Bakelite restoration. Cracks, cracks and missing pieces.

Bakelite is a hard, slightly brittle plastic. It has been widely used for steering wheels of cars and tractors, for radios, household appliances, switchgear and much more. With age, bakelite gets damaged. It cracks or breaks and sometimes whole pieces are even missing. In this article, you will read how to repair bakelite easily in three steps.

Step 1. Preparation

Start by roughing up the damaged parts of the bakelite. Cracks can be milled out with a grinding wheel in a dremel and where pieces are missing, you can sand well with coarse sandpaper (60 grit). When sanding, always wear breathing protection such as a P3 dust mask. Now make everything well free of grease and dust by cleaning the bakelite with a solution of ammonia in water. Once the bakelite has dried properly, you can proceed to the next step: repairing the bakelite.

Step 2. Repairing bakelite

Mix thixotropic epoxy with the same colour pigment as the bakelite. Usually this is black, sometimes cream, brownish red or another colour. Add hardener to the thixotropic epoxy, mix it very well and apply it to the cracks and missing parts. The thixotropic epoxy can also be used as a glue to bond broken parts. Model the epoxy into shape as well as possible. More difficult parts may have to be built up in 2 or more passes.

Use nitrile gloves for this job to avoid epoxy coming into contact with the skin.

Now sand the repair areas to the right shape. This can be done with coarse sandpaper (60 grit) and then finer sandpaper (120 grit, then 180 grit).

Step 3. Finishing repairs

Once the repairs have been sanded, the complete object can be lightly sanded with 280 grit sandpaper and then the bakelite can be finished with paint. When bakelite is used intensively, such as a steering wheel, we recommend using Double Coat DD Paint. This paint is available in high glosssilk gloss and matt and is highly resistant to dirt, chemicals and wear. The paint can be applied to the bakelite and epoxy without primer.

More information?

In the article above, you were able to read how to repair bakelite with epoxy. Do you have any questions about the products or the procedure? Then contact our customer service team!

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