, polishing jewellery should (in terms of engineering skills) be easy! Though don't expect to end up with the item looking absolutely like new, that really does take time to learn. Tips: keep a buff for each compound, don't mix them, work from the top of this list to the bottom (GREY for the hardest / most badly scratches items down to RED for the final polish); or for an all-purpose option, go for ASIAN RED.
the sake of comparing the grades, jewellers rouge is somewhere between
the 'red' and 'blue' grades below.
£5.50 ref. luxi-blu
QUICKTEST, Watford, WD18 8PH, Tel. 01923 220206, email info(at)quicktest.co.uk