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Old 02-01-2011, 12:03   #16

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The "at hand" solution is to try polishing it with plain Crest toothpaste, which uses diatomaceous earth (fuller's earth) as the white polish. This is a classic way to buff up plastic but it is gentle.
Plexus brand plastic polsih, sold in 1-2-3 grades each more abrasive, is a better way to attack hard jobs. Start with the coarse stuff, repeat with the other two, it can make almost any plastic look like new. Available all over for many years.
Or, you can stop by an auto chain. McGuires and 3M (who I trust more) both make "headlight restoration kits" now, to buff out foggy plastic headlight covers. Complete kit has the right polish, the polishing wheel, everything except an electric drill. Should make fast work of the compass dome.

Of course, then you're going to have to redo all the portlights to match.<G>

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Old 28-02-2015, 12:44   #17
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Re: Compass Dome Polishing / Restoration

If you still have crazing in the compass dome after you finish polishing, you can hide the crazing with a permanent black marker.

- Make sure the compass is completely DRY.
- Color in a patch the size of a quarter, then wipe off the excess quickly with a tissue ( keep rubbing to remove all of the black from the surface ).
The black ink penetrates into the crazing lines, and stops the light from reflecting from the crack, making it almost invisible.

See the attached images. The first one shows marker before being wiped off (left) and finished patch (right). The second image shows a larger area completed.

Another tip: If you have to refill the compass, I had good results from using Mineral Spirits. Take and old ballpoint pen and cut off 1 inch of the tube that holds the ink. Drill a hole in the lid of the Mineral Oil bottle, and krazy glue the pen tube into the lid. It fits the fill hole in the compass, and is faster than using a syringe.

Put the screw back in, rotate the compass to get all the air bubbles to the top, then invert the compass again, loosen the fill screw, and squeeze the diaphragm rubber on the bottom to get the last air out.
Keep the diaphragm depressed as you put the screw back in. ( or the diaphragm may split from the excess pressure on a hot day. It is there to absorb the expansion and contraction. Don't overfill )
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Old 28-02-2015, 12:47   #18

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Re: Compass Dome Polishing / Restoration

Crazing in plastics is often the result of UV and solvent exposure. Most waxes and polishes being petrochemical based, they'll cause crazing in the long term.

And guess what a permanent marker is? Not just alcohol based, but other solvents as well. I'd expect that wiping it into the already crazed plastic would just ensure the problem will grow worse, as more solvents, higher end solvents, now join the attack.

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Old 28-02-2015, 18:50   #19
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Re: Compass Dome Polishing / Restoration

I see this is a revived thread.

Jim used Meguiar's Cleaner Polisher on our 25 yr old Plastimo compass the other day. Clear as a bell now. The polish is the last of some purchased about 15 yrs. ago. Good product. Hope it's still available.

Ann & Jim, U.S. s/v Insatiable II, SE Qld, for a while
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Old 01-03-2015, 03:18   #20
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Re: Compass Dome Polishing / Restoration

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Kim G.

Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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