Restoring a Turntable Dustcover

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pustelniakr

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I just completed my first attempt at polishing out the scratches on a turntable dustcover. I picked the least expensive TT in my current inventory, yet the most damaged (no gouges, but enough scuffs and scratches to be almost translucent). It turned out so well that I have been requested to post it here for others to benefit from. The process involved supplies that I obtained entirely from my local hardware store (Ace Hardware), to the tune of $32 US. I have enough of all supplies left to do several more turntables, which I fully intend to do, now that I have found where to concentrate during the process.

I found the process I used at the a site posted by the TurntableFactory.com, which seems to be now defunct. I captured it back in the day and I will quote it throughout and add my own comments.

Please note that I had to rework all surfaces, inner and outer, to do this job.

Here is the 'before' pic of the candidate (a Pioneer PL-400):

PL-400 Before.jpg

Enjoy,
Rich P
 
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pustelniakr

Silver Miner at Large
Staff member
'After' Pic (Results of the Process)

Here is the unit after the dustcover and the rest have been fully sweetened up and is now ready to move (already got a buyer). The process took about 6 hours of mostly elbow grease. The process would complete significantly faster with power tools, but this time, I wanted to get a 'feel' for the whole process.

Here's where you decide whether the process is worth your further consideration.

PL-400 After.jpg

Enjoy,
Rich P
 

pustelniakr

Silver Miner at Large
Staff member
Dust Cover Starting Point

Here is where the process starts...

This puppy was in pretty bad shape, eh?

From this point, I simply removed the hinges, washed and dried the cover, and taped over the Pioneer logo with aluminum duct tape (otherwise the logo WILL be removed).

Cover - Start.jpg

Enjoy,
Rich P
 

pustelniakr

Silver Miner at Large
Staff member
Post-Steel Wool Phase

Original Process said:
1st...0000 steel wool over the worst scratches (the whole cover if it's THAT bad).
This is what the cover looks like after the steel wool treatment. I deviated from the original process, in that, I did all surfaces, inner and outer, because of damage all around. Scary huh?

Cover - 0000 Steel Wool.jpg

Cover - 0000 Steel Wool a.jpg

Enjoy,
Rich P
 

pustelniakr

Silver Miner at Large
Staff member
Post Scouring Powder Phase

Original Source said:
2nd, under running water, enough Comet to be almost a paste and a sponge over the whole thing.
Here is what the cover looked like after the scouring powder phase. Please note that modern 'Comet' is without abrasives ('scratch free'), so I had to substitute 'Bar-Keeper's Friend'. I think that the abrasive is pumice, but I could be wrong here. Running water would keep washing off the active ingredient, so I settled for keeping the slurry the consistency of used toothpaste. Some light improvement can begin to be seen here.

Cover - Scouring Powder.jpg

Enjoy,
Rich P
 

pustelniakr

Silver Miner at Large
Staff member
Post-Rubbing Compound Phase

Original Source said:
3rd, Automotive (DuPont) rubbing compound (preferably done on a damp electric buffing wheel.This step will take about 15 minutes, give or take (when done by hand), depending on how much elbow grease you use. You can proceed to the next step when the cover is once again, transparent and somewhat shiny. Wipe it off with a very soft cotton rag.
Here is the cover, after going after it with rubbing compound. Dupont was not available, so I used the Turtlewax brand. My arm is getting tired.

Cover - Rubbing Compound.jpg

Enjoy,
Rich P
 

pustelniakr

Silver Miner at Large
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Post-Polishing Compound - Pass 1

Original Source said:
4th is Automotive (DuPont) polishing compound, again best with a buffing wheel... This step will also take about 15 minutes (when done by hand), and the cover should be totally transparent, pretty much scratch-free, and very shiny. Only then should you wipe clean with another soft, clean cotton cloth.
Here is what the cover looked like after the first pass with the polishing compound. I took two passes, since more work appeared to be required after the first pass. Again, The Dupont brand was unavailable, so I used the Turtlewax brand. My arm is really getting tired now.

Cover - Polishing Compound Pass 1.jpg

Enjoy,
Rich P
 

pustelniakr

Silver Miner at Large
Staff member
Post-Polishing Compound - Pass 2

Here's what she looked like after a second pass at it using the polishing compound. Barely perceptible difference from pass 1.

Cover - Polishing Compound Pass 2.jpg

Enjoy,
Rich P
 

pustelniakr

Silver Miner at Large
Staff member
Post-Cleaner Wax Phase

Original Source said:
5th is Meguiars brand Automotive cleaning wax (It's a paste wax & slight compound in a red can). That can be applied by hand with the sponge that comes with it. I do the top AND the 4 sides with it. Rub it in good,(about 5 minutes) then clean off with yet ANOTHER clean, soft rag!! Keep in mind that the more elbow grease that you use in each step, the better the job will come out. You'll never get out the deeper scratches, but depending on how bad it was when you started, it should improve immensely! I've had covers that had become translucent that I was able to bring back to transparent...and shiny, too. The 6th and last step I recommend is to spray the inside with Windex, AND a shot or two of liquid spraywax, letting the two liquids mix together (Pledge or equivelent), use another rag to wipe it all up. Do the same for the outside of the cover when the inside is dry. The reason for the both liquids is that spray wax by itself streaks, and Windex by itself scratches. Put the two together, though, and you get just the positives!
Edit: Before using the Cleaner Wax, I have added a stage using Meguiar's "PlastX" (Clear Plastic Cleaner & Polish). I find that it provides a better polished substrate for the Cleaner Wax stage, with an even better finished result.

Here is what she looked like after the Meguiars Cleaner wax (I used the bottle as the can was not available). I stopped at this step, since it looked so nice I didn't want to push it. My arm is about to fall off at this point.

This was my first attempt and I believe it turned out real nice. The results could have been even better with more uniform work in each area, and more time at each step, which I will do next time, along with a buffing pad on a palm sander with a wedge foot, and lots of soft cotton rags and buffing pads (easy as she goes on the pressure and the let the tool to the work, and lighter pressure as you progress from step to step. Each phase should completely remove the evidence of the phase before, for best results.

Cover - Cleaner .jpg

Enjoy restoring your own dust covers and other plastic surfaces (like CT-F9191 cassette doors...)...

Enjoy,
Rich P
 
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