Author Topic: 1960 Hard Plastic Light Gray WE 500  (Read 9908 times)

Offline Craig T

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1960 Hard Plastic Light Gray WE 500
« on: January 25, 2010, 11:20:18 PM »
Well first year of the hard plastic phones here and this one matches right on through 10-60 on everything.

I have about $40 into this as of now. I am still polishing the inside of the case and the cord still has a tinge on it. I have a couple other things to try on it.

When the phone came it was in nice condition, no complaints at all. Once the night came and the 100 watt bulbs went on, I could see a bad tinge of smoke on it. Well man is that stuff difficult to get out. It took some experimenting and one heck of a lot of rubbing.

 The dial is the nicest finish I have yet. It is like liquid glass. The inside had some spot rust starting, so I cleaned and treated it. It came back just about like new inside and out. I don't do the bells if they have nice even patina.

I need to also use the D/P cord tightening method on this (need a dowel). It is my first phone with a G3 handset. I had a nice extra original dial card that was one of my grandpas. I figured putting it on my new nicest phone was a good place for it. My phone shelf is starting to look nice after a few replacements and a lot of shining.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2010, 01:27:46 AM by Craig T »

Offline Craig T

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Re: 1960 Hard Plastic Light Gray WE 500
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2010, 11:24:50 PM »
In what is sure to be declared a violation of rule 1-4 section 2 of the moral code. I am replying to my own post first.  :D

The handset shows what I started with.


This phone even has a gray cap on the 425B network. The bells are just the way I like them, it took them 50 years to develop that perfect two tone brass patina.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2010, 08:34:05 PM by Craig T »

Offline Dennis Markham

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Re: 1960 Hard Plastic Light Gray WE 500
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2010, 11:29:02 PM »
Craig, the color looks great!  If you don't mind revealing your secret, what did you use to remove the smoke film?


Offline Dan

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Re: 1960 Hard Plastic Light Gray WE 500
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2010, 11:34:37 PM »
I'm guessing 409 or fantastic with a little Novus 2.

Very nice light grey and a very hard color to get. The 3/8 inch dowel can be picked up at a Lowes for about $2. I bought one and cut it in half. It will help the cord. I used Dennis' (or was it Dan/P's?) suggestion of winding the cord inside out and then baking it, that is the opposite direction it is currently and it seems the "cord memory" works well this way
"Imagine how weird telephones would look if our ears weren't so close to our mouths." - Steven Wright

Offline McHeath

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Re: 1960 Hard Plastic Light Gray WE 500
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2010, 11:43:12 PM »
What a great phone!  The color is superb, nice and clean and smooth.  You did a very fine job and it's a phone to be proud of. 

Offline Craig T

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Re: 1960 Hard Plastic Light Gray WE 500
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2010, 12:18:53 AM »
Thank you for the compliments everyone that helps keep me going! I need it b/c there is one more phone to go this week  :) I had lots of good advice from reading through the General Discussion and Restoration areas of the forum too!

This is the first complete phone I have restored though. I have done parts or most of some of the others I have. I hope this was not beginner's luck  ;)

Mother's Polish worked well to get the smoke out. It does not turn the reactive black that it does when it comes into contact with the proper metal surface. Now it isn't like I wiped this stuff on and off. This works on smoke damaged phones, but not sun damaged phones. Novus #2 provided the restored color of the phone and made it shine too.

The trick is to rub the surface fast enough and hard enough to lift the smoke and trust me how hard you rub DOES make a difference in this case.

I use Bounty paper towels (that makes a difference too)  b/c paper towel is just slightly abrasive and helps to cut the smoke color. I use a microfiber cloth to wipe the small area clean after I polish it each time.

The microfiber does a good job at grabbing that debris that is loosened up during polishing. Those are available at most Family Dollar stores @ 2 for $1.00. That is a good tip b/c they are substantially more everywhere else I checked.

The inside of the case was cleaned through various means. The inside of the case was pretty nice to begin with too, but the glass cleaner took out the spot rust and the grime on the inside. Oil can come in handy too, I have used several kinds now, just make sure to use new oil. This can be very helpful with a stubborn rust spot. I have been using Q-tips to get under the tight areas where parts are riveted to the base. A microfiber rag is again handy to grab the dirt out of the bottom quicker.


Now some caution, this only worked on one phone, hard plastic and gray.

That ladies and gentleman is all that I think I know about resto  ::) ::) :)


« Last Edit: February 25, 2010, 12:43:34 AM by Craig T »

Offline Jim S.

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Re: 1960 Hard Plastic Light Gray WE 500
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2010, 12:40:20 AM »
I have heard Mothers mag polish for bakelite as well (1991-92). (like simichrome?)
Your phone looks very nice. I am too lazy to polish my phones, I sometimes cleanthem and occasionally dust them.
"Patina"

 I will say that a shiny phone "sure is Pretty". Shiny phones also sell for more. there is something to be said for "sweat equity", Not only can you enjoy the result, but you also can get a premium when you pass it on.
Good job,
Jim S.
You live, You learn,
You die, you forget it all.

Offline Craig T

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Re: 1960 Hard Plastic Light Gray WE 500
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2010, 01:12:32 AM »
That was the first thing I tried it on phonewise was a G1 handset. It gave it the wet shine look, but it did not lift that brown speckled out of it. From what I have been reading, KIWI shoe polish is gonna be the trick for that issue. Do you know of anything else to take that brown speckled stuff off the handset?

The glare really exaggerates the issue, but shows the top of the G1 handset.

Offline bingster

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Re: 1960 Hard Plastic Light Gray WE 500
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2010, 03:57:08 AM »
Unfortunately, the brown is the wood flour that makes up the bakelite, and no matter how far down you go, you'll see that.  The top layer of dense black bakelite is gone, and the only thing left is to try to darken it or cover it somehow.
= DARRIN =



Offline jsowers

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Re: 1960 Hard Plastic Light Gray WE 500
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2010, 09:04:07 AM »
Craig, that's a beautiful light gray. I hope it's the first of many to come. Please post a picture after you've doweled the cord.

I've had decent results with bleaching light gray hard plastic. The housing I remember the best was definitely a sun fade victim. You can tell because there was no fade where the handset shaded the housing, but plenty on the back and side. It was literally brown. I attached a picture. It was also a 1960 model. I got a lot of light gray pieces and cords from an eBay seller and decided to bring them back to original on the suggestion of the seller, who I think was Jim Engel. The solution is about one part bleach to three parts water in a dishpan in the sun for a day.

The progression starts at top left and then goes to bottom left after the first bleaching and top right is second bleaching. Bottom right is after the third bleaching. I probably should have gone for a fourth, but I was tired of it by then.  :)
Jonathan

Offline Dennis Markham

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Re: 1960 Hard Plastic Light Gray WE 500
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2010, 09:17:18 AM »
Jonathan, that is a huge improvement.  Was each step one day in the sun/bleach? 

We'll have to wait for summer around here to try that or we'll have a telephone ice cube in a matter of a couple hours! 

Offline Craig T

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Re: 1960 Hard Plastic Light Gray WE 500
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2010, 04:25:56 PM »
Unfortunately, the brown is the wood flour that makes up the bakelite, and no matter how far down you go, you'll see that.  The top layer of dense black bakelite is gone, and the only thing left is to try to darken it or cover it somehow.

Rats! I was afraid of that. Well I will try the shoe polish and if now I will just have to get another handset if I want that like new look.

Offline jsowers

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Re: 1960 Hard Plastic Light Gray WE 500
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2010, 04:31:11 PM »
Jonathan, that is a huge improvement.  Was each step one day in the sun/bleach? 

We'll have to wait for summer around here to try that or we'll have a telephone ice cube in a matter of a couple hours! 

Yes, each step took a day, and I got tired after three days. Summer is bleaching and doweling time for me. I use the car dashboard for doweling cords. I also prefer taking my pictures outside and working on phones outside. The light is better.

Even in NC you'd have an ice cube. A week ago I finally emptied the metal washtub I had my Christmas tree in and the ice was about six inches thick! Or as they say around these parts, "yay thick."
Jonathan

Offline Craig T

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Re: 1960 Hard Plastic Light Gray WE 500
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2010, 04:54:51 PM »
Thanks Jonathan, it is good to hear that a sun exposure victim was your best turnout, b/c I have a doozy. My grandpa had 5 phones he dug out for me (YES!), this was one of them. It is my two face phone. 80% of the phone is just excellent baby blue and then there is the side that faced the sun  :'(

There was a G6 handset with the phone. This was my grandfather's phone in his wood shop at home, so he could hear what they were saying.

So the case looks like it can be done. The handset has faded a nice even color, so I should just leave it, but I won't. It will either end up shiny or ruined, no middle ground over here  ;D  Thanks for the post, it gives me some hope that the bleach method could work for my phone. The fading is even, it just covers that one side. Should I just try to lay that one side in the tub at first, instead of the whole thing?

This will be the first of many, I need to prove that I can be consistent with these results first. Then I need to get faster (I am thinking Dremel), this took a lot of time, a good 20 hours on one phone when it is said and done. Even if I had to do the tight areas by hand and get the wide open surfaces done with a machine.


This is the cord trick I was talking about...

http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=202.0
« Last Edit: April 08, 2010, 01:54:43 PM by Craig T »

Offline McHeath

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Re: 1960 Hard Plastic Light Gray WE 500
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2010, 07:02:21 PM »
I'd be curious to see inside a cap on that handset, it certainly looks like a Moss Green from the outside.

The aqua blue is one of my fav colors, and hard to restore in my limited experience.  Sanding can work, but it can take a lot and after a while you start to lose the definition of the case if you do too much.