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freddyk

Is polishing an old 140 gallon aquarium realistic

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Hi

 

I am getting back into the hobby and I have a 140 gallon acrylic aquarium with the usual scratches. Does anyone have any experience with buffing a large aquarium? Am I crazy to think I can buff 72" by 24" and not just make it worse? Would I be looking at 5 or 15 hours of punishing labor or worse? If anyone has any horror stories I would love to hear them. If you think it is not all that hard I would love to hear that as well. 

If there is someone in town that does this kind of thing for money I might be interested as well.

Thanks

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First thing to check for on a used acrylic tank is make sure there is no crazin between the bonds. (fine lines that look like mini cracks in the acrylic)  if there are those can be a point of failure and imo would not be worth using that tank.  As for the polishing point if you use novus that works well and a buffer on a drill will get the job done.  

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I did a 240, my current DT.  4x4x2' cube.

It was tough.  Scratches were significant, I actually started with 600 grit sandpaper!  Worked my way up to the thousands (cannot remember which one).  Finally finished with Novus 2.  In the end it was like new but plan on some sweat equity for sure.

My biggest learning was not to use an electric sander.  For whatever reason those left deeper scratches.  And do not move onto the next grit until you remove the scratches from the previous.

Once the novus 2 went on it was like a choir of angels from heaven singing...

It was all worth it.

 

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Thanks guys

I will do a close check for some crazin. It is my old tank that I have not used in at least 7 years. Overall it sounds possible if I sand it by hand until I hear the angels :) 

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I have done it. man oh man is it some work. buy a lot of sand paper and just as clark said. start around 600 or so. The most important thing is to COMPLETLY wash the tank when you switch grits of sand paper.



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yes. it is very very very important. wash it twice!

all you need is one spec of 600 grit left on the surface and then you start sanding away with 1k grit. and sanding and sanding and sanding... then MUTHA' TRUCKER! there is one deep groove in a squigly line.

It can be done in a single long night. I use a bosh clamp.on sander?? not the velcro discs.. the sander where you clip on the sandpaper. That way you can use the finer grits that are not available in discs. After 1k i use water and dawn while sanding.

(400 of its REALLY beat up)>600>1000>1500> light amount of 2000. then heavy and light scratch removal cream on harbor freight buffer.

one last bit of advice. if you have a deep scratch, dony just bury the sander into it, you have to feather it out and sand a bigger patch down than just the scratch. If not, it will create a divot that will create a visual anomaly (kind of like a magnifying glass).





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With a 72" face, I'm pulling out the Variable Speed Rotary Polisher, I have a Dual Action. If you use a straight rotary be careful on burn in. Take a tip from a guy with a detailer background. If you use a disc sander of any sort and are worried about leaving hot spot type of scratches, the kind that Clark and others mention; then error on the side of larger disc with lighter pressure as opposed to smaller disc with heavier pressure.

 

good luck Freddyk!  Cant wait to see it.

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Thanks BabelFish

 

I have both a sander that uses the clip in approach and a sander with the velco pads. I was planning on taking the advice above and going with the one with the clip in paper and light pressure. 

 

I can't wait to see it either :)

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