Daniel Reetz, the founder of the DIY Book Scanner community, has recently started making videos of prototyping and shop tips. If you are tinkering with a book scanner (or any other project) in your home shop, these tips will come in handy. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn0gq8 ... g_8K1nfInQ

Plastic Platen Care

Built a scanner? Started to build a scanner? Record your progress here. Doesn't need to be a whole scanner - triggers and other parts are fine. Commercial scanners are fine too.
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Plastic Platen Care

Post by univurshul » 01 Aug 2010, 14:07

Any DIY ideas and methods that treat marring, scratches and scuffs on plastic platens are worth discussing.

I've seen some products that are made to return luster to plastics. If anyone has tried these, please let me know.

I use a plastics cleaner called Plaskolite. It's worth the $4 to have dedicated plastic cleaner, it's not harsh on the finish of your platen.

NOTE: I originally posted on applying mineral oil to plastic scratches. It conceals scratches to a degree, but what I also discovered is that introduces a color scheme/reflection film on the platen as well. I would now advise against using anything oil-based to conceal scratches.
Last edited by Anonymous on 17 Aug 2010, 15:57, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Plastic Platen Care

Post by univurshul » 17 Aug 2010, 15:47

I tried Macguiar's Clear Plastic Cleaner & Polish.

Increased transmission, removed a lot of minor scratches and blemishes in the plastic. I applied this by hand, although with a good orbital polisher, you can probably get most--if not all--book page scratches removed from the platen with this product.

I really like the cleaner (#17) because is gently removes light blemishes, dries to a haze and buffs-off completely clear. Makes a great general purpose plastics cleaner.

Another idea was to apply a clear NXT wax to the platen, adding protection to its surfaces.

You can find Macguiar's at auto part stores. Each bottle is around $9.
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Abrasion Resistant Polycarbonate

Post by univurshul » 28 Sep 2010, 14:17

Note: avoid the plastic cleaners mentioned above on Abrasion Resistant Polycarbonate (such as MR10 Lexan or Makrolon rhino hard-coat plastics)

If you use the Meguiars on these optic surfaces, it tends to leave a residue.

The best way (and the method suggested by SABIC and Sheffield Plastics) is to use dish soap and warm water, a clean sponge, ample rinse, and a soft towel.
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I had noticed that my newer sheets of 0.063" AR Lexan had protective coating adhesive residue on the poly carb that was stubborn to remove. I spot tested an area with mineral spirits and it worked well with a dry towel and some buffing .

For glass, plastic and general laptop cleaning, I've mixed a really great eco-friendly/non-toxic, streak-free home brew: 1 part white vinegar to 8 parts purified water, and 2-3 drops of dish soap. Mix into a clean spray bottle and give it a shake (If you use glass on your platen, regular newspaper works awesome with the home brew!)

And the best advice I could recommend if your platen is mainly clean with just some fuzz and book dust: fill a clean spray bottle with purified water only; mist the platen and use a lint-free soft towel to give the platen a daily maintenance cleaning.

Last edited by Anonymous on 08 Oct 2010, 23:37, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Plastic Platen Care

Post by daniel_reetz » 28 Sep 2010, 15:22

Blogged, thanks Univurshul!!

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Re: Plastic Platen Care

Post by E^3 » 01 Oct 2010, 10:10


That is coll Sir Univurshul!

I have now a more options to use plastic acrylic




Re: Plastic Platen Care

Post by Tim » 03 Oct 2010, 15:57

The plastic cleaner and polish is a good idea. Has anybody tried anything similar for a glass platen? I have a nice scratch on my glass somehow and was hoping to clean it up. I have a cotton polishing wheel that fits into a drill, but I didn't know what type of rubbing or polishing compounds, if any, work on glass.

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Re: Plastic Platen Care

Post by univurshul » 03 Oct 2010, 22:16

I think clear epoxy gel hardens over the scratch and "builds" over the missing minerals into the scratch. Similar to fixing a ding on a car windshield, you could pickup an epoxy repair kit at an auto parts store, or just buy 2 part gel at the hardware store. You could apply it microscopically as a spot-test, and razor excess off the surface. There are also these products that conceal scratches you could investigate at a Lens Crafters; they minimize the look of a scratch with a wet look (camera shops might have something too). They are temporary and need reapplying. Not really snake oil, not really a silver bullet.

Trade off: an epoxy kit is about $15, and double strength glass cut to size is, what, $20 at most? Hard sell, and epoxy gel isn't glass, so there could always be unwanted artifacts, and different sheen results introduced from this method when you process your images.

Polishing glass is a last resort. I've tried it with lambs wool + wheel and it shattered from excess heat. If you had access to equipment that can polish it down to remove the scratch, you'd then have a difference in material, and new features to the surface will exist. How much this affects your lights, optic bends, etc. is debatable--or you could flip the pane to face the book if it's mounted in a frame system.

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