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 Post subject: Catalin cabinet repair methods?
PostPosted: Sep Sat 06, 2003 6:04 am 
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Location: Sandusky, OH usa
I just got my first Catalin radio cabinet, a Fada 652 Temple in maroon with the buttersctoch trim dial. It has a major crack running across the left side and around the front by the dial as well as two cracked but not broken out grill bars just under the dial area. The cabinet as I got it had been "fixed" (to use a polite term) using poorly mixed epoxy slathered into the cracked areas and not even aligned correctly whlie it set up. After three hours of very careful work with nasty chemicals like Zep (a flux remover that has the characteristics of flame thrower in a can to almost any paint, glue or dirt) and the ever trusty Greased Lighting (nothing can stand up to it from what I've seen) I got ALL the old crappy glue off the cabinet and succeeded in reopening the cracked section with no further damage (a LOT of prayer paid off there guys!). <P>Now my question(s) is/are, before reattempting to repair the cracked area: A. Will super glue work on catalin? B. Is there any other method of using a colorant in epoxy to fill the surface crack left after gluing so I can fill the surface and then sand it down smooth to cover the damage and blend it in somewhat? C. Did you ever notice that although there are lots of sites which tell of a technique to repair bakelite cabinets, there seem to be none on Catalin repair? <P>I've done a lot of searching on Google to no avail except for ads for "professional" Catalin repairs at obviously higher prices due to the technical knowledge and investement of time and materials those able to do this type of repair possess. I don't want to send this cabinet out to have it done by somone else as I'd like to learn how to do it myself and I'm not so concerned about it being "perfect" as I am that it is clean and presentable. I know it is broken and no $200+ repair bill is going to make that fact disappear. The cracked area will mate up nicely and when done it should be almost invisible if I can match the surface color decently. Any help is appreciated and I'm not looking to go into business doing this on my own as I don't have the time nor inclination to do so. I just want to be able to say I repaired the damaged area to the best of my ability and enjoy the radio as well as the savings. The cabinet is a spare anyway as the radio I have is the original wood walnut version of the 652 and I wanted an original Catalin cabinet to show with the radio for display. God Bless †<P>------------------<BR>DecotronixDan


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 Post subject: Catalin cabinet repair methods?
PostPosted: Sep Sat 06, 2003 4:25 pm 
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Location: Buckingham County, VA. (Foothills of the Blue Ridge Mtns)
This isn't going to be very helpful, but I'm gonna tell ya all I know about catalin. First, if you do any sanding/polishing on the surface you will change the color, eventually returning to it's original color. Second, there are folks that repair catalin as I have seen them on evilbay. Third, for a primer on catalin look here ... <A HREF="http://www.maarc.org/default.htm" TARGET=_blank>http://www.maarc.org/default.htm</A> and click on the link to "Catalin Corner" ..<P>------------------<BR>


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 Post subject: Catalin cabinet repair methods?
PostPosted: Sep Mon 08, 2003 3:29 pm 
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Hi,<BR> In my years playing with Monsanto Catalin material I've never found a repair for cracks. Sure you can super glue and clamp but crack is still there. The pros charge hundreds to repair a crack which is gone when they finish. Only way you can tell it was cracked is to look inside case where it is unfinished. Cracks are channeled, filled with similiar material, brush painted swirl and complete coat of clear lacquer to case.<BR> On a low end Temple Fada 652 cost of repairs would be far more then value of radio.<BR> Ken<P>------------------<BR>


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 Post subject: Catalin cabinet repair methods?
PostPosted: Sep Tue 09, 2003 3:13 am 
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Location: Sandusky, OH usa
Hi guys, thanx for your input on this. I saw the info page Gordo spoke of already, great background but no links to current repair methods. Alan, I already know about how to tell if it's repaired or not but Ken, you speak of a mysterious material, "the similar material", used to actually repair and fill the crack. What is that similar material? Epoxy? How could I color it to match the maroon Catalin? Catalin doesn't remelt does it? Could I just take a scraping from inside the cabinet and remelt it to flow it into the repair area? I want to repair the crack as best I can but perfection I'm not looking for, just acceptible cosmetics and sturdiness. As a side note, do you know of any source for DEEP C-clamps to secure the center of the cracked line on the side of the radio? The regular ones are only a couple inches deep and I need at least five to six inches to clear the first clamp on the back edge and stablize the side warpage while the "similar material" sets up and dries. Like I've said before, I do love a mystery... Thanx again for your input guys!<P>------------------<BR>DecotronixDan


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 Post subject: Catalin cabinet repair methods?
PostPosted: Sep Tue 09, 2003 5:30 pm 
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Dan,<BR> The person that does the catalin repairs worked on expensive automobile repairs and has chemist knowledge of material compositions. The filler and coloring technique used to repair cracks is still secret. I'm sure it's not a product bought at Home Depot. The difficult part is finding materials that will bond with catalin, if you dropped one of his repaired radios it wouldn't crack again where his repair is. The artist work put into reproducing the swirls is an art in itself. He would be foolish to share it since catalin repairs are his business.<BR> Deep clamps can be bought at any woodworking store. And catalin doesn't melt and making a powder to blend with epoxy doesn't work, it won't dissolve. Your up against a tuff situation, hope this helps clear the water.<BR> A side note, radio cases that are so badly broken are many times bought by jewelry makers to produce some stunning pieces.<BR>Ken<BR>------------------<BR>


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 Post subject: Catalin cabinet repair methods?
PostPosted: Sep Tue 09, 2003 8:21 pm 
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Location: Québec!
[QUOTE]originally posted by decotronix:<BR><B> A. Will super glue work on catalin? <BR></B>[QUOTE]<P>- Not recommended<P> [QUOTE]<B><BR>B. Is there any other method of using a colorant in epoxy to fill the surface crack left after gluing so I can fill the surface and then sand it down smooth to cover the damage and blend it in somewhat? <BR></B>[QUOTE]<P>- Yes, but probably not the right product to use on Catalin.<P> [QUOTE]<B><BR>C. Did you ever notice that although there are lots of sites which tell of a technique to repair bakelite cabinets, there seem to be none on Catalin repair? <BR></B>[QUOTE]<P>Catalin repairs is a work of art. Lots of hands on experience (and costly ones too) needed and lotsa time spent in finding the right bonding agent, the proper dye etc. There are good reasons not to share this information I believe others have outlined some of them. <P>Catalin keeps shrinking with time and keeps oxydizing. Any repair made with the wrong bonding agent will creat a crack right beside the repair. The dye needs to age also so to keep the repair invisible for years.<P>If you are clever enough, you probably realized by now one of the reason some are spraying clear lacquer on Catalin cabinets...<P> [QUOTE]<B><BR>I'm not so concerned about it being "perfect" as I am that it is clean and presentable.<BR></B>[QUOTE]<P>Then any which way you choose will be fine I guess.<P>The problem I see often when sharing important restoration "tricks" and "secrets" of the trade is that information eventually goes where it is not supposed to and all credit to the source gets lost.<P>My 2 cents as they say...<BR>Syl<P>------------------<BR>


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 Post subject: Catalin cabinet repair methods?
PostPosted: Sep Thu 11, 2003 4:54 pm 
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Dan,<BR> I have glued together catalin radio cases that were in two pieces with Duro super glue made by Loctite Corp. found in most auto stores and even Stop & Shop. The repairs have held for me, not saying I ever stress tested or dropped one to find out.<BR> Ken<P>------------------<BR>


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 Post subject: Catalin cabinet repair methods?
PostPosted: Sep Thu 11, 2003 8:51 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Québec!
Old Radioz wrote:
<font>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Ken Hoffman:<BR><B>...not saying I ever stress tested or dropped one to find out.<BR> Ken<P></B><HR>
<P><BR>Why not...in the name of science ? 8o)<P>Syl<BR><P>------------------<BR>


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