Today, I am following up on the cleaning of my Apple //e Platinum. In the first part, I focused on the beast’s guts but didn’t address the case. The main reason for the delay was the weather. Indeed, part of my pimping, I definitively wanted to retro-bright the case. Sure, it was not bad at all, and I could live with it. But we are pimping here, not sponging! If you don’t know what retro-brightening means, have a look at my post here. It will give you all the basics with my Sony HBF-500F MSX2 computer as an example. So, without repeating myself too much, besides using the right chemicals, we need a lot of sunlight – the UV part of it – and a lot of heat. I had to wait for the last weekend before the conditions were met here in the Pacific Northwest.
The brightening went well but took me two-three passes. The first pass, done during Saturday, took care of most of the yellowing. I used the same approach as with the Sony, and after coating the plastics with peroxide, I wrapped the parts into a standard kitchen wrapping film. This keeps the parts moist and helps to raise the temperature. Although I used a toothbrush to regularly move the film over the plastic – to avoid leaving air or peroxide pockets at the same location for hours –, the top cover came out marbled. By this, I mean that a very light color difference was visible and formed large patches as in camouflage. It was very subtle, but once I’ve seen it, I could not stop seeing it like Cleopatra’s nose in the middle of her face.
The main issue with retro-brightening, besides the weather and the alignment of all the planets, is to know when to stop. I had two pieces of plastic to compare with: the plastic around the rainbow Apple badge – likely a different one – and the rear bar holding the cover – which was never exposed to the light. They kept, therefore, their original color. Or at least, the color I targeted. More on this later. It is critical to keep checking and comparing the current color to the target during retro-brightening. Indeed, it is very easy to over treat and bleach burn your computer. And of course, always wash abundantly with clear water once you are done!