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Removing scratches from a dome port

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I badly scratched up my Sea & Sea dome port (it's acrylic) while diving at Cocos and Malpelo. Lots of current and lots of rock is a bad combination for a housing with a big dome port. A couple of fairly deep scratches (you could easily feel them with your finger) and some shallower ones (you could feel them with you finger-nail).

 

After doing some research, including some older threads on this board, I decided to try the Micro-Mesh NC-78-1 ACRYLIC RESTORAL KIT (Micro-Mesh) . It's made for taking scratches out of airplane windscreens. It cost $37 and comes with 9 grades of their Micro-Mesh papers (high grade wet/dry sandpapers), polishing paste, detergent, anti-static cream and pads and cloths.

 

Taking a good stiff drink first, I started the job with 320 grade wet/dry paper, went to 400 grade paper and then started using the Micro-Mesh papers. Each grade took about 3-5 minutes and the instructions were to sand in straight lines only, not circular, and then rotate the dome about 120 degrees for the next grade.

 

After the first sanding, the port looked like a diffuser (although when I flushed it with water before going to the next grade, it was clear). However, by the time I did the final polish, it looked new.

 

I highly recommend this product. $37 and a little elbow grease (actually, not much at all) is a lot better than a buying a new port.

 

Bob

 

____________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________

 

I couldn't find it for $37 but it did work well on getting out some minor rub marks that wouldn't respond well without it. Nice to know that I can repair scratches and blemishes in the future. I highly recommend this product, too!

Richard

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I posted this elsewhere but it probably should be in this thread as well.

Ikelite 8" dome, Micro Mesh NC-78-1 kit

 

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Thank you!

I had a scratch on my Aquatica port that was fine underwater but would annoy me on over/under shots.

The Kit saved it (after a very stiff drink and lots of talking to myself before I started)

 

Dive safe,

 

Celia

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Hello all

 

I been able to get the products you all talk about but not in kit, and I am missing the instructions...

 

Is it possible to get a copy of the user manual for the micro-mesh kit and the novus kit?

 

Thanks for giving hope to my Dome port!

 

Pedro Alves

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Hello all

 

I been able to get the products you all talk about but not in kit, and I am missing the instructions...

 

Is it possible to get a copy of the user manual for the micro-mesh kit and the novus kit?

 

Thanks for giving hope to my Dome port!

 

Pedro Alves

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I know this has nothing to do with y'alls subject, but I am looking for help and information. I received a bunch of equipment that I have no idea what it is worth or what to do with. I have two boxes, one is holding a sea and sea pro vx1000 underwater housing and the other has a bunch of what looks like lenses, batteries, cables, lighting etc. I received these from a client that is in declining physical health and can no longer enjoy them. I don't know what to do with these items as I don't dive. Can someone please give me some information? Anything helpful would be appreciated.

Thank you,

Clueless

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Hi and thank you for all the advice. Just got a 50 mm fine scratch in my 8 inch Ikelite dome port and didn't know what to do.

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Here's a nice video about using the micro mesh... I found it "comforting" :lol:

 

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I killed my Sea & Sea fisheye dome on a high current dive in Bali. The scratches ruined all of my shots at Manta Point to where I had to really butcher them in PS to make them viewable. It was suggested I try toothpaste. I did that and it worked, somewhat, but didn't get the really deep scratches. When I got home I bought a headlight repair kit (they make two grades, one for normal oxidation and one for heavy scratching-I bought that one for about $22 as I recall) The kit included two grades of superfine sanding discs, a buffer and buffing attachment for an electric drill, and two levels of polishing compound. An hour or so later it looked like new. You can buy this stuff at any auto supply store, Sears, Walmart, Target..... The only tough part was keeping the buffer out of the shade ring when doing the top and bottom edges.

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They do Alex. It's called a credit card.

 

Bob

 

LOL!!!!

 

I badly scratched up my Sea & Sea dome port (it's acrylic) while diving at Cocos and Malpelo. Lots of current and lots of rock is a bad combination for a housing with a big dome port. A couple of fairly deep scratches (you could easily feel them with your finger) and some shallower ones (you could feel them with you finger-nail).

 

After doing some research, including some older threads on this board, I decided to try the Micro-Mesh NC-78-1 ACRYLIC RESTORAL KIT (Micro-Mesh) . It's made for taking scratches out of airplane windscreens. It cost $37 and comes with 9 grades of their Micro-Mesh papers (high grade wet/dry sandpapers), polishing paste, detergent, anti-static cream and pads and cloths.

 

Taking a good stiff drink first, I started the job with 320 grade wet/dry paper, went to 400 grade paper and then started using the Micro-Mesh papers. Each grade took about 3-5 minutes and the instructions were to sand in straight lines only, not circular, and then rotate the dome about 120 degrees for the next grade.

 

After the first sanding, the port looked like a diffuser (although when I flushed it with water before going to the next grade, it was clear). However, by the time I did the final polish, it looked new.

 

I highly recommend this product. $37 and a little elbow grease (actually, not much at all) is a lot better than a buying a new port.

 

Bob

 

Has anybody tried to use those car headlight cleaner sets? They come with paper and paste...! You need a drill for the paper though.

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Glass dome solution (aluminum "scratches"):

 

Didn't have time to read the whole thread, so apologies if this is a repeat of another post. Thought I would offer it anyway- just in case.

 

I was shark cage diving in South Australia with my Zen 230mm dome kitted up and had my rig through the cage's camera port. Every so often one of the huge South Australian white pointers got a little too close so I had to retreat into the full safety of the cage in a hurry. I had heard stories of sharks squashing cameras against the cage or having a test taste, so decided to pull my kit "indoors". A few times I bumped the dome on the aluminum cage which left a mark. When one of the marks was right in the center of the dome, my heart sank.

 

When I got out of the water and grabbed my Colgate regular toothpaste from the cabin, and started rubbing. 30 mins later I had removed the aluminum "mark" on the glass and was delighted to find out it had not actually left a scratch. Good news. Chris, one of the Divemasters, suggested I use "Jiff" which had "microcrystals" instead of toothpaste because it worked faster and would not scratch the glass. He said that this happens to most of the people with big glass domes. I tried it and it worked a charm. I just used my leather palmed dive glove as rubbing cloth and rubbed off the aluminum marks. Very good outcome. I reckon this product is called Softscrub in the states. Not sure, but it worked well and I have a perfect dome once again. It only worked since the aluminum is so soft compared to the optical glass- no scratches, just aluminum colored marks.

 

Good news considering we had 7 different white pointers in 3 days (I was more terrified of the 13 degree water than the 5m males)!

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A good suggestion, but I'd stay away from 'used' gloves as the leather may contain coral/sand grains.

 

We use 'SoftScrub" when your mask gets to the pint where it needs a good basic cleaning.

 

Have never seen any scratches in masks or domes/ports from SoftScrub!

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Hi there,

My story is similar to that ones of the members above, but i took images of my domeport in between each step which i want to share with you. Each picture is after a treatment with different grain size papers (1500-12000). Just for your information.

 

cheers, Udo

 

the scratch that caused it all

post-6179-1156581014_thumb.jpg

 

after the first treatment with 1500 grain size paper

post-6179-1156581030_thumb.jpg

 

after 2400..

post-6179-1156581048_thumb.jpg

 

after 3200

post-6179-1156581081_thumb.jpg

 

after 3600

post-6179-1156581096_thumb.jpg

 

...4000

post-6179-1156581112_thumb.jpg

 

...6000

post-6179-1156581128_thumb.jpg

 

...8000

post-6179-1156581146_thumb.jpg

 

...12000

post-6179-1156581159_thumb.jpg

 

...Finished

post-6179-1156581303_thumb.jpg

 

and finally after treatment with abrasive liquid and and antistatic treatmanet mounted on my housing.

post-6179-1156581280_thumb.jpg

 

 

cheers, Udo

Hi there,

My story is similar to that ones of the members above, but i took images of my domeport in between each step which i want to share with you. Each picture is after a treatment with different grain size papers (1500-12000). Just for your information.

 

cheers, Udo

 

the scratch that caused it all

post-6179-1156581014_thumb.jpg

 

after the first treatment with 1500 grain size paper

post-6179-1156581030_thumb.jpg

 

after 2400..

post-6179-1156581048_thumb.jpg

 

after 3200

post-6179-1156581081_thumb.jpg

 

after 3600

post-6179-1156581096_thumb.jpg

 

...4000

post-6179-1156581112_thumb.jpg

 

...6000

post-6179-1156581128_thumb.jpg

 

...8000

post-6179-1156581146_thumb.jpg

 

...12000

post-6179-1156581159_thumb.jpg

 

...Finished

post-6179-1156581303_thumb.jpg

 

and finally after treatment with abrasive liquid and and antistatic treatmanet mounted on my housing.

post-6179-1156581280_thumb.jpg

 

 

cheers, Udo

Wow! Waht a difference! How do yo like the D800?

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Hi,

 

Some questions on this old but precious thread.

 

I lightly scratched my Nauticam 6" acrylic dome port. Scratches are visible when shooting > f8 or sun in my frame.

I have the NOVUS kit but...

 

Dome protections on my port are not removable so is nearly impossibile to polish the entire dome. There's one inch of dome that is impossible to reach.

I read that once you polish a dome you cannot polish just the damaged part but it must be polished entirely.

 

Any advice?

 

Thank you all

Edited by Davide DB

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I did something really bad to my Ikelite 8” dome port this weekend. After not shooting UW for about a year I have been putting all the pieces together. We’re going to Little Cayman in a few weeks. I was testing the strobes and needed to put a lens on the camera. I had the super wide port body on the big dome but instead of mounting the shorter 8 mm f/3.5 fish eye lens I put on the larger 11-22 mm f/2.8-3.5 WA zoom lens. If you shoot with Olympus you know these lenses and how different they are in size. Both lenses are great underwater but they require different port bodies. I had my DIY neoprene port cover on and couldn’t see why the port body wasn’t engaging with the port locks. I kept rocking and rotating the dome trying to get it to seat.

 

To make a long violin solo short, I ground up the inside of the dome port on the knurled lens filter, making an ugly round mark. Ouch! I felt awful and awful dumb at the same time. Please don’t try to cheer me up by saying, “Duh, you should ‘a known better”, ‘cause that won’t make me feel any better. L LOL, I know I deserve it anyway. J

 

So Ikelite is being very helpful, as always. The acrylic dome can be replaced in my existing dome body and shade without having to buy the whole Dome Assembly new. It’ll cost me about $150 instead of $400. Gee, I feel a little better already.

 

I thought about this polishing method but it would be really hard for me to do this evenly on the inside of the dome. My hands are too big to fit inside and if I didn't polish the whole surface evenly the dome would have anomalies in the surface that would show up as distortion.

 

 

 

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I can change only the dome for 80 euro without replacing the entire port. Nevertheless I want to try. :)

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I did something really bad to my Ikelite 8” dome port this weekend. After not shooting UW for about a year I have been putting all the pieces together. We’re going to Little Cayman in a few weeks. I was testing the strobes and needed to put a lens on the camera. I had the super wide port body on the big dome but instead of mounting the shorter 8 mm f/3.5 fish eye lens I put on the larger 11-22 mm f/2.8-3.5 WA zoom lens. If you shoot with Olympus you know these lenses and how different they are in size. Both lenses are great underwater but they require different port bodies. I had my DIY neoprene port cover on and couldn’t see why the port body wasn’t engaging with the port locks. I kept rocking and rotating the dome trying to get it to seat.

 

To make a long violin solo short, I ground up the inside of the dome port on the knurled lens filter, making an ugly round mark. Ouch! I felt awful and awful dumb at the same time. Please don’t try to cheer me up by saying, “Duh, you should ‘a known better”, ‘cause that won’t make me feel any better. L LOL, I know I deserve it anyway. J

 

So Ikelite is being very helpful, as always. The acrylic dome can be replaced in my existing dome body and shade without having to buy the whole Dome Assembly new. It’ll cost me about $150 instead of $400. Gee, I feel a little better already.

 

I thought about this polishing method but it would be really hard for me to do this evenly on the inside of the dome. My hands are too big to fit inside and if I didn't polish the whole surface evenly the dome would have anomalies in the surface that would show up as distortion.

 

 

 

I was stupid once too, and did the same mistake. However, i managed to polish out the scratches on the inside of the dome, so i'd recommend you to give it a try before spending another $150.

 

good luck! Udo

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Thanks Udo,

 

I sent the port off to Ikelite. If I spent $30 or so for a polish kit and hours trying to do it right, I'd be better off letting Ikelite replace it for $150. The outside was pristine, with only minor marks. I would have considered the polish method if the damage were on the outside. The port will be near perfect inside and out now when it comes back.

 

I also had a bad dual sync chord that needed testing. Turns out it flooded and needs replacing. Ikelite gave me a better price for replacement so they're really standing behind their gear. I'll get the port and cord back before my trip. The shipping will be expensive for 2-day or next day air, but that's what happens when things break just before a dive trip.

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Glass port scratches are as problematic as they are inevitable. Fortunately, it is possible to remove scratches in glass ports if the scratches are not too deep. Stephen Frink suggested to me I use "jewellers rouge" which I found on Amazon. I used a Dremel which has a power cord (when I tried with battery packs, ran out of juice before finishing) and a whole bunch of felt polishing wheels (catalog #414). It took a long, long, long time. Perhaps an hour but the minor scratches did disappear. I went through a number of felt wheels. It is a long and boring process but gives one time to reflect on the dangers of rocks attacking poor defenseless dome ports and to be more protective in the future. I write this now as I am preparing to attend to another session of polishing, which I hate as much, if not more, than cleaning the camera's sensor (also necessary this weekend). While you are out diving and having fun, think of a tiny wheel spinning round and round and be thankful if you have acrylic domes how much easier they are to repair.

 

I can't guarantee this process will work for everybody but so far it has done well for minor, hairline scratches and little dings. I hope this advice cuts into the sale of replacement Seacam domes, Harald is doing far too well these days.

 

Good luck!

 

 

I had been told by opticians and housing manufacturers that it is not possible to polish out scratches from glass domes: they must be replaced. However, after reading this post, I did some searching online, and found a DIY Glass Polishing Kit for $40 at www.hobbytool.com. I had a couple of scratches on my glass dome that were not deep, but close to 2cm long, and managed to produce really ugly black scars on the image files when shooting into the sun. To my utter astonishment, they disappeared after only about 20 minutes of polishing using an electric drill with the wheel, pad, and polish solution provided in the kit. Best $40 I ever spent. Thank you Yellowmon!

 

Hi all,

 

After a cave dive, my Subal 8" dome port had several scratches, right in the middle! THey are not deep, but the longest one is 2 cm long.

 

I've read all the posts in this thread, but from the 7 pages, only those two addresses the problem of glass domes (maybe ir will be appropriate to create two different topics - acrylic and glass - to be easier for future reference...?

 

Anyway, I live in Portugal, so maybe some can post advice regarding where can I buy that glass polishing kit, inside EU?

Also, has anyone more tried to polish glass domes?

 

Thanks,

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Hi All,

This is my first post here. Sorry its coming in the form of a question. Lots of good info and have been enjoying the forum.

 

I have an 8" Aquatica dome port that has a few small scratches in the middle. Its fine underwater but noticeable on over unders. i bought the micromesh kit and my question is can i just polish out the small are that has the scratch or do I need to do the entire dome?

Thanks!

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Hi,

 

New member here just giving out a little more info, I used novus on my nauticam dome.

Maybe my scratches are not that bad, but then after finishing with the the number 2 (fine scratches remover), I stil find hairline scratches around.

I then use polywatch acrylic polish, it made it crystal clear, should be easy to get em on ebay.

 

Hope it helps!

 

Rey

Edited by Reyneronggara

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