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TrimixDiver

How I removed scratches from my acrylic dome port

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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.

 

1061783751_WApxB-M.jpg

 

Here's the blemish on the dome:

 

1061796868_AR5YV-M.jpg

 

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.

 

1061803804_FtHRE-M.jpg

 

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

 

1061799567_ChA3G-M.jpg

 

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.

 

1061815847_hwNtf-M.jpg

 

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.

 

1061820332_dHNzC-M.jpg

 

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!

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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!!!

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

Edited by Scubysnaps

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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?

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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):

 

1064977273_UPynX-L.jpg

Edited by TrimixDiver

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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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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

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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!

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(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

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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!

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I just used the wet and dry (1200) and Silvo method described by John Bantin, with great success

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