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 Post subject: Plastic Dial Cleaning
PostPosted: Apr Sun 07, 2019 11:16 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 1427
Location: Arlington, VA USA
Can anyone offer advice on how to clean plastic? This is a dial from a RCA 6-RF-9. There is something on this plastic dial between 80 and 110. I've try soap and water, kitchen degreaser and even vinegar. Nothing seems to have any effect. What type of plastic was used in the 50's? I don't want to use something that will destroy the plastic.

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 Post subject: Re: Plastic Dial Cleaning
PostPosted: Apr Sun 07, 2019 11:23 pm 
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Joined: Jun Sun 16, 2013 10:12 pm
Posts: 813
Location: Brandon, SD
Does it feel rough to the touch? It looks to me like it has permenantly damaged the plastic... Plastic in the 50's was pretty tough stuff, but nail polish remover, etc can still damage it... Maybe try sanding with some fine grit sandpaper and then polish it with McGuires Plastex, which you can get at Walmart in the automotive dept... It is made for polishing faded plastic headlamps... The nice part is that the numbers are on the back side so you wont damage them trying to repair the front side...


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 Post subject: Re: Plastic Dial Cleaning
PostPosted: Apr Sun 07, 2019 11:25 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 32940
Location: SoCal, 91387
Could be Celluloid. Some members have posted good results using Turtle Wax headlight lenses restorer.

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 Post subject: Re: Plastic Dial Cleaning
PostPosted: Apr Sun 07, 2019 11:34 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 1427
Location: Arlington, VA USA
It does feel a little rough. It’s hard to tell if it’s sonething on the surface or etched.


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 Post subject: Re: Plastic Dial Cleaning
PostPosted: Apr Sun 07, 2019 11:53 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 1427
Location: Arlington, VA USA
Actually vinegar seemed to loosen some of it so I think it’s something on the surface. I was hoping to not to use something abrasive and those headlight kits are kinda pricy. I do have Novus plastic polish so I guess I could try that. Just wondering if there was a magic bullet that I didn’t know about.


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 Post subject: Re: Plastic Dial Cleaning
PostPosted: Apr Fri 12, 2019 10:57 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 1427
Location: Arlington, VA USA
Well, nothing could take off this smudge so I resorted to sanding like a headlight. I first started with 800 grit and wet sanded to remove the smudge. It definitely was etched into the plastic. Then repeated with 1000, 2000 and finally 3000 grit. That left a cloudy appearance. I then used Novus #3 plastic polish and followed with Novus #2 plastic polish over the entire dial. I think it turned out pretty well.

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6-rf-9Restored.jpg
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 Post subject: Re: Plastic Dial Cleaning
PostPosted: Apr Sat 13, 2019 2:14 am 
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Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
Yes, nicely done.

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 Post subject: Re: Plastic Dial Cleaning
PostPosted: Apr Sat 13, 2019 3:13 am 
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Location: SoCal, 91387
Beautiful work!

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 Post subject: Re: Plastic Dial Cleaning
PostPosted: Apr Sat 13, 2019 11:40 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 1427
Location: Arlington, VA USA
Thanks guys. Can't wait to see this lit up. AM worked but FM was dead. It's recapped now but waiting on a few replacement tubes. I'm hoping those bring FM back. First FM set so that should be interesting. This should have pretty good sound with that huge 7" speaker. Now onto the cabinet. The original finish is gone so it's a complete strip and refinish.


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 Post subject: Re: Plastic Dial Cleaning
PostPosted: Apr Sat 13, 2019 11:45 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: 13 Critchley Avenue, PO Box 36, Monteith Ont, P0K 1P0
ErikD wrote:
Well, nothing could take off this smudge so I resorted to sanding like a headlight. I first started with 800 grit and wet sanded to remove the smudge. It definitely was etched into the plastic. Then repeated with 1000, 2000 and finally 3000 grit. That left a cloudy appearance. I then used Novus #3 plastic polish and followed with Novus #2 plastic polish over the entire dial. I think it turned out pretty well.


I think it turned out better than "pretty well". It looks great! You did your own thing with progressively finer grits, but the headlight polishing kits have also been a great resource for us in the antiques hobby.


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