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 Cleaning radio knobs
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 Return to top of page · Post #: 1 · Written at 12:12:48 PM on 9 April 2018.
Tinkera123's Gravatar
 Location: Melbourne, VIC
 Member since 5 October 2009
 Member #: 555
 Postcount: 410

Hi all,

My Hammarlund HQ-100AC will never be a 'showcase' radio .... I'm not into that .... and because it has been abused by all and sundry over its lifetime. It will be my "rat-rod radio" ..... a 'car-term' meaning rusty and horrible on the outside but in good working condition on the inside.

However, there are some things I can do to clean it up eg the plastic(?) knobs. Original, I think. They are clean, but dulled by use and a multitude of rubs and scratches.

Is it possible to polish these in some way??? Not expecting to get them like new, just better than what they are.


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Cheers, Ian

 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 2 · Written at 12:44:22 PM on 9 April 2018.
Ian Robertson's Gravatar
 Location: Belrose, NSW
 Member since 31 December 2015
 Member #: 1844
 Postcount: 1901

Automotive Clearcoat.

It does amazing things to weathered and dulled bakelite.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 3 · Written at 10:33:17 PM on 9 April 2018.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 6005

For cleaning such things try ultrasonics. Jaycar sells a small unit that works well for small items:

https://www.jaycar.com.au/domestic-ultrasonic-cleaner/p/YH5408

and a bigger one:

https://www.jaycar.com.au/170w-ultrasonic-cleaner-with-temperature-control/p/YH5412

For polishing Bakelite and plastic I use Autosol Liquid Metal Polish:

https://autosol.com.au/product-range/liquid-metal-polish-250ml/


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 4 · Written at 11:15:15 PM on 9 April 2018.
Ian Robertson's Gravatar
 Location: Belrose, NSW
 Member since 31 December 2015
 Member #: 1844
 Postcount: 1901

I only use clearcoat after all other alternatives have been exhausted, i.e. badly weathered bakelite that just won't polish up, even on the metal polish cloth wheel....


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 5 · Written at 11:23:43 PM on 9 April 2018.
Frank F's Gravatar
 Location: Brunswick, VIC
 Member since 3 May 2017
 Member #: 2100
 Postcount: 36

Hi Ian,

I am a lover of the idea of the Rat Radio. I recently put together a Healing 49A Console for my brother in law as a shed radio.

It was part of a 99 cent ebay auction I won. Needless to say there was not much of the console left. Three weeks of sand blasting later I found some metal on the chassis and used almost all of my stock of generic service parts to put it back together.

It was never meant to be original and I added a Bluetooth interface so that "I" would have something decent to listen to at Christmas and it was delivered for Christmas.

Somehow that wood worm eaten shed radio is now in the lounge room and I have been asked for something a little more portable for the shed.

I don't care what it takes to find a home for a valve radio, sometimes you have to be a little creative to find homes for some unloved relics.

For your radio knobs you could also use a standard car cut and polish product if you have it on hand. It will take most oxides a scratches off.

Regards, Frank.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 6 · Written at 1:39:43 AM on 10 April 2018.
Marcc's avatar
 Location: Wangaratta, VIC
 Member since 21 February 2009
 Member #: 438
 Postcount: 4337

Never use car cut and polish on Bakelite, the polish abrasive is often Bi-Carb & once that stuff gets into the pores the silicone will not let it out.

If its not too bad and at the risk of making it a tad slippery, I just use Linseed oil. Some things like Acrylic paint has a short bonding life on Bakelite & it often just comes off with a fingernail.

Some of those fine borer holes still have borers which will love the rest of the wooden furniture. I normally paint the holes with something not nice, if I believe there is activity. Turps & linseed oil is not nice.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 7 · Written at 8:33:40 AM on 10 April 2018.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 6005

Autosol liquid (not paste) metal polish contains a very fine abrasive. It works very well.

I squirt a solution of Borax into borer holes and poke about with wire.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 8 · Written at 3:02:39 PM on 10 April 2018.
Frank F's Gravatar
 Location: Brunswick, VIC
 Member since 3 May 2017
 Member #: 2100
 Postcount: 36

Oops, my bad, I read plastic for the knobs and didn't think even that the knobs were bakelite.

The only thing I use on bakelite knobs is just a touch of WD40 on a soft cloth and give them a good buff. I always worry that I will take the outer skin of the bakelite off if I use an abrasive of any kind. I think I might try some of the Autosol liquid in future though. It sounds like it would be a great product for the job.

Car polish on plastic gives great results. You can even make dull acrylic clear again with it. Completely different material to bakelite though.

The Healing radio got a good dose of turps and linseed before it got into the shed let alone the lounge room.

Regards, Frank.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 9 · Written at 6:24:32 PM on 10 April 2018.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 6005

I might try some of the Autosol liquid in future though.

I should add that I always test it on an inconspicuous part of the case, such as the inside, first. It's always been good for me, but better safe than sorry.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 10 · Written at 7:16:52 PM on 10 April 2018.
Tinkera123's Gravatar
 Location: Melbourne, VIC
 Member since 5 October 2009
 Member #: 555
 Postcount: 410

Thanks for the advice.

......... how do I tell the difference between bakelite and plastic??


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Cheers, Ian

 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 11 · Written at 8:39:10 PM on 10 April 2018.
Ian Robertson's Gravatar
 Location: Belrose, NSW
 Member since 31 December 2015
 Member #: 1844
 Postcount: 1901

Touch the underside quickly with the tip of a hot soldering iron. Bakelite doesn't melt.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 12 · Written at 1:52:18 PM on 11 April 2018.
Tinkera123's Gravatar
 Location: Melbourne, VIC
 Member since 5 October 2009
 Member #: 555
 Postcount: 410

Okay ... soldering iron left a small mark, but no melting .... so Bakelite it must be. Thanks again.


‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾
Cheers, Ian

 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 13 · Written at 2:47:25 PM on 11 April 2018.
Tinkera123's Gravatar
 Location: Melbourne, VIC
 Member since 5 October 2009
 Member #: 555
 Postcount: 410

Used some Autosol on the face of a knob and then applied some car polish/wax .... not as shiny as original (underside) ... but now looks nice and clean ..... and retains some of its history.

Works for me for the moment ..... don't want to loose that Rat Radio image.

Ian R ... Automotive Clearcoat maybe a bit too 'pretty' for this radio ...... Smile But who knows .... if I get carried away and spray paint the front panel .... ????


‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾
Cheers, Ian

 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 14 · Written at 7:40:57 AM on 12 April 2018.
Captgogo's Gravatar
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 22 May 2017
 Member #: 2114
 Postcount: 120

Some great suggestions, I might experiment. To date I have been using good old Brasso, need to put in a little elbow grease and do it over a few times but I have been getting great results.
The only thing I have also been wondering is, should you use a wax or polish that can preserve the finish as I guess with time it can loose its shine?
George


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 15 · Written at 12:33:04 PM on 12 April 2018.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 6005

good old Brasso

Brasso ain't what it used to be. They changed the formula quite a while ago. Similar to Mr Sheen. I have a very old can of that and the difference between it and the junk they sell today is astounding.

need to put in a little elbow grease

That's usually the situation. For badly faded or "whited" coloured plastic I use 1200 grit wet and dry with a drop of dish detergent in the water for lubrication and follow that up with some very energetic polishing with Autosol liquid polish. I've managed to make "fogged" plastic dials clear again via that method.


 
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