Author Topic: Soft Plastic Model 554's  (Read 27581 times)

Offline Jester

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Re: Soft Plastic Model 554's
« Reply #60 on: December 01, 2010, 09:16:30 PM »
I usually don't post pictures or descriptions of my new additions until I go through them & have them on display, but I consider this one special.  I had given up on finding any more 554's in soft plastic this year and had actually started picking up early ABS examples to fill in the holes in my collection.  Then I saw this auction:http://tinyurl.com/29uynlt


As you'll notice when you open the link, the pictures were few & showed almost no detail, but I thought I noticed a large chrome hook on the white one, and the ringer adjustment lever was the "straight" type.  Could this be a white soft plastic 554?

I took a chance & won the auction, & the white one is indeed mostly tenite.  The cover is dated 3 10 59 3, the handset handle is 11 58, the cord is from the same time, transmitter cap is 2 59 & receiver cap is 8 59...definitely ABS.  The rest of the phone is dated between 2/58 & 4/58.  The cover has two tight cracks in the upper righthand corner, but that is the only major damage & the color is still quite good.  Cleanup should not be a problem.
Stephen

Offline Dennis Markham

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Re: Soft Plastic Model 554's
« Reply #61 on: December 01, 2010, 09:41:53 PM »
Nice job on that one Stephen.  That is one of the most difficult colors to find in soft plastic.  It's unusual to see a phone of that vintage with the modular back plate on the back. 

What a great price too.  Congratulations!  

Offline Vern P

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Re: Soft Plastic Model 554's
« Reply #62 on: December 01, 2010, 11:49:06 PM »
Yes congrats on your find. Yes a clean White soft phone is very hard to find. Well that goes for any White phone. White just seam to be over look by a lot of folks.

Vern P

Offline cihensley@aol.com

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Re: Soft Plastic Model 554's
« Reply #63 on: December 02, 2010, 12:09:14 PM »
Here are two suggestions for getting your wall phones off the floor. The first is a display made out of oak that is mounted on a lazy suzy base, so it rotates to display all four sides. The second is an over a door display. It is made of rift sawn oak veneer 1/4 ply with a solid moulding frame. It hangs over a door with two brackets made from 24 gauge metal painted flat black.

Chuck

Offline jsowers

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Re: Soft Plastic Model 554's
« Reply #64 on: December 02, 2010, 12:33:34 PM »
I like those displays, but whatever you do, don't slam the door! ;D

Congratulations. Stephen, on getting one of the harder-to-find soft plastic 554s for a decent price. I totally missed that auction. It already has the backplate on it that you need to go over your window. What luck! Dennis is right--these are rarely seen with modular backplates, but I guess if someone had their hard-wired house made modular, the existing wall phone would be included.

I have found through the ones I've bought and seen that white soft plastic is prone to cracking, and 554s themselves are prone to cracking, so having one or two cracks is par for the course on those. I have also seen unusual crazing on white soft plastic. I don't think it had nearly the tendency to fade to brown as white hard plastic (ABS). Yours looks to be very clean with the original fat handset cord, and it should display nicely.
Jonathan

Offline cchaven

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Re: Soft Plastic Model 554's
« Reply #65 on: December 06, 2010, 02:14:36 PM »
Today I picked up my second cherry red 500, a 554 with plastics dating 7-57 and the base and electronics, including dial, dated 9-57.  It needs to be cleaned up a bit, but there's no damage or cracks or stickers and it still has the original fat handset cord.  Though it has a few kinks in it, the cord isn't stretched out.  It also included the red wood backplate.  Overall it's going to be a nice phone when cleaned up.

Jeff

Offline Jester

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Re: Soft Plastic Model 554's
« Reply #66 on: December 06, 2010, 11:58:32 PM »
That is a very nice find, Jeff.  It will go nicely with your red 500.  If you check the threads, you will find a how-to on how to straighten and even tighten (if needed) your handset cord.  Finding a phone that still has the original color matched wooden mounting plate is really special!  Post some pics. when you can.
Stephen

Offline cchaven

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Re: Soft Plastic Model 554's
« Reply #67 on: December 09, 2010, 02:56:49 PM »
Here's a picture of the cherry red '57 554 and it's 172B backing board.  I've only done light cleaning on the 554 so far but even the open fingerwheel is in nice shape.

Jeff

Offline jsowers

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Re: Soft Plastic Model 554's
« Reply #68 on: December 09, 2010, 03:57:10 PM »
I'm sure there are several ways to get paint spots and marks off soft plastic, but what I use is DuPont white polishing compound (pictured below) bought from a mom and pop car parts place near my house that specializes in painting supplies. It may not be available any longer. It has a solvent in it that doesn't harm soft plastic and a mild abrasive that gets off embedded dirt. You have to wipe it off with a damp cloth after it dries, similar to what you'd do to a car finish. Then polish with Novus 2 and it looks great.

That's a very nice red 554 you have, and the backboard is nice to have too. I think by 1958 or so that all backboards were plastic. Of course, what was in the installer's truck is what went up on the wall. So something saved from earlier times might be on a later phone.

Early 554s more than most any other phone suffer from paint splashes because they were screwed to the wall. Sometimes it's really bad on the edges of the housing.
Jonathan

Offline Dennis Markham

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Re: Soft Plastic Model 554's
« Reply #69 on: December 09, 2010, 04:05:13 PM »
Very nice phone, Jeff.  One of my favorites.  I have a couple dated from Valentine's Day that year.  The wooden backboard is nice too.  They are difficult to find.  I have one (wooden) in black, yellow and red.  I'd like to find others.

Offline Jester

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Re: Soft Plastic Model 554's
« Reply #70 on: January 09, 2011, 01:15:30 PM »
Below are pictures of my very last auction find for 2010.  It seems fitting to me that it is a 554, since my big effort all year was to find as many of the different colors this phone came in as I could.  My reward for this effort has been to find nine different colors this year, bringing my total to thirteen.  As a bonus, nine of them have all soft plastic parts on the outside.  This latest one is soft plastic, but painted.  My reason for wanting it-- the plastics are Oxford Gray under all that light gray paint.  I can also use the 7C-61 dial & lt. gray handset cord & backboard on another project, so this was a great buy overall.

http://tinyurl.com/38dt3u9
« Last Edit: January 09, 2011, 01:20:09 PM by Jester »
Stephen

Offline baldopeacock

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Re: Soft Plastic Model 554's
« Reply #71 on: January 09, 2011, 02:38:08 PM »
I saw this auction and wondered if it was Oxford Gray under the light gray.   Major win for YOU!   Congrats.   This has to be a rarity.

Offline Jester

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Re: Soft Plastic Model 554's
« Reply #72 on: January 09, 2011, 09:36:08 PM »
As can be seen in the pictures, there will be a good amount of work involved to uncover the dark color on the plastics.  Another concern when cleaning up a phone like this one is finding the missing parts in the same color as what's under the paint.  Considering how tough it's been for Dennis to find a replacement bezel for his dark gray 500, I'm not even hoping for one.  Instead, I'm trying to find a 95B dial blank.  I spotted one in dark gray in Cyberland, but the two inquiries I've made concerning it's availability have gone unanswered so far.  I do have a couple other parts that will go a long way toward making this one look good-- a spare curly handset cord & a 172B-52 backboard!  If I can't get the dial blank, I have one in another color I can paint.  Oh, & a chrome number retainer to finish the look.
Stephen

Offline Dennis Markham

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Re: Soft Plastic Model 554's
« Reply #73 on: January 09, 2011, 10:15:52 PM »
Stephen, that is a great find with that phone.  As I mentioned in my email to you the other day, I had seen the phone but thought it was a black one painted Light Gray.  You were smart to take a change with it.  Congratulations.

That backboard and coiled cord are both Dark Gray?  You've had those for a while?

I did buy a NOS dark gray coiled handset cord from Steve Hilsz six or eight months ago.  I didn't really have an application for it but was saving it for the day when I find an Oxford Gray 554.  One of these days....

That is a dilemma about the dial bezel.  I hadn't thought of that.  If it were a Model 500 you could make a "black dial" set out of it.  I thought of doing it with my Dark Gray 500 with the damaged bezel, but for now it "displays well" as they say. 

That will be a fun project for you.  Hopefully that paint is not Polane and the Easy Off oven cleaner will remove the paint.  Have you determined yet if it's Polane?

Offline Jester

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Re: Soft Plastic Model 554's
« Reply #74 on: January 09, 2011, 11:34:47 PM »
Dennis,
I've had the extra handset cord since early last year, when I swapped it for a straight black cord on my twotone gray 500.  I got the backboard about two months ago with my soft red 554.  I almost offered it to Vern P., but I couldn't think of anything I needed in trade.  I also thought "Nah, maybe I'll need it."  I guess I did.

It looks like the paint is polane.  Oh well, I've been there before.
Stephen