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Hints, Tips and Solutions (Do NOT post requests for help here) If you have any useful general hints and tips for vintage technology repair and restoration, please share them here. PLEASE DO NOT POST REQUESTS FOR HELP HERE!

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Old 19th Jun 2004, 11:32 pm   #1
David G4EBT
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Default Knob and dial marking refurbishment

No doubt we all have our own pet techniques for freshening up tired markings on bakelite dials and knobs.

For what it's worth, here's what I do:

Scrape out the old (usually white) paint with a small darning needle. Test the back of the dial with cellulose thinners to make sure the material isn't solvent. (IE, that it's not plastic rather than bakelite).

If all's well, use an old toothbrush to clean out any residue of paint from the indentations on the knob.

Using an "appliance white" touch-up brush, paint right over the indentations filling them with paint, not worrying about the paint going outside the indentations.

Leave it for 10 - 15 minutes to allow the paint to set, then with a piece of tissue (not too fluffy!) with a few drops of thinners, wipe over the dial to remove the unwanted paint on the surface of the knob.

This will leave nice clear white markings. If need be, another coat can be applied to give more depth.

I suppose purists might say that fettling up knobs in this way takes away the charm and "patina" of old radios, but it isn't quite the same as applying Polystrippa and an orbital sander to a Chippendale chair! Leastways, I don't think so.

Hope the tip is useful.

Regards,

David.
G4EBT.

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Old 20th Jun 2004, 10:22 am   #2
Paul Stenning
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Default Re: Knob and dial marking refurbishment

I would normally go for a cream or beige colour, as it doesn't look as "new" as a bright white. For some sets, a gold or bronze colour is more appropriate. I normally use enamel paint (small tubs sold for painting plastic models). Like you, I don't worry about getting paint on the surface of the knob. I clean this off with Brasso after a couple of hours. Enamel paint and Brasso are normally OK on plastic knobs too.
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Old 20th Jun 2004, 12:27 pm   #3
paulsherwin
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Default Re: Knob and dial marking refurbishment

Badly discoloured cream knobs and buttons can be cleaned with 'Ring-away', a product designed to polish off heat markings on varnished surfaces. It's more abrasive than Brasso or T-Cut but still leaves the knob looking shiny and unscratched.

Best regards, Paul
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Old 21st Jun 2004, 9:45 am   #4
newlite4
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Default Re: Knob and dial marking refurbishment

What I do is to clean out the remains of the old markings with a small brush soaked in meths. I then fill the marking indents with correction fluid. After a few minutes, this dries and the surplus is removed with brasso on a tissue. The effect of this is to polish up the knob which also transfers fine particles of bakelite onto the new markings. This gives the white marking an aged "creamy" appearance .

Neil Deacon

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Old 8th Jul 2004, 4:15 am   #5
Norm_Leal
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Default Re: Knob and dial marking refurbishment

A tooth brush or soft brass brush should clean out the old markings.

Hardware stores sell Dap made for covering scratches in furniature. This material comes in colors to match different woods and works well filling in markings.

Agree with Paul, an off white usually looks closer to original. AES, www.tubesandmore.com , sells Lacquer Stick in White, Gold, Red and Black but I prefer the Dap product.

You may have other names for stores selling material to cover scratches?

Norm
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