My long overdue Super Neo 29 restore project post

Rasubosu

Cheng's Errand Boy
Joined
Sep 6, 2017
Posts
113
Hey all, longtime lurker here for a super long overdue post regarding my Super Neo 29 restore project that I've been documenting on some of the Facebook groups but may come in handy for some people here that aren't active on social medias. I just wanted to share my process in case anyone else decides they want to be dumb like me and try to do a restore process and maybe they can learn from my mistakes. A bunch of you on here already commented on my threads on the FB groups so this may be old news but it'll at least be centralized in a thread here without having to dig through the comments section for the extra steps and photos.

Backstory, about a year ago around November I hit up a seller in LA about a Super Neo 29 he had for sale that had some really bad photos. The Super Neo 29 is my favorite of the Neo Geo full sized candies because I really like the design of the cab and the colors in the art, totally my aesthetic. I met up with the guy in person with Shadowkin to review the cab and once we showed up it was apparent as to why the cab was sitting around for sale for so long.

It was covered in some weird textured stone paint and had some garbage CPO, looked like a total wreck so for the listed price it was not even worth it. I passed initially and went home but I couldn't stop thinking about the cab because the Super Neo 29 was basically the 1 candy cab I wanted. I hit him up a month later and we worked out a deal that got me the cab and a Slug 3 for a super good price.

Time for my first candy restoration.

You can see the before pics here, this is how I picked up the cab. Weird stone texture paint that looked horrid, said the guy who owned it before was a professional painter. I doubt it with how this thing actually was sprayed. Also realized the CPO was glued on and the original panel was undernearth which was amazing. The first night I had it we played a few matches of MvC and X-Men COTA to make sure it worked and then quickly started tearing the cab apart.

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Rasubosu

Cheng's Errand Boy
Joined
Sep 6, 2017
Posts
113
First thing's first, I needed to tear everything down as far as I could get it so that I could start the process of stripping whatever the paint was on top. My initial goal was to try and just strip it down to the original paint if possible so that I wouldn't have to put in extra effort. Being a n00b when it came to paints I was wrong.

For anyone who doesn't know any better like me, it's really hard to preserve paint under a coat of something without potentially damaging it. The original was probably some variety of powdercoat or automotive spray on the metal so the quickest and easiest way to get this stuff off was probably to sandblast and re-powdercoat or get an autobody shop or a friend with automotive grade paint to spray it. Me being the broke idiot that I was at the time decided I would just try to do all of this myself and save a few bucks. While I didn't spend a ton of money on the restore, the amount of time that went into this because of bad weather conditions and the process of trial and error for painting I ended up wasting a ton of time that probably would have been much better off spent doing other things that would help me rather than wasting it and getting frustrated working on this. Results may vary and not everyone will be as inexperienced or as unlucky as me but I would seriously just weigh out the option of having someone else do the restore if you can afford it. Time is money, time is very valuable, we all get busy, and we all have projects that may sit around for long periods of time which is exactly what happened here after a while.

In any case, I started with a rear panel to see how damaging the paint stripping process would be. I asked around and did some searching, Citristrip seemed to be a good solution to try and get this paint off. It was to some extent, it ended up taking out some of the original paint underneath with it. I used a plastic putty knife, metal ones I was told would scratch the paint underneath as well as the metal.

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Fairly satisfied with the results I then turned to start on the rest of the cab. With how quick that rear panel was I was kind of fooled into thinking the rest of the cab would be just as quick and easy. It was not. For one, the person who originally painted this cab also had some trial and error and painted this with different paints before deciding on the stone paint, probably to cover up their previous mistakes. Some parts just had the stone paint while others had layers of blue and red paints under the stone paint. These took longer to strip down.

This process took many hours out of my night after I got home from work and I'd spend around 2-3+ hours a night in the cold winter air to do this. As it also turned out, this cab was cursed in that any time I decided to work on it I would get rained on. This happened way more than not for it to be a coincidence because anyone who lives in Southern California knows that we rarely ever get rain. It rained a LOT that winter and into the spring and all those times were me trying to work on the cab. It became comical and I joked around saying that I would sell my services to the state of California to help end the drought by working on the cab. Since I didn't have access to a garage or shed this was all done outside and when it didn't rain, it was really cold and damp. Anyway, here are more pics.

Jamma harness that immediately went to Shadowkin along with the CPU for recapping.
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Panels laid out
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While I started stripping the panels a friend came over to help me clean the inside. The insides were cleaned with copious amounts of Purple Power. I'd say be careful using Purple Power on original paint because it will damage the paint if you're not careful. The bottom metal panel was covered in rust so that was cleaned using CLR and some rough sponges/steel wool.

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Eventually I was able to get the main body stripped down as much as I could but this took a few days of trial and error working for a couple hours at a time.

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Rasubosu

Cheng's Errand Boy
Joined
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Posts
113
The original side art was left and whoever painted this painted around the art instead of painting over it. It was still super faded so I knew I'd have to replace that eventually. I decided to test a side of the body to see if I could get the remaining paint off easily, tried more citristrip as well as purple power and other chemicals to see what would do the job clean. This is when I found that a lot of chemicals would just melt the original paint more which in some cases was nice but other cases not so much.

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Now came one of the many tricky parts. Citristrip and other chemicals like acetone and butyl acetate (both of which I used but didn't get nearly as good results as Citristrip) are good for stripping down to metal or wood but are very harmful to plastics. A lot of chemical removers will melt plastic if you're not careful so I had to figure out how to strip the paint without resorting to chemicals on the marquee and monitor bezels.

The method I settled on was sanding the paint down to the plastic, first with rough sand paper and then wet sanding with very fine grade sandpaper to try and keep the plastic as smooth as possible. It was here I discovered the reason the previous owner painting this was probably because they didn't like how yellowed and cracked the original plastic was as this is something that is very common with these cabs from both cigarette smoke in the arcades as well as the chemical within the plastic that was supposed to be a fire retardant. The plastic was also crackling so it didn't really look nice. At this point I decided I should probably repaint the plastic parts at least once I'm done stripping them.

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The biggest pain in the ass was the marquee because of how fragile it was. Anyone who owns a Super Neo or Hyper 64 cab know how fragile the marquee top is and many are prone to cracking from improper moving and just wear and tear. Turns out this marquee was also cracked so I had to do my best to sand the paint down while not breaking the marquee.

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But alas, I still ended up breaking it because I propped it against something and it fell. My bad. More work for me now.

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Rasubosu

Cheng's Errand Boy
Joined
Sep 6, 2017
Posts
113
Since this still had the original CP, despite the tagging on it I was glad I didn't have to fork over more money to get a proper CP with the right design. Finding original CPs are tough these days for Neo Geo candys unlike Sega CPs so this was a blessing. The back was heavily rusted so I went to work with CLR and some steel wool and sandpaper.

Before
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After
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I had made some pretty good progress on sanding down all the plastic parts down to the plastic so now it was time to do repair for all the cracked and broken parts.

Seems the previous owner also tried to repair some of these and did a horrid job using some really weird adhesives that didn't really work. I had to scrape away as much of it as I could but I ended up leaving a lot of it there and used my own bonds. I eventually ended up using a couple of different things, JB Weld plastic bond and some plastic super glue that I don't remember the name of. The JB Weld didn't work as well so this second super plastic glue worked. Normal super glue will mess up the plastic so make sure you get something that works especially well with plastics.

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Rasubosu

Cheng's Errand Boy
Joined
Sep 6, 2017
Posts
113
Now that the plastic was bonded and the rough edges sanded down with super fine sandpaper and almost all the bad paint was gone from the metal parts it was time to paint. During the many countless nights I spent trying to strip and clean I realized that I will have to paint everything to make it look as nice as I wanted it to look. Why do something half assed when you can do it whole assed, I already invested this much time in I might as well make it look good. Thinking just doing some rattle can work would be simple I decided to get some cans and go to town. Bad idea, or bad timing, or both. This process took months. Also what you haven't seen through these pics is the amount of time it took to get from that first photo until now. Weeks have gone by with me working on this on and off in the evenings after work. I work a full time job that's 40+ hours as well as importing games from Japan as a side hustle and other normal people obligations, I'm lucky I don't have any kids otherwise none of this would have happened.

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By the time I decided to paint the the rains had come in. I set up a basic spray area inside my place by the sliding door and had a bunch of painters plastic drop cloth all over the place to keep any of the paint from getting on my stuff inside as well as travel through the room and being near the sliding door it would help aerate the room and keep me from killing myself with fumes. I practiced on a small back panel at first to experiment and while initially I was successful the temperature and humidity caused part of the paint to craze so I had to sand and paint over. This was a huge trial and error process learning how to spray paint properly.

I used rattle cans, Krylon and Rustoleum to be exact. Got a white primer and a gloss white paint for the white parts from Krylon and and used a Rustoleum grey enamel paint for the darker parts like the monitor bezel and speaker grills. Lightly scuffed up the surface with some very fine sandpaper then sprayed primer followed by the paint after it dried.

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After the initial spray and crazing I set up a station outside when the temperature wasn't bad or humid. Problem was this season seemed to have way more rain the previous year. As I mentioned earlier it was almost comical, the entire week would be sunny and hot and then all of a sudden the day I had free to paint it would be rainy all weekend then go back to being sunny again when I didn't have time to spray. I would barely get some work done after work before it got too cold and humid so progress was very slow.

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I also left for work trips that January as well as showing some friends from Korea around so I didn't have any time to work on anything. Not long after there were rumblings of a virus that was spreading overseas and before long we were all on lockdown. Luckily hardware stores were still open so I could buy more rattle cans when I ran out.

During this time I also picked up another project cab (as if I hadn't learned my lesson already) from a recycle yard. I put the Super Neo on hold for a little bit while I deconstructed this cab but since this isn't SNK related I won't go into it here. Feel free to look up this cab's thread in one of the FB Japanese Candy Cab groups. The cab came with a 2 slot board that got recapped as well as 2 bootleg MVS games that were sold off for parts.

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Rasubosu

Cheng's Errand Boy
Joined
Sep 6, 2017
Posts
113
You'd think that with the lockdown and businesses getting shut down, people having to quarantine and stay inside, and the weather getting a little better with spring coming in I'd find time to paint the cab again without hindrance. That did not happen for me. I am not an essential worker but I was required to go in to work every day like normal. I won't go into more detail but essentially I got even busier somehow and found less time to do things than before. Not to mention falling into depression due to various things going on in life, both cabs lay in the yard without any progress for weeks at a time. The Impress had a reason to bathe in the sun but the Super Neo did not. Eventually I got focused again and started to paint again, got rained on again, and built a makeshift paint room because of the winds and the random rains that decided to pay me a visit whenever I did start to paint.

This is how the paint booth started out looking. Eventually it would fall apart with the wind and the rain coming down.
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This is how it eventually looked before it degraded even more with more rains. I'm telling you, it rained so much every time I tried to paint. There was a day where it was super sunny with no clouds in the sky and once I started spraying all of a sudden it started to rain, while the freakin sun was out. I have it on video.

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Eventually the cab started to look like this.

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You can barely tell this was broken at one point, took a bit more work painting and sanding to normalize the layers but it looks fantastic now.

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Eventually it was time to get the side art installed. I ordered side art from gameongrafix and started to plan installation. The quality was great but the edges of the graphic were not cut right so I had to go through with an xacto knife and trim it to make it look better. For anyone who's ordering stuff from them beware, you'll have to trim and cut the edges yourself.

Installing the side art was made easy with RapidTac decal application liquid as well as a decal squeegee. I'd highly recommend finding RapidTac so that you can move the decal around before setting it permanently. Some people use dishsoap and water in a pinch but RapidTac is designed for this stuff.

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One side is slightly crooked but it was close enough for me.
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After all that time the cab was so close to completion. This was probably half a year of working on the cab on and off. I started in late December before Christmas and got to this stage by end of May. I was starting to put the cab together and wiring everything up. PSU and jamma harness were recapped and reorganized by Shadowkin so much thanks to him for his services.

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I even ended up getting a better looking original CP for the Super Neo as well as a panel for the Impress from a seller on FB. The old panel I had is now at a new home on a Hyper 64 cab that had a janky replacement CP originally.

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And now here we are at the end of the journey almost. This cab is still not 100% complete as I ran into issues with the paint on the marquee so I kind of sidelined that for the time being. Once I have some more free time I'll get to it but it's currently not a priority. The cab on the other hand is working fine but needs a monitor recap. Had some fun doing this but I would not do it again. I think I'd much rather pay someone else to restore a cab for me if I ever got another project. It was a great learning experience and I hope that this will help someone else on their journey as the available candy cabs are drying up in the market and the ones that you'll likely find will also be project cabs unless the seller is charging a ton of money. If anyone has any questions on any of the process or tips for people reading who may be interested in restoring things on an amateur level like I did feel free to chime in. And thanks for taking the time to read!!

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Rasubosu

Cheng's Errand Boy
Joined
Sep 6, 2017
Posts
113
A couple things I forgot to mention.

When I tried to install the CP the paint on the CP bezel was too thick so it wouldn't let the panel drop right in. Forcing it caused paint to crack on some parts. I also realized that gluing the plastic together also made an issue since some of the plastic was missing and gluing it made the opening a tad bit too small and uneven slightly. I had to sand out some of the plastic and repaint the bezel and now it fits really snug.

When I tried to install the CP bezel onto the cab it would not close all the way because of the weird gunk the previous owner had put on the inside where it broke as well as the extra plastic bond I had. Also had to sand this away the best I could and when that wouldn't work I tried to burn some of the weird glue.

Speakers work but my marquee light will not turn on anymore. Not sure if it is the bulb or if it is the fuse but I'll have to get to that at some point as well.
 

Loefye

Lt. Laser,
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Feb 27, 2002
Posts
2,835
Wow, the work you have done to that thus far is insane, you totally rescued this cab. Totally impressive dude, major props.
 

sr20det510

Ace Ghost Pilot
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Oct 31, 2016
Posts
1,301
Very nice!!

I remember seeing that cab for sale on Offer-Up for a really long time. The seller use to have tons of machines and games for sale. The clean machines he wouldn't let go and would rather place them in a business.

It is looking really great!
 

Chempop

BESTEST Buttrider in chat.Officially No.10 at Schm
Joined
Oct 12, 2010
Posts
3,024
Great restoration and documentation.
Interesting choice of bat tops.
I've been tempted to get one of those panels off the FB seller in the past.
 

Rasubosu

Cheng's Errand Boy
Joined
Sep 6, 2017
Posts
113
Wow, the work you have done to that thus far is insane, you totally rescued this cab. Totally impressive dude, major props.

Thanks! This cab did not deserve whatever fate it had before haha.


Very nice!!

I remember seeing that cab for sale on Offer-Up for a really long time. The seller use to have tons of machines and games for sale. The clean machines he wouldn't let go and would rather place them in a business.

It is looking really great!

Yeah, I was looking at it for a while but he had the price at around $900 or something stupid like that for a long time but he offered it with games for that price. Even when he dropped it to $600 with no games it was still too much for what it was. He still has some really nice Neo Geo cabs, including an SC19 I think unless someone bought it off him. I told him I was interested in that one if he did decide to sell. He told me a while back that he doesn't like candy cabs, has a thing for these old wood conversion cabs that he says are better especially when you put Pandoras in them haha.



Great restoration and documentation.
Interesting choice of bat tops.
I've been tempted to get one of those panels off the FB seller in the past.


Can you believe the guy sold me these original CPs just so that he can get a mint reproduction? Really cool dude but damn, I would never pass up an original in decent shape for a mint repro but that's just me.
 

Rasubosu

Cheng's Errand Boy
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Posts
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Great restoration and documentation.
Interesting choice of bat tops.
I've been tempted to get one of those panels off the FB seller in the past.

Totally missed the bat top thing. Yeah I dunno, I know the proper thing for this cab is ball but I kinda like bats because I grew up on US Neo cabs like the Big Red. I have replacement ball tops for them but I like the funky color bats I got on there right now. My Impress has ball tops on that for now too but once I replace the sticks I'm not sure if I'll stick with ball tops or throw on some bats.
 

Hawwa

Kula's Candy
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Sep 21, 2018
Posts
303
Thanks for the thread, very interesting one. And congrats on the cab, really nice looking one!
 

Knud

Krauser's Shoe Shiner
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Aug 18, 2020
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233
Very detailed, nice to see a cabin be reborn like that. Really love the paint spray booth!
 

MKL

Basara's Blade Keeper
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Posts
3,685
Why didn't you putty the holes in the CP surround?
 

loegan43

I've served my time in the Dark Army., Have you?,
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1,935
Wow. Fantastic work! Glad to see you were able to bring it back from that horrid textured paint job.
 

Digmac

Official NG Youngun
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Feb 10, 2016
Posts
1,932
Awesome restore, man! It’s nice to see that the cab got the owner and love it deserved.
 

egg_sanwich

Ukyo's Doctor
Joined
Oct 9, 2012
Posts
1,214
Wow nice work. That’s an insane level project, but glad someone took it on who had the willpower to see it through to the end.

Question, did you get the graffiti scratches out of the monitor glass? And if so, how?
 

MoriyaMinakata

NEST Puppet
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170
Wow. Really nice.

Why would someone think that ugly stone textured paint would look good?
So glad you stripped it.
 

Rasubosu

Cheng's Errand Boy
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Posts
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Thanks for the thread, very interesting one. And congrats on the cab, really nice looking one!

Thanks for reading!

Very detailed, nice to see a cabin be reborn like that. Really love the paint spray booth!

Haha had to make do with what I had. That spray booth started out great but turned into a mess eventually. So many bugs liked to get inside and get high on the fumes.

Why didn't you putty the holes in the CP surround?

I thought about it but decided to leave them be. There are holes on the side of the cab for no reason as well and I chose not to fill any of the holes in.

Wow. Fantastic work! Glad to see you were able to bring it back from that horrid textured paint job.

Thanks! One less cab to suffer a cruel fate.

Awesome restore, man! It’s nice to see that the cab got the owner and love it deserved.

Thanks man, appreciate your advice on the yellowing on the Impress.

Wow nice work. That’s an insane level project, but glad someone took it on who had the willpower to see it through to the end.

Question, did you get the graffiti scratches out of the monitor glass? And if so, how?

I was also wondering about the monitor.
Great job with the restore dude!

Thanks y'all! Ok so I did forget to talk about the scratched glass, I'll post about it below because I did try a few things early on before I gave up on that. Thanks for reminding me!!

Wow. Really nice.

Why would someone think that ugly stone textured paint would look good?
So glad you stripped it.

Yeah, who knows. If the other accents on the cab matched the stone a bit better it might not have looked AS bad but stone grey and yellow?!? Plus all the extra colors? Yeah, no thanks.
 

Rasubosu

Cheng's Errand Boy
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Sep 6, 2017
Posts
113
Ok so egg_sanwich and max 330 mega brought something up that I forgot to mention that is definitely important.

There was a bit of tagging on the monitor kind of all over the place. When it's off you can see it all but when the monitor is on you can't see any of it thank goodness.

I tried a few different things that I found online but none gave me the results that were promised.

1. Toothpaste - sounds crazy but apparently this works to some degree depending on the glass. I tried this first but it didn't do much. I think this is only for small surface scratches but nothing deep.

2. Metal polish - also didn't work, the scratches are probably too deep for this to make any sort of difference.

3. Glass scratch remover with pads - also doesn't work to some extent, this is for very superficial scratches and nothing too deep.

It was around here I just gave up. The other things that I saw were to fill the scratches with some clear bonding stuff like super glue or something of the sort and I didn't want to do anything like that. I think if the scratches REALLY bother me that much I'll have to get professional glass people to work on it because actual buffing equipment and stuff might work better.

At my work we have industrial buffing wheels that could potentially work but I'm not about to lug a heavy ass CRT to work to try and awkwardly buff it without accidentally necking it somehow. I've necked a perfectly good monitor before so I don't want to risk it.

If anyone has any recommendations please share!
 

egg_sanwich

Ukyo's Doctor
Joined
Oct 9, 2012
Posts
1,214
Thanks for the update on the monitor glass.

I agree with your approach at this point. Going stronger with anything on the glass risks damaging the tube, which would be more than a bummer at this point in the project.
 

DanAdamKOF

Iori's Flame
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Jun 15, 2002
Posts
8,248
Ok so egg_sanwich and max 330 mega brought something up that I forgot to mention that is definitely important.

There was a bit of tagging on the monitor kind of all over the place. When it's off you can see it all but when the monitor is on you can't see any of it thank goodness.

I tried a few different things that I found online but none gave me the results that were promised.

1. Toothpaste - sounds crazy but apparently this works to some degree depending on the glass. I tried this first but it didn't do much. I think this is only for small surface scratches but nothing deep.

2. Metal polish - also didn't work, the scratches are probably too deep for this to make any sort of difference.

3. Glass scratch remover with pads - also doesn't work to some extent, this is for very superficial scratches and nothing too deep.

It was around here I just gave up. The other things that I saw were to fill the scratches with some clear bonding stuff like super glue or something of the sort and I didn't want to do anything like that. I think if the scratches REALLY bother me that much I'll have to get professional glass people to work on it because actual buffing equipment and stuff might work better.

At my work we have industrial buffing wheels that could potentially work but I'm not about to lug a heavy ass CRT to work to try and awkwardly buff it without accidentally necking it somehow. I've necked a perfectly good monitor before so I don't want to risk it.

If anyone has any recommendations please share!

Take a look at this guide to buff out scratches. I’ve seen the results of this fix and it’s perfect.

https://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3901274


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Rasubosu

Cheng's Errand Boy
Joined
Sep 6, 2017
Posts
113
Take a look at this guide to buff out scratches. I’ve seen the results of this fix and it’s perfect.

https://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3901274


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Wow thanks for sharing! That's probably something I'd like to pursue in the future but I don't have any access to those tools short of renting from a hardware store. Seems like a good thing to do if you got tools like that laying around or have access to them at work. I wish he went over the grits and polish used but at least there's a starting point.

Thanks!
 
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