Classic Rotary Phones Forum

Telephone Identification, Repair & Restoration => Telephone Troubleshooting and Repair => Topic started by: ntophones on August 05, 2009, 08:01:24 PM

Title: Polishing Questions (to clear up the title)
Post by: ntophones on August 05, 2009, 08:01:24 PM
Well, I got a Ryobi polisher.
Here are some results, though I am sure Jorge could do better! I'm just not sure how, especially on the AE40 back, between the hooks. Could you guys give me some pointers?
It seems the bakelite still looks leathery--do you think that's the way it is? I'm using Novus 2 polish.
My WE 500 looks alright. Some of the gouges were very deep and it being my first phone to work on, I wasn't very brave. You can also see that the handset has issues.
Thanks for the help.
ntohpones
Title: Re: Polish Questions
Post by: benhutcherson on August 05, 2009, 08:53:52 PM
Looks great!

Bakelite is never going to have the smooth look of thermoplastics-I think that you've done well, and that's probably the best it's ever going to look.
Title: Re: Polish Questions
Post by: JorgeAmely on August 05, 2009, 09:06:46 PM
Excellent job on the WE500 and the AE40.

In those tight corners where the Ryobi doesn't reach, a very soft cotton towel and Novus is the only way to go. In an ABS phone, try to do tight corners in circles, otherwise, even a soft towel with Novus will leave marks on the plastic as it warms up. Once the plastic warms up a little with the towel, switch to towel only with no Novus to bring the shine out. It is all a matter of practice in order to develop a method you feel comfortable with.

Bakelite will take all the abuse (temperature rise) that the Ryobi will induce. Brand new bakelite has a wet piano like finish. If the bakelite is in good condition, it cleans up in no time at all. If damaged by contamination and years under the sun, you can get a nice decent shine, but you have to work hard at getting that out.

The back end slope of my AE40 was done by hand.
Title: Re: Polish Questions
Post by: NYFED on August 05, 2009, 10:02:00 PM
I have found that I have the same problem with my Kellogg 900, 925 and 700. That pitted look. I used my ryobi and (no-name) car polisher.  There is a much better sheen on them but not as good as I want. LOL! Like anyone gets the results they want. I also used mother's carnauba wax and buff to protect it. Any other advice? Looking for that wet look. Glayzit? ArmorAll? Time machine?  BTW, I used No. 7 Polishing compound on one of the phones and it took less time to clean/polish than Brasso alone.
Title: Re: Polish Questions
Post by: bingster on August 06, 2009, 04:59:56 AM
The wet look you want is lost and gone forever, I'm afraid.  Some have had success making the problem better, but nothing will bring back the new look.  That glassy, dense black was the result of the bakelite casting process.  When the part is in the mold, an extremely thin layer of pure black binder settles on the wall of the mold.  After years of handling and exposure, that super thin layer of black gets worn away, revealing the wood flour that makes up the bulk of the bakelite.  That's why you see the brownish "dust" in the finish now. 

Incidentally, I thought this thread was going to be a quiz about Poland. ;D
Title: Re: Polish Questions
Post by: Dennis Markham on August 06, 2009, 07:53:07 AM
Bingster that's funny....I thought the same thing when I read the title. 

Ntophones, it looks very nice.  I really like the PAX dial card you have in there.  Nice job!
Title: Re: Polish Questions
Post by: NYFED on August 06, 2009, 09:53:21 AM
Bingster: That's what I thought.   :(
I was kinda daydreaming about whether or not I could get a bunch of phones, have casts made of them and then cast my own (real) bakelite phones. HMMMMM. Maybe after I won mega-millions and set up shop in a country without pollution standards! LOL

Dennis: LOL! Very funny! I was looking for this thread and querried: "Poland"....freudian slip
Title: Re: Polish Questions
Post by: ntophones on August 06, 2009, 10:36:13 AM
Thank you all! I am so thankful for your kind words! I feel better about my phones now!
I'm waiting on some chrome handset rings from OPW. I will also be getting the acetate protector for the dial card, which I printed from Telephonearchive.com.

Say, I never thought about Poland--that was very funny  ;D

I may try to just go over the phones again later and polish them with wax.
Thanks again! Now, I only need to see if they will work in "real life!" on my phone line!
Title: Re: Polish Questions
Post by: NYFED on August 06, 2009, 11:16:15 AM
nto: I am an avid fan of the AE line. The AE40, AE34 and AE50 are my particular favorites.  Good luck. If you run into a problems, drop me a line. Preferably a private message. I'll be notified via my phone (pda cell phone, that is!).
Title: Re: Polish Questions
Post by: McHeath on August 06, 2009, 11:39:49 AM
I think your polish work looks good.  It's a pity that old bakelite sometimes is just plain ruined, I've had a couple of G1 handsets that simply will never look all that nice again.  You can paint them at that point, which can look okay, but it's not the same really.  I only paint phones and parts that are of little actual value.

Title: Re: Polish Questions
Post by: ntophones on August 06, 2009, 11:50:43 AM
Well, thank you everyone!
NYFED, I, too think the AE phones are just wonderful! I wish I had bid enough on that AE34 recently!
But, I went back and hand poished, as Jorge suggested, and have followed up with some polish (since I'm not a car buff, I didn't have carnuba) like Armourall, which I read some people are using. The AE40 looks much better--I can't wait for all the chrome accents I am getting!
I will do the WE500 next. I'll probably post more pics, if that is o.k.

Thank you all so much for your help--I love this hobby! And, getting to chat with you nice people has been such a pleasure!
ntophones
Title: Re: Polish Questions
Post by: jsowers on August 06, 2009, 01:31:36 PM
The AE40 looks much better--I can't wait for all the chrome accents I am getting!

I agree, your AE40 looks great. I grew up using one of those phones as the only phone in our house in the 1960s and I have to laugh a little now at how different they all were, for whatever reason, with the chrome accents. I think where we lived, you got whatever was in the installer's truck.

My best friend's parents had a fancy AE40 with a chrome fingerwheel and handset bands and ours only had a chrome handhold and that was it. The rest was basic black. And ntophones, yours has a chrome fingerwheel and a black handhold, the exact opposite. Ours was never in the sun, so the Bakelite survived well and it would shine up with little effort (the few times I cleaned it).

What I will never forget is how cold to the touch those chrome pieces were. And the klunk of Bakelite on metal of the handset hanging up.

And if Dennis wants to make the subject line a little clearer and less ethnic, maybe he could change it to Polishing Questions?
Title: Re: Polishing Questions (to clear up the title)
Post by: NYFED on August 06, 2009, 03:22:45 PM
NTO: If I was the winning bid in that auction: my apologies. This has been my white whale.  FWIW: I think the phone is covered in flat matte paint! If anyone knows anything about this anomaly, feel free to voice in.  I'm going to dip the receiver caps in paint stripper and see if this is paint.  If it is: WHEW! I'm in luck. If not......  :o  ???   
Title: Re: Polishing Questions (to clear up the title)
Post by: ntophones on August 06, 2009, 03:49:54 PM
Oh, man, will you post a picture? I don't think we are talking about the same phone, though.
What a let down!!!!!!!!
Title: Re: Polishing Questions (to clear up the title)
Post by: NYFED on August 06, 2009, 04:45:08 PM
NTO: here is a picture. I paid $62.00 for it.

Title: Re: Polishing Questions (to clear up the title)
Post by: ntophones on August 06, 2009, 04:59:43 PM
That isn't the phone I was bidding on, but, I hope you can get the paint off. I wonder if you should start a thread about how to get the paint off? You'd probably get some great advice, I'm thinking.
Please keep us informed on your cleanup of the phone. What a nice model, though. Those AE34's are great looking design.
Title: Re: Polishing Questions (to clear up the title)
Post by: NYFED on August 06, 2009, 05:07:14 PM
they definitely are! btw....in my garage now, on my laptop. Working live w/ updates! lol
Title: Re: Polish Questions
Post by: Jester on August 07, 2009, 01:05:43 AM
  BTW, I used No. 7 Polishing compound on one of the phones and it took less time to clean/polish than Brasso alone.
I've been trying to find No. 7 polishing compound for a few years now, and no one seems to keep that around here anymore.  NFYED, do you have a source for this?
Title: Re: Polishing Questions (to clear up the title)
Post by: NYFED on August 07, 2009, 01:25:23 AM
JESTER:Got mine at Sears hardware in the automotive section
Title: Re: Polishing Questions (to clear up the title)
Post by: Jester on August 07, 2009, 01:39:44 AM
Thanks!
I'll check on that tomorrow.
Title: Re: Polishing Questions (to clear up the title)
Post by: McHeath on August 07, 2009, 05:07:48 PM
Quote
they definitely are! btw....in my garage now, on my laptop. Working live w/ updates! lol

You could set up a webcam feed so we could monitor your work. ;)
Title: Re: Polishing Questions (to clear up the title)
Post by: Stephen Furley on August 16, 2009, 06:57:55 PM
I do all polishing by hand.  The Paste Polishing No.5 is the best thing that I've found for Bakelite, but I find that it's not so good on thermoplastics.  So far, the best that I've found for these has been Brasso.

British Bakelite, at least that used for telephones, seems to be of a higher quality from the limited experience that I've had than that used in America.  Of that, I would say that my AE 40 is the best, with the handset on my SC 1543 being the worst, and the WE 302 handset and Kellogg 1000 being somewhere in between.  The American Bakelite seems to contain more filler, and I think at least some of it is asbestos rather than wood flour.  It's courser and rougher, and doesn't take as good a polish.

As far as I'm aware, 'soft' plastic wasn't used for 'phones here, we stayed with Bakelite until the 706 was introduced, in 1959.  As far as ABS is concerned there also seems to be a difference, and this time it's the American product which is superior.  Ours seems to yellow much worse than yours does, and this seems to penetrate much deeper into the plastic.  Ours also sometimes seems to develop white cloudy blotches, which are just about impossible to remove, and it also seems to be more affected by cigarette smoke
Title: Re: Polishing Questions (to clear up the title)
Post by: rp2813 on August 19, 2009, 12:06:15 PM
My 1953 500 has a bakelite handset that looks very similar to the one posted above.  I tried the usual methods, beginning with plain white toothpaste, but nothing changed the appearance.  Due to this situation, this phone will never be a showpiece.  It's currently deployed on a desk in the basement where it's basically used to avoid running up the steps to answer the phone. 

Ralph
Title: Re: Polishing Questions (to clear up the title)
Post by: NYFED on August 24, 2009, 08:25:11 PM
McHeath: OK, back from a long sabbatical (called work). I will be doing some phone work this week and will post pics.
NTO: I did some preliminary 'polishing' on that phone: lemme tell ya: WHOA! Underneath that matte finish is a GREAT shine! WOW! This phone is gonna be great. Will be doing some work on it this week and posting some pics. I'll start a new thread with progress pics, if you're interested.
Title: Re: Polishing Questions (to clear up the title)
Post by: Dennis Markham on August 24, 2009, 08:31:06 PM
We are interested!  We'd love to see some photos when you're finished.
Title: Re: Polishing Questions (to clear up the title)
Post by: ntophones on August 26, 2009, 05:16:15 PM
Yes!!!Please post pics! I am so excited for you!!!!!
ntophones