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Topic: tried Brasso for scratches

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Old 01-05-2006, 04:38 AM
#1
 
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tried Brasso for scratches

Hi,

Last night I followed the instructions on applying Brasso to my black Nano. I even bought a microfibre cloth.

Although its got rid of most of the scratches, the so-called microfibre cloth has left very fine swirly scratches visible in certain light. What I need is a more suitable cloth I think. The cloth I bought was from the local supermarket, but as it is microfibre I thought it would be suitable.

Can anybody please recommend a better cloth to use? Preferably something I can get in a general store - I dont fancy blowing 30 on an iCleaner set just for a cloth!

Also, the main scuffs were on the back of the nano - I spent about 20 mins on a particular area, and although it was working gradually, I was worried as the cloth where I was rubbing was actually black and I didnt like the metallic smell coming from it
For those who have tried this, is it normal what is happening??? Im starting to think I should hve maybe sent it off for a replacement instead of fannying around.

Thanks for any halp in advance
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Old 01-05-2006, 04:52 AM
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The 'swirl' scratches are normal, Brasso is actually an abrasive, so don't worry about these scratches.

The black on the cloth is dirt!! This is completely normal, Brasso is made to clean metals, so definately don't worry about that



iPod Touch 16GB | iPod 5G 30GB White | iPod Nano 2G 8GB Black | iPod Shuffle 2G 1GB
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Old 01-05-2006, 05:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by daleam
The 'swirl' scratches are normal, Brasso is actually an abrasive, so don't worry about these scratches.

The black on the cloth is dirt!! This is completely normal, Brasso is made to clean metals, so definately don't worry about that
Hi,

but the Brasso method is supposed to have your Nano 'as new'??? Surely there's a way to get rid os the swirls?? If i's known it was gonna do this I wouldnt have taken the screen cover off and made it even worse.

Yeah at first I thought the black was dirt, but then I thought, hang on, i've spent 20 mins rubbing away, so why should it still be picking up dirt?
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Old 01-05-2006, 05:19 AM
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Yeah, I though that 'as new' would mean really shiny, no marks at all.
But no, thats what happens, as I said Brasso is an abrasive, so you'd expect that really.

The small scratches should be so small that you can't see them under normal lights? If they aren't then the cloth you used was too rough.

Don't go mad with the back (or front for that matter), just use it on the back how it's stated, just buff for about 5 mins, any longer than that and it's probably not worth trying to get any deeper scratches out, because they just won't come out!

Essentially, on the front of the Nano, you are taking a layer of the 'plastic' off with the Brasso, keep that in mind, this is why it has the tiny swirl scratches.



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Old 01-05-2006, 05:25 AM
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when I started on the back there were two bad scuffs and even after about 10 mins working on the area it was still there. I was gonna give up but I thought i'd keep it at it for another 10 mins or so and they are actually coming out gradually. It looks a lot better than it did. I'm gonna hopefully find a softer cloth and go at it again for another 10 mins or so, and I reckon the scuffs will have completely gone.

Same thing for the front really. After 5-10 mins of working the stuff in most of the scratches had gone, but then after another 10 mins it was looking even better, even a deeper scratch is starting to go.

Happy with the results really - its just these swirls! Have to find a better cloth I think.
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Old 01-05-2006, 07:26 AM
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Hi Greg,

I tried out Brasso to remove some evident scratches on my nano's screen last month and I ended up with the same problem as yours, swirl marks, though the evident scratches were gone. Also, I noticed my black nano seemed to have lost its glossy look.

I do not think this swirl marks has got anything to do with the type of cloth you use. You might be able to reduce them using a softer lint-free cloth but forgive me for being honest, you would never be able to get back that once spotless, glossy, brand-new look. Remember, Brasso is a mild abrasive which scrapes off a very thin layer of clear plastic from your nano's front surface thus creating those fine swirl marks from all that buffing.

Advice? Just forget about them and don't make them worse by applying more Brasso.

If you're really concerned, use Invisible Shield on your nano. From what I've heard from others, it makes those swirl marks less evident under bright light plus it gives back your nano some of its glossy look
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Old 01-05-2006, 08:08 AM
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ok, i've just found a jewellery cloth which I think i'm gonna try instead of the micro-fibre cloth.

The jewellery cloth is a hell of a lot softer and I doubt it would scratch any surface. What do you guys think??
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Old 01-05-2006, 08:19 AM
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You will get the swirl scratches no matter what cloth you use.

It is not the cloth that is causing them, Brasso is an abrasive, and takes off the top layer of plastic on your Nano.

Very similar to sand or glass paper, that will 'sand' down a piece of wood. It will make it smooth, using a 'scratching' method to do so.

Think of Brasso like that. I would strongly recommend you now leave your Nano, you may only make the scratches worse and make them more noticable.



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Old 01-06-2006, 06:27 AM
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if brasso didn't work, try displex



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Old 01-06-2006, 07:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by newmie66
if brasso didn't work, try displex
Hi, is displex an abrasive? Where can I get it from? Thanks
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Old 01-06-2006, 03:43 PM
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i've done the brasso on a variety of ipods with 100% success. people are satisfied of the results too. the light scratches come from you cloth. the best cloth i've found are not the fancy expensive ones. i use old 100% cotton t-shirts that have been through the wash scores of times. when they are soft and almost see through, there's a sign of a great cloth. also, beware, there are many type of brasso. use the liquid brasso. apply until completely dry and then begin polishing. you really shouldn't polish for too long (max 5 mins).

try again and let us know.

remember, don't panic. i've done my nano many many times now and i always get it to pretty much new looking.

now, if you have extreme scratches, don't expect perfect results. good luck.



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Old 01-08-2009, 03:15 AM
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How to REALLY Remove iPod Scratches - Professional Buffing

Quote:
Originally Posted by daleam
The 'swirl' scratches are normal, Brasso is actually an abrasive, so don't worry about these scratches.

The black on the cloth is dirt!! This is completely normal, Brasso is made to clean metals, so definately don't worry about that
No, it's not dirt. It's fine particles of metal which is being shaved off while you buff. Most metals in powder form look black (even gold).

To the OP: if you want a professional looking result, you need to use professional tools to get rid of those scratches and buff it back to the original mirror finish. All of those liquid all-purpose polishers are a waste of time if you want to restore the brand new condition. Brasso is an abrasive compound mixed with a liquid binder. It scratches a very thin layer of metal (or plastic) off of your workpiece (an iPod in your case). The idea is to scrape enough of the surface off such that you're at the same level of the deepest scratch, and therefore it disappears. The problem is, of course, it uses scratches to remove scratches - you're just replacing the few big scratches with many smaller ones; hence, you get swirls.

Professional polishing compounds (Emery, Tripoli, rouge, etc.) do a similar thing, except on the finer compounds the scratches are so small and uniform you can't see them with the naked eye. Here's how I buff out the scratches on the front (plastic) of my iPod and how you can do the same:

-Depending on how deep the scratches are, I'll either start by sanding it with a course grit sandpaper (somewhere between 220 and 600 depending on the level of the deepest scratch), or, if the scratches are light, I'll start with brown Tripoli buffing compound on a mini tuft felt buff (I use a Dremel, but it'd be a lot faster to use an arbor style buffing machine such as a Foredom because you can use much bigger buffing wheels).

-If I start by sanding, I'll work my up to 1600 grit sandpaper, then switch to 4/0 grit jewelers sandpaper. Once I'm done sanding with the 4/0, the surface is smooth, a little bit shiny, but definitely not a mirror finish yet. At this point all the original scratches, prior to sanding, have been removed (however, the sanding operation itself leaves very fine scratches, but this is OK and exactly what we want at this stage).

-Now it's time to move on to Tripoli and a buffing wheel. The objective here is to remove the scratch lines from the sanding operation (or if I skipped the sanding step because the original scratches were very light, then the objective would be to remove those light scratches). As I said before, I use a mini tuft felt buff, but you could also use a string buff (the string buff will take longer but better for the beginner since there's less risk of heating the plastic). I prefer the tuft felt buff because it has some "bite" but still soft. DO NOT use a hard felt buff - those that come with Dremel tools are _way_ too hard. Anyway, I run the buff at 1000 SFPM (Surface Feet Per Minute), which means the Dremel has to be set at about 5000 RPM for my 3/4" wheel (if you use a different sized wheel, here's how to calculate SFPM: RPM x wheel diameter / 4). I buff over the whole face with _light_ pressure until all prior scratch marks have been removed. Keep the speed at which you brush the wheel over the face constant; never stop in one spot, always keep it moving and be as straight as possible.

-At this point the face is almost scratch free, but there are still the super-fine Tripoli scratches - which looks more like a "haze" instead of scratches since they're so small and symmetrical. Now you must completely remove all traces of Tripoli compound from the iPod face. This is VERY important, or else you will contaminate your next buff wheel. I use rubbing alcohol with a super clean, soft, cotton cloth. The "hazy" look on the face will lessen because some of it is caused by the Tripoli wax binder. When you think you've got all the Tripoli off, clean it one more time. (Better yet, instead of cleaning it by hand, a microsonic cleaner would be the best way to go, but I'm not that patient.)

-Now we're ready for the final buff. I use an ultra-fine calcite aluminate compound on a mini loose cotton wheel. In this case, the one that Dremel makes (423E polishing wheel) is actually good, but it's not included in any of the Dremel kits, you have to buy it separately along with the mandrel attachment (402EZ). Or you can use a string buff here; I just use Dremel's because I don't have to special order it, I can get it at Lowes. (If you used a string buff in the last step with Tripoli, DO NOT use the same wheel in this step - I don't care how well you can clean/rake a buff - use a dedicated buff for each compound!) Before continuing I rotate the iPod face 90 degrees so I can polish in a direction that's perpendicular to the Tripoli marks - so that it's easy to see when the super-fine Tripoli scratches disappear. I run the buff at the same RPM as before - again pressing very _lightly_ and straight over the whole face. You will start to see the Tripoli marks completely disappear after a few passes. The surface starts to look VERY nice at this point, almost like the factory finish. After I've covered the whole surface and the shine is completely consistent, I'll rotate the face another 90% and do just one more pass for good measure.

At this point if there is any "hazing" you see under _normal_ lighting conditions go over the face again until the haze is completely removed. If it's taking too long that means you've used too much buffing compound.

Once there is no evidence of hazing under normal lighting conditions, get a high powered LED flashlight and shine it close to the face at different angles. Now you _will_ see hazing under this light - this is normal as long as the haze lines are straight and thin; if not, that means you were pushing too hard on the buffing wheel - go over it again with lighter pressure. Once you've got it perfect, it's time for final cleaning. The remaining polish "haze" marks that you see under extremely bright light diminish by about 95% percent after a good cleaning with alcohol and soap/water. After cleaning it'll be good as new. Most of this haziness is really the wax build-up from the binder of the polishing compound. The other 5% consist of the symmetric micro-scratches which is the nature of buffing itself - no surface is perfectly flat at a microscopic level. This remaining haze should NOT be visible under regular lighting conditions or sunlight. Only very bright light close to the surface at odd angles will reveal it.

If you're a perfectionist, and you really want to get rid of this practically invisible haze, then you need to go with an optical polishing compound used when forging prescription eyeglasses. This stuff typically has a .03 micron grit - something you'll never find in an off-the-shelf $5 dollar bottle of something claiming to be polishing compound! ;-)

I really don't think going to this extreme is necessary; the results from following the steps above will make the plastic finish look like it just came from the factory. If you do it on a Dremel like me, it'll probably take you about two hours at first; when you get more experience and practice it'll take about 45 minutes. Of course, with a bigger arbor style machine you'll only need 10 minutes. You can find a small one, such as a Foredom (excellent brand), for about $200 bucks.

As for polishing the back side, the metal, of an iPod - it follows a similar procedure, but you need more compounds. I haven't tried it because I'm not sure of the metal type. It's probably stainless steel, but there are so many different types of stainless (about 150 different types). But regardless of type, you'd need to experiment with the following buffing compounds:

1) Aluminum oxide.
2) White stainless compound (some suppliers call it White Rouge even though it's technically not a "rouge").
3) Chromium oxide (sometimes called Green Stainless or green rouge - again, incorrectly named).
4) Calcite aluminate.

These are in no particular order. Different manufacturers make different grit levels of each. But typically chrome oxides and calcite aluminates are the finest. You'd need at least three wheel types: sisal (coarsest), spiral sewn cotton (medium), and loose (fine).

Anyway, I hope this little tutorial helps. So now do you see why these all-purpose, cheap, polishing liquids can't come close to a professional job? ;-)
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