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and very rarely ever needs repairs, once you fix them." - Dan/Panther

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Bringing Phones Back from the Dead - Notable Refurbs

Started by Doug Rose, May 05, 2014, 06:30:36 PM

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somewhere in my pile of "pictures On Disc" is the original photo. I'll have to dig that out...




This is definitely a notable refurb . . .  that seems to have required a little bit more than being just buffed out.

Original post is on the forum at Buffed Right Out!




Here is a notable refurb by WEBellSystemChristian . . .  which took him just a couple of days to bring a dingy red SP 500 back to life, spectacularly!

Original post for this phone starts here on the forum at Red 1956 WE 500 from Ebay


love the 302! nice job.... like the gold/silver matte finish... very unique!


... snip

Here is a notable refurb by WEBellSystemChristian . . .  which took him just a couple of days to bring a dingy red SP 500 back to life, spectacularly!

... snip

Next time, warn us about the excellent picture to be displayed, so I have a chance to put my sun glasses on.  ;D ;D ;D


Here is a notable refurb by oyang who spent a  lot of time and money to take a perfectly good table lamp and turn it into a working phone . .   ;)

Original post for this phone starts here on the forum at stating his intention, his next challenge of Turning a table lamp back into a WE 50AL which includes many replies and work in progress photos.

The results are quite notable and definitely work and a phone worthy of being added to our back from the dead topic. Very nice restoration, indeed.


Just asking but is there a reason there are no wood phones in this thread? I have one that had squirrels nesting in it. LOL not sure if I can bring it back or even if i can get the parts I have to replace.

Doug Rose

Welsh....Here is a woodie I did recently, I just didn't think it was notable. It was in tough shape. Came out really nice. I just finished it today with a receiver with a cloth cord with pins that screw into the terminals on the bottom of the box..Welcome to the forum....Doug



There are really only two "requirements" so to speak to get a phone into the "Back from the Dead - Notable Refurbs" topic and that is

1) Must have both before and after pictures, preferably taken from the same angle or perspective for comparison


2) The after has to have that WOW! or pop factor showing a phone significantly and/or amazingly better than as found.

This is a very good slide show put together as an example of both points.

Members, right Doug, sometimes forget to take before photos and without those, the magic is not seen in the final product.

As for wood phones, it may just be my recollection but it seems those who restore old phones tend to want to keep them looking "old" rather than refinish, re-stain and polish the heck out of them as those who work with desk sets do. If you have before photos of a dead wood phone and what it looks like after restoration, start a topic with before, in process and after photos and it could be added to that topic. Hope that helps you understand the intent of that topic. I am sure many phones that have been shown fully restored didn't make the topic because the before photos were not taken.

Doug Rose


Dennis Markham

Beautiful job, John.  Great slide show!  There are some great phones shown here---brought back from the dead.



Very Cool, that is my favorite thing, taking a nasty old piece of junk and returning it to it's former glory! The side by side before & after shots are amazing!
Harry Smith
ATCA 4434

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


Here is a notable refurb owned and submitted by Autonut who spent some money to have this phone refurbed by Ktownphoneco, a/k/a Jeff Lamb. Don't know what Jeff did to this phone but it turned out nice. Is that a new shell or did he patch the hole. Curious minds would like to know . . .    ;)

Original post for this 1946 NE Metal 302 phone is in the "Barn Freah" topic but it certainly deserves posting here, in the Notable Refurbs. A very nice restoration, indeed, by Jeff.


And, the Photobucket Gallery has been updated.


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


A year and a half ago I said I would post some pictures of my 293A restoration of a few years ago.  I guess I never did.  They are posted elsewhere in this forum, but here for this topic I am posting them again.  This is not notable on the same level as Dan/Panther's early 500, but it is notable for me with my skill set.

This is of the 293A Christmas phone my wife got for me from a fellow collector.  I had shown interest in buying the phone from him and my wife overheard that conversation.  A few weeks later, I went over to his house to make him an offer, and he had already sole it!!!  How could he??  He knew I wanted it, and he sold it without even calling me to let me know! 

It turned out that he sold it to my wife and I found it under the Christmas tree!  My phone friend is a very religious person, and he told me that it really bothered him to lie to me when he told me with a straight face that someone else had bought it and he even made up a pretty good story to go with it.

Anyway, without further adieu, here are before and after pictures of that.

PS:  I must give credit where credit is due.  The beautiful nickel work was done by Dennis (dencins) who is active on this forum and does excellent nickel plating at a very reasonable rate.
-Bill G