Telephone Identification, Repair & Restoration > Technical "Stuff"

AE Dial with Metal Fingerwheel - Number Card Holder Removal Instructions

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Please,  Please, somebody tell me what the hell the secret is to getting the blasted card holder back on a Kellogg dial.
I've succeeded in scraping all the paint off of one trying everything I could think of.
I have a 1000 & a 925 waiting almost patiently for me to get smart on this.
Is it a tool, a technique? Is a sacrificial lamb required?

Using a small screwdriver, slip it under the ring around 7 and rotate clockwise.  Practice a couple times without the number card in place, 1 so you can see what you're doing, and 2, well I tore up a lot of number cards trying to get it right.


Here's the procedure in excruciating detail, with "practice runs" included before putting the whole thing back together.  This might make it more obvious to see how it works.  (Note, the procedure for AE dials with clear plastic fingerwheels and metal retainer rings is entirely different.)

The number card retainer for Kellogg 15-G dials and for AE 3" dials with metal fingerwheels, consists of two parts.  One part is the ring, the other part is the flat metal disc that goes on the back of the retainer and holds the card into the retainer.

Notice that the flat metal disc has a little "finger" that fits into a tiny "loop" at the back of the ring: that "finger" tells you the correct position for the disc, and the disc should be installed in the direction such that its "bulge" is "outward" away from the large center screw on the fingerwheel.

Now notice that the fingerwheel has a movable captive thingie (someone here probably knows the correct name for that) under the main screw, that normally rests between two protrusions in the fingerwheel, roughly between 9:00 and 11:00.  Notice that this captive thingie can move more or less freely in the space under the screw. 

OK, now take the metal disc out of the retainer ring, and place the ring casually into the fingerwheel, such that the tab sticking out of the ring at approximately 4:00, fits into the tiny slot in the indentation in the fingerwheel.  Notice the other larger tab that point toward the center of the ring, is now resting inside the fingerwheel at approx. 10:00. 

Notice that the movable captive thingie under the main screw, can move away from that inward-facing tab, or can move toward it and then trap it under the matching indentation in the movable thingie. 

With the retainer minus its disc, sitting in that position, you can take a fingertip and move the "thingie" back and forth, trapping the tab or exposing the tab.  Now move it so that the tab is exposed, and remove the retainer ring.  Look at the end of the movable "thingie" and you will see a little prong sticking up.  That prong provides something on which to catch the tip of a very small screwdriver or similar tool, when the whole thing is assembled.  There is also a cutout in the telephone number label card and its clear plastic protector, and the purpose of this cutout is to not interfere with the movement of that tab as the "thingie" is moved with a thin screwdriver or dial tool.

OK, now put the ring without the disc, back on the fingerwheel, and find a tiny screwdriver or similar thing that you can insert from the inside of the circle of the fingerwheel, pointing toward the outside of it, with which to rotate the "thingie" by its tab: rotate the thingie so that it traps the retainer ring's inner tab under it; and then rotate it in the other direction to remove the retainer ring.

Next, put the metal disc back onto the retainer ring and do the moves in the preceding paragraph.

After that, put the clear plastic number label cover in there, and then the retainer ring, and do the same procedure: in this case the screwdriver tip has to get in over the top of the plastic number label cover, but you'll be able to look closely and see what'a happening.

Finally, remove the disc, and insert the actual number label behind the plastic protector, and then put the disc back into the retainer ring.  Now you have the retainer ring and number card fully assembled.  Put it back on the fingerwheel and use the screwdriver tip (or whatever tool) to slide the tab of the "thingie" back to the position where it traps the tab from the retainer ring. 

Now you can also try removing it that way: by inserting the tip of the screwdriver and sliding the tab of the thingie downward so the retainer is free to be removed.

One more factor: if the number card is chewed-up to any extent at its edges, you may find that it tends to rotate slightly while you're installing the retainer ring on the dial, such that the number card is seen as being rotated slightly clockwise relative to the position of the dial at rest.  The best cure for this is a new, crisply-cut number card, but otherwise, you'll just have to fiddle with it.

Also, the repro number cards sold for these dials, do not quite fit correctly: they are slightly off-center.  The only fix for that it to trim them on one side so they can be centered, but this make it harder to keep them in place when the dial is assembled.  So yes this can get tricky and fiddly, but when you're done, it will all look right. 

Dennis Markham:
Grumpy, look here:

This is from the Telephony Document Repository - The TCI Library

Just click on "View" or "Download" to see an illustration of the procedure for removing the dial card retainer ring as described verbally in the previous posts.


Nice.  Though it also shows the backside of the retainer ring assembly used on early plastic AE dial fingerwheels, which is entirely different and is removed & reinstalled using an entirely different process, so I wonder if that might confuse some folks.

It would be really useful to do this as a video and include other common types of dials as well.


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