[AMRadio] Paint Filler

Jerry jsternmd at att.net
Mon Jan 6 10:16:03 EST 2014


I use the lacquer sticks as well.  One comment on the bakelite knobs as my
wife is an expert bakelite collector.  True bakelite or catalin has no
"filler" it should be bakelite through and through as I believe Dakaware
knobs are made.  It would have been a difficult and expensive process to
apply bakelite over a sawdust filler.  There are lots of bakelite polishes
available the best (also used for testing if bakelite) is simechrome brand.
I can take any Dakaware knob and polish it to any grade of luster usually
with elbow grease sometimes a dremel buffer wheel.   I think one problem is
that bakelite was replaced for knobs around the 1950-1960's so many later
knobs were made of a duller non-bakelite plastic and given a paint coat for
final luster.    


-----Original Message-----
From: amradio-bounces at mailman.qth.net
[mailto:amradio-bounces at mailman.qth.net] On Behalf Of Donald Chester
Sent: Monday, January 06, 2014 00:24
To: amradio at mailman.qth.net
Subject: Re: [AMRadio] Paint Filler

I purchased "Lacquer Sticks" from Antique Electronic Supply in Tempe AZ,
Tubesandmore.com. They were available in white, gold and maybe some other
shades. Similar to white wax crayons, including the paper jacket and texture
of the marking agent, but the stuff smelt more like paint. I think I still
have mine, but they may have dried out by now.

I used them to fill in the scales on old Bakelite dials, like the National
type A and dials from 1920s era TRF receivers, and after more than 20 years,
the paint hasn't flaked out. I would mark over the scale, then carefully
wipe away the excess with a soft cloth, like an old T-shirt. Sometimes it
took several passes to completely fill the impressions but completely remove
excess on the rest of the dial, since wiping off the excess sometimes
removed some of what was in the grooves.

Not  sure if they still sell it, but look up their web page to find out.

A possible substitute would be to pour out a few drops of white oil-based
paint, and let it sit exposed to the air,  until it thickens to a gummy
consistency, then use it like the lacquer stick described above.

A couple of notes of caution, speaking from experience: when renewing those
old dial scales. NEVER use a sharp metal object like a steel pin or the
point of a nail to remove the old paint. It will scratch the engravings, and
that damage is very evident when the new filler paint is applied. Use a
sharpened toothpick or piece of plastic, something that is softer than the
Bakelite on the dial. If you are the least in doubt, test on the back side
of the dial, and if the point leaves a scratch, look for something softer.

And never use an agent like 409 or Fantastik to clean the dial. It will
dissolve and wash off the skin from the Bakelite, exposing the filler
(probably fine sawdust) and permanently remove the shine.

Don k4kyv
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