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 Post subject: Yellowed cloudy Dial lens cleaning
PostPosted: Nov Thu 23, 2006 6:04 am 
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When I have a badly cracked or missing lens I can make my own out of polycarbonate plastic over a form in the oven.
Nice.
But when the lens is just old and cloudy yellow I can clean them up quite nicely.
I've recently found that an old yellow cloudy scratched dial lens can be restored to almost new.
I soak it in 50/50 bleach-water from several hours to overnight. This removes (not all) but most of the yellow and makes the plastic more supple and flexible. After rinsing and allowing to dry I finish the job with Brasso. Brasso is a blessing here!
The lenses I've done this way came out looking great. Not crystal clear exactly but with just a very slight residual amber tint.
Looks so nice and authentic.


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PostPosted: Nov Thu 23, 2006 3:23 pm 
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Some Before and After pictures would be a nice addition here Pb, so we can all see your results. Sounds good . . . .

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PostPosted: Nov Thu 23, 2006 5:56 pm 
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Ditto on the need for some photos..... I would love to have a method that works but does not endanger the lens. I am always afraid to get too aggresive with an old lens for fear of permanently damaging it.

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PostPosted: Nov Fri 24, 2006 5:11 am 
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I am hoping the process works as claimed. I am trying it on a little round dial face from a Atwater Kent 286 console from the early 30s. It is a dark yellow and you can barely see through it. I was going to make a new one, but if I can salvage the old, great. I'll let you know tomorrow. It is soaking as I write.

Don


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PostPosted: Nov Fri 24, 2006 5:23 am 
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Here's a couple before and afters

you mean you wouldn't try it unless I can prove it?... lol

Image
Image


Last edited by Pbpix on Apr Tue 01, 2014 11:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Nov Fri 24, 2006 3:13 pm 
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Nice Peter............really nice. I do believe I'll give it a go !

And..........ditto on the BlessingsofBrasso............been a user of that stuff on radio cases for many years.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Nov Fri 24, 2006 7:30 pm 
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An update on cleaning the dial of an Atwater-Kent 286.

I soaked it over night and it took away a bunch of yellow. You could see the color in the bleach and water mixture. The plastic was still cloudy and scratched up. I used the Brasso and that helped some but still not great, but definitely much better. The Brasso may work differently on other plastics.

It did make it more pliable and it fits the escutcheon better. So I would say it was a success. Didn't seem to hurt anything either.

Don


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PostPosted: Nov Sat 25, 2006 5:44 am 
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Great tip, Pbpix! And I've got a Crosley in the queue to try it on, too! Thanks,

John

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PostPosted: Dec Fri 08, 2006 4:41 pm 
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Wondering if your typical 4% Peroxide solution would work as well. Haven't tried it...just a suggestion. Chlorine bleach has a slight yellow tint but peroxide is colorless.


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PostPosted: Dec Fri 08, 2006 8:22 pm 
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Pbpix, et al...

Re: OT -- Yellowed polycarbonate lenses (Ford Motor Vehicles)

Several years ago I had a Ford vehicle with polycarbonate headlamp lenses...Over time they became yellowed and frosted to the point that they severely diminshed the amount of light transmission.

So, in a manner similar to Pbpix's hint posted within, I wet sanded the surface of each headlamp lens using 1500 silicon carbide paper in a solution of Clorox, dish detergent and hot water...I cannot recall the solution strength but following this procedure, I then polished each lens with Novus 2 ...After a moderate amount of "elbow grease" the lenses were not quite new looking but the yellowed frost was gone and they were once again transparent and shiny...And, more importantly, I could once again see the road ahead of me at night.

FWIW

Bruce
WC5CW


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PostPosted: Dec Fri 08, 2006 9:19 pm 
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Hmmmm - In his original post Peter did not mention adding dish detergent to the mixture. I wonder if this makes the straight bleach/water mix even better. Maybe it would help dissolve surface grease quicker ?

Since Peter's original post I have tried the process and must say that yes, it does improve the transparency and reduce yellow. Sure would like to get them completely clear though.

I wonder if the plastic lenses on all of the radios that use them are the same material......chemically I mean ? Maybe some of them "clean-up" better than others because of differences in their chemical composition.

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PostPosted: Jan Fri 19, 2007 9:05 pm 
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Be carefull with the ratio of bleach to water. I've had some dials distort if left too long in a 50/50 solution.

Wayne

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 Post subject: Re: Yellowed cloudy Dial lens cleaning
PostPosted: Jan Thu 02, 2014 12:04 am 
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Would this method be safe for plastic dials in a brass fitting? I have an RCA 8-BT-9J that I'm cleaning up and really want to get the dial clear. But I fear the bleach will damage the brass, and remove the red paint from the dial marker. Any tips here? Thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: Yellowed cloudy Dial lens cleaning
PostPosted: Jan Thu 02, 2014 4:00 am 
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Chris D wrote:
Would this method be safe for plastic dials in a brass fitting? I have an RCA 8-BT-9J that I'm cleaning up and really want to get the dial clear. But I fear the bleach will damage the brass, and remove the red paint from the dial marker. Any tips here? Thanks!



You are talking two different animals here. This seven year old thread is discussing the clear plastic dial cover lens that often turns yellow from age and chemical changes in the plastic. A dial cover is just a protective cover for the dial itself. Your radio doesn't have a dial cover. It has a clear plastic knob with a red painted on dial indicator. Don't think you are going to have the same yellow discoloration that occurs on aged dial covers. Just use some soapy water with a soft toothbrush and rinse it under running water.


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 Post subject: Re: Yellowed cloudy Dial lens cleaning
PostPosted: Jun Wed 11, 2014 8:12 pm 
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Toothpaste.


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 Post subject: Re: Yellowed cloudy Dial lens cleaning
PostPosted: Aug Wed 06, 2014 2:12 am 
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+1 on the tooth paste.

I only have one "data point", but the Crest worked amazingly well, on a yellowed S-Meter lens! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Yellowed cloudy Dial lens cleaning
PostPosted: Aug Wed 06, 2014 2:25 am 
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Crest now has about 27 different 'flavors' on the store shelf. Which one gave you the good results?

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 Post subject: Re: Yellowed cloudy Dial lens cleaning
PostPosted: Aug Wed 06, 2014 5:45 am 
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Instead of making more work for yourselves, Just get some Plastx by Meguire. Rub it on-wipe it off. Done! I've used it on dozens of very yellowed dials.

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 Post subject: Re: Yellowed cloudy Dial lens cleaning
PostPosted: Aug Thu 07, 2014 12:37 am 
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radiojohn wrote:
Toothpaste.

Concur.

Pepsodent White used to be the best as it had 6000 grit. Don't know about today's product. From what I have seen it is much more watery than the original.

Bill


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 Post subject: Re: Yellowed cloudy Dial lens cleaning
PostPosted: Aug Thu 07, 2014 12:49 am 
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ea327 wrote:
Instead of making more work for yourselves, Just get some Plastx by Meguire. Rub it on-wipe it off. Done! I've used it on dozens of very yellowed dials.


How well does it do? Most of the dials I have to fuss with are discolored to the core as opposed to superficial cleaning. Cleaning is easy :) Does it have some sort of chemical agent that reverses this?

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