Author Topic: Polishing bakelite.  (Read 37908 times)

Offline trainman

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Polishing bakelite.
« on: April 29, 2011, 10:26:51 AM »
You can't polish bakelite. If it is faded, there is nothing you can do except paint or paste wax. Why? Because the top  layer of bakelite is a glaze that is there as part of the manufacturing process. Once worn through, from use. or oils from the skin, your into the base layer which is rough, and motled looking.

If your bakelite still has the shinny top glaze, whatever you do, do it sparingly, so as to not rub through the glaze.

Offline LarryInMichigan

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Re: Polishing bakelite.
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2011, 11:02:44 AM »
I have had reasonably good results using dried out black Kiwi shoe polish and a brush with my rotary tool.  I have a can of shoe polish which was left open way back and dried out so that it is solid chunks of wax.  I rub a bit of small amount of the polish onto the bakelite and spread it with the rotary tool until it is so thinly spread that rubbing it with my finger does not smudge it.  Afterward, I give the bakelite a buffing with a cotton cloth.  The results have been much better than I expected.  It even worked well on handset grips which are frequently handled.  The rotary brush must be rubbing small amounts of wax into the pores of the bakelite.  This isn't a perfect solution, but it beats throwing away phones and handsets.

Larry

Offline Doug Rose

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Re: Polishing bakelite.
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2011, 01:16:45 PM »
You can't polish bakelite. If it is faded, there is nothing you can do except paint or paste wax. Why? Because the top  layer of bakelite is a glaze that is there as part of the manufacturing process. Once worn through, from use. or oils from the skin, your into the base layer which is rough, and motled looking.

If your bakelite still has the shinny top glaze, whatever you do, do it sparingly, so as to not rub through the glaze.
I disagree. I have never found layers on the bakelite and I have sanded some handsets down to remove or hide imperfections. I have also done work on many bakelite shells as well, no layers. Fine steel wool and Avon skin so soft will bring them back to life. I have heard for years people say there are layers in bakelite. I have never painted a bakelite piece in 30 years of collecting telephones. ....Doug
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Offline Tom B

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Re: Polishing bakelite.
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2011, 02:07:18 PM »
Hey Doug,
Is that the hand cream?

Tom
Tom

Offline Doug Rose

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Re: Polishing bakelite.
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2011, 02:20:39 PM »
Hey Doug,
Is that the hand cream?

Tom
Tom....bath oil, works like a champ....Doug
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Offline dsk

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Re: Polishing bakelite.
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2011, 02:49:19 PM »
I have some older Elektrisk Bureau and Erickson bakelite phones. The finish is not very shiny, but my parents used some furniture polish and kept them quite nice.

Then I got some Siemens telephones, looks like the has some painted finish, shines as *  :D  Just wiped with a moist clothe. Just shining. 

Got some different others not that shiny, shoe polish to get them black, and car wax to keep them.

Works for me.

dsk

I have even got a regular New York number :-) 646 570 1796

Offline Doug Rose

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Re: Polishing bakelite.
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2011, 08:57:07 PM »
Bakelite is very resilient and reacts well to fine steel wool. Steel wool removes the layers of age, dullness, grime and dirt. When finished with the steel wool, the bakelite will have a shine. It has a glow the the friction causes, almost a depth to it. Below are the before and after of my Mahogany North and Green North. Avon SSS bath oil is the finishing touch. ....Doug
« Last Edit: April 30, 2011, 09:04:41 PM by Doug Rose »
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Offline Ed D

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Re: Polishing bakelite.
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2011, 10:00:34 PM »
Bakelite is very resilient and reacts well to fine steel wool. Steel wool removes the layers of age, dullness, grime and dirt. When finished with the steel wool, the bakelite will have a shine. It has a glow the the friction causes, almost a depth to it. Below are the before and after of my Mahogany North and Green North. Avon SSS bath oil is the finishing touch. ....Doug
Doug,

Does the SSS dry, or does it remain oily?  Or do you buff it out to where the SSS is practically nonexistent on the bakelite?

Ed

Offline Brinybay

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Re: Polishing bakelite.
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2011, 04:12:18 AM »
Hey Doug,
Is that the hand cream?

Tom

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Offline Jim S.

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Re: Polishing bakelite.
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2011, 12:53:35 PM »
You can't polish bakelite. If it is faded, there is nothing you can do except paint or paste wax. Why? Because the top  layer of bakelite is a glaze that is there as part of the manufacturing process. Once worn through, from use. or oils from the skin, your into the base layer which is rough, and motled looking.

If your bakelite still has the shinny top glaze, whatever you do, do it sparingly, so as to not rub through the glaze.

Black shoe polish is an old stand by.
It does a good job and shows well.
Jim
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You die, you forget it all.

Offline Doug Rose

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Re: Polishing bakelite.
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2011, 01:13:39 PM »
Bakelite is very resilient and reacts well to fine steel wool. Steel wool removes the layers of age, dullness, grime and dirt. When finished with the steel wool, the bakelite will have a shine. It has a glow the the friction causes, almost a depth to it. Below are the before and after of my Mahogany North and Green North. Avon SSS bath oil is the finishing touch. ....Doug
Doug,

Does the SSS dry, or does it remain oily?  Or do you buff it out to where the SSS is practically nonexistent on the bakelite?

Ed

Ed....I leave it on a few days and wipe of the excess. It does dry. Some areas might need more, the drier the bakelite, the more it will suck it in....Doug
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Offline Kevin Lane

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Re: Polishing bakelite.
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2011, 09:14:02 PM »
Can you go through the steel wool process?  Exactly what steel wool do you use?  And sanding techniques?

The photos are quite amazing!

Offline Brinybay

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Re: Polishing bakelite.
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2011, 12:48:56 AM »
Can you go through the steel wool process?  Exactly what steel wool do you use?  And sanding techniques?

The photos are quite amazing!

It's fine steel wool, 0000.  I've been trying the Doug Rose method for the first time, but I don't think I did it right, I only left the SSS on overnight and I didn't get the results Doug did.  I too, need more coaching on the steel wool part, how long?  I sanded it for about 15 minutes.  I'm using it on the handset for my latest phone, the 440 with an F1 handset.

Man, I love that emerald green phone!  Gotta have one!
« Last Edit: May 03, 2011, 12:52:01 AM by Brinybay »
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Offline DavePEI

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Re: Polishing bakelite.
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2011, 04:19:55 AM »
Hey Doug,
Is that the hand cream?

Tom

This stuff:

If you don't know your local Avon Rep., ask your XYL or order online:

In Canada: http://www.avon.ca/1/1/143-skin-so-soft-original-bath-oil-500-ml.html

In the US: http://shop.avon.com/shop/product.aspx?src_page=product_list.aspx&level1_id=0&level2_id=0&pdept_id=0&dept_id=0&pf_id=7460

500 ml. US price - 13.00,  CDN - 9.99 (Special)

Ordered a couple of bottles this evening... Bakelite will feel softer and moisturized! ::)

Now, being a curious soul, I looked up the ingredients list given on the Canadian site. SSS is made of the following compounds:

1) Mineral Oil

2) Isopropyl palmitate is a palm oil based emollient, moisturizer, thickening agent, and anti-static

3) Dicaoryl Adipate is classifed as: Emollient, Film forming, Plasticizer

4) Dioctyl Sodium Sulfosuccinate used as an emulsifying, wetting, and dispersing agent, as a pesticide

5) Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), also known as butylhydroxytoluene, is a lipophilic (fat-soluble) organic compound that is primarily used as an antioxidant food additive (E number E321) as well as an antioxidant additive

6) Carrot seed oil has a formative effect on the epidermal skin cells, stimulating cell growth and is therefore an excellent ingredient to use in products aimed to rejuvenate tired, aged, dehydrated and damaged skin

While they don't give percentages of the ingredients, I wonder if anyone has tried just straight Mineral oil on Bakelite?
« Last Edit: May 03, 2011, 07:09:27 AM by DavePEI »
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Offline Doug Rose

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Re: Polishing bakelite.
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2011, 01:32:54 PM »
I use the fine 00 steel wool. The length of time depends on the condition of the handset. Its more a feel of when it looks right. Usually under 30 minutes. You will know when its done as the bakelite will have a glow/shine to it, just be wiping off the bakelite dust. After the steel wool, then I add the Avon SSS.

The green North was an absolute mess, more brown than green. It had really faded. When I was using the steel wool it was turning green and I thought I had gone too far. I probably could have taken it a bit further, but this was my first time using steel wool on bakelite other than black. When using steel wool on black, the bakelite dust is brown, like I'm taking off the age and grime. I hate to say layer, because I don't think bakelite is layered. Surface coat, I guess. The green North took days to complete, not hours. This was a labor of love. I was extremely lucking finding these two beauties, a few months apart to boot....Doug
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