Author Topic: Tenite Chemical Polishing--My Guide  (Read 1343 times)

Offline Pourme

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Re: Tenite Chemical Polishing--My Guide
« Reply #15 on: September 16, 2017, 08:06:35 AM »
I think I will do my prized 9/52 birthday 500 phone today. I'll post!
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Offline cloyd

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Re: Tenite Chemical Polishing--My Guide
« Reply #16 on: September 16, 2017, 11:42:42 AM »
NOTE: This will NOT work on ABS or Bakelite, and either may not work on or will damage other types of plastic. I have only successfully experimented on Tenite made by Western Electric and Automatic Electric. You also should not use this method for dial bezels on WE500s or AE80s.
Is there a definitive test to determine which type of plastic a phone is made out of?

I am anxious to try this method!  Are AE183 space-makers made of tenite?

Tina
« Last Edit: September 16, 2017, 11:50:25 AM by cloyd »
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Offline cloyd

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Re: Tenite Chemical Polishing--My Guide
« Reply #17 on: September 16, 2017, 11:47:17 AM »
Thanks!

That was actually a spot of dirt that didn't come off when I polished that side. What you see is a bump that was caused by the dirt shielding the plastic underneath from melting. The surrounding plastic melted, but that didn't. I'll have to touch it up with some sandpaper, then redo it with Alcohol.

It would pay to clean the phone first then?  Let me see if I have the correct sequence of events.
1. Clean  2. chemical sanding  3. peroxide or bleach  4. polishing.
Let me know if this isn't correct.

Tina
-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- 1885

Offline Pourme

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Re: Tenite Chemical Polishing--My Guide
« Reply #18 on: September 16, 2017, 12:11:38 PM »
It would pay to clean the phone first then?  Let me see if I have the correct sequence of events.
1. Clean  2. chemical sanding  3. peroxide or bleach  4. polishing.
Let me know if this isn't correct.

Tina
Is there a definitive test to determine which type of plastic a phone is made out of?

I am anxious to try this method!  Are AE183 space-makers made of tenite?

Tina

I don't mean to speak for Christian, he will speak for himself. I'm not sure about your 183. Put some Denatured alcohol on a cloth and rub it on a spot on the inside of the case. If it is tenite some color may come off on the cloth. The space you rubbed will feel tacky before it dries. If it is ABS it will only feel wet, as if you used water.

I just finished my second case in two days. I cleaned the case with soap & water. I rub it down with DA. Use a lint free cloth, a quality paper towel works best.  If there are deep scratches keep the towel wet as you rub the scratches out. If the scratch still shows, even while polishing you can return to the DA on that spot only and resume polishing. I use compound, Novus2, Novus1 and I don't use any bleach or anything else.

This is a miracle treatment for Tenite (soft plastic) Good luck!

Benny

« Last Edit: September 16, 2017, 12:15:30 PM by Pourme »
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Offline Pourme

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Re: Tenite Chemical Polishing--My Guide
« Reply #19 on: September 16, 2017, 12:24:53 PM »
I just finished my 9/52 500. It has a '56 case, unfortunately. I had already polished it considerably and it didn't look too bad. This method yields results that are in whole other class. This 60 year old case may not have looked this good when it was new!
It took me less than a hour.

My 9/52 WE wall phone is next! Oh...Christian, the earlier mentioned "fat" cord is going on this Birthday phone, original or not...it's on a dowel baking in the sun right now. It will look really good on this "new" case!

Benny
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Offline cloyd

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Re: Tenite Chemical Polishing--My Guide
« Reply #20 on: September 16, 2017, 12:50:43 PM »
I don't mean to speak for Christian, he will speak for himself. I'm not sure about your 183. Put some Denatured alcohol on a cloth and rub it on a spot on the inside of the case. If it is tenite some color may come off on the cloth. The space you rubbed will feel tacky before it dries. If it is ABS it will only feel wet, as if you used water.

I just finished my second case in two days. I cleaned the case with soap & water. I rub it down with DA. Use a lint free cloth, a quality paper towel works best.  If there are deep scratches keep the towel wet as you rub the scratches out. If the scratch still shows, even while polishing you can return to the DA on that spot only and resume polishing. I use compound, Novus2, Novus1 and I don't use any bleach or anything else.

This is a miracle treatment for Tenite (soft plastic) Good luck!

Benny
Benny,
So if you have a white WE500 that is discolored like I do, you would only need to do this chemical sanding then polishing and it reveals the original color?
Tina
-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- 1885

Offline Pourme

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Re: Tenite Chemical Polishing--My Guide
« Reply #21 on: September 16, 2017, 01:19:00 PM »
I have never treated any color other than black. Is it PVC or Tenite?

Christian may have used it on color sets.
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Offline WEBellSystemChristian

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Re: Tenite Chemical Polishing--My Guide
« Reply #22 on: September 16, 2017, 01:23:54 PM »
Wow, great results, Benny! I'm glad you're excited about this! Keep posting results!

Tina;

You are correct about the steps, but I would do any bleaching after chemical polishing. The Alcohol removes that thin oxidized layer of plastic along with any other plastic that is rough or uneven, and the most heavily faded or discolored plastic that you would need to bleach is removed in this step. You're still left with a little bit of lightly faded plastic underneath that oxidation, but the peroxide or bleach no longer needs to soak through the rough initial layer to get to the deeper fading.

Chemical Polishing isn't like sanding--it only removes as much plastic as it needs to get the finish perfectly glossy, but only on a relatively smooth surface to begin with. Sanding would inevitability get you to the original color, but UV fading usually goes so deep that it would be a better idea to peroxide or bleach. In short, Chemical Sanding before color restoring will quicken the bleaching or peroxide process.

I'm not sure about your 183. I believe they were made of both ABS and Tenite, and switched to ABS around 1961 or 1962. An Alcohol test can't hurt--I used this method on a Tenite Ivory AE80, it worked just as well as it does for WE Tenite.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2017, 09:53:15 AM by WEBellSystemChristian »
Christian

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Offline Pourme

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Re: Tenite Chemical Polishing--My Guide
« Reply #23 on: September 16, 2017, 04:08:13 PM »
The 1st pic is phone #3 treated with DE.

Then, after my Birthday phone the 9/52 500 was done and had it's newly assigned handset cord attached...It looked so good I just had to post it's finished "Glamour Shot"!

Thanks again for the process, Christian!
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Offline Pourme

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Re: Tenite Chemical Polishing--My Guide
« Reply #24 on: September 17, 2017, 03:22:32 PM »
I did another one....  This time my Kellogg Banjo I bought from Kenton K earlier this year.....beautiful!
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Offline cloyd

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Re: Tenite Chemical Polishing--My Guide
« Reply #25 on: September 18, 2017, 02:21:22 PM »
Wow, great results, Benny! I'm glad you're excited about this! Keep posting results!

Tina;

I'm not sure about your 183. I believe they were made of both ABS and Tenite, and switched to ABS around 1961 or 1962. An Alcohol test can't hurt--I used this method on a Tenite Ivory AE80, it worked just as well as it does for WE Tenite.

I tested it and it is ABS. The date on the back is 4-63-2 which corresponds correctly with the date you give for the switch.  Do you know why the switch between the plastics was made?

Tina
-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- 1885

Offline TelePlay

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Re: Tenite Chemical Polishing--My Guide
« Reply #26 on: September 18, 2017, 02:37:57 PM »
I tested it and it is ABS. The date on the back is 4-63-2 which corresponds correctly with the date you give for the switch.  Do you know why the switch between the plastics was made?

I would think ABS being a harder, tougher plastic would be more durable than the tenite, softer plastic. ABS being the latest and greatest product in the world of plastic manufacturer's R&D labs which replaced tenite everywhere it was used.
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Offline jsowers

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Re: Tenite Chemical Polishing--My Guide
« Reply #27 on: September 18, 2017, 03:20:33 PM »
I tested it and it is ABS. The date on the back is 4-63-2 which corresponds correctly with the date you give for the switch.  Do you know why the switch between the plastics was made?

Tina
That was also about the time the AE Starlite came out (1961, I think) and as with WE and the Princess at the Indianapolis plant, it may have ushered in a new type of plastic over at AE. Bedroom phones were more apt to be dropped or knocked off the nightstand and I guess they thought ABS was tougher, though I'm not so sure it stood the test of time. It still cracked. It was very prone to UV damage too. You can see it in the 500 sets from late 1959, where the ABS parts are yellowed and the Tenite isn't. Aqua blue, white, pink and light gray ABS especially changed under UV exposure.
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Offline Pourme

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Re: Tenite Chemical Polishing--My Guide
« Reply #28 on: September 18, 2017, 03:31:49 PM »
No one thought that sixty years later we would be concerned with which one is easier to polish!

Ha!
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Offline RotarDad

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Re: Tenite Chemical Polishing--My Guide
« Reply #29 on: October 22, 2017, 10:18:39 PM »
Christian - I wonder if you would be give me your thoughts on this phone.  It is a very nice Mediterranean Blue with "cord warts" on front and back of the shell from a 15' cord being wrapped around it for probably decades.. :(   My wife and daughter found it for me in an antique store... :)  What are your specific thoughts?   Sand down the warts to level first, then the chemical polishing?  I don't like going more coarse than 1500 on the paper, but these are big warts especially in the back.....   Thank you very much!
« Last Edit: October 22, 2017, 10:24:50 PM by RotarDad »
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