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Wayne Wardman
Posted on Sunday, 18 March, 2001 - 13:49:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

I am looking for suggestions to help the 61 year old bakelite in my Wraith to look a tad less aged. Suggestions most welcome!!
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Martin Cutler
Posted on Sunday, 18 March, 2001 - 13:51:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi Wayne,

Short answer is I don't know. The only Bakelite on the Mk VI is the caps on the ends of the ash trays in the rear seat, and the cover of the fuse box and regulator under the bonnet. What have you tried so far? Some form of test site would be handy, maybe the inside of the regulator. I would try "auto sol" polish or something like that as a start.
Let us know what you find out. A friend of mine on the central coast restored an Austin 16, which has bakelite window surrounds on each door. The surrounds where in good condition, so didn't have to do any restoration work on them. The ashtray caps in my car are also in very good condition, nice and shiny!
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Jim Bettison
Posted on Sunday, 18 March, 2001 - 13:52:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

I agree with Bill about polishing bakelite. I have seen a knob that was finished with Goddards Silver Cloth, because it contained the finest abrasive that the chap could find.

But, Martin: The back ashtrays in my MkVI (B20J0) are bakelite moulding which has been painted and then wood grained by hand. Yours is, I remember, a later chassis - so they may be different. Suggest you don't try abrasive polishing without checking !!!

On our car, all the dash knobs are Bakelite, as are the turn indicator lever and the aerial rotation knob.


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Bill Coburn
Posted on Sunday, 18 March, 2001 - 13:53:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

The answer is fairly simple; you buff them. But be very careful. Excess pressure and thereby heat will melt and/or burn the material so use plenty of compound and light pressure. Finish off with Brasso. Also while buffing put plenty of cushions underneath in case you drop the item. Buffs are notorious for grabbing such items and flinging them on the floor.They don't bounce well!!!!
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Bradley Clinch (
Posted on Wednesday, 19 June, 2002 - 02:05:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

An alternative, which you may like to consider is a treatment used in restoring the dielectric strength in the distributor caps of aircraft magnetos.
But I would recommend experimenting with a similar material to ascertain whether it would give the result that you seek.
Due to the passage of some years since I have been involved with overhauling magnetos, I do not recall the details very well.
But the process involved cleaning the Bakelite surfaces with a special cleaner (I recall being quite toxic) and coating them. The finishing product I also recall was sold under a Bendix part number, and although the Bakelite surfaces were dipped and hung to air dry, the product could be wiped on for a thinner coating, giving an lasting effect with visual properties similar to that of a Linseed oil treatment.
Although this process is a requirement in overhauling Bendix magnetos, I have used the same successfully on many BTH magnetos as fitted to DH Tiger Moths.
Further advice could be obtained from an aircraft service workshop that overhauls magnetos, such as RACWA (the Royal Aero Club of WA) or from Bendix directly.
I hope this may be of assistance.
If unsuccessful in finding further information should you desire to do so, I may be able to locate some of my old release note books.
Good luck.