I am still working on the boiler. I had it re-brazed but there are still a few small pinholes left. It is extremely frustrating as I need to again dismantle everything and carefully remove the custom gaskets on the end plate, the boiler lid and the 2 groups. Sometimes they stick and rip the paper when you remove them which means cutting a new gasket. Each time I test the boiler I hope it will be the final assembly, so the boiler is cleaned and I use sealant so it would last a few decades. So to have to undo everything again is soul destroying. Nevermind, it is a boiler after all and it should be done properly and safely.
Anyway I'll find time next week to get the boiler done again. In the meantime one of the last jobs left was to clean and polish the bakelite bits, and there are lots of them. Here are all the bits and pieces that have been sitting in a box all these months.
Some are cracked and will have to be repaired.
I usually just dump these in a hot solution of Puro Caff/Urnex in my ultrasonic cleaner and let them clean for half and hour. Then scrub and rinse them off manually.
And with all the dirt removed the broken parts are almost ready for repairs
Bakelite is quite amenable to repairs and I use either slow setting Epoxy or JB Weld. As long as you have all the pieces, you can make really good invisible repairs of even shattered steam knobs or handles. This time I used the slow setting 2 part Epoxy to fill in the cracks and add some strength. I gave it 2 days to harden.
Some repairs also to the steam knobs that had some cracks and the centre brass insert needed reinforcement.
After the epoxy has hardened you just sand off the excess and make a nice flush repair. After that you polish the bakelite back to its former glory. Bakelite is pretty easy to work with. In this case I used wet and dry paper up to 2000 grit and then after that buffing compounds. Here are a few items that have been done and they look fantastic.
And then on some of the items I can get away with leaving the excess Epoxy in place to add some strength. Here I filled in the cracks on the portafilter handle and because this end is unseen, I can leave it just like this. Also you can see that the handle has been sanded, but not yet polished.
So that's it for now. Hopefully I'll a) find time and b) find the will to undo the boiler apart again in the next few days so I can take it for brazing again.