Author Topic: AE D1 Continental clone? project  (Read 5290 times)

Offline TelePlay

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AE D1 Continental clone? project
« on: July 05, 2014, 08:45:12 PM »
Picked this up at a yard sale today for $6.50. They wanted $7.50 but I talked them out of a buck because the cloth cord at the 4 prong connector was frayed. They wouldn't go to $5.

The inside is in very good condition except for some gold paint over spray in places. The dial sticks but that can be easily fixed. The base has all the parts but needs new suede/felt.

What is it? If WE, it might have been a continental but the paint is not factory and the phone as assembled is not WE. Did someone paint an AE version of a D1? Seems to have been improperly plugged directly into the line without a subset. No cheater R/C circuit inside either.

Base:  II 37 in vermillion inside, D1 USA on the back
Dial: AE but can't read the smudged markings
Handset: F1W hollow core stamped 61 on the receiver end
Receiver: HA1 dated 5-9-52-1
Transmitter: F1 dated 2/56
Transmitter cap: Dated 6-51 in vermillion inside the cap

Cloth cords are in overall good condition except for the easily fixed line cord connector end.
     The line cord retainer is stamped 5-6 D3AL and T 48;
     The handset cord retainer is stamped 5-6 D3AL and T 50.

Seems to be a refurb with parts and then painted? I don't know. Only guessing. Hoping the AE experts can help out here.

I seem to keep picking up these orphaned projects in need of much work. I think the sellers keep them under the table and bring them out only when they see me coming. Is this worth the time, effort and money to clean it up?

xzzx-aed1-xzzx
« Last Edit: July 07, 2014, 10:06:17 PM by TelePlay »
            John . . .

              

Offline poplar1

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Re: AE D1 Continental clone? project
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2014, 09:05:04 PM »
These hot wired WE 202 telephones with AE dials were sold by retailers such as Grand Com and Metropolitan Teletronics in NYC.
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.

Offline TelePlay

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Re: AE D1 Continental clone? project
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2014, 09:43:48 PM »
These hot wired WE 202 telephones with AE dials were sold by retailers such as Grand Com and Metropolitan Teletronics in NYC.

So, all I need is a WE dial with a black finger wheel, a nice F1 handset, a subset, some paint remover, paint and a piece of felt/suede to bring it "back from the dead?"

I can do that if you think it is worth it.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2014, 12:04:12 PM by TelePlay »
            John . . .

              

Offline TelePlay

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Re: AE D1 Continental clone? project
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2014, 12:06:34 PM »
Upon dis-assembly for paint removal, I noticed they really slammed the paint job through the process. Didn't even take the elements out first.

Cheap paint, too. Coming right off with Citri-Strip.
            John . . .

              

Offline WEBellSystemChristian

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Re: AE D1 Continental clone? project
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2014, 03:43:05 PM »
How many lazy telephone retailers does it take to unscrew a handset cap? None, they won't even bother to. ;D

At least the paint is coming off easily. Whenever I get a repainted phone (usually made of plastic), the paint is polane most of the time. Polane has become my enemy... >:(
Christian Petterson

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

Offline TelePlay

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Re: AE D1 Continental clone? project
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2014, 10:03:18 PM »
Well, the gold paint is gone from the F1W handset but it seems whomever painted it first blasted it with something to take the shine off of the bakelite to both create greater paint adhesion and to give the gold finish a pebble finish. 

I will most likely be putting a good  F1 on this D1 but this handset will give me a chance to try a few things to restore it to its original surface, if possible. Can't make it any worse, right?
            John . . .

              

Offline TelePlay

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Re: AE D1 Continental clone? project
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2014, 11:57:00 PM »
Had a few minutes tonight so did a quick pass of two applications on one side of the handset to see what would happen. Quite encouraged by the results after only about 10 minutes of work on the handset.

Obviously, need more of step 1 to get rid of the uneven surface before applying step 2 to create the gloss finish. No oils, waxes or polishes were applies to the improved handset. Both pictures are of the same side, before on top and after below. Will go over it again tomorrow to try and get a mirror like original finish.

The top photo is of the back side which was not worked on, the bottom photo was the other side which improved with a few minutes of work. The bakelite restoration process I am using looks promising.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2014, 08:43:09 AM by TelePlay »
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Offline TelePlay

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Re: AE D1 Continental clone? project
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2014, 09:35:19 PM »
Put another 5 minutes into the flat left to center of one side of the handset. Use a combination of techniques already reported on the forum under Bakelite restoration. Getting the rounded areas shiny would take a bit more work and I will do that if the flat test area works out to my liking.

The top photo is the untouched side as it looked after stripping off the gold paint. Dull and pitted.

The bottom photo is near complete, at least in the flat left to center of the other side, the side being worked on.

I think I can get it to a mirror finish without using wax, polish or oils with a third step, call it the mirror finish step, yet to be tried by me for lack of time each evening. This is nothing more than mechanical transformation after no more than 15 minutes of processing.

The shiny Bakelite is just that, shiny Bakelite. It would be permanent as seen unless acted upon by a harsh chemical or a lot of use. I made the photos large enough (pixel size) so you can zoom into both to see the detail of the pits near lack of defects on the processed side.
            John . . .

              

unbeldi

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Re: AE D1 Continental clone? project
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2014, 09:57:45 PM »
.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2017, 10:59:43 AM by unbeldi »

Offline TelePlay

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Re: AE D1 Continental clone? project
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2014, 10:54:35 PM »
Ah, I knew I forgot to type something.

  1 )  If painted, first, remove the paint. I used Citri-Strip, two applications did it for this handset. I use aircraft paint remover for tougher paints.
  1a) If not painted, start with next step. 
  2 )  I go over the phone with 000 steel wool and Brasso as many times as needed to clean the Bakelite surface.
  3 )  I hand sand the Bakelite using 800 grit wet/dry sandpaper using Brasso as the wetting agent.
  4 )  I sand an area until the Brasso dries out and becomes a black paste like coating on the Bakelite
  5 )  I then use a Ryobie orbital buffer to remove the Brasso paste.
  6 )  I repeat the sanding process (Steps 3, 4 & 5) until the surface is smooth or as smooth as desired.
  7 )  I use a cotton wheel with red polishing compound on a 3400 rpm buffer
  8 )  I buff in different directions each time I add compound to the wheel.
  9 )  When looking well polished but still a bit dull, I move over to a white polishing compound with a different cotton wheel
10)  Again, I buff in different directions each time I apply more compound.
11)  When satisfied, I wipe the buffing dust off with a clean cotton rag and that's what you see in the picture.

The third process step, which I haven't tried yet, is to go to a polishing compound designed for plastic and a softer wheel which may put a gloss finish on what is seen in these photos. I start with 800 grit sandpaper. It may be quicker to start with 600 and move up to 800 or even 1000 before heading to the buffer. EDIT #1 - Stay away from 600 grit, start with 800, period. EDIT #2 - 600 grit dry sandpaper works well to get rid of most of the pit highs and can be used until nearing what you want or expect to be the final surface. It does leave the Bakelite dull from the grit but that is easily removed with the 800 grit/Brasso wet sanding. The 600 grit dry reduces the amount of time needed to get to a smooth finish.

The bottom picture shows very minor pitting which could be removed with more sanding before buffing. It's a question of what you want, what you are satisfied with. You can always go back to the sandpaper if you don't like what you see after buffing.

Any Brasso on the sandpaper will re-liquify simply by adding another small portion of fresh Brasso to the paper. I simply hold the paper over the Brasso can opening, shake it once, and that is enough to wet the paper for a few minutes of hand sanding. Water does not work with this process and the handset does get warm to very warm when buffing.

It's a lot easier and quicker to do that to type the process. I just did the right side of the bottom picture in about 10 minutes.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2014, 06:13:52 PM by TelePlay »
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Offline TelePlay

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Re: AE D1 Continental clone? project
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2014, 01:45:41 AM »
I still have a question as to what I have here. The base has D1 and USA underneath where it should be but the normal stamped patent info is not around the back bottom of the base. And, after taking off the gold, it seems this base was never painted black, or it was bead blasted off before being painted gold. It appears to be a lighter metal,  maybe aluminum. Can anyone shed any light on this?
            John . . .

              

unbeldi

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Re: AE D1 Continental clone? project
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2014, 07:08:25 AM »
.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2017, 11:00:02 AM by unbeldi »

unbeldi

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Re: AE D1 Continental clone? project
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2014, 07:45:01 AM »
I still have a question as to what I have here. The base has D1 and USA underneath where it should be but the normal stamped patent info is not around the back bottom of the base. And, after taking off the gold, it seems this base was never painted black, or it was bead blasted off before being painted gold. It appears to be a lighter metal,  maybe aluminum. Can anyone shed any light on this?

Those are the two varieties of D1 bodies, D1 with USA mark on Al Zn body, or D1 with patent info around rim on Zn Al body. The Al housings are thought to be the earlier ones.  Your housing appears to be marked 'II 37' though, am I reading that correctly?

If the paint job was a factory job, it would most surely have had a primer coating under the finish. It wasn't until much later that paint technology was advanced enough that separate primers weren't needed. Black housings weren't just painted, but coated by Japanning, until the mid-30s. Thereafter it was a backed-on enamel.


[PS: corrected Al/Zn confusion]
« Last Edit: July 10, 2014, 12:46:52 PM by unbeldi »

Offline TelePlay

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Re: AE D1 Continental clone? project
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2014, 08:55:41 AM »
Those are the two varieties of D1 bodies, D1 with USA mark on Al body, . . .  Your housing appears to be marked 'II 37' though, am I reading that correctly?

Yes, the inside has a vermilion II 37 with spotty areas of gold overspray. I will post a picture tonight of the inside with everything removed. And, thanks for the Al info. I knew there were two types but other than their weight, didn't know of the marking differences.

If the paint job was a factory job, it would most surely have had a primer coating under the finish. It wasn't until much later that paint technology was advanced enough that separate primers weren't needed.

If you look at the first photo posted above, in the first topic post, you will see a large area of grey above the dial. This was as received. The gold paint had come completely off. That is not a grey primer either. That is the aluminum metal. The gold paint that was left on the phone was a very thin coat and while stripping it off, did not see any instance of a primer. Most of it came off easily. Some of it trapped in pores of the metal took a bit more work. So, based on what you said, whomever created this hotwired phone must have stripped off the original paint and primer and put what seems to be a thin coat of almost metallic gold on the base and cradle. I will post photos of the inside and the outside after stripping tonight.
            John . . .

              

Offline poplar1

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Re: AE D1 Continental clone? project
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2014, 11:32:46 AM »
The D1s with patent dates on the outside rim are the earlier ones (1930-c.1934). These are always aluminum. 
"D1 USA" without patent dates are later. Most of these are zinc (1936-1939), but there are some aluminum ones c. 1935.
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.