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Old 5th Jun 2020, 3:30 pm   #1
eddie_ce
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Default Bakelite advice requested

Hi,

I have just washed/scrubbed the case of my T401 in hot water and household cleaner. Years of dirt and nicotine seem to have come off, the water ended up looking like strong tea. However, as soon as the case has dried it looks very matt and disappointing.

Searching the forum it seems that the water/cleaner treatment was wrong.

How can I return the case to its former glory? Would using wax or polish help? I am worried using T-Cut as an abrasive cleaner/polish might make things worse.

I am pleased with the electrical restoration and it would be a shame if this radio were to be let down by the appearance of its case.

Thanks for any advice.
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Old 5th Jun 2020, 3:49 pm   #2
Dave Moll
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Default Re: Bakelite advice requested

Greygate Paste Polishing no. 5 (link is just to one sample of many) would be a good starting point.
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Old 5th Jun 2020, 4:54 pm   #3
pip5678
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Default Re: Bakelite advice requested

I have used T Cut type products with no problems and the Greygate polish is probably even coarser, Brasso type metal polish works too, Bakelite is much more resilient than car paint!
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Old 5th Jun 2020, 5:28 pm   #4
emeritus
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Default Re: Bakelite advice requested

A work collegue who had inherited a DAC90 that had spent most of its life in a sunny bay window, used brown shoe polish to restore the finish and colour.
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Old 5th Jun 2020, 5:29 pm   #5
Nickthedentist
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Default Re: Bakelite advice requested

I think you're right, Eddie, but no point in crying over spilt millk, as we say.

I would indeed try Dave's recommended polish - it's excellent.

If that's not enough, you can often use woodstain to restore the colour, then protect with a wax polish to give it a bit of shine back. Not ideal, but it can look very good.

Or shoe polish as Emeritus has suggested.

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Old 5th Jun 2020, 5:41 pm   #6
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Default Re: Bakelite advice requested

I have used Briwax and Oxblood shoe polish don't worry you will get the shine back. I always wash my Bakelite cases in soap and water. Mick.
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Old 5th Jun 2020, 5:47 pm   #7
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Default Re: Bakelite advice requested

I have a 332 Bakelite telephone made up of parts from various sources that was covered in different paints. After cleaning and scraping it all off the surface was matt, scratched and no longer completely black. The Bakelite polish* sold by the Radiophile made it shiny but did not restore the black colour. Black shoe polish did the trick.

*although a plain white tube I presume this is also Greygate’s.

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Old 5th Jun 2020, 6:00 pm   #8
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Default Re: Bakelite advice requested

...Whatever you treat it with- allow it to dry (but not force dry) thoroughly beforehand. We don't want any moisture to be sealed into it! I'm sure it'll be fine.

On an old black Avometer which had totally lost it's surface polish (i think it came out of the mould 'wrong' at the factory, in actual fact) i got good results with baby oil.
I think in your case there are better things to use (ie one of the things already suggested)

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Old 6th Jun 2020, 4:37 pm   #9
eddie_ce
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Default Re: Bakelite advice requested

Hi Guys,

thanks for all your advice and words of encouragement.

I have ordered some Greygate Number 5 and will give that a go.

Vinrads, do you mean the old type shoe polish which came in a round tin or this new fangled liquid stuff applied with a sponge?
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Old 6th Jun 2020, 4:49 pm   #10
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Default Re: Bakelite advice requested

Brasso works a treat slightly abrasive so gets dirt etc off then buff off will shine like new.
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Old 6th Jun 2020, 5:08 pm   #11
Dave Moll
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Default Re: Bakelite advice requested

Quote:
Originally Posted by eddie_ce View Post
do you mean the old type shoe polish which came in a round tin or this new fangled liquid stuff applied with a sponge?
Personally, I would use the polish that comes in a tin and apply it with a piece of cloth - likewise polishing it off again with a cloth - but then, that's what I use for my boots. Being an old dinosaur, I've never used the liquid stuff.
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Old 6th Jun 2020, 6:13 pm   #12
cdm1christopher
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Default Re: Bakelite advice requested

Couple pics using brasso on one of my radios was an absolute mess when I got it. But have used it on telephones, transformers, valve bases etc always worked a treat.
Pics might not be brilliant.
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Old 12th Jun 2020, 3:54 pm   #13
eddie_ce
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Default Re: Bakelite advice requested

Well, the GG5 arrived this lunchtime, and what can I say, as you predicted, it has done its magic. I am well pleased.

Just one question, I used a clean cloth and despite having previously scrubbed the case twice in warm water and detergent the cloth took on quite a chestnut brown colour. Is this colouring the remainder of some stubborn nicotine staining or is it some constituent of the bakelite itself?

I have started a new thread regarding cleaning of the dial if you are able to help.

Thanks for all your advice.
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Old 12th Jun 2020, 4:14 pm   #14
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Default Re: Bakelite advice requested

I'm glad it worked.

It's good stuff, originally specified by our post office when customers' telephones were being restored.

I think the brown on the cloth is from the Bakelite, but I'm not certain. Either way, if the end result is good, that's what matters I suppose.

Nick.
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Old 12th Jun 2020, 4:19 pm   #15
ThePillenwerfer
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Default Re: Bakelite advice requested

The brown stuff will be Bakelite. Polishing works by removing the high points so they are what will be on the cloth.
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