Classic Rotary Phones Forum

Telephone Talk => Collector's Corner => Topic started by: LarryInMichigan on February 09, 2013, 11:22:06 PM

Title: Gray Toaster
Post by: LarryInMichigan on February 09, 2013, 11:22:06 PM
I saw this BIN: link (http://www.ebay.com/itm/251225372155) for $27.50 on ebay a few days ago.  It looked like a good deal on a rare phone, so I pushed the button.  After I paid, I looked back at the listing details and noticed that it showed Priority Mail medium flat rate for shipping, so I sent a message asking the seller to please ship the phone in a larger box with the non-flat rate which would be cheaper anyway than the medium flat rate.  He replied: "Listing stated pm flat rate".  I sent him another message asking to please use a larger box as the phone was very fragile but received no reply.  The phone arrived today in a medium flat rate box.  It sat for hours on my floor until I found the courage to open it.  When I finally opened it, I found the phone in a brown paper grocery bag upside down in the box with the handset next to it.  Amazingly, no damage apparently resulted.

The shell and handset are gray plastic.  The two front corners are cracked near the bottom, as it visible in the listing pictures.  The shell is warped a bit, but it is mostly in good condition.  The plungers fit tightly thought the openings in the shell and stick in place, so I might have to grind out the openings a bit.  The handset cord is breaking at the end of the stress relief by the handset, but I expect that I should be able to shorten it a bit.  I gave the phone a quick try, and it does work, but there was alot of static, probably from the handset cord.  All of the network parts and ringer are present and are from Connecticut (CTE).  I hope to post some pictures once the phone has been restored.

I am quite annoyed at the seller for not only packing the phone poorly into a box which was too small, but also overcharging for the postage.  I am thinking about leaving neutral feedback.  I cannot understand why some people are just so obstinate.

At any rate, I think that I got a pretty good deal.  Does anyone know how much these phone usually get?

Larry

 
Title: Re: Gray Toaster
Post by: MagicMo on February 09, 2013, 11:27:57 PM
That is one cool looking phone!
As far as the seller goes, some people are just jerky. The more people I meet the more I love my dog!
Nice phone ;)
Mo
Title: Re: Gray Toaster
Post by: LarryInMichigan on February 09, 2013, 11:32:26 PM
The way that this phone was packed, it might have been done by the seller's dog :D

Larry
Title: Re: Gray Toaster
Post by: wds on February 10, 2013, 08:50:56 AM
I was watching this auction, but the picture showing the bent shell at the back cord bothered me.  I thought these phones were always metal?   Otherwise, very cool phone.
Title: Re: Gray Toaster
Post by: rdelius on February 10, 2013, 09:20:01 AM
Military sets were metal .This was not a military set. Most likely from a PABX.
Title: Re: Gray Toaster
Post by: LarryInMichigan on February 10, 2013, 10:23:50 AM
The back of the shell is warped in one area, but it it not terrible.  If I feel adventurous, I might try heating the plastic a bit with a hair dryer to see if I can bend it back.

I am sure that the phone is from a PABX, but it is a normal fully-working phone with a SL ringer unlike Select-O-Phones and others which have DC ringers, special dials, etc.  The dial on this phone is a WE #6 with a gray painted housing and finger wheel.

There was a thread about these here a few years ago: thread link (http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=1891.0).

Larry

Title: Re: Gray Toaster
Post by: Doug Rose on February 10, 2013, 01:07:13 PM
Larry...this is a cool phone. You should find a #6 dial inside with the numbers only #6 dial plate. I have only ever seen one on these phones. They do shrink like an AE tenite phone and crack like a WE thermoplastic (I know , tenite). Treat this the same way and you will have a nice phone when you are finished....Doug
Title: Re: Gray Toaster
Post by: Jester on February 10, 2013, 01:31:31 PM
Great find, Larry!  I've always liked the look of these.  I think they are a little more fragile than the colored 302's, but careful cleaning makes them look great.
Title: Re: Gray Toaster
Post by: LarryInMichigan on February 10, 2013, 02:44:29 PM
I started working on the phone, and it looks like it will be a bigger project than I had expected.  The shell and handset are quite discolored.  The insides are a much lighter, grayer color the outside which have a brownish tinge and brown streaks and splotches.  I do not know how to remove the discoloration.

The dial was really stuck in the shell.  It took quite an effort to remove it.  The line cord is in worse condition than I realized.  At least 12" of it has a tattered cover.

Below is a scan of a wiring diagram that I found inside the phone.  The button on the handset is actually a ground start button as was wired as such.

Larry

Title: Re: Gray Toaster
Post by: Nick in Manitou on February 10, 2013, 04:08:25 PM
Just a note to say that I appreciate the opportunity to note the seller's name so that if I see something of interest for sale by him, I can take into consideration Larry's experience.  (I am starting a list that I will consult before purchasing anything.)

I have a black TP-6 and was unaware that this shape also came in gray plastic!

Great Find!
Title: Re: Gray Toaster
Post by: Jester on February 10, 2013, 04:20:08 PM
I started working on the phone, and it looks like it will be a bigger project than I had expected.  The shell and handset are quite discolored.  The insides are a much lighter, grayer color the outside which have a brownish tinge and brown streaks and splotches.  I do not know how to remove the discoloration.

I had good results with peroxide gel-- just make sure you monitor the treatment carefully.  Besides the normal tendency to cloud light colors, it appeared to chemically change the surface from smooth to rough if left too thick or on too long.  Light sanding & liberal buffing with Novus brought back a smooth shine.
Title: Re: Gray Toaster
Post by: LarryInMichigan on February 10, 2013, 05:22:18 PM
I expect that I will need to give the phone the peroxide treatment, if only there would be some sunshine here.  I bought a UV reptile light a few months ago to substitute for sunlight, but it doesn't seem to do any good.

Larry

Title: Re: Gray Toaster
Post by: Mr. Bones on February 10, 2013, 05:23:10 PM
Very cool phone, Larry!

     Great deal, as well. Given the packaging, I'm especially delighted that it showed up damage free.

     I have never seen a colored set of this model, just the TP-6's, (which I want!)

     I look forward to seeing more pictures of this rare beast! Enjoy your 'new' phone!

Best regards,

Terrence
Title: Re: Gray Toaster
Post by: LarryInMichigan on February 10, 2013, 05:28:30 PM
I have just proven that at least some of the brown is from tobacco.  If I give a quick rub to the plastic with a 12000 grit MicroMesh pad,  the plastic emits a strong, disgusting tobacco smell, and the plastic lightens a bit.

Larry
Title: Re: Gray Toaster
Post by: poplar1 on February 10, 2013, 05:48:50 PM
When you get to the dial, I'm wondering what the part number is for the number plate, and whether the plate was made by WE or Connecticut.

On WE phones they have either numbers and letters (164A); or are black with white dots for 5302s, white with dots (for clear finger wheels), or just white (for black pay phones). Never saw a 164-type with only numerals.
Title: Re: Gray Toaster
Post by: LarryInMichigan on February 10, 2013, 06:59:56 PM
When you get to the dial, I'm wondering what the part number is for the number plate, and whether the plate was made by WE or Connecticut.

On WE phones they have either numbers and letters (164A); or are black with white dots for 5302s, white with dots (for clear finger wheels), or just white (for black pay phones). Never saw a 164-type with only numerals.

The back of the dial plate has "164B-1-56" stamped on the rear.  The dial is a model 6A.  The dial and the top side of the finger wheel were painted with gray paint to match the phone housing.  The paint job does not look entirely professional.


Larry
Title: Re: Gray Toaster
Post by: Jester on February 10, 2013, 07:15:40 PM
Poplar1,

The earliest 6A I have seen was dated 1952, and the dial plates were specially made to fit, were made with both rural & metro numbering systems-- complete with a Z under the 0.  Around 1954, the 164 plate was introduced, which not only fit the 6 series, but would retrofit dials 2-5.  The back of the earlier plate was stamped 6A, to indicate the dial it was used on.  As Larry mentions above, his is clearly marked 164B-- a clear indication that WE reversed the meaning of these letters compared to the earlier plates.  These would also retrofit to earlier dials, just as the "A" plates would.
Title: Re: Gray Toaster
Post by: LarryInMichigan on February 10, 2013, 07:27:02 PM
The plate does have slots so that it will fit a #5 dial also.  I have another 6A dial with a numbers-only plate, but I haven't looked at the back of that plate.

Larry
Title: Re: Gray Toaster
Post by: AE40FAN on February 10, 2013, 10:42:17 PM
Hey Larry,

For the peroxide treatment make sure you don't go over 20 percent as 40 is too strong.  You need heat, as well as, UV for faster results.  90 minutes tops on a hot sunny day.  Also, to thicken the peroxide you can poor it in an open tupperware  container and let it "breathe" for up to a day.  I find it globs on better that way. 
Title: Re: Gray Toaster
Post by: Brinybay on February 11, 2013, 01:12:47 PM
When I finally opened it, I found the phone in a brown paper grocery bag upside down in the box with the handset next to it.  Amazingly, no damage apparently resulted.

Larry

I was holding my breath reading this, glad it miraculously survived.
Title: Re: Gray Toaster
Post by: Brinybay on February 11, 2013, 01:16:39 PM
I have just proven that at least some of the brown is from tobacco.  If I give a quick rub to the plastic with a 12000 grit MicroMesh pad,  the plastic emits a strong, disgusting tobacco smell, and the plastic lightens a bit.

Larry


I was just going to say that the brown may be from tobacco, so I would start with giving all the plastic parts a good soaking in Oxiclean. 
Title: Re: Gray Toaster
Post by: LarryInMichigan on February 11, 2013, 01:22:34 PM
I did give the handset a soaking in Oxiclean, but the tobacco has permeated the upper layers of the plastic.  I also tried oven cleaner with very limited success.  Sanding will likely be necessary.

Larry
Title: Re: Gray Toaster
Post by: LarryInMichigan on March 05, 2013, 01:50:41 PM
I finally reassembled the gray toaster last night.  I managed to remove most of the discoloration, sanded out some of the scratches, and gave the plastic a polishing.  I shortened the handset cord where it was broken near the handset and reversed the curls to make it tighter.  I had to seriously grind out the inner diameter of the dial opening with a sanding drum attachment with a rotary tool to be able to put the dial back into it.  I also ground out the insides of the holes for the plungers with another rotary tool attachment so that the plungers would move freely.

The phone looks pretty good now and works well, but the handset cord is too short for the phone to be comfortably usable. If I pull the handset more than 10 inches or so from the phone, the phone slides on the desk.  Also, there is a tear in the outside cover of the cord about an inch (coiled) from the handset which I covered with electrical tape.  I do not want to shortn the cord any further.  Does anyone know where I can get a fat gray handset cord?

Larry

Title: Re: Gray Toaster
Post by: Dennis Markham on March 05, 2013, 02:21:25 PM
The phone looks really nice Larry.  Nice job.  Maybe the cord will be fine for display and eventually a cord will come along.
Title: Re: Gray Toaster
Post by: Nick in Manitou on March 05, 2013, 02:37:04 PM
Very nice looking!
Title: Re: Gray Toaster
Post by: LarryInMichigan on March 05, 2013, 02:39:14 PM
Thank you Dennis and Nick.  The cord will have to suffice for now.

I am coming close to finishing my latest gray phone project: ebay link (http://www.ebay.com/itm/160972232114).  The shell color is almost back to light gray now.  Keep tuned.

Larry

Title: Re: Gray Toaster
Post by: unbeldi on March 05, 2013, 03:48:03 PM
I finally reassembled the gray toaster last night.

  Does anyone know where I can get a fat gray handset cord?



It looks gorgeous now!

I wouldn't worry about the cord length too much, unless you want to use it everyday. It's original now. Size doesn't always matter...
Title: Re: Gray Toaster
Post by: AE40FAN on March 05, 2013, 05:53:38 PM
Larry, looks great...well worth the 27.50!!
Title: Re: Gray Toaster
Post by: Doug Rose on March 05, 2013, 07:54:05 PM
I picked up a Metal Connecticut/Signal Corps with a Federal dial this weekend. Cleaned up like a dream. All original paint ...everything original except the line cord, it was cut off. You don't see these very often compared to the toasters. This is such a cool phone. AND HEAVY!! ...Doug
Title: Re: Gray Toaster
Post by: davidbholcomb on March 05, 2013, 10:41:49 PM
Stunning telephone Doug and I love the way the “toaster” turned out.
Title: Re: Gray Toaster
Post by: Doug Rose on March 06, 2013, 08:21:52 PM
thanks Dave...it will make its way to eBay...Doug