Author Topic: 1965 WE 500 gold; repaint or not?  (Read 3658 times)

Offline WEBellSystemChristian

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1965 WE 500 gold; repaint or not?
« on: April 08, 2014, 08:25:15 AM »
A few days ago, I purchased a gold 500 on eBay, and there are quite a few scratches and defects in the paint, or as the listing pictures show and the seller describes. It hasn't arrived yet, but I wanted the experts to give me input; should I match the factory coat and try to repaint the housing, handset and dial, or should I clean and polish the factory coat?

http://m.ebay.com/itm/111315034547?txnId=0
Christian Petterson

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

Offline rdelius

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Re: 1965 WE 500 gold; repaint or not?
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2014, 09:37:38 AM »
I would just clean it.It would be hard to duplicate the factory finish with paint

Offline WEBellSystemChristian

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Re: 1965 WE 500 gold; repaint or not?
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2014, 11:04:45 AM »
Yeah, I'm kind of agreeing with you. I read an old topic about how they plated the gold 500s, and it looked a lot more complex than a coat of Rust-Olem. :-\

http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=10596.msg112737#msg112737
« Last Edit: April 08, 2014, 11:07:40 AM by WEBellSystemChristian »
Christian Petterson

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

Offline Sargeguy

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Re: 1965 WE 500 gold; repaint or not?
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2014, 02:12:40 PM »
Definitely lose that cheesy handset cover!
Greg Sargeant
Providence, RI
TCI /ATCA #4409

Offline twocvbloke

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Re: 1965 WE 500 gold; repaint or not?
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2014, 03:06:15 PM »
I'd leave it as is, there are spray paints out there that claim to give a mirrored finish (in gold or chrome), but I doubt they'd result in anything close the original finish... :)

Offline jsowers

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Re: 1965 WE 500 gold; repaint or not?
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2014, 03:35:06 PM »
I have a gold 500 very similar to the one you just bought and a paper towel with denatured alcohol helped clean off the crud without taking any more of the gold flashing off. But you should still test it in an inconspicuous place to be sure. I posted a before and after picture below of the top of my handset. It had the remnants of something that was stuck on and at least I got it back to shiny gold there. Where it was worn off, it was faded white underneath, so it kind of blends in. You don't notice it from far away.
 
On mine they used much newer plastics. The base and dial dated to 1958 but the plastics were from 1967, so they were hard plastic.
 
And yes, by all means, take off the ugly handset cover. I hope it protected the handset from wear. Good luck in your restoration and please post the "after" pictures here.
Jonathan

Offline WEBellSystemChristian

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Re: 1965 WE 500 gold; repaint or not?
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2014, 03:43:31 PM »
Beautiful, beautiful phone! Believe me, the first thing I'll do when I have that phone in my hands is remove that disgusting cover!!! BTW, how did you get that gold "Bell System" dial card?
« Last Edit: April 08, 2014, 03:46:17 PM by WEBellSystemChristian »
Christian Petterson

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

Offline paul-f

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Re: 1965 WE 500 gold; repaint or not?
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2014, 08:21:18 PM »
When faced with similar decisions on relatively scarce sets, I have generally stuck with the guideline of only doing light cleaning and non-abrasive polishing and minor restorations that can be undone in the future.  If I replace damaged parts for display, I keep the original parts.
 
The current state of the phone as you got it represents how it survived many years of use, storage and handling.  That wear and history is also worth preserving as part of a collection, if you enjoy that sort of thing. 
 
In this case, once you paint over the factory finish, it's difficult to go back to the way it is.  If you want a like-new gold freshly painted 500 in your collection, you can start with one that has a more common color faded housing.
 
What ever you decide to do, enjoy it!  It's a great find.
Visit: paul-f.com         WE 500  Design_Line

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Offline baldopeacock

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Re: 1965 WE 500 gold; repaint or not?
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2014, 08:28:34 PM »
It may or may not be the right thing to do, but try a Google search for plastic plating.    Bunch of places can do it.   You may find a local shop that does plastic replating for automobile restoration projects.   There is a DIY process explained in a youtube video, here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czTjYlsct_k

I'm not vouching for that DIY stuff but it's interesting, anyway.

Offline HarrySmith

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Re: 1965 WE 500 gold; repaint or not?
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2014, 09:06:14 PM »
I would have to agree with Paul, just do a light cleaning and polishing on this very rare, very nice piece of telephone history. If you want to try plating a plastic phone, try it on a junker.
Harry Smith
ATCA 4434
TCI

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

Offline WEBellSystemChristian

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Re: 1965 WE 500 gold; repaint or not?
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2014, 10:36:10 PM »
I think I'm going to use Meguiar's Compound and polish (or the equivalent on Novus) on the plastics, just to clean it up enough to remove the light swirl marks. Thank you guys for the input! :) Pictures to come when I get it polished!
Christian Petterson

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

Offline jsowers

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Re: 1965 WE 500 gold; repaint or not?
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2014, 11:12:34 PM »
Beautiful, beautiful phone! Believe me, the first thing I'll do when I have that phone in my hands is remove that disgusting cover!!! BTW, how did you get that gold "Bell System" dial card?

I scanned an original yellow Southern Bell logo card from a friend's Teletrainer phone set. Then I used PhotoShop to change the color to a kind of gold color and several other colors. I put them all on a page in PageMaker and printed them out onto card stock with a color laser printer and cut them out. I don't have a way to print those out from my old G3 Mac to my current printer, so I can PM you the yellow card graphic and maybe you can tweak it to suit yourself.
 
Oftentimes these metallic gold phones were retirement gifts from the phone company to longtime employees, so I thought a logo card would belong there since mine came with no card. Sometimes we see them with plaques on them. Sometimes they were commemorative phones for a phone company milestone. My aunt has a metallic gold keyset she found in the Goodwill for $10. The dial faces in these phones were originally clear and flashed gold from the back.
 
I think Paul put it very well. These phones should be preserved.
Jonathan

Offline WEBellSystemChristian

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Re: 1965 WE 500 gold; repaint or not?
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2014, 11:37:55 PM »
Beautiful, beautiful phone! Believe me, the first thing I'll do when I have that phone in my hands is remove that disgusting cover!!! BTW, how did you get that gold "Bell System" dial card?

My aunt has a metallic gold keyset she found in the Goodwill for $10.
Now that's something I have yet to see! Picture?
Christian Petterson

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

Offline Scotophor

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Re: 1965 WE 500 gold; repaint or not?
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2014, 03:10:34 AM »
There are now paint-like processes that can perfectly duplicate the look of mirror-polished chrome, gold, any "candy" color, etc. on virtually any surface. When complete they are as durable as any automotive paint job. One called Spectra Chrome was used by West Coast Customs for their Tron: Legacy inspired Audi R8 project a few years ago. The processes themselves are complex, multi-step affairs that are typically done by car customizing shops, because the equipment and materials are fairly expensive and the training and skill not easy to come by otherwise. More: House of Kolor, Coat of Chrome.com, Cosmichrome. Believe it or not, the best base color for a chrome-paint process is black. So if you want a gold model 500, start with a black one and polish it up as smooth as you can then have it done in gold! If you have an existing gold 500 you want to restore, first you'll have to strip it and make it shiny. Then if it were my phone, I'd go with a vacuum-metal plating followed by a tough clear coat.
Name: A.J.   Location: LAPNCAXG, EDgewood 6

Offline WEBellSystemChristian

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Re: 1965 WE 500 gold; repaint or not?
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2014, 06:33:16 PM »
I have some good news and bad news:

I removed the finger wheel to polish it, and I stumbled across an original gold painted dial card underneath!

Bad news: the handset cover isn't coming off. I tried heating it, and to no avail. Is there any special trick to taking the handset cover off, or do you think this one is permanently glued on?
Christian Petterson

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