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DonaldStott 27th Jul 2021 11:06 am

The Perennial Bakelite Problem!
2 Attachment(s)
We've all been there and approached scratches, dents and holes in Bakelite in different ways.

Two challenges for the Forum to advise on:-

1. Brown Bakelite case with some deep scratches.

My previous efforts have involved some filler followed by extensive sanding with Wet&Dry of decreasing grit size, ending up with P1800 or P2000?

Attachment 238301j

Then use some Halfords Vauxhall Brazil Brown spray paint which is a 'near enough' match, more Wet&Dry sanding for a smooth finish. Finally a quick once over with some Beeswax - job done.

2. Tortoise shell Bakelite case with broken part missing!

If this had just been a standard brown Bakelite case and the missing part was on a flat area then I would use Isopon P38 Easy Sand with some mesh reinforcement at the back. This would be treated and finished as per 1. above.

Attachment 238302

Unfortunately this is not a standard brown Bakelite case but a Tortoise shell one and the missing part is at a difficult location! What's the best way to fill this gap and how do you (can you?) match the Tortoise shell?

Gabe001 28th Jul 2021 12:44 pm

Re: The Perennial Bakelite Problem!
There's a post somewhere about painting the tortoiseshell swirls manually using layers of cellulose paint, which makes for an interesting read. It's not something I'd feel confident attempting myself though

ThePillenwerfer 28th Jul 2021 1:36 pm

Re: The Perennial Bakelite Problem!
I'd put fibre glass in the inside then bring the level up with P38. After sanding it would be a case of doing the best I could to recreate the pattern with paints of various shades.

Electronpusher0 28th Jul 2021 2:09 pm

Re: The Perennial Bakelite Problem!
I have not attempted painting bakelite tortoise shell but I did paint a concrete plinth for my Garrard 301 to look like granite. I followed the techniques in Jocasta Innes' book "Paint Magic". I was delighted in the results, it genuinely looked like granite.
It may be worth looking at "Paint Magic", copies are available for about a fiver.


slidertogrid 30th Jul 2021 9:45 am

Re: The Perennial Bakelite Problem!
The problem with trying to paint effects swirls etc on repaired Bakelite or filler is that it shows up terribly as the paint sits on top, whereas with swirls in Bakelite they don't they are integral. I found this when I repaired a smashed AD65 cabinet many years ago. you can get away with small areas like repaired cracks but anything bigger shows up.
Adding colour to glue or filler stops it setting correctly. I made the right hand "foot " out of filler re-enforced with mesh and painted it brown and left it at that. The joins I experimented with and found that I could paint them in to match and then add slight effects with permanent markers just to blend it in.
The finished result looks fine from a couple of feet in normal light but can be seen if you look closely . Many visitors over the years have admired the set and as yet no one has spotted (or at least commented on) the repairs.
The set spent many years in storage after it was smashed and being repaired is better than being in bits in a loft.
Of course one day an empty green cabinet is bound to turn up!
This is the thread:

The Philpott 30th Jul 2021 3:24 pm

Re: The Perennial Bakelite Problem!
It hasn't been an issue for me on small repairs yet, thing you notice with P38 (or P40 for that matter) is the amount of heat generated as it cures. You don't notice it on car panels of course, it all gets wicked away by the metal.


DonaldStott 24th Aug 2021 2:05 pm

Re: The Perennial Bakelite Problem!
3 Attachment(s)
Completed the filling, sanding, respraying and polishing of the first DAC10 case and the results are quite satisfactory:-

Attachment 239958

Moving on to the second case with the missing piece is more problematic:-

Attachment 239959

I had a notion that somehow I could use the existing good case and create a mould for that missing piece which could then be filled with Isopon from the rear to create the correct profile.

Attachment 239960

David G4EBT had advised that I should create a wire armature first to support the weight of any filler. This I will do but I have genuine concerns about my ability to manually create the required profile, especially with that lip? Hence my idea of creating a mould?

Has anyone tried such an approach and if so what materials did you use to create the mould?

FIXITNOW 24th Aug 2021 2:49 pm

Re: The Perennial Bakelite Problem!
I did a mould and repair of a Bakelite horn speaker base see here if it helps

vinrads 24th Aug 2021 8:43 pm

Re: The Perennial Bakelite Problem!
3 Attachment(s)
Like this Mick.

DonaldStott 25th Aug 2021 2:46 pm

Re: The Perennial Bakelite Problem!
Very impressive work FIXITNOW and vinrads!

Has anyone tried using Easymold Silicone Putty?

M3VUV51 28th Sep 2021 11:25 am

Re: The Perennial Bakelite Problem!
I've used coffee powder to tint P38 filler, if it helps.

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