Author Topic: New to forum  (Read 8846 times)

Offline Gary

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New to forum
« on: July 18, 2010, 05:49:11 PM »
Hi everyone,

I entered the world of vintage telephones yesterday and have been reading through many topics here.  Iíve been into collecting and fixing old radios for the last 6 years and always wanted a vintage telephone but never got around to doing much research.  Yesterday, I was at the huge, week long antique show in Brimfield, MA and made an impulse purchase.  The guy wanted $45 so I got him down to $32.  My learning curve is steep but from what I've learned in the last 24 hours, looks like I should have done much better.

Anyway, it's a Western Electric 302 with thermoplastic housing and F1 handset.  A big let down was when I got home and opened it up, the ringer assembly was missing.  It doesnít look like it will be too difficult to find a replacement.  The other parts have various dates so I'm really not sure when this was actually originally assembled or what parts are original.

Housing (H3) 9 11 45 (serial number X12534)
Base 3/47
Transmitter 1/55
Receiver 2-16-40
Dial Assembly (4H) 3 50
Dial Face lll 48 (not sure what the lll is)
Induction Coil 11/55

After being inspired from Dan/Pantherís great work in 2008 detailing his refurbishing of a 302 that was painted silver, I got to work on this.  Attached are photos of what I have so far.

I was thinking of re-painting with a plastic paint but after about an hourís worth, the housing cleaned up pretty well using Brasso and Novus 2 polish which I use for bakelite radios.  The housingís not perfect as there are some dings and marks.  It doesnít have that ďjet blackĒ shine like Iíve seen on others after polishing.  Wondering if thereís a trick to that?

Next Iím going to paint the dial finger wheel but I guess at this point Iím wondering if thereís anything I can do for the dial face.  Itís pretty well worn.  I did see a link mentioned in Danís thread for a place that sells dial plate overlays.

Anyway, just wanted to introduce myself as Iíll probably have many questions later.

Offline 1954NE500

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Re: New to forum
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2010, 06:05:01 PM »
Welocme to our fantastic forum-welocme aboard:-)
The missing ringer assembly can be purchased from Oldphoneworks or can be found on eBay from time to time as well.
The III-48 on the dial face indicates March, 1948 for this dial as the III is 3 in Roman numerals which was used to indicate March.
Hope you enjoy this great forum very much and find it helpful and imformative:-)

Offline LarryInMichigan

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Re: New to forum
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2010, 06:19:23 PM »
I believe that the roman numerals actually indicate the quarter of the year in which the part was made.  "III" would indicate the third quarter (July-Sep).

The least expensive source for a ringer, or many other parts, is Steve Hilsz (http://phonesurplus.com).  Contact him and tell him what you need.

Larry

Offline JorgeAmely

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Re: New to forum
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2010, 06:37:06 PM »
Welcome to the forum Gary.

The numbers wheel with the Z operator is a rare one. I would keep it as is. But there are decals you can place over the original if you want to. Steve could also get you a replacement too.

The housing can be sanded or polished to the original luster. I have attached a link to my 1948 302. I thought I had wasted my money on it, but at the end, it now looks very nice.

http://picasaweb.google.com/Amelyenator/1948WesternElectricModel302Phone#

For overhauling the dial:
http://picasaweb.google.com/Amelyenator/WesternElectric5SeriesDialOverhaul#

Forum member Brinybay is currently restoring a 5302 and is posting pictures of the process. You can catch him here, including pictures of all the fauna and flora he found inside the phone:

http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=3039.30



Jorge

Offline Gary

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Re: New to forum
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2010, 07:01:06 PM »
Thanks for all the replies.  Wow, great stuff!  Jorge, nice slide shows, great dial info.  Thanks!
I guess my housing came out a little better than the photo shows but I'll do a little more work with it.  Wondering what you did with yours between slide 6 and slide 7 or is it just camera/lighting to bring out the shine?  Nice job!

Offline Brinybay

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Re: New to forum
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2010, 08:05:55 PM »
Welcome to the group!  Sanding properly and thoroughly is what gets it shiny.  It's a tedious, labor-intensive process.  If it were mine, I would be happy with the finish you have, but then, I'm a lazy ***hole.  

Do you have a picture of the base and the components?  Is the entire ringer assembly missing, or just the gongs?
« Last Edit: July 18, 2010, 08:09:38 PM by Brinybay »
The idea that a four-year degree is the only path to worthwhile knowledge is insane.
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e

Offline JorgeAmely

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Re: New to forum
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2010, 08:19:16 PM »
Gary:
By the time picture 7 was taken, I had already gone through the phone housing with some sanding, ending probably at 2000. These old 302s are so soft that they polish well with just a few grits and Novus 2. The final touch is the application of a product from Turtle Wax named F21 Super Sun Protectant. You spray the housing and other parts making sure that everything is covered, let it sit for a few minutes but don't let it dry (stains may show up) and with an old cotton towel you polish and remove all the excess. It will feel like you are removing oil from all surfaces. You can spend about 10 minutes doing that.

By the time you are done, it develops a nice piano black finish you can comb your hair on. With the residue on the towel you can do the cords and other small parts, or touch up the finish in a few more days. The phone will be slippery as a wet fish, so be careful.

Another difference is that picture 6 was taken with indoor lamps; from 7 on it was with late afternoon natural light.

PS: I use a Ryobi RB60 polisher to do the final Novus 2 finish. Then the F21 product mentioned above.

Jorge

Offline Gary

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Re: New to forum
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2010, 08:38:19 PM »
Great, thanks Jorge!  Here's another photo of what it looks like so far under different lighting compared to the earlier one posted above.  I'm pretty happy with it so far.

Thanks for the welcome BrinyBay.  Yes, the entire ringer assembly is missing.  Funny, I had a leatherman with me and could have easily opened it up yesterday to look inside but wasn't thinking properly.  Would have been easy to get it cheaper knowing that.  Here's a photo of the base and components.

Offline HarrySmith

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Re: New to forum
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2010, 08:41:42 PM »
Hi and welcome to our forum :)
My condolences :(
This is a progressive disease and once it gets a hold you cannot recover. One phone is not bad you may still be able to save yourself ;D
Harry Smith
ATCA 4434
TCI

"There is no try,
there is only
do or do not"

Offline Doug Rose

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Re: New to forum
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2010, 08:48:50 PM »
Hey Gary.....I am a fellow NE collector living in MA. I haven't been to Brimfield in awhile. Last time I went, I remember it was a 7 to 5 day. Send me your address and I will send you a 302 ringer.....Doug
Kidphone

Offline Kenny C

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Re: New to forum
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2010, 08:50:20 PM »
My condolences :(
This is a progressive disease and once it gets a hold you cannot recover. One phone is not bad you may still be able to save yourself ;D
nope its impossible you will start dreaming about them. you will spend hours and hours claning and "fixing" them. It took 1 SC 500 set and I now have 12 500 sets 3 554's a 302 5302 and 202 and a princess.and an AE 90 so good luck  ;) ;) ;D :D
In memory of
  Marie B.
1926-2010

Offline JorgeAmely

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Re: New to forum
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2010, 08:51:36 PM »
Gary:

Here is the place where some members mentioned you can get 302 parts.

http://phonesurplus.com/302parts.html

Jorge

Offline Gary

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Re: New to forum
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2010, 08:57:11 PM »
Sorry Harry, thanks for the warning but been there with antique radios.  Wanted one 6 years ago....got bit and have 18 now.  Maybe it's a little different but I'm sure I can see adding at least a few more telephones.

Doug, thanks!!  I'll send you a note.  Yes, Brimfield runs Tuesday through Sunday in May, July and September.

Offline McHeath

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Re: New to forum
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2010, 09:08:42 PM »
Welcome to the madness!  A 302 is a great way to start, yours looks to have been originally made in 3/47 but it's been refurbished at least once which accounts for the dates all over the place.  I've got once phone with dates from 1959 to 1983, Ma Bell wringed every last drop of life out of these phones that they possibly could.  32 dollars may seem a tad high, but if you bought it on e-bay you'd have to pay shipping which could place the final price right there pretty easily. 

The missing ringer may be a home modification from back in the old days, people would disconnect ringers to avoid getting charged for having unauthorized phones hooked up at home.  Seems the Bell System had a way of checking how many phones were hooked up by measuring the number of ringers that were active.  Taking the ringer all the way out seems overkill, but who knows maybe that was how someone did it. 

Offline Gary

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Re: New to forum
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2010, 09:27:15 PM »
Thanks McHeath.  Yes, if bought on eBay, shipping might have put me at that price.   ;D I already ran through that rationale last night!
What is the significance of the dial marking "4H"?