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 Post subject: Stripping paint from Bakelite question...
PostPosted: Feb Sun 25, 2018 4:28 am 
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Joined: Mar Thu 13, 2014 1:29 am
Posts: 557
Location: Buffalo NY
Can anyone give me a tip on a decent product to strip factory paint from a Bakelite case without damaging the Bakelite? I have found Citrustrip to be absolutely useless, even after letting it sit for hours - I'd have been better off pouring orange juice on it...It's a Truetone D2718 with lots of grille bars....
Any advice?
Thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: Stripping paint from Bakelite question...
PostPosted: Feb Sun 25, 2018 4:48 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: SoCal, 91387
Put it in a plastic bag with oven cleaner on it, seal, and let it sit overnight. I understand this method works well, although I haven't personally tried it, yet.

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 Post subject: Re: Stripping paint from Bakelite question...
PostPosted: Feb Sun 25, 2018 2:19 pm 
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Joined: May Fri 10, 2013 4:09 am
Posts: 1281
Location: Dallas Tx
Try Kleen strip from home depot, if going to repaint try sanding the cabinet smooth and not stripping it. If your going to try and polish the bakelite once stripped do not sand it, Also you can Bead blast will remove all the paint but you will have to use fine abrasive and will have to sand a little with 180 grit then prime and paint.


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 Post subject: Re: Stripping paint from Bakelite question...
PostPosted: Feb Mon 26, 2018 1:12 am 
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Joined: Nov Sun 16, 2014 9:43 am
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Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
fifties wrote:
Put it in a plastic bag with oven cleaner on it, seal, and let it sit overnight. I understand this method works well, although I haven't personally tried it, yet.


+1 for spray oven cleaner. I have used this on a small Philips set with mostly good results - I found it didn't get into tight corners that well but did take off most of the paint with no obvious damage to the bakelite itself.

Cheers

Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Stripping paint from Bakelite question...
PostPosted: Feb Mon 26, 2018 1:28 am 
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Joined: Aug Sat 27, 2011 1:59 am
Posts: 88
Location: Kansas City area
I just looked up an image of that radio. Wow! What a job that will be! Good luck to you!


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 Post subject: Re: Stripping paint from Bakelite question...
PostPosted: Feb Mon 26, 2018 6:38 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 500
Location: Effingham, IL
Last time I tried to strip a bakelite radio it seemed impervious to most commercial strippers. I finally sanded chips and scratches and painted. Please share if you are successful.


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 Post subject: Re: Stripping paint from Bakelite question...
PostPosted: Feb Mon 26, 2018 8:16 am 
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Joined: Mar Thu 13, 2014 1:29 am
Posts: 557
Location: Buffalo NY
Well - it's almost done. Thank all of you for the tips. When I started out, I was going to just repaint it. The oven cleaner gave "meh" results, however, it seemed to have attacked the Bakelite, leaving it with a rough stippled finish. I wound up scrubbing what the oven cleaner DID soften up with a stiff brush. Once I stopped making progress with that method, I used a cleaner I get at the dollar store called "L.A.s Totally Awesome" I sprayed it on, just to clean the mess from the oven cleaner off, and to my surprise, it started dissolving the paint! So...hours later, a half a bottle of Awesome, and some 1000 grit paper, and I have the results you see in the pictures. For the crevices , I used toothpicks, sandwich picks that are flat, pointed on one end and rounded on the other, and a flat blade jewelers' screwdriver. As you can see, I'm not finished yet, but what you see is after sanding with 1500 grit paper. Fred - is polishing it out of the question now? I think I like it black, and it would be nice to just polish the black Bakelite and maybe paint the grille a contrasting color...Not an atrocious combination like this :
https://radioattic.com/item.htm?radio=0021183 :shock: LOL!
I also think I would include the "beltline" band where the knobs are with the grille color....

I have a friend that has stage 4 brain cancer, and I'm doing this for the Chinese auction at the benefit for him next month. I've already gone through it electronically, except I was thinking I may like to add a Bluetooth receiver to it, too.


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 Post subject: Re: Stripping paint from Bakelite question...
PostPosted: Feb Tue 27, 2018 9:05 pm 
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Joined: Oct Thu 15, 2015 8:22 pm
Posts: 75
Location: Baltimore, MD
andyjon100,

I use brake fluid. Not the new silicone type but the old stuff. Brush some on and let it sit. If your cabinet is painted with the usual white baked on factory paint its going to take some elbow grease and a stiff bristle brush. I've done 2 40's Bendix bakelite cabinets that way. They came out pretty good. Also, I use an old dental pic to get into the crevices and scratch away the paint that the brush doesn't get.

Regards,
BobH


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 Post subject: Re: Stripping paint from Bakelite question...
PostPosted: Feb Wed 28, 2018 4:58 pm 
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Joined: Mar Thu 13, 2014 1:29 am
Posts: 557
Location: Buffalo NY
Here she is, masking freshly removed. I haven't wet sanded, polished, fixed the "tape edge" (I used expensive tape, too) at this point. I decided to keep it a "Tuxedo Truetone" because I had white primer, and was originally going to do the grille a pale yellow, which with black was a popular color combination in the late 40's. I laid the primer on, and decided I liked the black / white instead. I shot some junk knobs black and set them on just to see the effect...I like it. Now to find some more fitting knobs. I have the originals, one is broken, and I currently have a wtb in the classified forum looking for a replacement....


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 Post subject: Re: Stripping paint from Bakelite question...
PostPosted: Feb Wed 28, 2018 8:39 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: SoCal, 91387
Looks great so far!

Sorry to hear that the oven cleaner caused extra work; that's the first time I've heard of that result.

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 Post subject: Re: Stripping paint from Bakelite question...
PostPosted: Mar Sun 04, 2018 12:33 am 
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Joined: Oct Wed 14, 2009 6:20 pm
Posts: 191
Location: Ponoka, AB
Before they changed the laws a couple of years ago on things like paints and strippers up here in the Great White North - I used a product called Aircraft Aluminum Stripper - works like a charm. Maybe you can still get it in the States. But it was pretty pricey.


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 Post subject: Re: Stripping paint from Bakelite question...
PostPosted: Mar Sun 04, 2018 9:30 am 
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Joined: Mar Thu 13, 2014 1:29 am
Posts: 557
Location: Buffalo NY
That's ok fifties....it wasn't difficult to correct. Looking at the "grain" of this radio, I question if it even IS Bakelite, or some other Bakelite-esque composite. I used to use a stripper called Zip-Strip years ago - nasty stuff that would wrinkle every layer of any type of paint all at once, and absolutely melt plastic (ask the '49 Merc. model I tried to strip the paint from how I found THAT out :lol: :oops: ). Messy & caustic, but fast. I think the next bakelite radio I do I'm just going to to feather sand the chips and use a filler primer. The Dupli Color lacquer is highly forgiving and allows work to be done rather quickly.

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"You're my family and I love you, but you're all terrible!"
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 Post subject: Re: Stripping paint from Bakelite question...
PostPosted: Mar Thu 22, 2018 6:50 am 
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Joined: Apr Sat 04, 2015 6:15 am
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Location: Dos Rios, CA.
AndyJon- Like your color combo much better than that ebay frightship you posted earlier, nice work!


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 Post subject: Re: Stripping paint from Bakelite question...
PostPosted: Mar Thu 22, 2018 7:29 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 11756
Location: Mpls, Minnesota
I have always had good luck with oven cleaner but I always use the old fashioned style cleaner. Most of the radios painted from the factory did not have a good finish, that is why they were painted.

Dave


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