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 Post subject: Cracked Bakelite Cabinet Repair Material
PostPosted: May Wed 22, 2019 12:07 pm 
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Location: Weymouth,Massachusetts
I'm curious . What to use to repair a cracked or broken bakelite cabinet these days.
I had always read nothing would adhere to bakelite so I never tried to do a repair. What are your thoughts or what have you used? My thinking was automotive fiberglass repair might do it.
TIA
Henry


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 Post subject: Re: Cracked Bakelite Cabinet Repair Material
PostPosted: May Wed 22, 2019 12:50 pm 
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Location: Littleton, MA
Epoxy putty works for me for structural gaps, with auto body spot putty to fill the remaining blemishes. I used J-B Weld epoxy putty. For gluing clean breaks, I use a slow-curing epoxy (not the 5 minute variety) such as J-B Weld or Devcon 2-Ton epoxy.

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Last edited by stevebyan on May Wed 22, 2019 12:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Cracked Bakelite Cabinet Repair Material
PostPosted: May Wed 22, 2019 12:52 pm 
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Location: Ohio 45177
I am curious about the idea that nothing will stick to bakelite? I thought I had used super glue and epoxy on bakelite parts in the past? IF it seems solid, bakelite radio cases are not under extreme stress usually, that would defeat a repair. The trick would be concealing the joint. A clean break might be concealed by paint. Or if the break is at a place that makes it not obvious. I would just want to be able to use some sort of pressure on the break to close the gap while the adhesive is curing.

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 Post subject: Re: Cracked Bakelite Cabinet Repair Material
PostPosted: May Wed 22, 2019 1:28 pm 
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Image
This little set had two major crack and a large chunk missing from it. The cabinet was repaired using auto body filler (Bondo), which was then sanded smooth, painted, and the paint finish rubbed out to give it the luster of plastic.

The process used:
https://antiqueradios.com/features/paint.html


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 Post subject: Re: Cracked Bakelite Cabinet Repair Material
PostPosted: May Wed 22, 2019 1:40 pm 
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Joined: Feb Thu 28, 2019 7:48 pm
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Location: Lawrenceville, Illinois 62439
Back in the '60's, we had Plas-T-Pair, a powder compound and a setting agent liquid.

+1 to Bondo. And, on small cracks, what has been mentioned; a slow curing type of glue.
Dan


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 Post subject: Re: Cracked Bakelite Cabinet Repair Material
PostPosted: May Wed 22, 2019 3:07 pm 
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Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
For my last repair, I chose Weld-Bond, good old white glue, similar to Tite-Bond.
It penetrates into the broken edges well and cures overnight, no panic and easy to clean up.
Also, you can save Bakelite dust to mix with glue for crack filler.

Bondo is definitely the right choice for rebuilding missing pieces, and sometimes you can touch up a patch to look like natural Bakelite. Squirt brown paint into a cup, mix in a bit of black, apply with a brush. If it doesn't look right, sand it off and paint again.

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 Post subject: Re: Cracked Bakelite Cabinet Repair Material
PostPosted: May Wed 22, 2019 6:03 pm 
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I've never heard of the "popular wisdom" that nothing will stick to bakelite.
Maybe whoever started that rumor tried to use cement for styrene plastic models, and experienced a fail. While it's a fact that very few common chemicals will attack bakelite, including solvent-type glues, the idea that nothing will stick to it is just plain wrong.

I've used J-B Weld Epoxy to reassembled shattered bakelite cases with good results. The cured epoxy can be sanded flush with the joined pieces and automobile spot putty used to get a perfect finish. A coat of sandable primer topped by a couple of spray coats of acrylic lacquer will render the repair invisible from the outside. If the butt-joined repair seems flimsy it can be reinforced with epoxy-saturated strips of fiberglass cloth applied on the inside of the case, out of sight. Remember to roughen the bakelite surface with 60 grit sandpaper to give the epoxy a "toothy" surface to grab on to.

For those familiar with J-B Weld as the epoxy that is found in tiny two-part tubes for a high price, be aware that
bulk quantities are available at a much more favorable cost/product amount ratio.


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 Post subject: Re: Cracked Bakelite Cabinet Repair Material
PostPosted: May Wed 22, 2019 7:28 pm 
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I took a picture of Scar-face with the Weld-Bond glue joint. I knew it was going to be tricky to align and get it tight all the way round.
He'll never be a museum piece, but lives on in my workshop.


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Last edited by westcoastjohn on May Thu 23, 2019 2:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Cracked Bakelite Cabinet Repair Material
PostPosted: May Wed 22, 2019 7:56 pm 
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I've used Crazy Glue and Plas-T-Pair to seal cracks, but then the only remedy is to paint the cabinet.


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 Post subject: Re: Cracked Bakelite Cabinet Repair Material
PostPosted: May Thu 23, 2019 1:53 am 
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Joined: Jul Fri 10, 2009 10:13 pm
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Location: Weymouth,Massachusetts
Thank you one and all for your responses. It was many years ago that I read the none of the available glues would work on bakelite repair. Maybe late 60s or in the 70s . I remember Plas-T-Pair and thinking back I don't know why I never tried it other than price. But now a days there are so many choices out the for adhesives it boggles the mind why it took so long.
I do remember when" super glue " came on the scene available as Eastman's 910 developed for use in hospitals to replace stitches the engineer at work told us. I also remember the large brown glass bottles that Cramolin liquid came in. (De-oxit now)
Thanks again.
Henry


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 Post subject: Re: Cracked Bakelite Cabinet Repair Material
PostPosted: May Sun 26, 2019 6:26 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 10, 2019 5:39 pm
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Location: Rockbridge Ohio 43149
I recently used a product called Plast-aid that worked very well. It can be colored with acrylic artists paint


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 Post subject: Re: Cracked Bakelite Cabinet Repair Material
PostPosted: May Sun 26, 2019 3:04 pm 
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Location: S. Dartmouth MA 02748-1225 USA
radiohenry wrote:
I'm curious. What to use to repair a cracked or broken Bakelite cabinet these days. I had always read nothing would adhere to Bakelite so I never tried to do a repair. What are your thoughts or what have you used? My thinking was automotive fiberglass repair might do it. TIA, Henry
Correct!
Score the interior surface with sharp tool or Dremel with a burr to give good purchase for the resin. Drill a small hole at the end of the crack to thwart further travel of the crack. The surface of the hole can be filled flush with the resin. Then do the repair on the inside adding a layer of mat.

YMMV
Chas

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 Post subject: Re: Cracked Bakelite Cabinet Repair Material
PostPosted: May Mon 27, 2019 12:11 am 
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Joined: Jul Fri 10, 2009 10:13 pm
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Location: Weymouth,Massachusetts
Great advice all.
Chas,
That was my exactly what I was thinking prior to posting. It's nice though to hear other ideas /suggestions.
Thanks everyone.
Henry


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