Author Topic: Aqua Blue '58 WE500  (Read 609 times)

Offline Pourme

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Aqua Blue '58 WE500
« on: September 08, 2017, 04:47:27 PM »
Bought on EBAY for $39.95 + $12.05 shipping, I first documented the purchase here:

http://tinyurl.com/y8vgx94b

I thought I'd start a thread here to document the restoration process.

It came in today.

All original numbers matching and working.

7C dial dated 5/58 with a 62 paint code & open center finger wheel. Handset 5/58, receiver 5/28/58, transmitter 5/28/58, ringer 5/58, network 6/58,base 6/58, handset cord 58, Line cord 59. Why is line cord 59? Was that put on when it was installed months later? 

Only markings inside the case is 17D, it has clear plungers. Not soft plastic (no smell), must be Tenite? 

A good clean up, crack repair, polishing is in order!

Is this type of "plastic" and this color best treated with the bleach method, or maybe peroxide? The crack on this material will respond to Acetone as Christian and I discussed in the above linked conversation? I don't want to use the incorrect treatment on the wrong case material. Any suggestions are welcome my first time dealing with a phone in this material and color.

This phone wasn't on my radar, although I had it on my watch list, I didn't think I would bid until I saw that I had no obvious competition for the auction's last few minutes. I guess 3:30pm East coast time isn't the ideal time of day to end a auction. In the end I was the only bidder and bought it for the min bid. Hours of browsing EBAY pays off every so often!

Benny
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Re: Aqua Blue '58 WE500
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2017, 06:26:29 PM »
Nice. Is it soft or hard plastic?

Offline Pourme

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Re: Aqua Blue '58 WE500
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2017, 06:48:55 PM »
I can't determine for sure, it don't smell like cheese & there are no stamps inside just the molded numbers in the picture.
Benny

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Offline WEBellSystemChristian

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Re: Aqua Blue '58 WE500
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2017, 08:48:45 PM »
Great catch! Now I wish I kinda wish I had challenged you on that auction... ;)

The line cord may have been the standard, shorter length, but the customer may have requested a longer cord a short time after it was installed. When dates line up so closely like this, don't try focusing on the smallest imperfect details like I do--good luck finding a better one at that price! :) My '59 has
 repaired transmitter cap that was shattered in shipping, and was re-painted Aqua sometime down the line.

Usually, the darker colors smell the cheesiest. Mahogany Brown, Oxford Gray, and Black all reek in soft plastic. The lighter colors never smell. Trust me, this one is Tenite! If you want to be sure, test some Denatured Alcohol on the plastic somewhere. If it doesn't affect it at all, it's ABS; If it alters the plastic in any way (frosting, melting, etc) it's Tenite.
Christian Petterson

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Offline jsowers

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Re: Aqua Blue '58 WE500
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2017, 08:56:33 PM »
Normally the ABS hard plastic housings have a circle mark molded into the plastic where your picture shows the number, so this is likely Tenite (soft plastic). That circle mark would be something like C62 or C60, the numbers indicating the year it was made. In the last half of 1959 they still stamped the date on the inside front edge of the housing and those were ABS hard plastic, or most of them, and I'm referring to colors and not black. Benny, are you sure there's not even a hint of a stamped date on the inside front edge of the housing? Take it out in the sunlight tomorrow and see if you can tell. With everything else dating to 1958 except the mounting cord, I feel sure the housing is original. And it's the same color as the other plastics.

You can try tapping the housing with a fingernail while it sits on a countertop. A dull tap usually means soft plastic. Also try tapping a newer 1960s or 70s phone you know is hard plastic. There should be a difference in the sound and hard plastic has a sharper, harder sound to it because it's less pliable. Sometimes you can even tell by the sound the handset makes on the cradle when hanging up. Soft plastic almost makes a thud sound.

I did see this phone when it was listed, but wasn't interested because of the crack in the back. I'm glad you got it and I look forward to seeing your work on it.
Jonathan

Offline Pourme

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Re: Aqua Blue '58 WE500
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2017, 09:05:06 PM »
I'll take it out tomorrow and inspect it closely.... I know what you mean by the sound of the case. I'll experiment with it tomorrow. Thanks.
Benny

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Offline Pourme

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Re: Aqua Blue '58 WE500
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2017, 09:34:48 PM »
Curiosity got the best of me, I had to look. I used a light and a magnifying glass and you are right. Barely I can see " 5 28 59 58 " maybe tomorrow I can photograph it in the daylight. I'm positive it's  there, just don't know if I'll be able to document it in a photograph.
Thanks for encouraging me to look harder, jsowers!

Christian, I rubbed some denatured alcohol on the inside of the case and all it done was clean it a little, otherwise nothing. Must be ABS?

Edit: After experimenting with a '49 302 black case and this one, I'm convensed this is ABS, denatured alcohol doesn't phase it at all. I could do a you tube video tomorrow to show you how it reacts. The handset  is the same as is the receiver cap, the transmitter cap acts like tenite and is stamped 5/58 although it's kinda blurred. More tomorrow.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2017, 09:34:57 AM by Pourme »
Benny

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Offline Pourme

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Re: Aqua Blue '58 WE500
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2017, 09:46:28 PM »
Christian, I found your conversation on dates and tenite and ABS plastics. If this is true would this be a especially early ABS?

http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=16386.msg169719#msg169719
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Offline RotarDad

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Re: Aqua Blue '58 WE500
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2017, 12:12:49 AM »
Mid-'59 would be the general crossover point, so your shell certainly could be ABS.  It appears that an installer changed the line cord and put on a shiny new shell at the same time, hence the '59 dates on those two parts.   Christian may have additional details - he's got a great memory, and has scrutinized quite a few of these phones.
Paul

Offline Pourme

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Re: Aqua Blue '58 WE500
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2017, 09:37:28 AM »
I made a correction on the case date it is dated "58" not 59. I was sleepy last night.

I measured the line cord it is 9 feet long. Perhaps it was exchanged for a longer cord after the fact.
Benny

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Offline Pourme

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Re: Aqua Blue '58 WE500
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2017, 02:59:49 PM »
I tried to photograph the date on the case. I seems Steve Jobs didn't envision this type of photography when he created the camera that I was using.

Today I began sanding the case and handset and caps.  600 was the choice on the various scratches and deep gouges. I finished off today with 800 grit. I'm sufficiently tired and achy after that.

I'm happy with the results so far. The faded color is gone and the surface gouges are 99% gone.

I love adding a new color to the sea of black 500's (which I love) in my collection. If I were born in May of 1958 this would be a wonderful "Birthday Phone"....but I wasn't.

More updates as warranted! 

Benny
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Re: Aqua Blue '58 WE500
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2017, 08:11:53 PM »
Ah. Finally we see a photo of the caps. They have no middle hole, ergo soft plastic.

Offline LarryInMichigan

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Re: Aqua Blue '58 WE500
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2017, 10:51:12 PM »
The phone is looking nice.  I trust that it will be looking as good as new is no time.

There was a short transition period in the latter part of 1959 where ABS plastic was used in the same molds as the tenite.  The receiver caps has six holes, and there were dates printed inside the front of the shell. 


Larry

Offline WEBellSystemChristian

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Re: Aqua Blue '58 WE500
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2017, 11:14:22 PM »
Great progress, Benny! ;)

Ah. Finally we see a photo of the caps. They have no middle hole, ergo soft plastic.
Not necessarily.

The official changeover to center holes for WE seems to be January 1960. Handsets and caps started to change to ABS starting around May 1959, eight months earlier.

The "center hole rule' is simply a way of being able to tell whether or not you have an earlier--or 1950s--500.
Christian Petterson

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Offline Pourme

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Re: Aqua Blue '58 WE500
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2017, 09:39:44 AM »
I posted a video to You Tube to demonstrate the reaction of the case, Handset and the caps to denatured alcohol. I believe the handset and case are ABS and the caps are Tenite. Take a look.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cqNZp5XPaY

Benny

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