Telephone Identification, Repair & Restoration > Technical "Stuff"

How to recover suede feet

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By Dan/Panther

I will try to show you how to recover your suede, felt, or leather feet.
Several of these photos show the work being done by one hand. Most required two hands, and I only posed the photo to hold the camera.

In photo #4, I just wanted to let everyone know I can spell SCISSORS, it was too much trouble to replace the photo as I would have had to replace photos 4,5,6,7, an 8, to correct the error. You can't insert photos in between others, it always adds them to the bottom of the list.
Unless someone can tell me how to place them in different order.


In photo 8, by tightening the mounting screw you will tighten the suede. So getting the suede tight is not critical at this point, as the insert will make it tight. Getting the suede fairly even around is more important, and not baggy.
You do, however, want as little slack in the suede as is possible before you tighten down the insert. if you find the suede is too difficult to hold, you may increase the size of the pattern to 1/2" oversized.


Nice job but some people may have difficulty getting the suede to tuck in even using two hands.  A fixture can help with this.  You can see the process I use here:

Not being critical but a few of comments:

1.  302 footpads should have a 1/8" felt cushion.  Only the 1936/1937 riveted on footpad did not have a cushion.  Pre-WWII footpads used something like black tar as a cushion but post-WWII used 1/8" felt cushions.  This also helps keep the leather tighter.
2.  Using suede 0.030" to 0.040" thick reduces the effort to get the suede tucked in between the plates.  Thicker suede tends to bunch up at the corners.
3.  The original color used by WECo was chocolate suede.  Same color was used for WECo candlesticks, A1, B1 and D1 desk stands when done in leather.  Difficult to tell the color from the outside of a footpad but if you find an original one in reasonable shape, the inside of the suede will be dark brown.  Probably just me being picky or maybe it is the lighting but your suede looks a light tan.  


The felt pad is mentioned, with a caution NOT to forget it.
I just happened to have about 5 pounds of very thin beige suede at the time, so that is what I used. Most I've taken off have looked dark, but I assumed it was age.
This was my first attempt at the feet, after collecting phones for about 6 months, so to have gotten it that close makes me feel pretty good, the fixture is definitely a plus.

Definitely a good job on your part.  Sorry, I did miss the caution "NOT to forget the felt".

I use Chocolate Brown Sheer Cowhide Suede Splits from Tandy Leather.  The downside is the minimum order size is 12 sq ft.

You can get the replacement felt in 12" x 12" sheets from McMaster-Carr.  I use F26 industrial grade felt (1/8" thick).  One sheet makes about 100 cushions.  I cut the replacement cushions in the shape of the larger steel plate.

Not sure if it is allowed on this board but I do offer a footpad recover service for 302's, early leather 500's and 7H6 Galion as well as base plates for A1, B1, D1 desk stands and WECo candlesticks.  You send me the old pads or base plates, I clean them up and recover them for a fee.  If it is a riveted leather footpad like the early 302's and early 500's, you send be the base and I remove, recover and re-rivet the footpads.

If anyone is interested they can contact me at my email address.



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