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Instead of hot glue contact cement like 3m 77 can be used to hold the layers together for forming if you don't have a hot glue gun. Good job on this and as a fellow rider I know how important a comfortable seat is to riding enjoyment.
Nails are soft enough to be hammered flat cold. Copper or brass rods could be used also.. A short piece of railroad track is a good cheap anvil. Anvils on the back of vises will crack when hit hard except the expensive industrial types. Use ball peen hammers. Duplex nails have a built in hand guard that save some work (see attached image). Metal files can be used instead of a grinders it just is more work and slower. Be sure to hold them with pliers so as to avoid hitting fingers with the hammer. Safety goggles are a must as a missed blow will send a nail flying.
Bakelite is a form of phenolic that is just the resin. Newer forms often have cotton fiber cloth in them to strengthen them similar to modern glass fiber reinforced plastics.
Thankyou for sharing this! Another great example of creatively looking at things as raw materials suitable for different uses than originally intended.
Bakelite was and is a form of phenolic plastic. Phenolic is also commonly used to make printed circuit boards.
One more thing to check in electrical are the fuses. With age and vibration they sometimes fail intermittently which can cause everything from lighting to go out to the bike not running so you are now walking (Yes it happened to me). There aren't many of them so replacement is cheap insurance.
If you have an electric meat carving knife it will cut the foam effortlessly.
I have also had good results cleaning with Elmers orange poster tack putty rolled into a cylinder then rolled firmly tangentially over the records which I often get at garage sales and thrift store. Do make sure to have a good flat surface and a minimum of a clean plastic sheet below the record. This method generates a lot of static charge on the far side of the record so a clean surface and plastic are a must.Then clean with cartman550's cleaning fluid & microfiber method below which will dissipate the static. A record played dirty will have permanent damage.