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Subscriber Set - Can Anyone Tell Me About This?

Started by Dennis Markham, March 30, 2010, 08:39:36 PM

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Quote from: Dennis Markham on May 13, 2010, 10:25:31 PM
Thanks Guys.  I am toying with the idea of taking the box apart again and spraying a coat of clear lacquer on the copper to slow the oxidation process.  I've read some articles that say for interior use it should last for years.  I am afraid to give it a shot though because if it messes it up I'm going to have to strip it off again.

Spray it with clear lacquer, and put it in the oven at 220 for about 30 minutes. The finish will come out smooth as glass.

The More People I meet, The More I Love, and MISS My Dog.  Dan Robinson


Great job!  Somehow I just got green eyes.  I wonder......
- Tom

Dennis Markham

Ralph you are very observant---with regard to the handset.  The handset "handle" was in very rough shape.  It had raised bumps and it was going to be impossible to remove them.  I had a spare handle with nothing to do so I offered it up to the owner.  He was concerned with leaving it original but agreed that for appearance a replacement would be nice.  So I replaced it.  I'll ship him back the original.  There could be more improvement to the phone, such as the dial card retainer ring which is in very rough condition.  But that's the way it will stay. 

I don't think the phone was used all of these years.  He said he bought it in 1985 to free Grandma from the lease but I don't think it's been in use all this time.  It had a refurbishment somewhere along the way as the dial is a #5.  I think an older dial would really add to the phone---at least a #4.  The transmitter is an F1 transmitter---not a bullet.

Dennis Hallworth recovered the bottom for me and looks great.  The cords are original and in very good condition.  They are dated some time later---I think late 40's, probably when the dial was replaced.  Once I get them connected I will be able to find out if they are in working condition.  The wires do not seem dry-rotted so they should be OK.

It lives in the San Francisco area.


darn Dennis, that is one gorgeous phone!

Harry Smith
ATCA 4434

"There is no try,
there is only
do or do not"


OK Dennis, even if you changed out the handset, you're still a miracle worker in my book! 

One more question then.  What type of receiver element did this phone have?  I don't know off hand the model number of the element originally designed for the E1, but am wondering if like the F1 transmitter, there was ever a retrofit for a HA1 receiver element on E1's.  My E1 has the original receiver element and it's really kind of squawky.  I'd replace it with a HA1 if there's a kit for doing so.


Craig T

You should start setting up a camera in those boxes to take a picture of the customer's face when they get these phones back from you! You just made it a family heirloom with that restoration, great job Dennis  8)


Beautiful restoration Dennis.

I'm torn as the whether I prefered the original beige paint job on the subset or the exposed copper though  :-\


Dennis Markham

Thank you Craig and thank you Terry.  Terry, it was a tough choice to make.  There's something about old lead-based paint that makes one want to keep it around.

The project isn't finished yet.  I"m having some difficulty now with the ringer in that I'm not getting full movement of the clapper.  Adjusting the bias tension spring hasn't seemed to help.  Bill (Phonesrfun) has given me some pointers on a possible adjustment and if that fails I'm going to try replacing a capacitor, or adding one.  The saga continues............

I did make a web album on what I've done so far is anyone is interested:


Doug Rose

Dennis.....Below are two WE Copper boxes. These do not appear to be plated and a magnet does not stick to them. The wall phone reminds me so much of the ringerbox you just brought back from the dead......Doug

Dennis Markham

Doug, did you coat them with Lacquer or anything else?  Has the color darkened much since you stripped them?  How long have the been Au naturel??

Doug Rose

Dennis.....I like the natural patina they get. I did not coat them at all. The ringer box is about six months with really no change at all. The wall phone is about 5 years since stripping, it has lost the overly shined look and now looks deeper and darker, but not cloudy. You can still see reflections in it. Once I clean up copper or brass, I let them go natural after. With a good clean with Brasso and fine steel wool, they get a nice uniform patina....Doug

Dennis Markham

Thanks Doug, I thought they might darken quicker than that.  So that's a good thing really.  Kind of a gradual all of us....:)

By the way, awesome wall phone.  Do you have any idea how late they made them out of copper?  Is the ringer box a 634A?

Doug Rose

Dennis....what ever happened to this? Did they love the job that you did? I know I did. What was the final verdict on all your hard work.....Doug

Dennis Markham

Doug, the guy was very pleased.  I'm planning on making a post about it on my blog along with his comments.  I'll post a link here when it's finished.  Thanks for asking.  I really enjoyed that project and have been watching for one of those ringer boxes ever since.  I'd like to have one.

Dennis Markham

I did end up spraying the 334A box with a clear lacquer.  I gave it a good single coat and baked it at 200 degrees for about a half hour.  It turned out pretty nice.  I thought I had made a sound byte of the ringer but can't seem to locate it so I must have just dreamed that I did.  (I wish I had).

Attached is from my blog where the owner posted his comments.  I did make a posting on my blog about the phone.  There are links there to the finished album if people are interested.

Here is the blog entry: