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Post Porthole polishing Posted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 3:28 pm
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I finally scored a 20k porthole of my very own after all these years! The final piece of the puzzle! (Thanks so much Tad!)

I'm chewing on what to do with it and have a bunch of ideas, but I remember at some point here we had a discussion about polishing up a porthole.

I remember seeing someone's photos of their porthole that they'd taken to be buffed/polished somewhere and it looked brand spanking new. But after giving it my best effort searching I can't find the post for the life of me.

Does anyone remember this thread? Or have advice on the kind of establishment I might take the porthole to to get that kind of work done.

Thought I'll say I may decide to leave it weathered and tarnished as it is!
Post Posted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:29 am
I would keep it the way it is. I have some relics from Disney past, and I chose to keep them like they were. But if you do choose to restore it, make sure it is done correctly.
Post Posted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 5:12 pm
That was most likely my thread. I polished just the outer surface of the plexiglass part of the porthole. I thought about leaving it as is as well but I figure if I left the actual frame in it's weathered condition, then cleaning up the plexiglas part would be ok especially since I do not plan on ever selling it. What I did was wet sand the plexiglas using 2000 grit paper. If you can find 2500 or 3000 grit even better which will make the final polishing even easier. I made sure to use a block to keep the paper flat and go over the entire surface in a unifrom manner so that I do not sand more in just one area and distort the surface. It doesn't take much to get it smooth just don't push hard on the paper rather let it glide over the surface making sure you keep it wet and clean as you go. My porthole had small dots or peck marks on the surface I assume from being "sandblasted" by dirt in the air (Hurricanes) over the years as it sat in the Disney graveyard before being salvaged. I assume they would have been smooth when the were first removed from the lagoon. Once you have the surface as smooth as you like it to be, then use a liquid compound which is not too abrasive, somthing mild like meguiers for clear coat paints and polish it up by hand. Don't use a power tool! It takes some effort but it is worth it as mine came out crystal clear. Fortunately the plexiglas was not yellow from exposure to sunlight. You should mask off the edge of the frame to avoid scuffing it with the sandpaper and polish unless you want to dissasemble the entire thing for a full restoration. I did not do anything to the thin plaxiglass cover of the backside other than remove it and replaced with a new one I cut from a new sheet of plexiglas so that I can keep the original one as is. I polished mine mainly because I ended up using it to build a ride simulator for my son who never even knew the ride existed and he loved it when it was done. I was amazed how real and clear it looked just like I remember when I last rode the real deal before it closed.
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