Author Topic: A method for polishing heavily pitted Bakelite that worked for me  (Read 8668 times)

Offline TelePlay

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7224
  • Available by PM
    • . . . the times they been a'changing
Re: A method for polishing heavily pitted Bakelite that worked for me
« Reply #30 on: November 21, 2016, 11:03:00 AM »
Buffing and polishing compounds is a much more complex area that I imagined. The fine work is done by jewelers and dental appliance shops. Then there is the big stuff, automotive and metal shops. These deal with fine metals, metals and paint. As for buffing compounds, they seem to fall into 3 classes, cutting, polishing and buffing with the first using most coarse grit compounds and the last the finest grit compounds. Found this description of each at a jewelry reference site buried within a lot of other material.

Tripoli is the "largest grit" and blue (DICO PBC) has the "smallest grit" so as with sandpaper, moving from Tripoli to white rouge to blue rouge may give better final results. Problem is changing wheels - from what I remember, only one compound should be used on one wheel so no carry over would exist. Others who have much more buffing experience than I could better address this issue. Buffing certainly is a well studied and practiced science. As usual, the more one digs into something so seemingly simple finds much complexity.


Cutting Compounds

These include the brown Tripoli and bobbing compound

Intermediate Compounds

These include Gray Tripoli, Graystar, white diamond, and crocus. Platinum Tripoli and yellow bobbing compound.

Polishing Compounds

Some polishing compounds are red rouge, yellow rouge, white rouge, black rouge, green rouge.

Super Finish Compounds

Some would disagree that there is a super finish category, but there are those who believe that there is something above red rouge, so for this discussion we will include it. What is interesting is the range of materials people put into this group. They include blue rouge, Blue magic, Fabuluster, and yes even Zam.
            John . . .

              

Offline tipnring

  • *
  • Posts: 53
  • Keep em protected
Re: A method for polishing heavily pitted Bakelite that worked for me
« Reply #31 on: December 01, 2016, 05:52:13 PM »
Great advice from everyone. So I got some 600, 800, 1000, 1500, and 2000 grit wet dry sandpapers.  My stick of Dico blue arrived on Tuesday as well. I got 2 buffing wheels, one 5 " and one 6 " loose sewn. So after practicing on a few 500 sets I tried my AE 40. Sanded once from 600 to 2000 then a second time from 800 to 2000 grit, then I buffed it all out and then buffed again with the Dico buffing compound. I really like the 800 grit for getting scratches out. The 6" buffing wheel is good for getting in hard spots.   I think it turned out pretty good. Dennis

Offline Ktownphoneco

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 784
Re: A method for polishing heavily pitted Bakelite that worked for me
« Reply #32 on: December 01, 2016, 06:29:03 PM »
I knew you'd get the "hang of it real quick" !      Fantastic job Dennis.     

Jeff

Offline TelePlay

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7224
  • Available by PM
    • . . . the times they been a'changing
Re: A method for polishing heavily pitted Bakelite that worked for me
« Reply #33 on: December 01, 2016, 06:31:08 PM »
Very nice work, indeed. Looks great . . .

What speed (RPM) buffer were you using?
            John . . .

              

Offline Pourme

  • One Ringy Dingy, Two Ringy Dingys...
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2005
  • Benny's Fatboy
Re: A method for polishing heavily pitted Bakelite that worked for me
« Reply #34 on: December 01, 2016, 07:37:32 PM »
You did a fine job, Dennis...looks great!
Benny

The Internet is a telephone system that's gotten uppity

Offline Doug Rose

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6937
  • Blondie & the Kid of Phone
Re: A method for polishing heavily pitted Bakelite that worked for me
« Reply #35 on: December 01, 2016, 08:13:36 PM »
That baby do shine!   Outstanding!....Doug
Kidphone

Offline tipnring

  • *
  • Posts: 53
  • Keep em protected
Re: A method for polishing heavily pitted Bakelite that worked for me
« Reply #36 on: December 02, 2016, 10:36:24 AM »
My buffer speed is 3552 rpm on old bench grinder I got from my father in  law.
Thanks Jeff, reading all your posts and seeing first hand your work really got me motivated to really "fix up " my old phones.
Thanks for the compliment Doug, I envy your collection of phones and you just kill me when you bring home another "find at the yard sale". Great stuff.  Dennis

Offline Doug Rose

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6937
  • Blondie & the Kid of Phone
Re: A method for polishing heavily pitted Bakelite that worked for me
« Reply #37 on: December 02, 2016, 09:24:12 PM »
Thanks Dennis...I do appreciate it....Doug
Kidphone

Offline TelePlay

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7224
  • Available by PM
    • . . . the times they been a'changing
Re: A method for polishing heavily pitted Bakelite that worked for me
« Reply #38 on: February 17, 2017, 01:36:04 PM »
Hadn't done one of these for a few months so was surprised today on how easy it was to get a Kellogg Gum Drop Bakelite handset to shine up in less than 10 minutes. Impressed myself so much I thought I'd post the images.

Soaked the handset in soapy water to get rid of the dirt. Before pictures are after cleaning with soapy water.

Due to the pitting, used 320 wet sand paper to get a smooth surface. Used 000 steel wool with Brasso to level off the sand marks. Used white rouge (red had no effect - too fine I guess) on my 1800 rpm buffer (a minute or two buffing at the most) to get the after images (yes, that is my Brasso bottle reflected in the close up after). The camera is much more critical than as seen when holding it in room light.

Yes, could have spent more time to make it more shiny but then it gets down to how much shine is too much. It is a 60 year old item, not NOS. Sanded it down to smooth (not pitted) when wiped dry. Could have sanded more with finer grits, might do that when I get to doing the complete handset.

It really shined up quickly. A few minutes to sand it smooth, another minute or two to work it with Brasso and another minute or so to buff it out. This does work nicely and no fear of sanding the surface.
            John . . .

              

Offline Doug Rose

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6937
  • Blondie & the Kid of Phone
Re: A method for polishing heavily pitted Bakelite that worked for me
« Reply #39 on: February 17, 2017, 06:47:52 PM »
John was it pitted or "browned." I don't see any tiny holes in the before pic that is pitted. It looks more like the Bakelite had browned, which usually comes right of with some fine steel wool. Its more on the very top layer that Bakelite browns, pitted I am thinking an orange peel that a WE receiver cap will get. Just asking.....looks great....Doug
Kidphone

Offline TelePlay

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7224
  • Available by PM
    • . . . the times they been a'changing
Re: A method for polishing heavily pitted Bakelite that worked for me
« Reply #40 on: February 17, 2017, 07:42:31 PM »
John was it pitted or "browned." I don't see any tiny holes in the before pic that is pitted. It looks more like the Bakelite had browned, which usually comes right of with some fine steel wool. Its more on the very top layer that Bakelite browns, pitted I am thinking an orange peel that a WE receiver cap will get. Just asking.....looks great....Doug

Doug,

Not pits but rivers of lower areas that were shiny black and the brown surface, the high spots, is tough to get off. Doing the whole handset now. 320 wet until the rivers are gone, then 600 wet and 1000 wet to get the 320 marks out. Then to Brasso and the buffer. Need to sand one end of the handset yet before Brasso/wool and the buffer.

« Last Edit: February 18, 2017, 02:22:11 PM by TelePlay »
            John . . .

              

Offline mariepr

  • ***
  • Posts: 109
Re: A method for polishing heavily pitted Bakelite that worked for me
« Reply #41 on: May 25, 2017, 06:52:19 AM »
FWIW, I've had some success in smoothing out some rough F1s with White Blizzard compound on a spiral sewn wheel.  My buffing method however is unorthodox since I don't have a buffing machine (no room to store or use it) but use the wheel on a drill.  Lacking a workshop, I find it convenient to do buffing work over my bathtub so that the mess is contained.  When done the debris can be vacuumed up.  Not the ideal way to buff but it gets the job done given the circumstances. 

Offline TelePlay

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7224
  • Available by PM
    • . . . the times they been a'changing
Re: A method for polishing heavily pitted Bakelite that worked for me
« Reply #42 on: May 25, 2017, 07:07:18 PM »
FWIW, I've had some success in smoothing out some rough F1s with White Blizzard compound on a spiral sewn wheel.  My buffing method however is unorthodox since I don't have a buffing machine (no room to store or use it) but use the wheel on a drill.  Lacking a workshop, I find it convenient to do buffing work over my bathtub so that the mess is contained.  When done the debris can be vacuumed up.  Not the ideal way to buff but it gets the job done given the circumstances.

Interesting. Never heard of White Blizzard so did a bit of research. More common name for it is White Rouge. Every time I do research on buffing compounds or polishes, my head starts to hurt. Quite a complex area. I guess it comes down to personal trial and error and technique and one ends up doing what works best for them. And quite the work shop you have there. Nothing wrong with a pad on a drill, done that before, but the bathtub is new to me. I do major de-liming and rinsing in the tub but a power tool near water is interesting . . .  ;) 

Found this reference list at a site so copied here for prosperity. Quite a complete list which is their opinion of what each is best used for and the results. I think buffing compound results are affected by the type of buffing wheel used and the speed of the wheel so each person's experience with any of these may differ. Saying that from my experience.

=======================================

Guide to Buffing Compounds and Their Uses

Posted June 12, 2014 by Esslinger Staff

Buffing compounds are used with buffing and polishing wheels to increase the effectiveness of the wheel and to help you accomplish your tasks more quickly. They come in all different types and colors, each uniquely suited to a different aspect of the buffing, cutting, and polishing process. Some are rougher and allow you to quickly remove scratches from various metal surfaces, and others are gentler and designed to provide a beautiful and shining finish to your work. One big difference that youíll notice is the contrast between rouge compounds and tripoli compounds: rouges are typically used for polishing and finishing work whereas the tripoli compounds are used for cutting and buffing to remove scratches from the metal. Below we have compiled a list of our most common buffing compounds to help you tell the difference and choose the one that is right for you.

 
Black Emery Compound

This compound is filled with emery minerals to give it top notch cutting qualities making it the perfect compound for removing scratches, small pits, plating, paint, antiquing, lacquer and more from metallic surfaces. For big jobs and work that requires a lot of work to remove rough surfaces or deep scratches, you should always start with this compound because it will save you hours of work and effort. It even starts the polishing process for you, typically leaving metals with a fair shine on the surface when you are done.

 
Brown Tripoli

This tripoli compound is designed for its general purpose use for both buffing and polishing work. The compound can easily cut and remove scratches while leaving a smooth finish. It is the best compound to use on softer metals like brass, copper, aluminum and various pot metals. It can also be safely used on things like stainless steel and wood surfaces, giving the wood a lustrous finish when you are done.

 
White Rouge

White rouge compounds are a great finishing compound, particularly for harder metals like chrome and things that have been nickel plated. It will provide a light level of cutting edge to your buffing wheel giving those harder metals a brilliant shine when you are finished. Also known as a blizzard compound, it can be used provide a final finish to harder metals, or lighter cutting action on softer ones.

 
Water Soluble Red Rouge

This compound works in the same way that regular red rouge will: it gives a superb high quality polished finish to the metals that you use it with, and it is especially effective for use on gold, silver and other precious metals. What makes this compound unique from typical red rouge, is that it is also water soluble so breaks down much more easily and can be cleaned away just with the help of water.

 
Red Rouge/Jewelerís Rouge


The red rouge compound is commonly referred to as jewelerís rouge because it is used extensively by jewelers and because of the unsurpassed level of high quality polishing it provides to gold, silver and many other precious metals. In very little time, this rouge will reveal the true colors of each metal, and they will shine like new. It is also safe to use on pieces that have thin layers of plating.

 
Green Rouge

This green rouge is a compound that is designed to provide a high luster finish on hard and soft metals. While this compound can easily and safely be used on hard and soft metals, it works best on things like chrome, stainless steel, and platinum, which is the reason that sometimes this compound is known as Stainless Steel compound. It will leave a brighter and better finish than you will get with a white rouge compound.

 
Tan Bobbing Compound

The tan bobbing compound is known for its fast cutting action, making quick work of removing light scratches and things like fire-scale from metal. It is an ideal pre-polishing compound, easily smoothing the surface of the precious metals like gold and silver to ready the surface for polishing. It works best when it is used with a buffing wheel, brush and lap work machine.

 
Polinum

Polinum is a rouge that is commonly known as Orange-Glow. This is a specialty compound was designed to allow you to polish platinum, white gold, yellow gold, and stainless steel. It provides a powerful polishing action that produces an unbelievable sparkling gloss to your metals. Originally designed to be used on watch cases and watch bands, Polinum is great for watchmakers and is frequently used by Rolex repairmen to bring a watch back up to its original luster.

 
Blue Magic

This compound was engineered just for working on platinum. It provides an unmatched polishing shine to platinum jewelry and metals, as well as giving other precious metals like gold a beautiful glimmer.

 
Fabulustre

Fabulustre is a unique and specialty one step buffing and polishing compound. It was designed to provide a high luster finish to all kinds of precious metals from gold to silver, as well as other decorative metals. The compound easily removes light scratches to produce a mirror-bright final finish to your work piece in no time at all without discoloring while you work.

 
Zam

Zam is another specialty compound designed uniquely for working on silver and turquoise jewelry. The special formulation is gentle and will not scratch the delicate stones, making it ideal to use on jewelry that you need to polish but could not easily remove the stones to protect them from harsher polishing compounds. It leaves a high luster finish without a residue making it a versatile polishing compound.
            John . . .

              

Offline AE_Collector

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7490
  • AE 2 - AECo's 1st Self Contained Desk Phone 1925
Re: A method for polishing heavily pitted Bakelite that worked for me
« Reply #43 on: March 26, 2018, 05:08:14 PM »
So I am going to clean up some Bakelite AE 40ís and 50ís. Mostly stuff going on Facebook Marketplace or to a local antique store. Reading through these buffing topics I think Iíve figured out the problem. Iím lazy. I have one buffer with two wheels. Want to be able to buff up bakelite and plastic phones but at this point I am not attempting to do fabulous work like I have seen by some of you. Just decent work. Donít really want to have to change wheels constantly either.

So, I am looking for compromises. Thinking brown Tripoli and PBC blue thinking these two might spiff up Bakelite and for plastics I can just head straight to the blue most of the time. Maybe that is too big of a range...should have white rouge in between? Probably but obviously some sanding should be happening as well but Iím not that into this ... so far. Or, maybe decent Bakelite doesnít need something Aís course as Tripoli. I guess I should concede to change wheels more so I can have at least Brown, white and blue available to me.

One friend says he has two buffers and four wheels on the go. That would be a good arrangement.

Just thinking out loud....


Terry

Online Jim S.

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3564
Re: A method for polishing heavily pitted Bakelite that worked for me
« Reply #44 on: March 26, 2018, 05:35:23 PM »
I am lazy enough to consider a 2nd buffer so you don't have to change wheels.
Jim S.
You live, You learn,
You die, you forget it all.