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How I removed scratches from my acrylic dome port


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#1 TrimixDiver

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Posted 24 October 2010 - 01:51 PM

If you have an acrylic dome port and scratch it, don't despair, there is hope! I was shooting photos in an underwater cave two weeks ago, when, to my horror, my 'model' ran into my dome port with his double tanks. Stuff happens, right? The impact left some nice scratches, which showed up in all subsequent images. I did a little interweb research and settled on the Micro Mesh NC-78-1 kit to remove the scratches. I thought I'd share my experience here.

Here's the blemish as it appeared in images (look upper left quad, looks like out of focus bubbles). This is not the diver who scratched my port.

Posted Image

Here's the blemish on the dome:

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The Micro Mesh NC-78-1 kit. One thing that was not included, was the 400 weight sandpaper. Fortuantely, I had some on hand in the garage.

Posted Image

First, I removed the dome port guard, which is held in place with screws (I have a Sea and Sea dome port).

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Next, I used 400 grit wet/dry (using it wet), to remove the scratch. I sanded the entire dome, so that the surface would be even. Looked pretty bad after that step. Any scratches should be removed during this process. The 400 took care of business! I have to say it was hard to do this to my dome port and was hoping the process would work.

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After using the 400 weight, I began using the Micro Mesh strips, starting with 1500 and working my way down to 12000. Using the foam block in the kit, I sanded the dome edge to edge, crossing my pattern 90 degrees. After completing sanding, I rinsed and washed the dome to remove any abrasive residue.

This is the finished product. I spent about four hours on this. Maybe a bit over the top, but I wanted to ensure it turned out right.

Posted Image

By the way, the kit was around $45 + shipping direct from Micro Mesh. The kit is resuable as long as the micro mesh sheets have enough abrasive left over, and mine do. Hope I don't need them again :-)

Safe diving and happy shooting!

#2 Scubysnaps

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 04:48 AM

Thanks for this, am in desperate need to do mine after scratching it on a rock last weekend in front of a seal, I'm off to Tiger Beach in 2 weeks for the shark, so not much time!!!
Cheers
Paul

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#3 ckchong

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 05:41 AM

May be video demo will more clear..;)


#4 Scubysnaps

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 06:15 AM

Thanks ;) I'll have a look at that later when I have access to youtube at home

Edited by Scubysnaps, 26 October 2010 - 06:15 AM.

Cheers
Paul

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#5 ileiman

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 10:04 AM

Looks good, I would like to get rid of a few scratches on my dome too.
But where can you buy that kit in Europe?
Canon 7d, Tokina 10-17mm fisheye, Canon EF-S 60mm Macro, Sigma 10-17mm OS HSM, Ikelite housing,
2x Ikelite ds-161 strobes with Stix 12"+12" arms with floats.
Canon ixus 980is in Canon housing.
Olympus c8080wz in Olympus housing.
website www.leiman.fi.

#6 TrimixDiver

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 10:54 AM

Looks good, I would like to get rid of a few scratches on my dome too.
But where can you buy that kit in Europe?


Not sure where you can buy in Europe. I would contact Micro Mesh directly and ask if they ship internationally. Sure they would do so.

Scubysnaps: good luck! Set aside the better part of a morning or afternoon, put the coffee and good music on and go for it! It will pay to take your time and complete each step properly. I used to live in fear of scratching my dome port. After this 'incident', I realized that s$*& happens. While I'm still very cautious, I no longer live in fear of scratching the port now that I know it can be restored.

By the way, shot some images two nights ago and they turned out great. Here's a sample image (not the most interesting, but my goal was to test drive the dome and ensure the images turned out properly):

Posted Image

Edited by TrimixDiver, 26 October 2010 - 10:55 AM.


#7 Tjsnapper

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 12:15 PM

Thanks for posting this and the video, it is really great to see it done first hand, as it were. Not so scared of scratching the port now.
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#8 DuncanS

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 11:48 PM

Looks good, I would like to get rid of a few scratches on my dome too.
But where can you buy that kit in Europe?

I just got a kit in the uk for depfabrications.con, email: enquiries@depfabrication.com.

If you go onto the micro mesh web site you can pull up a list of suppliers by region
Duncan

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#9 seadweller

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 07:57 PM

I just got a kit in the uk for depfabrications.con, email: enquiries@depfabrication.com.

If you go onto the micro mesh web site you can pull up a list of suppliers by region


wow! great post! thanks a lot for this info!

#10 John Bantin

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 11:32 AM

(For Brits) I use a slice of wet 'n dry abrasive paper at a the finest grade to cut back the scratch. This sends the acrylic diffused. I then polish clear with some Brasso or Silvo wadding. I've been doing this for years and the Brasso tin, with the wet 'n dry inside, travels in my kit.

Edited by John Bantin, 22 November 2010 - 11:33 AM.

I buy my own photographic kit. Diving equipment manufacturers and diving services suppliers get even-handed treatment from me whether they choose to advertise in the publications I write for or not. All the equipment I get on loan is returned as soon as it is finished with. Did you know you can now get Diver Mag as an iPad/Android app?

 

#11 Spacker

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 12:59 PM

I've been using this for the odd ding on an ikelite port -

http://www.novuspolish.com/

Takes blinking ages but hasn't failed me yet, then again not sure I've had scratches that bad before!

#12 Scubysnaps

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 11:04 PM

Scubysnaps: good luck! Set aside the better part of a morning or afternoon, put the coffee and good music on and go for it! It will pay to take your time and complete each step properly. I used to live in fear of scratching my dome port. After this 'incident', I realized that s$*& happens. While I'm still very cautious, I no longer live in fear of scratching the port now that I know it can be restored.


I was guilty of getting someone else to do mine, I was lucky enough finding out someone who's not too far from me, Bob Anthony in Chippenham, top job!
Cheers
Paul

*Nikon D90 with Tokina 10-17 & Nikon 60mm, 105mm, Sigma 17-70, Kenko1.4 * 2 x Z240 & 2 x 12 litres...global! *

www.scubysnaps.com >)))>