Thursday, September 22, 2011

Just about had it with this project.  It has taken so long....I did figure out what was holding in the bakelite.  Very old epoxy. I did not know that epoxy was made in the 1940's.  I think, I have learned more about bakelite than I really wanted to know.  One of the bracelets was very dented and I could not  go in with tools. I had to take it completely apart and put back together.

Today was a huge success. One is done. The other soon to follow.

 I made a few tools for the repair. This brass mandrel and a long thin steel burnisher  for pushing out from inside.  The secret to removing the bakelite from the silver, was a formula that the deYoung Museum, Objects Specialist, shared with me.  She saved me hours of tedious work.  Acetone plus Ethanol; put it on cotton balls,  then stuff the end holes of the bracelet with the cotton soaked in the mixture.
Cover with saran wrap.  I used plastic wrap. Waited half hour, (was afraid to wait longer, for fear the bakelite would be effected.) Then I was able to ease the pieces out, one by one. For extra measures of safety, I covered the surface of bakelite with a soft wax. Not sure this is necessary.

I know this all sounds so boring, but one day, this info may come in handy. And you will not need to do the research I had to do.  Next hours of steel burnishing to remove deep scratches and dents with a flat headed highly polished hammer, over shapes of steel or brass.

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