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1940/55 painted metal 302 for cheap on eBay

Started by TelePlay, June 12, 2016, 08:37:15 PM

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TelePlay

Can't save every dog in the pound and the same goes for telephones on eBay but this one caught my eye because of the low starting price ($0.99), the straight handset cord and the soft center finger wheel. I had it at $0.99 for 5 days when someone bid $5 and then I had to snipe it at the last second but got it for $19.88. It became a challenge at that point. So, it arrived on my front door, packed poorly by the seller, about two months ago for a total of $32.38.

Finally finished the phone. It seems to be a July 1940 base but the dial and handset were updated in 1956, probably swapped out an E1 for and F1. Repairs by me included new ringer mount grommets, new dial gasket, recovering the four feet and replacing the AC line cord with a black modular cord. That plus getting rid of the paint.

Citristrip took off the whitish paint easily in just one application but along with the white went the black. The black paint was so poorly adhering to the outside of the shell that it came off in big chunks with just the water rinse. The inside was the same way except all I hit it with was compressed air to blow the water out of screw holes and corners and chunks just lifted off the inside surface.

I first posted about the number card and then added on to an old topic about replacement of the ringer mount grommets.

Removed the finger wheel and was surprised to find a near NOS number plate on the dial. The finger stop also was stamped 6 and it was a 6A dial. The dial needed ultrasonic cleaning to get the dirt out and after oiling, it timed out at just under 10 pps (before cleaning it was 9.15 pps). The dial looked much nicer without the dirt and paint.

The handset cord dated '55 was in fine condition but the line cord was missing so simple put a black modular cord on the phone for convenience.

The last photo below is the eBay listing image, what I took a chance on. The next post will have the before and after photos.
Yesterday eats you up, it eats everyone up . . .

TelePlay

Quote from: TelePlay on June 12, 2016, 08:37:15 PM
The next post will have the before and after photos.

I noticed the black paint came off easy becasue the pot metal under it was quite smooth. So rather than repaint or powder coat it, I polished it. What you see is polished pot metal coated only with an acid free microcrystalline wax. It may or may not develop a patina over time. Pot metal goes to a light yellow to a brown to total black given the right, or wrong, conditions.

No, it is not chrome. The first photo shows the shine. That is my red digital camera about 2 feet away from the phone. Only took me two months off and on to go from cheap painted to this shining star.

The handset was polished to a nice shine using the method I posted some time ago under Bakelite Restoration.
Yesterday eats you up, it eats everyone up . . .

HarrySmith

WOW! That sure looks like chrome. Nice job!
Harry Smith
ATCA 4434
TCI

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

poplar1

Amazing transformation! However, I'm confused by your remark:

Quote from: TelePlay on June 12, 2016, 08:37:15 PM
It seems to be a July 1940 base but the dial and handset were updated in 1956, probably swapped out an E1 for and F1.


Why would a new July 1940 set have an E1- handset? As far as I can tell, by the second half of 1937, F1s were standard on 302s.
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.

cloyd

Quote from: TelePlay on June 12, 2016, 08:47:52 PM
I noticed the black paint came off easy because the pot metal under it was quite smooth. So rather than repaint or powder coat it, I polished it. What you see is polished pot metal coated only with an acid free microcrystalline wax.

That is a surprising result and beautiful too!  Would you attempt this on any phone with a metal body or was this phone originally made in a different way to make the pot metal so smooth?  What was your polishing process?  Would a clear coat keep it from turning colors?  Maybe the color change would be a desirable look.

Very interesting!

Tina
-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- 1885

Pourme

That is remarkable....I have a metal 302 I need to restore, that is a interesting choice, if mine is smooth enough. Thank for showing that to us!
Benny

Panasonic 308/616 Magicjack service

TelePlay

Quote from: poplar1 on June 12, 2016, 09:36:14 PM
However, I'm confused by your remark: Why would a new July 1940 set have an E1- handset? As far as I can tell, by the second half of 1937, F1s were standard on 302s.

Just wild thinking there. I didn't look up the change over dates and couldn't think of a good reason to replace a 1940 F1 with a 1955 F1. Also didn't look for a date on the handset. The elements were 1955 and the cord restraint was 55. Actually, I just checked, and the handset receiver end has 100 molded into it so that is an October 1940 handset, right? Maybe they just changed out the elements and cord. The transmitter end has a "78" molded into the ring below the threads and the receiver end, in addition to the large 100, has a small 124 on the ring below the threads.


Quote from: cloyd on June 12, 2016, 09:46:12 PM
That is a surprising result and beautiful too!  Would you attempt this on any phone with a metal body or was this phone originally made in a different way to make the pot metal so smooth?  What was your polishing process?  Would a clear coat keep it from turning colors?  Maybe the color change would be a desirable look.

Yes, I have a few other stripped toasters, D1s and 302s so will try to polish them before painting. I don't know if that phone was special in any way. One thing I did notice is the metal is not uniform. There are places where you can see "pour" lines and the metal did not polish up as well at other areas. I tried to sand the lines out but came to the conclusion they were in the metal the full thickness of the metal so gave up on that. You can see variations in the metal in you look closely around the rear mouse hole. There are shiny areas and darker areas that did not shine up as well. There are a few spots near the plungers that did not shine up at all. Did not sand out. Probably due to the first metal that was poured into the mold but I don't know if they poured the molds ears up or ears down.

Nothing special, same as plastic polishing except different stuff. Started with 0000 with Brasso, went to 1,000 then 2,000 grit wet sandpaper and finished it off with metal polish. I read somewhere that pot metal can be clear powder coated to protect the finish but that would add a thickness and take away the feel of metal. At it would cost a bit.

I have two different chemicals that will give the pot metal a patina instantly. Depending on how they are applied, one can select the final "look." I took one spot inside to full black but discovered patina on pot metal is the same as patina on my tin plated lanterns, can be removed sort of easily so decided not to do that on this phone, which is mirror shiny in a lot of areas. I may try that on another one of my metal shells if it doesn't polish well.

One of the hardest things to find was a good bare metal wax. Lot of stuff to choose from and I even tried to make my own mix. I found a microcrystalline mineral based wax and solvent was best, or better than organic waxes which have some acids as part of their makeup. I just wanted a wax for bare metal that did not include cleaners, as most if not all of the auto waxes have these days. As always, a new project like this leaves my basement shelves filled with tried it once and now it sits there products.
Yesterday eats you up, it eats everyone up . . .

poplar1

"100" at the top of the handle can be either 10/40 or 10/50. The 10/40 has the wires going to the receiver embedded in the "solid" handle, and the 10/50 has red and white conductors for the receiver and a hollow handle.
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.

TelePlay

Quote from: poplar1 on June 12, 2016, 11:45:31 PM
"100" at the top of the handle can be either 10/40 or 10/50. The 10/40 has the wires going to the receiver embedded in the "solid" handle, and the 10/50 has red and white conductors for the receiver and a hollow handle.

Solid handle so it must be 10/40, the original handset. That clears that up, thanks.
Yesterday eats you up, it eats everyone up . . .

Doug Rose

#9
John....beautiful phone, but a word of caution. I have done 100s of these metal 302s. Stripped off the paint and I have had just one come out the way yours did. I posted it on the ATCA list thinking I had found a chrome phone under a junker. Most strip to a pewter color, many have corrosion or marks in the metal under the paint and are in need of a repaint. The cradle ears are always tough.

The first one that looked like yours when I stripped it. Wire brush on a drill, Noxon....fine steel wool and this is it. Nothing like yours.

Second is more a pewtar look. Shell had very little damage

Try it again and I hope you have found a formula to get them all to look lie yours. It is a beauty!...Doug
Kidphone

TelePlay

#10
Quote from: Doug Rose on June 13, 2016, 06:31:18 PM
John....beautiful phone, but a word of caution. I have done 100s of these metal 302s. Stripped off the paint and I have had just one come out the way yours did. I posted it on the ATCA list thinking I had found a chrome phone under a junker. Most strip to a pewter color, many have corrosion or marks in the metal under the paint and are in need of a repaint. The cradle ears are always tough.

I agree Doug, this is the first phone I have stripped that came out with a smooth finish. If I had access to a large chamber electron microscope with and energy dispersive x-ray analysis system attached, I could get the elemental composition of the metal wherever there was a difference in visual appearance. All other shells I have stripped came out with a dull pewter finish.

One area of difficulty I had on this phone was the lower back. Left of the mouse hole it was smooth and polished well. To the right of the mouse hole, the metal had a texture that was difficult to sand smooth. Took a lot of sanding to get it as smooth as it would get before polishing it. The reflection at that point is not that deep. This is a photo I took of that area early on when working with the shell using light to exaggerate the surface texture. After finishing the phone, you would have to carefully look at this area to see a difference, but it is there. Left of a mouse hole is is chrome like, to the right, it is hazy or fuzzy chrome like.



Other areas on the  phone showed a difference in surface texture which I assume is incomplete mixing of the molten metal. Most of this phone had a mix that yielded a chrome like finish, other parts more toward pewter. I don't think WE did strict QC on the pot metal mix before pouring it into the mold. It would be interesting to see the chemical mixture of the chrome like area vs the duller areas but I can't afford that analysis.

I will try it with pewter like shells next weekend to see what happens.

This is what the shell and handset looked like right after stripping the paint off, before polishing. I was going to leave the shell like this until I accidentally discovered the shell could be polished.



and after polishing





More to come, some day in the future . . .
Yesterday eats you up, it eats everyone up . . .

Nick in Manitou


Dennis Markham

John,

You did a marvelous job of bringing that phone back to life again!  I really like the looks of the shiner metal surface, as opposed to the more pewter look.  Congratulations!

~Dennis

.....


AE_Collector

WoW...great job John!

When I first saw the pictures I was certain that you had it chrome plated.

Terry