Headlight restoration is a service that can save your customers big money and add to your own bottom line. True headlight restoration is a process of removing oxidized polycarbonate from a lens, polishing the lens, and applying a high quality protective coating like Infinity 4.1. The largest impact that you can have on the quality of your restoration jobs is made during the sanding process, especially the 500 and 800 grit sanding steps. In this month’s Tech Tip we’re going to address several things that will help you get great results, every time.
After removing the oxidation from a lens with either the 320 or 180 grit disc, the job of each subsequent sanding step is to remove all the scratches from the previous one. A disc that becomes clogged with dust, tape or other contaminants will start to leave deeper swirl or hook marks in the lens surface. If you start to notice buildup on a disc and before moving to the second lens, tap the disc against a damp towel to remove any buildup. You will get better results and more life out of the disc.
The second issue occurs if a sanding or polishing disc is not properly centered on the interface pad. This creates a situation where the hook & loop surface of the interface pad is contacting the lens and leaving swirl or hooked scratches. It really becomes a problem with 500 grit or finer discs.
If you find yourself in this situation don’t rely on subsequent sanding with a finer disc or application of the coating to bail you out. Go back to sanding with the previous grit to remove all of the scratches. If the next finest disc does not adequately remove the swirl marks and scratches, go back to the 500 grit disc and proceed from there.
Wiping the lens clean and closely inspecting it between each sanding step will allow you to discover these imperfections as soon as they occur. This will save you time and money while producing a better result for your customer.