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Old 6th Sep 2021, 10:31 am   #1
high_vacuum_house
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Angry Damp Bakelite surface damage. Methods to restore finish

Good morning,
Whilst I was out yesterday my wife did some laundry and decided to drape them over my Bush TV22 and TV62 Bakelite televisions. When I came back home the room and the clothes smelled strongly of Bakelite and the surface finish has gone whitish in colour and dull in appearance. The damp clothes had been left on the cabinets for several hours.

I am hoping that polishing the cabinet will hopefully bring the colour and shine back to the surface and that the wood powder in the material hasn’t swelled up too cabinets were in nearly perfect condition. Has anyone tried to restore Bakelite in this condition.

Many thanks,
Christopher Capener
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Old 6th Sep 2021, 10:44 am   #2
Nickthedentist
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Default Re: Damp Bakelite surface damage. Methods to restore finish

Oh, bad luck! I hope your wife has been educated in better habits! (Mine tied some bunting across the stairs at head height last week, from a Vienna regulator wall clock to a big barometer, so that if anyone walked past without ducking, either or both of my treasures would have been yanked off the wall and fallen to their death, with the unlucky person falling down the stairs onto the splinters of glass and wood, no doubt.).

Firstly, be patient, and let them dry-out thoroughly, as I think there will be some spontaneous improvement.

After that, try the usual Greygate polish.

If that fails, you'll have to get creative with woodstain and wax polish.

P.S. I do all the family laundry
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Old 6th Sep 2021, 11:01 am   #3
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Default Re: Damp Bakelite surface damage. Methods to restore finish

A friend restored his late Aunt's DAC90 that had suffered fading from years spent on a table in a sunny window, using brown shoe polish.
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Old 6th Sep 2021, 2:35 pm   #4
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Default Re: Damp Bakelite surface damage. Methods to restore finish

I have a TV22 that was used as a pot plant stand for years, it had a white ring on the top and had swelled a little. I used T Cut as it was all I had at the time after lots of polishing it looked fine. I have since wax polished it a few times and now you would never know. With patience you will get them back I am sure.
Good luck!
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Old 6th Sep 2021, 2:49 pm   #5
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Default Re: Damp Bakelite surface damage. Methods to restore finish

My first thought was the poor old line output transformers - they're bad enough with absorbing moisture from the air under normal circumstances on those Bush sets, without having wet washing encasing them. Best leave the sets in a warm place for a week or so and then give them a good run to make sure they're still ok.
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Old 6th Sep 2021, 6:37 pm   #6
The Philpott
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Default Re: Damp Bakelite surface damage. Methods to restore finish

Can the backs come off to allow air to circulate? I'm glad i'm not the only one who encounters 'What the Hell!?' moments.. in fairness some are caused by the house itself rather than it's occupants. I'm highly impressed at the restraint shown, Posts 1 & 2 !

Dave
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Old 7th Sep 2021, 7:22 am   #7
high_vacuum_house
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Default Re: Damp Bakelite surface damage. Methods to restore finish

Good morning,
Many thanks for your replies,
The sets have been put in the conservatory now as it is quite warm in there and should dry any remaining moisture out quite quickly. I think that the chassis is ok as the wet clothes were dumped on top of the cabinets so the chassis should be dry.

I shall have a go at repolishing the cabinets in a few days time once they have recovered from their ordeal!!

P.s my works clothes give off a rather strong Bakelite smell !!

Christopher Capener
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Old 8th Sep 2021, 1:00 pm   #8
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Default Re: Damp Bakelite surface damage. Methods to restore finish

Maybe you should take over the washing machine Chris. J.
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Old 8th Sep 2021, 1:12 pm   #9
Nickthedentist
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Default Re: Damp Bakelite surface damage. Methods to restore finish

That was what I was hinting at in post 2!
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Old 8th Sep 2021, 2:22 pm   #10
broadgage
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Default Re: Damp Bakelite surface damage. Methods to restore finish

VERY gentle heat applied for days can help. Excessive heat or heat localised to one area may result in waring or breakage.

I know of someone who used the oven of an old electric cooker, connected to 24 volts to warm and dry damp damaged bakelite. At 24 volts, the power used will be very roughly 25 watts.
25 watts will give perceptible warmth but no excessive or damaging heat. The idea is to simulate a very warm room, not anything like oven temperatures.
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Old 8th Sep 2021, 3:54 pm   #11
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Default Re: Damp Bakelite surface damage. Methods to restore finish

To dry something out it needs to be a bit warmer than the surrounding air, even a few degrees will do. Otherwise it will only be as dry as the air. I had a lot of success on bakelite by rubbing it down with 1200 grit wet and dry used dry. Then a going over with a wax based (no water) furniture polish.
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