In 2004 we were selling retrofit windows in San Luis Obispo, California. One day we stopped into a Centex construction site and met Adam Thomas. It just so happened, that day they were replacing a large picture window. Since this was a brand new model home, I asked why were they replacing that large piece of glass since it was new. He showed me 1″ inch glass scratch right in the middle of the window. I asked him if they were replacing this very large picture window because of that one little scratch? He confirmed that was their only option at the time. I asked him how much does that piece of glass cost to replace. He told me about $1,500 dollars. I asked him, isn’t there a way they can just remove that scratch. he said he did not know of any glass technicians or any scratch removal system that could remove scratches without leaving considerable distortion. I then asked him, how much would you guys be willing to pay if that scratch could be repaired or removed? He said, I don’t know $500.00 dollars? I said, there has to be a way to fix that. He said nope, we’ve tried. it just doesn’t work and it does not look good. From that day on, we became focused, borderline obsessed on finding a solution to this scratched glass problem.
Next, we purchased all the leading glass scratch repair systems available at the time. We tried SRP, Trizact systems, and the IPS system. They all had their pro’s and cons. SRP was great for polishing very light damage but the machine was temperamental. Suction issues, overheating of the cerium polishing slurry, and distortion with deep scratch damage were just a few of the issues we faced regularly with the SRP machine, but still, we continued using it, hoping we could perfect our skills. Trizact or Scratch Hog (GT glass) worked well. It incorporated aluminum oxide discs and not silicon carbide. It worked well but there were many steps required to get to the polishing phase. There were no shortcuts that we ever discovered. Downside of trizact glass restoration was, discs wore out quickly, discs were expensive, many steps required to remove scratches and polish. IPS was actually the first one we tried back in around 1999. We were doing a lot of vinyl repair/restoration work for Classic Limousine in Fountain Valley, CA at the time. Occasionally. they would encounter a glass scratch and ask if I could remove it. I got pretty proficient with the IPS glass repair kit. It actually worked pretty well on thick tempered or bullet proof glass, which is what they mostly had at Classic Limousine. Downside was, the process was rather slow and the learning curve was fairly high. The pro’s with IPS was, not a lot of material expenses with that system and it wasn’t very messy.
The big leap forward. We eventually began getting our repair and replacement parts for the SRP machines from Dan Fields in Livermore, CA. Dan was very knowledgeable about the machines and also about glass in general. He always knew what was wrong with my SRP machines when they would not be working correctly. Actually, we used to talk with Dan quite a bit about glass restoration! One day we were talking and he mentioned he knew of some hippie dude in San Francisco who was dry grinding the damage out with silicon carbide! That was intriguing because I never would have thought of it. We began testing it and eventually implemented it into our glass restoration process. However, we continued to do the final polishing step with the SRP machines. The first generation GlassRenu 1.0 scratch removal system was born!
For the record, we do not sell GlassRenu parts, supplies, or anything related to GlassRenu. Also, we are no longer affiliated with GlassRenu either. We parted ways on amicable terms around 2008/2009 and continue to have a good relationship with Cody Thomas of GlassRenu. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask. However, there will be more related information in future articles.
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