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Started by Fordtrucksforever, January 23, 2015, 02:34:08 AM

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Over the years I have picked up severely dilapidated project phones or for most people I know just consider junk. I prefer older unique models, most wood types, and magneto versions. Usually ones that have little chance of ever being resurrected. Some wooden basket cases did not survive house fires or other elements of nature very well, but parts are still salvageable. One flea market find picked up years ago was badly burned. I had considered just making new wood with red oak scrap dug out out a dumpster from a cabinet shop. Today I realized by planing the existing pieces and re-routing edges just a little bit smaller, most of the charcoal will be gone. But thats not what this post is really about. With a surplus of parts, and modifying old or fabricating new parts, cutting new wood to build a very one of a kind frankenfone is more like it. I want it to be somewhat period correct, with upgrades that could have been done to keep the phone up to date. My first thoughts to what might be based on a multi box style wooden, possibly a fiddleback design. Maybe an ornate or complex arch design on top with spark arrestor. I do want to house a magneto, and keep it battery powered. At first it was going to have separate receiver and transmitter, but now leaning toward a Grab-a-phone handset. The most difficult issue is working in a rotary dial that does not look like added or an afterthought. This kills the looks of just about any real early wooden phone, imnsho. I have one idea on how to accomplish this, but need to get a rough layout of what to build to see if it will work as I have envisioned. Sometimes those thoughts dont always turn out the way you plan. Another idea I have is mounting the magneto and bells low like some of the fiddlebacks, but want to add a small shallow drawer right under the desk(writing shelf). Then have a deep shelf below the drawer for a phone book. The #6 batteries will be behind the drawer and accessible by lifting up the desktop. I am not a wood worker, but figured out a simple way to finger joint everything to look period correct. Right now ideas are floating aimlessly in my noggin, and some sketches are sketchy at best. Sorry for the long wind on my first post, but look forward to hearing your input.


That sounds like a pretty interesting idea.  The loose parts used wouldn't do very much on their own.  It would be great to see what you come up with.
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
— Arthur C. Clarke


Thanks for the links. The second one definitely helps with what I have in mind.


Making your own phone may need great skills.
These later Swedish wooden phones may be easier to make, or inspire to a good old looking design.



Thanks you for the link. I wont need to scratch my head nearly as hard now.


Quote from: Fordtrucksforever on January 23, 2015, 02:34:08 AMThe most difficult issue is working in a rotary dial that does not look like added or an afterthought. This kills the looks of just about any real early wooden phone, imnsho.

I am working on ideas to put together a 'frankensubset' using a vinatge wooden subset box and ringer with modern network and touchtone pad.  The network and touchtone pad will be concealed on the inside of the box.  To be able to access it quickly, what I had in mind was to screw a couple of ferrous nuts on the original latch screw then mount a magnet of some sort in place of the latch nut assembly on the inside.  That way, it will still look original from the outside but I'll be able to open it quickly if I need to send DTMFs to automated PBXs at the other end.

If there's enough spare space inside your box, maybe this idea would work for you too.