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 Post subject: 1950 GE clock radio cracks
PostPosted: Aug Tue 10, 2021 7:44 pm 
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Location: Oak Creek, WI USA
Looking for ideas on the least painful way to do something about this

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I’m not sure what kind of plastic this is or whether these cracks can be fixed without painting (which would cost me the gold logo on the front.) Or if I should just part it out. Any thoughts?

Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: 1950 GE clock radio cracks
PostPosted: Aug Wed 11, 2021 2:25 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Indianapolis, IN
Is it Plaskon? Plaskon would be translucent. Tube lights would shine through the case if you fired it up in a dark room. They look like Plaskon stress cracks. They get dirt in them. The common wisdom with those is to try and scrub it with bleach and get the dirt out. I have no idea if it works as I haven't tried it.

If not plaskon, it could be bakelite painted white. The back edge of the case should tell you -- if it's brown/black, then it's painted. Another option would be polystyrene -- would be much lighter than plaskon or bakelite.

Peter


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 Post subject: Re: 1950 GE clock radio cracks
PostPosted: Aug Wed 11, 2021 5:14 pm 
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Location: Oak Creek, WI USA
If those are my choices then it must be polystyrene, because I know plaskon and bakelite and it is definitely not either of those. This set is a bit newer than what I usually play with but for ten bucks I wanted to see if a working clock rotor and a couple of filter caps would get it going, and they did. Now I have to decide if I should try to fix the cabinet or take my working parts back out for a better unit and part this one out, if there is any call for the parts in it.


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 Post subject: Re: 1950 GE clock radio cracks
PostPosted: Aug Wed 11, 2021 8:41 pm 
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Joined: Dec Thu 10, 2015 7:01 pm
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Location: Aurora, IL
I've repaired a few of these cabinets in the last month and all were painted after repair. Whatever plastic it is made from is very brittle and easily cracked with a drop. Out of four total of these radio I've come across all had cabinet cracks and usually also a crack or two on bottom so I think it will be rare to find one that doesn't have some damage.
As far as your cabinet.. likely hard to repair and make it meld together without need for painting over afterwards. Unless you can clean out crack as someone stated and then use a solvent to remelt plastic together again. I've never done or tried that myself. I can take a photo of my chassis that is ready for painting and post if your interested in how I repaired mine.


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 Post subject: Re: 1950 GE clock radio cracks
PostPosted: Aug Wed 11, 2021 10:07 pm 
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Location: Oak Creek, WI USA
I am interested


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 Post subject: Re: 1950 GE clock radio cracks
PostPosted: Aug Thu 12, 2021 9:35 pm 
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Joined: Dec Thu 10, 2015 7:01 pm
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Location: Aurora, IL
Here are a few photos of the repair to a large broken piece of cabinet. Piece was completely busted out and fortunately was still inside the cabinet. So I took that as a sign.. fix me! I first used hot metal staples on the inside to stitch together and hold plastic piece in place. Didn't take any photos of the staple process but there are youtube videos out there on that. This alone makes a pretty good bond of the broken piece to case for starters. But to further back this repair up and make the patch area more stable I overlay a custom cut piece of fiberglass mat cemented down using J-B Weld. I first apply a thin coat of J-B Weld to case repair area then imbed the fiberglass material and overcoat with a little more J-B weld. I used two popsicle sticks for this.. one to hold patch while using the other to spread epoxy. Once that is all done and dry it is on to the outside of cabinet. Along the whole length of the crack I open it slightly with smallest Dremel bit I have to allow better filling of the crack with filler. The filler I use is Tamiya putty applied with a credit card then when dry sand smooth. Note that Tamiya has little work time. Just lay it down and don't expect to go over it more than maybe once more. Two coats of putty is usually needed as it does shrink slightly. Like an auto painter use your fingers to detect and address any imperfections before painting. I also similarly repaired a crack along one of the bottom molded in feet. This is a common failure area on these cabinets as well. Note you need to make sure your repair will not interfere with mounting the chassis or affect back cover install, etc.

Is this the best way to do this.. heck if I know, its just what I have tried and so far seems to work pretty well for me.


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 Post subject: Re: 1950 GE clock radio cracks
PostPosted: Aug Fri 13, 2021 1:13 am 
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Location: British Columbia
If you have to glue pieces back into a polystyrene cabinet, acrylic solvent cement is hard to beat, prior to that I used model cement, but it takes longer to cure. Not sure what would work with a hairline stress crack, scrub it out well and treat it from the inside if it goes through.
Regards
Arran


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 Post subject: Re: 1950 GE clock radio cracks
PostPosted: Aug Fri 13, 2021 5:18 pm 
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Joined: Dec Thu 10, 2015 7:01 pm
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Location: Aurora, IL
Is the solvent cement you use like the product Caseway SC-100? I might give that a try on a smaller crack like what Paul has on his case. It seems to be water like and a video on its use shows the person laying it down with a bottle applicator with a fine needle tip along the crack. You could temporarily back up the front/top side of crack with some tape to help prevent leak through and apply from inside.


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 Post subject: Re: 1950 GE clock radio cracks
PostPosted: Aug Sat 14, 2021 8:13 am 
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Joined: Apr Sun 08, 2007 6:47 am
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Location: British Columbia
dacsman wrote:
Is the solvent cement you use like the product Caseway SC-100? I might give that a try on a smaller crack like what Paul has on his case. It seems to be water like and a video on its use shows the person laying it down with a bottle applicator with a fine needle tip along the crack. You could temporarily back up the front/top side of crack with some tape to help prevent leak through and apply from inside.


I can't remember the brand, but I don't think it was Caseway, the expired tube is downstairs so I will look later. Anyhow the type I had had dissolved acrylic or polystyrene mixed in with it to give a stronger bond. The type you are thinking of maybe the type used for appearances, such as in wending transparent pieces of acrylic together, that would likely be a straight solvent, and that may be the best thing for a hairline crack.
Regards
Arran


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 Post subject: Re: 1950 GE clock radio cracks
PostPosted: Aug Thu 19, 2021 3:01 am 
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Joined: Mar Tue 26, 2019 11:30 pm
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Location: Lexington, NC
Ack!!! You used JB Weld!!! No way! But to each their own as the saying goes. If the plastic, be it what ever type it is, like Bakelite is cracked the first thing you need to do IMHO is route out the crack with a Dremel tool with a grinder tip. Hey, what ever you do your going to have to paint the cabinet so you might as well fix it right, yes? After you route out the crack if you wish you can use some instant glue to start with and then follow it with Bondo!
Yep the same stuff that your autobody man uses to fix dings and dents on your vehicle. I prefer Bondo that has fine fiberglass chopped up in it to fill the cracks. Or go and find PC11, google it, which is a two part epoxy that you can mix up and apply for a strong repair. Then its sand, sand, sand, and then paint, works every time! :D

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 Post subject: Re: 1950 GE clock radio cracks
PostPosted: Aug Thu 19, 2021 2:39 pm 
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Joined: Dec Thu 10, 2015 7:01 pm
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Location: Aurora, IL
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Ack!!! You used JB Weld!!! No way!


I'll take care not to post any more of my improper case repair techniques here. :oops:


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 Post subject: Re: 1950 GE clock radio cracks
PostPosted: Aug Thu 19, 2021 4:08 pm 
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Location: Lexington, KY
dacsman wrote:
I'll take care not to post any more of my improper case repair techniques here. :oops:
Don't let the critics get you down, there's more than one way to skin a cat and your repair looks pretty darn good. Keep up the good work and thanks for sharing your technique and pictures!

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 Post subject: Re: 1950 GE clock radio cracks
PostPosted: Aug Thu 19, 2021 9:28 pm 
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Joined: Dec Thu 10, 2015 7:01 pm
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Location: Aurora, IL
Thank you Eliot Ness for the kind words. But likely my last posting on case repair.

Current status: Ready for radio and clock install.
Note: painted with Rustoleum 2X paint called Seaside


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 Post subject: Re: 1950 GE clock radio cracks
PostPosted: Aug Thu 19, 2021 11:49 pm 
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Joined: Mar Tue 26, 2019 11:30 pm
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Location: Lexington, NC
dacsman wrote:
Quote:
Ack!!! You used JB Weld!!! No way!


I'll take care not to post any more of my improper case repair techniques here. :oops:


Naw it's not improper but as another poster said there are better ways "of skinning the cat" and I just gave you two possibilities. If you do allot of radio restorations, especially desk top plastic radio there are more economical and easier ways then using JB Weld.

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 Post subject: Re: 1950 GE clock radio cracks
PostPosted: Aug Thu 26, 2021 6:52 pm 
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Location: Delavan IL
Great job and great choice of color... love it!

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Scott

If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough
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 Post subject: Re: 1950 GE clock radio cracks
PostPosted: Aug Fri 27, 2021 6:55 am 
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Joined: Dec Thu 10, 2015 7:01 pm
Posts: 545
Location: Aurora, IL
Thanks sawblade. You never know for sure how good a color will look until it is on. But it sure met my expectations and I really like it.


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