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Polishing plastic eyeglass lenses?

Anyone know a way to "polish up" plastic eyeglass lenses so they're smooth? Mine have a bunch of small scratches that are right in the way of my line of vision, so it's very annoying. I just don't want to try "buffing it out" with the wrong thing. I suspect if I go to an eyeglass place they're going to just try and sell me new glasses/lenses for $400 or whatever... Suggestions?
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Old 02-05-2009, 09:08 AM
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Won't polishing potentially change the shape of the lense?
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Old 02-05-2009, 09:14 AM
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Wait a minute.....back up.....aren't you a pilot?

Might want to spring for the new glasses......I'm just sayin'........
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Old 02-05-2009, 09:14 AM
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Old 02-05-2009, 09:16 AM
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Old 02-05-2009, 09:18 AM
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I am not 100% sure, but I think many modern lenses come with a coating which might make polishing a beotch, but I polished motorcycle helmet face shields, safety glasses and ski goggle lens with my 3M paint buffing compound. I used to keep a bunch of specialty polishing products for metals, plastic, paint etc. I now simply use my 3M buffing compouind for pretty much everything I ever need to polish or buff. If the scrathes are deep, first use varying grits of sand paper (600, 800, 1200 etc) to wet sand out the scratches then simply buff em up.
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Old 02-05-2009, 09:21 AM
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I normally wear contacts but they're buggin' me. The glasses are just a backup. I just want to buff out the scratches, not change the shape of the lens if I can avoid it. These are really shallow scratches, probably less than the width of a hair - they're from the glasses rubbing against the inside of my jacket when I (stupidly) put them in there a long time ago without a case - so they're friction scuffs or whatever you call 'em.

I'll look into the 3M stuff.
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Old 02-05-2009, 09:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Porsche-O-Phile View Post
I normally wear contacts but they're buggin' me. The glasses are just a backup. I just want to buff out the scratches, not change the shape of the lens if I can avoid it. These are really shallow scratches, probably less than the width of a hair - they're from the glasses rubbing against the inside of my jacket when I (stupidly) put them in there a long time ago without a case - so they're friction scuffs or whatever you call 'em.

I'll look into the 3M stuff.
Jeff, nothing sacred about the 3M brand, it is just what I have been buying from the Dupont paint store for years. You can probably find it or some other brand at any auto parts store.
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Old 02-05-2009, 09:28 AM
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I've used a couple of different process.

Just be careful if you have the anti-glare coating as polishing will remove it immediately

For deep scratches I used 2000 grit wet sanding
then
Polished with a non-grit polishing compound (3M, Maguire's etc)

Then finished it off with a super high gloss carnuba polish, let it dry than buff off, repeated 3X

I used a dremel with a small 2" round polishing wheel I found at an autobody store

I've also used a plastic polish made for motorcycle faring & helmet visors

Proceed with caution

BTW I ruined 1 pair before figuring out this process & using this process polished off the anti-glare coating
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Old 02-05-2009, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Porsche-O-Phile View Post
I normally wear contacts but they're buggin' me. The glasses are just a backup. I just want to buff out the scratches, not change the shape of the lens if I can avoid it. These are really shallow scratches, probably less than the width of a hair - they're from the glasses rubbing against the inside of my jacket when I (stupidly) put them in there a long time ago without a case - so they're friction scuffs or whatever you call 'em.

I'll look into the 3M stuff.
If you decide to polish the contact lenses, make sure you take them out first

Seriously, I'd talk to an opthamologist about it. Sure he'll try to sell you new lenses but maybe he'll tell you what NOT to do.
Old 02-05-2009, 11:29 AM
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Check with the hardcore watch guys. Lots of watches have acrylic lenses, and those lenses get polished when they get scratched.
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Old 02-05-2009, 12:25 PM
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I polished the acrylic crystal on my grandfather's 1977 Seiko watch using brasso...worked great. Maybe it would work on your glasses too.
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Old 02-05-2009, 12:46 PM
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Google "Armour Etch" and glasses.
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Old 02-05-2009, 01:17 PM
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I used this on an acrylic aquarium for a while until I gave up and bought a glass tank. Works great.

http://store.primaryshopping.net/3000pc1030kit.html
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Old 02-05-2009, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
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I'll look into the 3M stuff.


Was this a pun?

Does that 3M stuff hurt when you rub it in your eyes?
Old 02-05-2009, 04:36 PM
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I have frequently buffed scratches out of CD's, DVD's, soft ware disks, and watches. You really only need a buffing wheel, preferable a fixed unit, and a soft wheel with some mild compound. Most hardware stores like SEARS have a section that sell compounds like tripoli, rouge, and acrylic polishing compounds. The key is to take your time, use plenty of compound, and lightly buff out the scratches. No secrets to it. It may take you a few minutes, but you can easily take out most small scratches without a problem.
Old 02-05-2009, 07:47 PM
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Use Armour Etch to polish and remove coating on plastic lens that are scratched.

Do a google search for Armour Etch. Cost is under $10.00 a 3oz bottle. I just polished all the glasses that I scratched the last couple of years.

This will not on glasses that are made from glass. This only work on plastic carbonate lens.
Old 04-02-2009, 02:18 PM
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If I were gonna do this, I would buy a cheap CD cleaning kit from Wally World and use the fluid and wipes that come with it... it is a very fine abrasive....
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Old 04-02-2009, 02:20 PM
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You could try an aluminum oxide paste like the one mothers sells for polishing mag and Al. If it does not work for your watch, it works well on fuchs.

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Old 04-02-2009, 06:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Porsche-O-Phile View Post
Anyone know a way to "polish up" plastic eyeglass lenses so they're smooth? Mine have a bunch of small scratches that are right in the way of my line of vision, so it's very annoying. I just don't want to try "buffing it out" with the wrong thing. I suspect if I go to an eyeglass place they're going to just try and sell me new glasses/lenses for $400 or whatever... Suggestions?
You could try rubbing just a little toothpaste on it to clean the scratches off. I know a lot of people who also do this to their wedding bands to clean off the scratches.
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