Author Topic: 302 Thermoplastic or Metal?  (Read 3210 times)

Offline Bingles

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302 Thermoplastic or Metal?
« on: March 11, 2014, 06:41:05 AM »
Hi folks!!  This is a dumb question, but I'll still ask it...  :D

I want to get a restored WE 302 for every day use, but I'm not sure which model to get.  With the metal, I'm afraid that constant use will damage the paint rather quickly (I see most phones advertised as "powder coat" and not sure how durable that is).  And while I don't mind it eventually gaining some character, I'm afraid I wouldn't know just how good a paint job it was until too late.

I like the thermoplastic phones a lot (and they are less expensive) but every posting I see on here references them as very brittle and tend to crack easily.

Which would you guys suggest as an everyday phone?

Thanks!
« Last Edit: March 11, 2014, 06:45:20 AM by Bingles »

Offline tallguy58

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Re: 302 Thermoplastic or Metal?
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2014, 07:56:51 AM »
Plastic. They tend to wear better, especially in the cradle area.

Plus cheaper to ship. ;D
Cheers........Bill

Offline WEBellSystemChristian

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Re: 302 Thermoplastic or Metal?
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2014, 08:40:48 AM »
I prefer the plastic, although powder coated metal holds up very well over a long period of time versus painted. The plastic ones are cheaper, and they are better "daily drivers" than the metal ones :).
Christian Petterson

"Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right" -Henry Ford

Offline HarrySmith

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Re: 302 Thermoplastic or Metal?
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2014, 08:51:42 AM »
Any plastic phone damages about equally. The 302 is no more brittle than a 500. The problem is shrinkage, once they shrink the tend to crack at the corners. There are several suggestions on here about relieving the pressure at the corners. Bending the corners of the metal base on seems to be the preferred way. You can also grind away some of the plastic inside the corners but most prefer not to make alterations that cannot be reversed.

Harry Smith
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Offline Kenton K

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Re: 302 Thermoplastic or Metal?
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2014, 01:42:54 AM »
Plastic for sure.

Pros:
cheaper
easier to refurbish/polish/prettify
no paint chipping
durable for daily use

Cons:
Can and will crack if abused
Can shrink
Shipping is always a pain, and scary for plastic phones
louder dialing


Metal phones
pros:
more durable
more desirable for collectors (to a degree)
quieter dialing
wont shrink/break as easily

cons:
pain chipping
hard to refurbish case
expensive/harder to find in good paint
heavy!


I bend all my plastic 302 bases with adjustable wrenches. Like a plumbers one.  They have much better grip than pliers do in my opinion, and don't leave unsightly scratches like pliers do. I have never had the need to grind anything down yet.

Offline paul-f

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Re: 302 Thermoplastic or Metal?
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2014, 12:08:56 PM »
This is a test on how deeply the phonitis has taken root.
 
For many of us the answer is simple:
 
You need BOTH!
Visit: paul-f.com         WE 500  Design_Line

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Offline HarrySmith

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Re: 302 Thermoplastic or Metal?
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2014, 01:32:05 PM »
Not just both,  you need an early metal one with the short ears, vents & E1 handset. A newer metal one with an F handset. Plus plastic in all the colors.
Harry Smith
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"There is no try,
there is only
do or do not"

Offline WEBellSystemChristian

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Re: 302 Thermoplastic or Metal?
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2014, 02:52:54 PM »
This is a test on how deeply the phonitis has taken root.
 
For many of us the answer is simple:
 
You need BOTH!
If we had "Like" buttons here, this comment would be my first "Liked" comment!
Christian Petterson

"Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right" -Henry Ford

Offline tallguy58

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Re: 302 Thermoplastic or Metal?
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2014, 08:44:47 PM »
Then of course you'll need both WE and NE versions. Then cloth cord and vinyl. Then coiled and straight..............
Cheers........Bill

Offline Phonesrfun

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Re: 302 Thermoplastic or Metal?
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2014, 09:40:25 PM »
Quote from: Bingles
With the metal, I'm afraid that constant use will damage the paint rather quickly (I see most phones advertised as "powder coat" and not sure how durable that is).  And while I don't mind it eventually gaining some character, I'm afraid I wouldn't know just how good a paint job it was until too late.

Powder coating is a an electrostatic process of "painting" that is probably the most durable form of "painting" there is.  It goes on a little thick looking and is not thought to be entirely original by some.

Personally, I don't have a powder coated phone, but it is not from boycotting, it's just that I have never had an opportunity to buy one.  There could probably be a whole separate conversation about powder coating.

-Bill G

Offline Scotophor

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Re: 302 Thermoplastic or Metal?
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2014, 02:55:47 AM »
Powder coating isn't really a "paint", but once it's completed you can't tell by looking at it. As Bill wrote, it's applied electrostatically. The powder is also baked after application, to melt it into a uniform, smooth surface. Both of these facts mean that typically only metal items are suitable for powder-coating; anything non-conductive will likely not adhere the powder, and anything thermoplastic would probably melt during the baking.

So, what you end up with at the end of the process is essentially a plastic-coated metal item, and the plastics used to make the powder are designed to be flexible enough to be highly chip-resistant.

EDIT:  http://www.powdercoating.org/11/Our-Industry/What-is-Powder-Coating

EDIT: According to the page linked above (added by moderator TelePlay), it is now possible to powder-coat at least some plastics. Contact your powder-coating provider to find out whether your specific desired application is possible or recommended.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2014, 08:52:16 PM by Scotophor »
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Offline Doug Rose

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Re: 302 Thermoplastic or Metal?
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2014, 08:53:04 AM »
I am more than happy with my powder coated metal 302s done by fellow member Scot (persido). A Brown and a Gray, to me they couldn't look any nicer, especially if you could have seen the metal shells!...Doug
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