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 Post subject: How to remove an unknown clear finish from bakelite
PostPosted: Jul Thu 18, 2019 3:05 pm 
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Joined: Jul Sun 09, 2006 5:18 pm
Posts: 1820
Location: Dandridge, TN 37725
Someone slathered the bakelite parts of an Atwater Kent breadboard radio with some clear finish. Perhaps polyurethane or lacquer, and appears to have been brushed on. I was able to get some of it off using lacquer thinner and 0000 steel wool (lots of rubbing). But that will not work well in the cracks and also dulls the finish somewhat. Is it possible to use a gel type paint remover to remove it, or will that damage the finish (nice and shiny brown bakelite underneath)? Any other suggestions. I have some broken bakelite parts to experiment with. Thanks.

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Dave McClellan, W6SQV(/4)
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 Post subject: Re: How to remove an unknown clear finish from bakelite
PostPosted: Jul Thu 18, 2019 3:11 pm 
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Joined: Nov Thu 11, 2010 6:03 pm
Posts: 889
Location: Pewaukee, WI
I've had good luck with citristrip on 30s/40s painted Bakelite radios....if the Bakelite under the paint was good before it was factory painted it will look factory new after the stripping...I actually left cabinets bare Bakelite I was so impressed with how good it looked.


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 Post subject: Re: How to remove an unknown clear finish from bakelite
PostPosted: Jul Thu 18, 2019 7:56 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 32975
Location: SoCal, 91387
I would first try Acetone, and if that didn't do it, then a paint stripper.

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 Post subject: Re: How to remove an unknown clear finish from bakelite
PostPosted: Jul Fri 19, 2019 4:25 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 4528
Location: Charleston, W.Va.
Hi Dave,
+1 to advice from others above.

My experience has been that true Bakelite will not be harmed by any commonly-available solvent, including the most harsh paint removers. But it can certainly be harmed by abrasion. So I would say use whatever type of solvent is necessary to dissolve the unknown finish, but be very gentle in removing it.

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