Author Topic: My 500dm, how to deal with a little rust on the inside  (Read 1550 times)

Offline jah

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My 500dm, how to deal with a little rust on the inside
« on: May 12, 2010, 09:05:24 PM »
Hello all, just joined the forum.  It seems I'm starting to develop an interest in old phones as of late.  It started a couple of years ago when I decided to buy a few 2500 and 2554's for my new house because of the durability of the old WE phone company phones.  I've since bought a couple of 302's and recently a 5302.  None really needed must restoration but I have a model 500 that was my Bell issued phone before the breakup.  When they offered to let customers buy their phones in 1984 I bought this one, somehow becoming aware that these phone company phones were build to last and a bargain for the price.   It's nothing special I guess but it's cool to me because it actually was my Bell System issued phone.

Anyway, it's been in the closet pretty much since then, not in a box but just banged around with all the other junk.  Even so it was in surprisingly good condition.  Just a layer of grime and some minor scratches and scuffs on the case.  The finger wheel had a lot of tiny cracks and the modular line cord jack was cracked causing it to be loose.  Replaced those two things and shined it up with some Novus 1,2 and 3.  It looks great now but there is a little rust on the inside of the base above two of the feet.  I'm wondering how you experts would handle that.  I thought of dabbing some naval jelly on the rust and then painting it with some black enamel. Since I can't immerse the base in water (because of the riveted on network) I'm afraid that I won't be able to clean all the naval jelly off and it may wind up doing more damage than good.  I'd love to hear some suggestions from some of you forum members on how you deal with rust in situations like this.


Offline Dan

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  • 1957 WE 500-P
Re: My 500dm, how to deal with a little rust on the inside
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2010, 09:18:16 PM »
Welcome. I would do a little SOS pad scrubbing , followed by a little Brasso. Good luck!
"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: My 500dm, how to deal with a little rust on the inside
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2010, 12:00:04 AM »
Welcome.  We'd love to see some pics of the whole phone, it's pretty cool that you have a phone issued to you by Ma Bell. 

Offline JorgeAmely

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  • WE 500 from 1958
Re: My 500dm, how to deal with a little rust on the inside
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2010, 12:18:11 AM »
Hi Jah:

You can safely immerse the base (minus detachable components) in water. I have done that with many bases with riveted pads. Those bases with leather pads are another story: keep water away from the leather at all times.

Blow dry or let it air dry outside under the sun for a few hours and it is ready to go.

Jorge

Offline Dan/Panther

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Re: My 500dm, how to deal with a little rust on the inside
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2010, 01:35:13 PM »
Jorge;
Do you submerge the Network, or just part way up ? Also do you remove the Line Switch contact assembly ?
I have taken feet from a 302, and washed them intact in warm lightly mixed dish soap, and used a small brass toothbrush type brush from Harbor Freight. Then very thoroughly use compressed air to dry them, and let them sit in a warm spot until needed. They clean up like new.
D/P
« Last Edit: May 13, 2010, 02:33:53 PM by Dan/Panther »

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

Offline JorgeAmely

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Re: My 500dm, how to deal with a little rust on the inside
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2010, 01:56:12 PM »
D/P:

I wash the entire base liberally with water, soap and an old toothbrush. You can leave the hook switch in place. The network will not suffer because everything inside is covered by a waxy potting compound that some people have described as similar if not identical to cosmoline. Once all the dirt is gone, I hit it with compressed air and leave it outside for a few hours to dry out any residual moisture. Haven't had a problem yet.

It is good to know that someone has successfully cleaned leather feet with soapy water. Thanks for sharing that.



Jorge

Offline Dan/Panther

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Re: My 500dm, how to deal with a little rust on the inside
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2010, 02:35:31 PM »
Jorge;
Do you do the same with the leather based feet chassis, or do you remove them first ?
D/P

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

Offline JorgeAmely

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Re: My 500dm, how to deal with a little rust on the inside
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2010, 03:59:10 PM »
D/P:

I don't use lots of water to clean bases with leather feet. For those a wet rag and alcohol plus Q tips do the trick.

I don't have the tools to remove and re-install leather feet.
 
Jorge

Offline Dan/Panther

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Re: My 500dm, how to deal with a little rust on the inside
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2010, 07:15:27 PM »
Jorge;
Do you then spray something on it or add something to hide the dull finish.
D/P

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

Offline jah

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Re: My 500dm, how to deal with a little rust on the inside
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2010, 01:04:32 PM »
Thanks for the suggestions.  I think I'll try the scrubbing in place option.  It's tempting to detach everything I can, dab the rust with navel jelly and then give the base a good washing but I'm reluctant to put that much stress on it for what is otherwise a relatively clean phone.  After I deal with the rust I'll snap some pictures of the phone and post them.

My next project is a lime green Stromberg Carlson 2500 type phone that I bought a year or so ago.  Just stored it away until I had time to clean it up.  The insides are really clean but the plastic needs some cleaning and polishing.  The handset cord is the only part that is showing some wear.  I ordered a replacement from phonecoinc.com.  If it matches I'll use it, if not I'll try to do something with the old cord.

I've got a few more fairly ordinary 2500 and 2554 phones that need some cleaning up.  Once I do a few more of those I might be confident enough to try working on something older and more collectable.