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bakerlite substitute

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clogs06/10/2013 18:58:47
596 forum posts
12 photos

Good evening,

anyone know of a substitute material very similar to Bakerlite.....

I need to fabricate a few items, Horn buttons switch knobs etc for an old car...

Nylon just doesn't look or feel right......would prefer muddy black in color but

"Beggers can't be choosers"

many thanks Frank

Stub Mandrel06/10/2013 19:08:51
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4311 forum posts
291 photos
1 articles

Try tufnol rod.

Neil

Keith Long06/10/2013 19:19:10
868 forum posts
11 photos

You beat me to it Neil.

Tufnol is the same type of plastic material but with different fillers to the original bakelite. I've just bought plastic rod/bar via the following website - http://www.directplasticsonline.co.uk - and was very pleased with the price and delivery - no other connection. Might be worth giving them a ring and see what they can offer. Otherwise it could well be a case of doing the rounds of charity shops and local auctions to see what comes up that can be recycled into what you want. There were a lot of ornaments and small household items made in the original material that will have suffered the ravages of time and won't be worth restoring, but a new life as a switch knob etc might be possible.

Keith

Edited By Keith Long on 06/10/2013 19:19:47

Michael Gilligan06/10/2013 19:32:16
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19291 forum posts
960 photos

Frank,

Despite my enthusiam for Tufnol. I think your best bet is probably something like Corian, as used for up-market kitchen worktops. The wood-turning suppliers sell blanks for making pens and cutlery handles.

MichaelG.

JasonB06/10/2013 19:48:54
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21632 forum posts
2493 photos
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Yes Corian is easy enough to turn and mill, I use it for insulators on IC engine ignitions when I'm not using it in kitchens and bathrooms. They do a colour called "Coffee bean" which would be about right for a muddy black. You may strike lucky sending for a sample which usually come as 50x50 squares of the usual 12mm thick material.

Edited By JasonB on 06/10/2013 19:52:09

speelwerk06/10/2013 19:58:39
424 forum posts
2 photos

To imitate Bakelite (named after its Belgium inventor Leo Baekeland), you can use a epoxy resin and add carbon powder to the mix. You have to experiment a little with the amount of carbon to get the right gritty feel, or add a second corser filler to get it more gritty. Niko.

clogs07/10/2013 21:37:44
596 forum posts
12 photos

Hey thanks. the collective knowlege u guy's have is better than Google, I'm amazed...

many thanks Frank

JohnF07/10/2013 21:55:16
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1109 forum posts
183 photos

Hi Frank assuming the components are black in colour I wouls suggest Ebonite which is a hard black material, it can be turned, milled etc and can be polished to look like the knobs etc in old vehicles. Its used extensively in the gun trade for stock work. If you need a supply PM me and I'll see if I can help.

John

daveb02/12/2013 01:57:43
626 forum posts
10 photos

Architectural salvage, old door knobs.

Dave

John Shepherd02/12/2013 10:45:08
222 forum posts
7 photos

Frank

Have a look on vintage wireless web sites, they often discus repairs to Bakelite. **LINK** is an example. It may add to the good advice you have had so far.

daveb02/12/2013 17:10:42
626 forum posts
10 photos


(2) Bakelite is a very simple plastic . With a metal mould and a simple heating and compacting device you sould be able to make actual Bakelite components .

MikeW
Mike, I made some Bakelite many years ago, had a problem with the items cracking when they cooled (possibly needs to be cooled slowly) Some of us could probably use this stuff, is there any info available on making and casting it?
Dave

Scott02/12/2013 21:31:01
52 forum posts
10 photos

Doesn't Bakelite contain asbestos? Possibly not a great idea to "recycle" old Bakelite into something else if it involves machining?

Michael Gilligan02/12/2013 21:56:58
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19291 forum posts
960 photos
Posted by Scott on 02/12/2013 21:31:01:

Doesn't Bakelite contain asbestos? Possibly not a great idea to "recycle" old Bakelite into something else if it involves machining?

.

Scott,

That's a good point ...

Bakelite, itself, does not contain Asbestos; but some of the manufactured products do.

These will, predominantly, be the more "technical" ones ... but Asbestos was used as a pretty general-purpose filler; so who knows where you might find it?

MichaelG.

 

Edited By Michael Gilligan on 02/12/2013 21:57:46

Oompa Lumpa02/12/2013 22:33:59
888 forum posts
36 photos
Posted by Scott on 02/12/2013 21:31:01:

Doesn't Bakelite contain asbestos? Possibly not a great idea to "recycle" old Bakelite into something else if it involves machining?

Where do people get this crap from? Have you actually taken the trouble to look at the composition of Bakelite before you posted this?

No, Because if you had you would know it does NOT contain asbestos.

Let's suppose it DID contain asbestos, what TYPE of asbestos would be the next question!

(But it can contain Linen so maybe we should start looking for the missing bit of the Turin shroud in old Bakelite?)

You CAN add various compounds to make it more suitable for the application.

My Asbestos Roofed garage (we have to consider gravity here of course) has been recycled into my workshop. Are you suggesting that I stand outside to work?

Or shall I just chance it?

graham.

Jeff Dayman03/12/2013 04:42:31
2189 forum posts
45 photos

Just FYI, the Bakelite company is still in business as Sumitomo Bakelite North America. There are also divisions of the company in the far east. Link to NA company is below. They offer many phenolic resin compositions for various jobs.Finding the exact grade and colour of phenolic resin today to replicate car parts from many years ago may be difficult but if any company can help it is probably Sumitomo Bakelite North America or their Durez division.

**LINK**

They may be able to supply small quantities of new phenolic resin for experiments. However, with the exception of some specific electrical applications and some specialized brake components for cars, phenolic resins have largely been replaced in industry by engineering thermoplastics and epoxies. Many thermoplastics have superior strength and ductility, superior electrical properties, and similar high temperature resistance to phenolics but are MUCH easier, cheaper and faster to manufacture. Your neighbours may not like you moulding phenolic thermoset resin in your home workshop either - it can be smoky and VERY unpleasant smelling. I have worked with plastics for many years in industry and one firm I worked for had 8 presses making thermoset electrical parts from various Durez phenolic resins for a few years after I started there in the mid 1980's. Shortly thereafter the firm redesigned these parts in DuPont's Rynite polyester / modPET thermoplastic resin at great savings in resin cost and processing cost. Mechanical properties were also improved greatly. Physical appearance of brown and black Rynite is very close to brown and black phenolics. Some thermoplastics are just as smelly as thermoset phenolics during moulding but many are not, and mould easily if recommended temps and other settings are followed.

JD

Springbok03/12/2013 13:43:28
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879 forum posts
34 photos

Frank
I was sadly buying up some of the contents of an engineering firm in Cheltenham and the chap kept throwing into the back loads of black plastic saying you can have this lot free. mainly Akulon PTFE PP6 Din 16980. loads of black.
Now the next big Q is have you got a lathe and able to do ball turning, correct taps if it an old car think baybee BSW or BSP. if not send me a drawing, as I am in now my 70's will need to sneak into what was my/business/ workshop when my lads are gone.

Bob

Michael Gilligan03/12/2013 16:55:41
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19291 forum posts
960 photos
Posted by Oompa Lumpa on 02/12/2013 22:33:59:
Posted by Scott on 02/12/2013 21:31:01:

Doesn't Bakelite contain asbestos? Possibly not a great idea to "recycle" old Bakelite into something else if it involves machining?

Where do people get this crap from? Have you actually taken the trouble to look at the composition of Bakelite before you posted this?

<etc>

.

Graham,

I suggest that you read this.

MichaelG.

Scott03/12/2013 17:54:58
52 forum posts
10 photos
Posted by Oompa Lumpa on 02/12/2013 22:33:59:

Where do people get this crap from? Have you actually taken the trouble to look at the composition of Bakelite before you posted this?

No, Because if you had you would know it does NOT contain asbestos.

Apologies for my loose usage of the term "Bakelite". I, like many people, have a habit of using the term in a general sense to describe products containing Bakelite, products which may also contain other filler materials such as linen and asbestos. I know this from the decommissioning of old MoD assets where samples were sent to a lab for analysis and some seemingly innocuous items such as telephone handsets were found to contain asbestos. You are correct in your assertion that Bakelite itself does not contain asbestos. You obviously also know that it is often mixed with other things.

As for your garage/workshop roof, I'm sure you are just as aware as I am that asbestos is not hazardous unless it is disturbed so it's not relevant in the context of my initial offering which was merely intended to flag up to the OP that old products containing Bakelite may present a risk of asbestos exposure (in case he was not already aware) if machined. Since the "recycling" of old asbestos products into something different had been suggested by others I do not think that unreasonable although you clearly do.

Ultimately people have their own idea of what is a safety concern and what is "crap". Not my place to tell anyone how conduct themselves in their own workshop but I assume people wish to make balanced, informed decisions after researching an issue to a level that they deem acceptable. Each to their own!

Scott

Oompa Lumpa03/12/2013 19:42:51
888 forum posts
36 photos

Scott, please accept my apologies for being rather abrupt.

For lots of reasons that I am not going to go into publicly Asbestosis and Silicosis are two diseases I have knowledge about.

I am only a recent member of this forum but I really, really like it here. It is, by and large, a very friendly place and populated by some very knowledgeable people willing to share that knowledge freely. I really do not wish to achieve the status of "Keyboard Warrior", I will leave that to the Trolls.

The issue I have (and I hope this is received in the spirit it is meant) is the blurting out of random statements with no foundation. There are a great many gulliable people out there and "it MUST be true, I read it on the Internet" is an all too familiar phrase. It does nobody any good. I know, I am not the keeper of the Internet but one thing happened from my outburst and that is we have some real facts now posted. So if nothing else, some good came of it

graham.

jason udall03/12/2013 19:55:02
2030 forum posts
41 photos
Guys..The asbestos thing is well taken. ..
From the vintage of some original bakelite parts asbestos might have been used.

One should also note the old machine tool s might have been painted in lead based paints...use asbestos in friction linings and leaded solder in the wiring.
The current generation might not have met these materials and be completely taken aback and worse still have no expectation of the presence of such.
That said there would be a difference in occasional exposure and occupational exposure

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