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 Post subject: bakelite cleaning
PostPosted: Jan Sat 17, 2004 2:19 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 2291
Location: Niagara Falls, NY
I have well over 100 bakelite radios. Cleaning them has always been fun- and frustrating. I do not have a polish wheel and ruge so lets not go there. <BR>I'll tell you whats worked for me and I'd like for you to share your secrets too:<BR>1. Firstly, cabinet must be cleaned. I place my empty cabinet into a warm wash basin with dish detergent. Let it soak for about an hour, then take a gentle toothbrush to it. You will find out quickly if the set was in a smokers home. Anyway, can't polish it until its clean.<BR>2. Heres the tricky part. There seems to be different types of bakelite. I suspect it is all the same EXCEPT that different resins or amounts of ingredients used somewhat allow for bakelite to have variation. Also, exposure to heat and sun will diminish its finish. Example: Some bakelite sets shine no matter what you do. I have a mini-emerson set like that. Some bakelite, when you wash it, turns almost milky and dull. This type needs an oily base polish to re-luster it.<BR>3. I've tried, with good success, SHOEPOLISH. Rub in, rub off, wholla, a shiny cabinet. You must get all the polish off or at least rub well or you'll get fingerprints. Now I am trying Glaz-it. Used to polish old telephone bakelite. I am finding that spraying it on and letting it sit for a few minutes is best before wiping. Anyway, I am looking for other suggestions. Any secrets you want to share? Best regards, Ken<P>------------------<BR>


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 Post subject: bakelite cleaning
PostPosted: Jan Sat 17, 2004 5:52 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 1553
Location: SOUTHLAKE, TX, USA
Ken: I agree with your cleaning/washing method, if the set doesn't have any paper labels on it. With respect to GLAYZIT, rather than letting it sit for a few minutes, let it work overnight, then agressively buff with a soft cloth. I have found that the longer I let GLAYZIT (which I use exclusively)cure, the better it works. BOB<P>------------------<BR>


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 Post subject: bakelite cleaning
PostPosted: Jan Sat 17, 2004 9:41 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 11100
Location: Vieques, PR, USA
On a really dulled cabinet the answer seems to be building up enough of your favorite product to where it will eventually shine better.<BR>When the initial plastic-like 'glaze' is gone the new stuff, whatever it is, needs a chance to soak in.<BR>So look at it from that perspective. A decent cabinet will shine up easily with most anything...its that bare clay/sawdust that gives us a fit and I've seen no cure other than repeated applications of your 'favorite' product.<BR>I've got a Russian bakelite set here that obviously shined once upon a time. The inside of the cabinet looks great but the outside surface is something akin to shining up dried mud. Its beginning to take after multiple applications over several months. Most of the silicone-like products look great for a couple days then its back to where it was. Needs waxy type filler to build a shinable base.<BR>Note this disaster: <A HREF="http://www.sparkbench.com/spbx4952.htm" TARGET=_blank>http://www.sparkbench.com/spbx4952.htm</A> <BR>I recently pulled this set back out after a couple years of boxed storage and it still looks good. Gave it a fresh going over with Butcher's Polish and you can almost shave using it as a mirror!<P>-Bill<P><BR>------------------<BR>


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 Post subject: bakelite cleaning
PostPosted: Jan Sat 17, 2004 10:38 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 2291
Location: Niagara Falls, NY
Firstly to Bob, thanks for the suggestion. I used Glayzit for the first time. At first, I sprayed on and wiped off. Not happy particularly with the results but thats what the label said to do. You are so right that if you leave it on over a longer time, say overnight, it is an awesome product! Best I have used.<BR>And exray, I am not sure what butchers polish is, but, based on your link, it certainly did the job eventually. Have you ever used Glayzit? I'm doing a Zenith 6D-615 which is a VERY machine-age design set and the Glayzit made it look like new. Thanks guys and regards.<P>------------------<BR>


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 Post subject: bakelite cleaning
PostPosted: Jan Sat 17, 2004 8:54 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 16306
Location: ID 83301
Your cleaning method works well for the real dirty ones . <P>After i have done the cleaning and its dull i simply make sure its dust free using a vaccuum cleaner then lacquer it using gloss lacquer .<BR>Using a spray can and one coat will give a brilliant luster . 2 coats or more will make more shine .<BR>Using spray equipment and canned lacquer will give a high gloss .<P>After the chosen lacquer has dried wax it with car wax .<BR>You will never have to mess with it or rubbing stuff on it again .<P>Bakelite had a finish in the first place . If for any reason you or anyone wants the lacquer removed simply wipe it off with lacquer thiner . <P>I have done some toasters that have a bakelite base and quite a few bakelite knobs with a can of Deft gloss lacquer also .<P>------------------<BR>


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 Post subject: bakelite cleaning
PostPosted: Jan Tue 20, 2004 9:59 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 310
Location: Craig CO
Usually the paper id tag is pasted to the bakelite case. What is the best way to preserve this during the soapy water soak?<P>Thanks<P>------------------<BR>George


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 Post subject: bakelite cleaning
PostPosted: Jan Tue 20, 2004 9:37 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 2291
Location: Niagara Falls, NY
George: What is the best way to preserve this during the soapy water soak?<BR>I have not tried it yet but I understand that spraying the label with clear lacquer will perserve its integrity. I would overspray label by 1/2 inch or so and maybe give it two coats, but that should do it just fine. Many paper labels stay on even without this process. Ken<P>------------------<BR>


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 Post subject: bakelite cleaning
PostPosted: Jan Fri 30, 2004 12:15 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 926
Location: Wilmington DE USA
I have been using GLAYZIT regularly and it works the best of all products I have tried. The secret is to get the bakelite cleaned before applying the GLAYZIT. I was so impressed I even bought a supply from the company and started selling it on my website (Radiotiques.com). Try it on your wood cabinets - you'll be amazed. JeffG<P>------------------<BR>


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 Post subject: bakelite cleaning
PostPosted: Jan Fri 30, 2004 9:44 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 1218
Location: Charlotte,NC
I never realized that Bakelite sets had a laquer coating on them. Maybe I'll try it if I work up the nerve. I've tried Novus 2 followed by #1, but the best I've found is Mother's California Gold, a carnauba car wax.<P>------------------<BR>


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 Post subject: bakelite cleaning
PostPosted: Feb Fri 06, 2004 4:45 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 76
Location: Scottsdale, AZ USA
I obtain very good results with BRASSO on bakelite and other plastics. It really makes paint speck removal easier. Never heard of Glayzit; Where does one buy it??<P>------------------<BR>Carl Roberts


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 Post subject: bakelite cleaning
PostPosted: Feb Fri 06, 2004 5:41 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 11100
Location: Vieques, PR, USA
They sell GLAYZIT at AES and Radiodaze as well as some personal sites.<BR>Don't put into the same league as Brasso, though. Brasso does its shining trick on Bakelite with mild abrasion and GLAYZIT is an abrasion-free polish.<BR>Depends on whether or not you are trying to rub out scratching from wear or wanting to polish an intact surface.<BR>One product for rubbing out scratches then the other for shining is often the best solution.<P>-BM<P>------------------<BR>


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 Post subject: bakelite cleaning
PostPosted: Feb Fri 06, 2004 10:35 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 76
Location: Scottsdale, AZ USA
Thanks for the info on GLAYZIT EXRAY. I'm in<BR>AES couple times a month but was unaware of the product.<P>------------------<BR>Carl Roberts


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 Post subject: Re: bakelite cleaning
PostPosted: Oct Tue 25, 2011 1:14 pm 
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Joined: Oct Wed 29, 2008 1:47 am
Posts: 362
Location: Ashburn, VA
Another old post.

CLEANING BAKELITE

Seems all in this thread agree to clean bakelite with dish detergent. Dirty cases need soaking night (remove speaker if required and spray label with lacquer to save it).

I see that phosphate is removed from all detergents now and replaced with bio degradable detergents. Are those safe with bakelite?

POLISHING BAKELITE


Seems Glayzit is the way to go. How long does this polish last?

Is Glayzit a one time thing or does it require re-application every so often (like when car wax or shoe polish is used)?

Comments?


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 Post subject: Re: bakelite cleaning
PostPosted: Oct Tue 25, 2011 1:58 pm 
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Joined: May Tue 03, 2011 1:15 am
Posts: 190
Location: Lehigh Valley, PA 18064
i clean it with dish detergent and then use Blue Magic metal Polish, its a bit stinky but works really nice, takes away the haze we often see on bakelite. And once I'm done with that, then I do a coat of Glayzit. I have been very happy with this process.


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 Post subject: Re: bakelite cleaning
PostPosted: Oct Tue 25, 2011 8:22 pm 
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Joined: Feb Thu 08, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 12539
Location: 06457
On dirty bakelite cases I use the mild, white DuPont #7 Rubbing compound found in most big stores/auto parts/etc. Nothing fancy product and cheap too. :)


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 Post subject: Re: bakelite cleaning
PostPosted: Oct Wed 26, 2011 9:06 am 
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Posts: 13372
Location: Middle Tennessee,USA 37174
A true polish has grit to 'cut' a surface to a gloss. Be careful not to use too coarse of a polish. Try the least agressive first, otherwise you will create more work for yourself, getting the larger scratches back out.

A coating like Glayzit makes it's own shine, over a clean surface.

I see this is an old post originally.. One note, when people clean the cabinets and see the brown stuff coming off, doesn't mean that is nicotine. It is the bakelite oxidation (?) that is coming off. It could be a little if it was in a smokers home, but I've cleaned cabinets from non smoker owners that still have the brown coming off.

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Gary Rabbitt


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 Post subject: Re: bakelite cleaning
PostPosted: Oct Sun 30, 2011 10:01 pm 
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Location: Joplin, MO area
I too have cleaned bakelite that came from a smokers house and alot of times, you can smell the nicotine. I too believe that bakelite naturally gives off 'some' brown residue. I like the detergent way although instead of giving it a bath, I'll take a damp cloth with detergent water and clean it that way especially when there are labels still on the cabinet. I have found Brasso works very well, although use it gently at first. Dilute chemical cleaners with alot of water at first if you have to use them as they will 'bleach' bakelite....I know.
Craig

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Radio is the theatre for the mind; television is the theatre for the mindless.


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 Post subject: Re: bakelite cleaning
PostPosted: Nov Mon 07, 2011 5:01 am 
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Location: Joplin, MO area
I experimented with something new last night. I have a neat little Trav-ler bakelite radio that was very dirty. I took about a tablespoon of baking soda, added just enough water to make a thick paste and then simply rubbed it on the case with my finger. The results were very good. It'll clean the bakelite very well, but you'll have to go over it with your favorite polish. If you want to gently clean your bakelite, the baking soda really seems to work.
Craig

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Radio is the theatre for the mind; television is the theatre for the mindless.


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 Post subject: Re: bakelite cleaning
PostPosted: Nov Sat 12, 2011 7:30 pm 
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Posts: 1795
Location: Mecosta MI
hoffies2 wrote:
On dirty bakelite cases I use the mild, white DuPont #7 Rubbing compound found in most big stores/auto parts/etc. Nothing fancy product and cheap too. :)


On bakelites & plastics, I've had the best results with this procedure:

1) Soak, & clean in dish detergent/water, brush, rinse & dry.

2) Dupont "Polishing" compound( at Auto stores, comes in a "tin" like paste wax) with damp clean rag & Elbow Grease, remove all residue with clean damp cloth.

3) #2 Novus polish with medium rubbing, let dry & wipe off.

4) Meguiar's "PlastX" headlight lens polish & cleaner. A blue paste, use very little & polish till "Squeaky clean" sound This is the MOST Important step in achieving the best Shine & Reflection in your cabinet or knobs.

5) Optional, a light coat of a Good car paste wax to "seal" your efforts from the elements longer. If not, than later just a light dusting & another light go over with Meguiar's PlastX, if needed. 2 yrs of doing this procedure & I haven't had to do the last part of this step yet. A Great Product.

Try It, Before you "knock-it"
Lloyd
___________________________________________________________________

Good Judgment Comes From- EXPERIENCE -Which Comes From Bad Judgment


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 Post subject: Re: bakelite cleaning
PostPosted: Mar Thu 16, 2017 9:48 pm 
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Joined: Mar Thu 16, 2017 9:28 pm
Posts: 1
In my search to find out how to clean old bakelite jewelry, I found this site. My grandfather owned a company that made this jewelry and also made the outer part of radios. I don't have one, and have never seen one, of his. My question is ... do the radios have any identifying marks? Maybe the name of a company or other identifier? I am trying to find the name of his company in the hope that I will some day find one of his radios. If your radios have any mark that may be helpful to me, please let me know! Thank you.


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