Author Topic: More Denatured Alcohol Success  (Read 597 times)

Offline WEBellSystemChristian

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3468
  • Grandpa's 1955 Western Electric 500
More Denatured Alcohol Success
« on: February 19, 2017, 03:03:15 PM »
I bought this Med Blue on eBay about a year ago. Everything except for the cords and dial mech were there, and the only major flaw in the plastic was a corner crack, which was repaired very nicely with Acetone. I don't have any 'before' shots, but the plastic was pretty typical for an aged soft plastic 500; it was a little dull, and the dial bezel and handset were pretty faded.

The plastic was intact enough that attacking it with sandpaper was unnecessary, and also would take a long time to sand the dullness away (plastic surface develops a slight waxy coating over time that clogs 2000 grit too easily). This was just after I discovered using DA on Tenite, so I decided to give it a try.

The dull surface polished itself after a few seconds of wiping with DA, and the waxy coating turned to powder on the surface along with other impurities. Some of the plastic is removed, but most of it seems to recycle itself back into the surface. Some of the fading in the handset was removed after DA, even though it doesn't seem like much plastic was removed. Maybe DA considers smoke-or sun-damaged Tenite flawed? I swear it has a mind of its own... :o

The trick to providing the glossy surface is how you stop polishing. I used to think that the best way was to stop while the paper towel is still soaking wet and let the remaining alcohol on the surface air dry, but I discovered that this method creates swirl marks in the plastic. The best way is to continue polishing until the paper towel is almost completely dry, and the plastic surface is dull. After polishing with Novus or Meguiar's, the polished surface appears very rapidly. If you tried polishing the aged, dull plastic without DA, it would take you far longer, and the surface would still look pretty grainy.

I was almost done with this, but I forgot to polish the back of the housing, which I finished today.
Here she is!
« Last Edit: February 19, 2017, 03:11:07 PM by WEBellSystemChristian »
Christian Petterson

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

Offline cihensley@aol.com

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 656
Re: More Denatured Alcohol Success
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2017, 04:53:22 PM »
Well done.

Chuck

Offline Dennis Markham

  • VintageRotaryPhones.com
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5612
    • VintageRotaryPhones.com
Re: More Denatured Alcohol Success
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2017, 10:03:54 PM »
Looks very nice, Christian.  I may give that a try one of these days.  I'll start out practicing on one of the many black phones I have in my dungeon.  Nice job!