Author Topic: 1956 Ivory Western Electric 500 Finished!!!  (Read 1374 times)

Offline WEBellSystemChristian

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1956 Ivory Western Electric 500 Finished!!!
« on: October 08, 2014, 10:56:18 PM »
Almost a year ago, I bought a 1956 WE 500 in ivory for $9.99 on eBay, in hopes of restoring it. The thing that irritated me to death is, the plastics were from 1983 and modularized. When I opened it up, I was surprised at how new the chassis looked, and it still has the fuzziest original feet and 2nd cleanest base of all of my 500 collection (yes, I did spend an evening checking every base on my phone shelf). ;D Since then, I've added 1972 plastics from a donor phone, and it looked pretty good.

I was starting to get tired of seeing the one part of the phone that gave it away as having replaced parts; the handset cord. I started falling in love with matching straight handset cords on ivory 500s, and found out that they were standard until about late 1956. My phone was built January 1956. You guys can see where this is going...
I decided to make a straight ivory cord!

Of course, I wouldn't use an original WE straight cord, so I made one out of a four conductor line cord and handset 'boot'. Since I couldn't find any of my trusty vinyl paint in a color anywhere close to ivory locally, my dad had the idea of using regular ivory paint, but apply acetone to the cord first. I used Goof-Off to give the cord a little bit of grit, just so the paint has something to 'hold on' to. I used a type of paint that I found out later Unbeldi used to paint a metal 302,  Ivory Satin Silk.
After 24 hours, unlike what the can said, the paint was still quite a bit sticky, even though it was pretty much cured. Of all things, my dad had the idea of using Corn Starch to coat the cord to get rid of the stickiness, and it worked well!   Even though the cord is dry to the touch, it still likes to stick to the table, so I have a sheet of wax paper under it until it dries.

So, whadya guys think?!?  :)

Previous topic: http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=10386.msg110336#msg110336
« Last Edit: October 08, 2014, 11:13:26 PM by WEBellSystemChristian »
Christian Petterson

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

Offline tallguy58

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Re: 1956 Ivory Western Electric 500 Finished!!!
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2014, 08:18:58 AM »
Looks great.

I hope it stands up over time.
Cheers........Bill

Offline WEBellSystemChristian

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Re: 1956 Ivory Western Electric 500 Finished!!!
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2014, 09:14:14 AM »
Looks great.

I hope it stands up over time.
Me too. It probably wouldn't hold up very well if it was a daily driver, but it looks nice as a display item that's rarely ever used.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2014, 09:21:11 AM by WEBellSystemChristian »
Christian Petterson

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

Offline Kenton K

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Re: 1956 Ivory Western Electric 500 Finished!!!
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2014, 10:58:47 AM »
Lovely! By using the line cord as a handset cord, how do you get the leads in the base long enough? do you have to move the cord restraint?

Offline WEBellSystemChristian

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  • Grandpa's 1955 Western Electric 500
Re: 1956 Ivory Western Electric 500 Finished!!!
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2014, 11:07:20 AM »
Lovely! By using the line cord as a handset cord, how do you get the leads in the base long enough? do you have to move the cord restraint?
For some reason, the cord restraint on the base is already moved about 2 inches in front of the end of the cord jacket, and the conductors have about an inch of free space.  This means I have about 3 inches of the cord on the inside of the base. I almost broke a spade terminal trying to stretch the conductors to the network, since I had such a small amount of cord to work with! :D
Christian Petterson

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

Offline poplar1

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Re: 1956 Ivory Western Electric 500 Finished!!!
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2014, 01:53:40 PM »
Can you move the cord stay? Original handset cord was only 4' 0" between the stays; line cord was 5' 6."
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.

Offline Kenton K

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Re: 1956 Ivory Western Electric 500 Finished!!!
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2014, 02:32:47 PM »
I have Moved the cord stay before. You just need to be careful with the pliers.

Offline WEBellSystemChristian

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  • Grandpa's 1955 Western Electric 500
Re: 1956 Ivory Western Electric 500 Finished!!!
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2014, 08:02:19 PM »
Can you move the cord stay? Original handset cord was only 4' 0" between the stays; line cord was 5' 6."
It was already glued in place when I was trying to install the cord.
Christian Petterson

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