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post #1 of 8 Old 01-15-2012 Thread Starter
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New life for an old compass

I just wanted to throw this tip out there for anyone with an oxidized compass and a limited budget.

My boat came with an Italian-made compass, a Riviera Urania. The compass globe was so badly oxidized that you couldn't read the dial. After finding out that there is no one in the US that services these compasses, I looked into buying a new one, but did not have three or four Benjamins burning a hole in my pocket.

I was watching TV one night and saw an ad for a headlight lens restoring product and I thought that that type of thing might work on a compass globe. They are both plastics with the same problem, right?

I didn't buy the As Seen on TV product, but picked up a Turtle Wax Lens Restoring kit instead. Amazon.com: Turtle Wax T-240KT Headlight Lens Restorer Kit: Automotive It is basically a four or five step sanding process followed by a polishing and sealing step. About an hours worth of elbow grease later I was pretty impressed. There is still some deep crazing that will never come out, but what was an unusable instrument is now usable. See the before and after pictures below.

*Full disclosure: I have no financial interest or connection with Turtle Wax.
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post #2 of 8 Old 01-15-2012
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Works pretty good on headlights too...

"Might as well take 'er out...If anything is gonna happen...It's gonna happen out there..."
"Captin Ron"
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post #3 of 8 Old 01-15-2012
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Looks great. I had the same issues with a 40 year old compass and got the same results using a 1500 grit wet sandpaper, followed by a polish with toothpaste (believe it or not) then sealed with a nufinish wax.
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post #4 of 8 Old 01-15-2012
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Quote:
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Looks great. I had the same issues with a 40 year old compass and got the same results using a 1500 grit wet sandpaper, followed by a polish with toothpaste (believe it or not) then sealed with a nufinish wax.
Many years ago someone told me I could polish plastic with toothpaste - you've never seen such a scratched up mess!

I now know that different plastics vary in their hardness and different toothpastes vary in their abrasiveness. Approach with caution and test on a small area.
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post #5 of 8 Old 01-15-2012
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Buy the kit... I haven't done a compass, but it truely does work wonders on headlight lenses...

"Might as well take 'er out...If anything is gonna happen...It's gonna happen out there..."
"Captin Ron"
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post #6 of 8 Old 01-15-2012
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Nice Job on the compass!

I wonder if something like this would fill in the deep crazing - Consumer Reports tested this or something similar and said it worked on scratched eye glasses. If you've now sealed it, it might be too late.
http://www.amazon.com/Lens-CPR-Docto.../dp/B000AJGP1E
Anybody tried it?
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post #7 of 8 Old 01-15-2012 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff54 View Post
Nice Job on the compass!

I wonder if something like this would fill in the deep crazing - Consumer Reports tested this or something similar and said it worked on scratched eye glasses. If you've now sealed it, it might be too late.
http://www.amazon.com/Lens-CPR-Docto.../dp/B000AJGP1E
Anybody tried it?
The last step of the TW process does include a sealing/UV protectant step, so it probably is too late. I can live with it, though.
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post #8 of 8 Old 01-16-2012
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Great post, thanks. Reminds me now that my dad's compass was also obscured. We fixed it with plexiglass polish.
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