Author Topic: Removing House Paint from Rubber Cords  (Read 807 times)

Alex G. Bell

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Removing House Paint from Rubber Cords
« on: July 19, 2017, 12:08:37 AM »
This category seems like the most appropriate for this question.

I have a WE H3AD 3 conductor straight rubber-jacketed cord for an F1 handset.  Unfortunately it has been painted over with what I guess is probably latex ivory house paint.  Whether latex of not, it's flat, not glossy enamel.

Anyone have experience removing this kind of paint from a rubber cord?  The cord is in excellent condition with absolutely no sign of conductor insulation or jacket cracking even though dated II-50, so I'd like to restore it and put it on a 302 which came to me with a 4-conductor coiled G1 handset cord with cracked jacket crammed in.   Too crude for my tastes even if it were in perfect condition!

The phone is dated 8-38 with a III-38 101A IND.  It has an early capacitor clamp, early ringer mount with 4 large and 4 small holes through the baseplate (rubber shock mounting alive and well), soldered cradle switch lead connections, soldered capacitor spade tips and metal housing with large cradle ears. 

But it has a 10-49 ringer, 1941 HA1 rec. unit, 1953 F1 trans. unit, 5H dial with I-56 164A number plate with "1" still strong (not obviously worn) and 1957 vintage rubber line cord which is also in perfectly good condition, brown 283B plug with grasping ears and molded-in pins.  I don't see any H1 marking or date on the housing.

So it is a phone which was probably serviced in place or refurbished numerous times, but the early base plate design makes it interesting and this rubber H3AD handset cord would serve it well.

I tried naphtha solvent and found it turned the rag black so I know it was removing rubber and seemed to have little effect on the paint.  I'd expect acetone and methyl-ethyl ketone to be as bad or worse.  70% isopropyl alcohol did nothing.  Suggestions?

If there are no photos of this early large ear 302 version on CRPF I will post photos.  I don't know how the base assembly details compare with a small ear 302.  ISTR some early version which had the IND rotated 180º so the winding faced the ringer.

Offline AL_as_needed

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Re: Removing House Paint from Rubber Cords
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2017, 06:40:35 AM »
I have had some luck with a  hot water soak (leaving the contact ends dry of course), or soaking in a small cup of windex. Not 100% sure, but the ammonia in windex helps the paint loosen and lift off.

Although this was on a 60's 500 line cord, so the difference in rubber could yield different results. Most modern latex paints are susceptible to water and will soften. Oil based on the other hand can be more difficult.
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Offline HarrySmith

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Re: Removing House Paint from Rubber Cords
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2017, 08:26:15 AM »
I agree with Al, I have had good luck removing paint from a number of diiferent cords, including rubber ones by simply soaking overnight. Usually wipes right off, but a few I have had to scrub with the rough side of a kitchen sponge, pot scrubber I believe?
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Offline poplar1

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Re: Removing House Paint from Rubber Cords
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2017, 08:54:30 AM »
I have a WE H3AD 3 conductor straight rubber-jacketed cord for an F1 handset.

Neoprene superseded rubber jackets by 1949. New black 302s still had fabric jacketed cords until 1951 or 1952.
  ISTR some early version which had the IND rotated 180º so the winding faced the ringer.

The coils were reversed starting in 9-38. Note that the writing is upside down on all 302s made from 9-38 - 1954.
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.

Offline WEBellSystemChristian

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Re: Removing House Paint from Rubber Cords
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2017, 10:11:00 AM »
If hot water doesn't work, try Denatured Alcohol or Acetone. However, you might want to test the Acetone out on a hidden area first, just to make sure it doesn't take layers of the cord's jacketing with it.
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Alex G. Bell

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Re: Removing House Paint from Rubber Cords
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2017, 02:12:36 PM »
Neoprene superseded rubber jackets by 1949. New black 302s still had fabric jacketed cords until 1951 or 1952.
The coils were reversed starting in 9-38. Note that the writing is upside down on all 302s made from 9-38 - 1954.
I don't know how to distinguish rubber from neoprene so I cannot say which it is.  I use "rubber" as a generic term for both.  Since this phone has a mix of dates and the handset cord is definitely an improvisation that was on there for a long time judging from its condition I suppose these cords are not original.

This phone is dated 8-38 on the baseplate and IND and has the later orientation with the opening in the core/the winding facing the capacitor.  So apparently the change had already occurred by 8-38, at some time before 9-38.

Alex G. Bell

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Re: Removing House Paint from Rubber Cords
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2017, 06:13:12 PM »
I have had some luck with a  hot water soak (leaving the contact ends dry of course), or soaking in a small cup of windex. Not 100% sure, but the ammonia in windex helps the paint loosen and lift off.

Although this was on a 60's 500 line cord, so the difference in rubber could yield different results. Most modern latex paints are susceptible to water and will soften. Oil based on the other hand can be more difficult.
I submerged it in straight ammonia for an hour or two.  That loosened the paint to the point where it came off with little effort by scrubbing with a plastic pot scrubbing pad with no mineral abrasive.  The scrubber rinsed out kind of gray so some small amount of rubber must have come off, but very little.  The cord looks good.

Thanks guys!

Offline TelePlay

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Re: Removing House Paint from Rubber Cords
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2017, 07:10:25 PM »
I submerged it in straight ammonia for an hour or two.  That loosened the paint to the point where it came off with little effort by scrubbing with a plastic pot scrubbing pad with no mineral abrasive.  The scrubber rinsed out kind of gray so some small amount of rubber must have come off, but very little.

That light gray could just be dirt on the cord and not the cord material itself. Ammonia is a great basic cleaning agent. Most soaps and cleaners are alkali based. Of course, soaps aren't as basic as (NH4OH) ammonium hydroxide so the ammonia would work faster. It's a great greaser so some of the gray may have been oils caught in the pores of the cord surface. Being an aqueous solution, I doubt it dissolved the cord.
            John . . .

              

Alex G. Bell

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Re: Removing House Paint from Rubber Cords
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2017, 07:16:31 PM »
That light gray could just be dirt on the cord and not the cord material itself. Ammonia is a great basic cleaning agent. Most soaps and cleaners are alkali based. Of course, soaps aren't as basic as (NH4OH) ammonium hydroxide so the ammonia would work faster. It's a great greaser so some of the gray may have been oils caught in the pores of the cord surface. Being an aqueous solution, I doubt it dissolved the cord.
I agree generally, though dirt seems unlikely since the paint would not adhere well to a dirty cord and the ivory paint looked pretty clean. 

Yes, ammonia is great stuff, I use it for a lot of things, keep a gallon jug of straight ammonia around and I certainly agree it was a much safer choice than a petrochemical or other hydrocarbon based solvent. 

Given the black stain naphtha solvent left on the rag I saw no point in trying acetone.  What rinsed out of the abrasive pad was nothing like that.  May have just been a thin top layer of oxidized rubber removed purely by the abrasion rather than by chemical action.

unbeldi

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Re: Removing House Paint from Rubber Cords
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2017, 07:31:08 PM »
I agree generally, though dirt seems unlikely since the paint would not adhere well to a dirty cord and the ivory paint looked pretty clean. 

Yes, ammonia is great stuff, I use it for a lot of things, keep a gallon jug of straight ammonia around and I certainly agree it was a much safer choice than a petrochemical or other hydrocarbon based solvent. 

Given the black stain naphtha solvent left on the rag I saw no point in trying acetone.  What rinsed out of the abrasive pad was nothing like that.  May have just been a thin top layer of oxidized rubber removed purely by the abrasion rather than by chemical action.

The black residue coming off the cord is very common and not alarming.  I usually use Fantastic kitchen cleaner, same result.

When the cord has dried again from washing, application of KIWI shoe polish (paste, not liquid) restores a nice shine to the cord.  Polish it off with a wool cloth, I usually use an old sock over the hand, it protects the hand from the paste and dye, and makes it easy to pull the cord through for polishing action.
Finally, spray the cord with a fine mist (!) of water and repolish with the same cloth.  This seems to enhance the final gloss.  I have some cords that look almost new after this procedure.


Alex G. Bell

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Re: Removing House Paint from Rubber Cords
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2017, 07:48:35 PM »
The black residue coming off the cord is very common and not alarming.  I usually use Fantastic kitchen cleaner, same result.

When the cord has dried again from washing, application of KIWI shoe polish (paste, not liquid) restores a nice shine to the cord.  Polish it off with a wool cloth, I usually use an old sock over the hand, it protects the hand from the paste and dye, and makes it easy to pull the cord through for polishing action.
Finally, spray the cord with a fine mist (!) of water and repolish with the same cloth.  This seems to enhance the final gloss.  I have some cords that look almost new after this procedure.
Thanks!

Offline trainman

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Re: Removing House Paint from Rubber Cords
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2017, 08:26:33 AM »
Denatured alchohol will soften latex paint.

Sounds like your cord had latex paint on it. I highly doubt oul base would have come off.

Oil base paint, however, dries to a hard film, so maybe years old brittle oil base paint might come off in chunks by simply repeated bending of the cord to break the paint off.

Offline Doug Rose

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Re: Removing House Paint from Rubber Cords
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2017, 09:01:53 AM »
I always use some Citrix stripper with some fine steel wool....Doug
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Victor Laszlo

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Re: Removing House Paint from Rubber Cords
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2017, 05:01:24 PM »
Alex, have you tried using "Goof-Off"?  It's pretty potent stuff, but might work.

Alex G. Bell

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Re: Removing House Paint from Rubber Cords
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2017, 05:40:25 PM »
Alex, have you tried using "Goof-Off"?  It's pretty potent stuff, but might work.
That's a pretty potent solvent.  I'd be afraid of what it might do to rubber. 

Too late to find out what it would do to the paint since it's already removed although not too late to find out whether it would damage the rubber or neoprene (whichever it is).  But since the cord is now on the phone I'll leave that as an exercise for another more diligent student.