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Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by magnuman, Feb 5, 2010.

  1. Is bakelite still manufactured?
    Is so does anyone know of any suppliers?
  2. VonWegener
    Joined: Nov 19, 2009
    Posts: 785


    what is bakelite exactly?
  3. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 17,842

    from California

    old plastic


    I just googled it. looks like it is still being made.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2010
  4. woodman
    Joined: May 21, 2006
    Posts: 106


    I believe it is Phenolic. Layers of resign and cloth. Wear a respirator if you machine it.

  5. jamesgr81
    Joined: Feb 3, 2008
    Posts: 265


    FYI most plastics are either:

    Thermoplastic - becomes pliable when heated - most commom plastic used today

    Thermosetting- - becomes solid when heated - still used in specific industries

    Bakelite - named after inventor - is a formaldehyde based resin that was poured into a mold and heated to make it solidify. Still used for electrical parts.
  6. Hubbcat
    Joined: Oct 15, 2002
    Posts: 561

    from Sweden

    sheet metal is are wright
  7. Shaggy
    Joined: Mar 6, 2003
    Posts: 5,208

    from Sultan, WA

    I dont think bakelite is layered?

    I cut phenolic pretty regular at work too
  8. M_S
    Joined: Feb 20, 2008
    Posts: 542

    from SoCal

    No, bakelite is not layered, but is phenolic (contains Phenol).
  9. 85-percent
    Joined: Apr 5, 2005
    Posts: 323


    can you get it in billet?

    -90% Jimmy
  10. fullhouse296
    Joined: Jan 30, 2009
    Posts: 387

    from Australia

    Is full of toxic shit like Dioxin . Be very carefull !
  11. B Blue
    Joined: Jul 30, 2009
    Posts: 281

    B Blue

    What is Bakelite? Short answer, Great Shit! It is resistant to most any solvent (I don't know of anything that it is susceptible to, but there's gotta be something out there), tough, dimensionally stable, easily machinable, does not conduct electricity and is a poor heat conductor.

    BTW, it is the stuff circuit boards are made of.

  12. Von Rigg Fink
    Joined: Jun 11, 2007
    Posts: 13,428

    Von Rigg Fink
    from Garage

    I would have to say yes..
    I know it is used in some aircraft applications..looks a bit different than the old days stuff but its still bakelite.
    just installed an insulator cover for a remote electrical "ground power service" receptical in an 08 cessna 182..and it sure looked like and acted like bakelite to me.
  13. B Blue
    Joined: Jul 30, 2009
    Posts: 281

    B Blue

    Yes, it is still available from McMaster-Carr under the name Garolite. I guess Bakelite is a trademark. Here is the McMaster-Carr link.

    Good luck deciding which formulation you want!

  14. pasadenahotrod
    Joined: Feb 13, 2007
    Posts: 11,776

    from Texas

    Distributor caps, hair combs, jewelry, the uses have been varied and many over the years.
  15. DJR13
    Joined: Mar 12, 2008
    Posts: 116

    from Venice, Ca

    :confused: Huh?
  16. Heaps of old radio cabinets were made of it.
    A lot of older english cars had bakelite dash panels.
    eg prefect etc.

    See here.

    This is an old '49 or so bakerlite ford prefect dash.


  17. billsat
    Joined: Aug 18, 2008
    Posts: 417


    Hey Hubbcat - You spell better than a lot of Americans on the HAMB - don't worry about it.
  18. grapp
    Joined: Aug 16, 2008
    Posts: 457


    Lionel Trains used bakelite as their plastic on all pre WWII trains, even the Madison style heavyweight coaches were bakelite. Usually it was a very very dark brown or black in color, and while very durable, it will DISSOVLE if you dunk it in a vat of carb kleaner like napa sells in 5 gallon pails....ask me how i know???
  19. Hackerbilt
    Joined: Aug 13, 2001
    Posts: 6,244


    I've read on the HAMB that the WW2 British Spitfire fighter seats were made of Bakelite.
    Wouldn't THAT be a cool seat to run in a Hot Rod!!!
  20. jcmarz
    Joined: Jan 10, 2010
    Posts: 4,636

    from Chino, Ca

    bakelite is a early plastic made from soybeans. It becomes very brittle with age.
  21. The Garolite seems to be resin/cloth layered.
    I want to use bakelite to machine some knobs and switches,so I am not sure if that would work.

  22. That is a beautiful dash.
    I want to machine an inlay of bakelite with some knobs and switches in my dash.

  23. noboD
    Joined: Jan 29, 2004
    Posts: 7,288


    I don't think bakelite has fiberglass cords in it, it is what OLD distributor caps were made of. Garolite and phenolic both have fiber in them. Garolite is what circuit boards are made of.
  24. carbking
    Joined: Dec 20, 2008
    Posts: 2,866


  25. Phil1934
    Joined: Jun 24, 2001
    Posts: 2,713


    That dash is the definition of art deco. Perfect.
  26. It can be repaired with methylmethacrylate. I make dentures and have repaired it the same way I repair dental appliances. It's not a strong repair, but it works for non-stressed parts like knobs and toys.

    Always use proper breathers/masks/evacuation stuff when grinding plastic. OSHA says so.
  27. missmaggiethecat
    Joined: Jan 2, 2010
    Posts: 1


    very early bakelite involved phenol, later formaldahyde. no soybeans, and it does not get brittle with age (celluloid does, however, which pre-dates bakelite). I've read that Henry Ford was trying to come up with a soybean based plastic and wanted to produce cars with plastic bodies as he was passionate about helping the American farmer. Apparently that didn't work out for him.
  28. sololobo
    Joined: Aug 23, 2006
    Posts: 8,133


    I have been in the vintage cloting and accessory business for 25 years, I have a lot of bakelite I have saved from cabinet handles and would like to know if I can cut this with power tools and a make some jewelry or knob items. I would wear a mask or resperator. Can it be cut? Hope so the stuff is so beautiful. I have secured my wife a great jewelry collection over the years, that stuff is way pricy these days!! Thanx for any info available. ~Sololobo~
  29. lostforawhile
    Joined: Mar 23, 2008
    Posts: 4,160


    now I find out :rolleyes:
  30. UNSHINED 2
    Joined: Oct 30, 2006
    Posts: 994


    I used to work for an antique telephone refurbishing shop and a lot of early "plastic" phones were made from bakelite. Drills and cuts easy. Sometimes we had to use 2 phones to make one and use an epoxy resin to join the halves together, sand smooth, and repaint with a black laquer. We also used 3m spot putty to fill any voids or reshaping. If the phone was in decent enough shape we just buffed it out - working our way up through the grits on a pedestal buffer. Using the right buffs for each grit. Shine right up to a glossy, like-new shine.

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