Author Topic: Fixing a Distorted coiled Handset Cord.  (Read 50252 times)

Offline Dan/Panther

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5326
  • Kaw-Liga, I will NEVER forget you. 8/4/98--9/20/10
Fixing a Distorted coiled Handset Cord.
« on: October 17, 2008, 12:20:15 AM »
If you have a distorted, or bent coiled handset cord, that is still in servicable condition, but frankly looks too bad to use. Try what I did.
Take a piece of wooden dowel, or steel rod, 3/8 of an inch in diameter. Find or cut a piece that is about an inch or two longer than the cord is when completely compressed together.
Secure one end of the cord to the dowel or rod, using duct tape. Then coil the cord tightly around the dowel, or rod. Secure the other end with duct tape.
Then secure the ends with tiewraps.
Now run hot water over the coiled cord, dry off with compressed air, or blow the water off, then let set until completely cooled. The coil will now be like new.
If the cord was dirty, you can also clean it before you wrap it around the dowel or rod.

Dan
« Last Edit: March 14, 2009, 03:28:38 AM by BDM »

The More People I meet, The More I Love, and MISS My Dog.  Dan Robinson

Offline Dennis Markham

  • VintageRotaryPhones.com
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5613
    • VintageRotaryPhones.com
Re: Fixing a Distorted coiled Handset Cord.
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2008, 12:36:43 AM »
Nice photo Dan.  Nice tip, thank you.  I have heard of guys doing that but instead of putting water on them, I have heard of putting the whole thing on the dash board or in the back window of a car while it sits in the sun.  I know one collector that put the whole thing inside a black bag and left in the back window of his car (out in California) for several days.

I have also tried reversing the coils. That will tighten up the cord too.  I'm going to try your method.  Thank you.

Offline BDM

  • 313-TUxedo 6-4281
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1316
Re: Fixing a Distorted coiled Handset Cord.
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2008, 01:50:26 AM »
Wouldn't a heat gun or blow dryer work? Of course ya gotta watch how hot you get it.

--Brian--

St Clair Shores, MI

Offline Dan/Panther

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5326
  • Kaw-Liga, I will NEVER forget you. 8/4/98--9/20/10
Re: Fixing a Distorted coiled Handset Cord.
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2008, 03:32:29 AM »
Bdm;
I'm sure many ways will work, I might add that the first time I didn't let the cord stay wrapped long enough.
I'm beginning to think maybe the window idea, may even work better. I'll still say the securing the way I did it should work very well. It's extremely tight around the bar.
Dan/Panther

The More People I meet, The More I Love, and MISS My Dog.  Dan Robinson

Offline bingster

  • Contest Director
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2945
    • OTRplus Classic Radio
Re: Fixing a Distorted coiled Handset Cord.
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2008, 03:50:33 AM »
I read in my internet travels, that somebody used a couple day-heat treatment, and followed that by a couple days in the freezer.  After letting it gradually come up to room temp, it's fixed.  I've never tried any of these methods, myself.
= DARRIN =



Offline McHeath

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3349
Re: Fixing a Distorted coiled Handset Cord.
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2008, 06:44:46 PM »
I clean my cords by throwing them into the dishwasher.   :o  It really makes them look nice and purty, and they always work afterwards.  Learned this from tinkering with computers, you can often put an entire keyboard in the dishwasher and it will come out looking new, let it dry real good and you are good to go.

Offline benhutcherson

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 706
Re: Fixing a Distorted coiled Handset Cord.
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2008, 07:44:19 PM »
For a quicker solution:

The cords can actually take fairly high temperatures-I think that WE used temperatures above the boiling point of water. So, you can either boil the cords, or, even better, stick them in an oven at about 220oF.

For a more positive set, you can also rapidly go to a colder temperature. A freezer works well, although lower temperatures won't hurt.

I've had good luck in the past cooking them in a lab oven at about 110oC, followed by dropping them in liquid nitrogen(-196oC). Should you go this route, the only problem is that the rubber is brittle at temperatures that low, so the insulation on inner wires can crack. They're fine when they warm back up, although cracks are permanent.

Offline Dennis Markham

  • VintageRotaryPhones.com
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5613
    • VintageRotaryPhones.com
Re: Fixing a Distorted coiled Handset Cord.
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2008, 07:57:22 PM »
Ben, what is the long-term effect?  Will they maintain elasticity and retract normally when used after the "procedure"?

Offline benhutcherson

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 706
Re: Fixing a Distorted coiled Handset Cord.
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2008, 08:00:21 PM »
Dennis,
I only did two that way, but they're both still fine.

I've read that rapid temperature changes were how Western Electric originally set the cord, so doing the same restores them to their original condition.

Offline Dan/Panther

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5326
  • Kaw-Liga, I will NEVER forget you. 8/4/98--9/20/10
Re: Fixing a Distorted coiled Handset Cord.
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2008, 06:15:53 PM »
Here are the results, of the cord two days on the rod, in the sun, one day in the freezer.
The sun did work better than hot water. If the cord had been in the hot water longer it may have worked as well, but the sun method seems safer.
D/P

The More People I meet, The More I Love, and MISS My Dog.  Dan Robinson

Offline Dennis Markham

  • VintageRotaryPhones.com
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5613
    • VintageRotaryPhones.com
Re: Fixing a Distorted coiled Handset Cord.
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2008, 09:10:22 PM »
With the black cord it may not matter, but with a colored cord, the idea of putting it inside a black cloth bag will eliminate further fading from sunlight.  It won't be long here in Michigan when the sun won't produce enough heat---but freezing won't be a problem. :)

Offline Dan/Panther

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5326
  • Kaw-Liga, I will NEVER forget you. 8/4/98--9/20/10
Re: Fixing a Distorted coiled Handset Cord.
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2008, 09:30:52 PM »
I forgot to mention one item.
Before I removed the cord from the dowel, but after it had completely thawed and dried, I sprayed it with "Sun of a Gun", an Armoral type product. I let that soak in for awhile then wiped it with a clean rag.

D/P
« Last Edit: November 22, 2008, 07:54:34 PM by Dan/Panther »

The More People I meet, The More I Love, and MISS My Dog.  Dan Robinson

Offline BDM

  • 313-TUxedo 6-4281
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1316
Re: Fixing a Distorted coiled Handset Cord.
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2008, 09:33:35 PM »
That's what I normally do. If the cord is especially grungy, I let it soak in Simple Green, keeping both ends out of the cleaning fluid. Then wipe it down, carefully pulling through the coil. Then an application of armor all. Looks almost new in the end.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2008, 12:46:45 AM by BDM »

--Brian--

St Clair Shores, MI

Offline Dennis Markham

  • VintageRotaryPhones.com
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5613
    • VintageRotaryPhones.com
Re: Fixing a Distorted coiled Handset Cord.
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2008, 10:42:52 PM »
Another product that a friend swears by is made by Turtle Wax.  It has an added UV protection ingredient.  He puts an application on the handset and line cords after they've been cleaned.  He also applies it (as a polish) after polishing with Novus2.  It will help from being discolored from future light exposure.

Offline Sargeguy

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4572
Re: Fixing a Distorted coiled Handset Cord.
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2008, 06:35:18 PM »
What is the preferred method for cleaning a handset cord while it's still attached to the phone? I was planning on using Armor-All wipes.

EDIT: Doh!  I just realized that there was a second page to this thread that answers my question!
« Last Edit: November 20, 2008, 06:40:28 PM by Sargeguy »
Greg Sargeant
Providence, RI
TCI /ATCA #4409