Author Topic: Restoring a WECo pink 500 Set - Sanding and Solvent  (Read 13469 times)

Offline cihensley@aol.com

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Restoring a WECo pink 500 Set - Sanding and Solvent
« on: July 01, 2011, 02:45:30 PM »
I have chosen an old WECo pink 500 to experiment with solvent polishing. I chose this set because if the restoration is successful it is a desirable set - an 8/59 all numbers matching, and it will require most of the techniques discussed on this Forum. And, I have an NOS pink 500 to compare the finished product with.

Chuck

Offline HarrySmith

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Re: Restoring a WECo pink 500 Set - Sanding and Solvent
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2011, 05:52:18 PM »
Nice! i cant wait to see the progress. Are you using the techniques in the bulletins you have?
Harry Smith
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Offline cihensley@aol.com

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Re: Restoring a WECo pink 500 Set - Sanding and Solvent
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2011, 06:10:26 PM »
HarrySmith:

Yes, partially.

Chuck

Offline jsowers

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Re: Restoring a WECo pink 500 Set - Sanding and Solvent
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2011, 08:26:02 PM »
Chuck, with a date of 8-59, it could have some soft plastic parts and that dial face looks to be soft plastic because it's faded a bit lighter than the rest of the phone. Hopefully the solvent won't dissolve the soft plastic. I know denatured alcohol will dissolve soft plastic and it's a mild solvent. Just wanted you to be forewarned, just in case.  A test from the back of the dial face should tell you if it will withstand the solvent. And the fingerwheel is not the original, which I'm sure you know already.

What are you planning to do with the bad crack on the right front corner? Or is that a crack? It looks like some of the plastic is actually missing there.

Keep us posted on your efforts.
Jonathan

Offline TelePlay

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Re: Restoring a WECo pink 500 Set - Sanding and Solvent
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2011, 08:50:06 PM »
I'm really looking forward to the results and the chemicals you use and find successful. The WE patents used hard to get chlorinated solvents specific to the plastic. DCE and Freon , neither of which were flamable, were misted into a chamber having an elevated temperature to both soften the surface and reflow the plastic to fill dings and scratches. While there are several commercially available solvents that will soften the surface, they are all polarized organic solvent which when heated create an explosive environment. What they did makes sense and their refurbishing equipment, machine, automated the process. Are you planning on using methylene chloride (DCE) and if so, is it available to the common many without major licensing hassles?

In the end, I am really looking forward to hearing about what you discover in you experiments and thank you for trying.
            John . . .

              

Offline cihensley@aol.com

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Re: Restoring a WECo pink 500 Set - Sanding and Solvent
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2011, 09:41:24 PM »
jsowers:

Yes that is a crack. I plan to fuse it using dissolved plastic from a rib inside the phone. I am not sure what is hard versus soft plastic. Can you suggest a method to determine?

TelePlay:

Methylene Chloride is available to order. I found mine with a "where to buy" query on Google.

Chuck

Offline cihensley@aol.com

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Re: Restoring a WECo Pink 500 Set - Sanding and Solvent
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2011, 01:40:49 PM »
An update. The first picture shows the embossed areas dammed off with Blu-Tac, to hold V30 hydrogen peroxide to restore the color. The next picture show the results, which were not good. I left the V30 on for 5 hours. This same method worked very well on the blue 500U I restored. I don't know if the color went from salmon to desired pink to bleached, and if I had stopped sooner it would have been OK, or if it went directly from salmon to bleached. On to plan B.

Until I fully determine which components of the pink 500 set are soft versus hard plastic, which has a bearing on the solvent used, I decided to experiment on an old modular 500 that I knew was all ABS. The third picture shows the badly discolored white set I experimented with. The last picture shows half the phone (your left) wiped with methylene chloride and the other half sanded with 1500 grit micro-mesh. I was not intending to get all of the discoloration, just enough for a comparison. The methylene removed the discoloration in about 6 swipes with a saturated rag. Marks from the rag and lint from the rag pulled by the sticky (dissolved) plastic are evident. But the plastic is shinny from the methylene. This suggests that my plan to sand the pink phone then mist it with methylene using an airbrush may work. Yet to be determined with further experiment is what grits will the methylene smooth out.

Chuck
« Last Edit: July 04, 2011, 06:13:31 PM by cihensley@aol.com »

Offline jsowers

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Re: Restoring a WECo pink 500 Set - Sanding and Solvent
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2011, 02:59:47 PM »
jsowers:

Yes that is a crack. I plan to fuse it using dissolved plastic from a rib inside the phone. I am not sure what is hard versus soft plastic. Can you suggest a method to determine?

Chuck, I use the tap of a fingernail on the plastic. Soft plastic will have a duller sound. Hard plastic will have a sharper sound. It may not matter which kind of plastic it is, if you're going to dissolve part of it. But they are different formulations and what dissolves one may not dissolve the other. The WE patent info was circa 1969, so I was thinking it was designed for hard plastic.

On a hard countertop or steps is a good place to tap the plastics. You can get known hard plastic and soft plastic pieces and you'll be able to tell the difference in sound fairly easily. Also, pink soft plastic fades light and pink hard plastic gets that salmon color, which is darker.

You may have to test on the backs of the plastics to see what happens before you try it on the outside. And avoiding those logo areas will be hard to do. Also the stamped dates--maybe you can use Vaseline on those areas?

Good luck and keep us posted.
Jonathan

Offline LarryInMichigan

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Re: Restoring a WECo pink 500 Set - Sanding and Solvent
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2011, 05:18:57 PM »
I am anxious to hear how the dissolving and patching process goes so that I might be able to use the information to repair a section of the tenite shell of a blue AE80.  Please keep us posted.  We are on the edges of our seats.

Larry

Offline AE_Collector

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Re: Restoring a WECo pink 500 Set - Sanding and Solvent
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2011, 05:33:00 PM »
I am anxious to hear how the dissolving and patching process goes so that I might be able to use the information to repair a section of the tenite shell of a blue AE80.  Please keep us posted.  We are on the edges of our seats.

Larry

Now that you mention it, my dark blue (Colonial Blue) AE80 had a piece busted out of the side of the case but fortunately all the pieces were recovered and glued back into place. Maybe a better repair will be possible with this method.

Terry

Offline rdelius

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Re: Restoring a WECo pink 500 Set - Sanding and Solvent
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2011, 05:39:05 PM »
We tried at COT using acetone or a similar solvent on discolored hard plastic sets.It helped remove the yellowed layer and we did not have to sand as much. It still was not the answer.No bleaching back then.
Robby

Offline cihensley@aol.com

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Re: Restoring a WECo pink 500 Set - Sanding and Solvent
« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2011, 08:36:30 PM »
jsowers:

Thank you. They did sound somewhat different. Based on the fingernail/sound test, I picked the handset and its two caps as being soft plastic, with all of the other components being hard plastic. To resolve any doubt I remembered you saying, in a couple of posts, to never use denature alcohol to clean soft plastic. I put a couple of drops of denatured alcohol on the inside of each plastic component. On the items I thought were hard plastic, I spread the drops around with my fingertip until the alcohol evaporated. No effect. On the handset and two caps, the spots with the drops felt sticky.

Chuck
« Last Edit: July 04, 2011, 09:46:36 PM by cihensley@aol.com »

Offline jsowers

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Re: Restoring a WECo pink 500 Set - Sanding and Solvent
« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2011, 08:49:10 PM »
jsowers:

Thank you. They did sound somewhat different. Based on the fingernail/sound test, I picked the handset and its two caps as being soft plastic, with all of the other components being hard plastic. To resolve any doubt I remembered you saying, in a couple of posts, to never use denature alcohol to clean soft plastic. I put a couple of drops of denatured alcohol on the inside of each plastic component. On the items I thought were hard plastic, I spread the drops around with my fingertip until the alcohol evaporated. No effect. On the handset and two caps, the spots with the drops felt sticky.

CHuck

Exactly--denatured alcohol will melt soft plastic, but what it does to hard plastic is clean off the gunk and evaporate. Hopefully you can find a solution that will work for both, but that will be a challenge on a "combo phone." That's my term for those combinations of hard and soft plastic that resulted when soft plastic was discontinued on the color sets in mid-1959. They looked good when originally assembled, but now you're lucky if the parts still match.
Jonathan

Offline TelePlay

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Re: Restoring a WECo Pink 500 Set - Sanding and Solvent
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2011, 03:28:38 PM »
. . . wiped with methylene chloride and the other half sanded with 1500 grit micro-mesh. . . . The methylene removed the discoloration in about 6 swipes with a saturated rag. . .  the plastic is shinny from the methylene. This suggests that my plan to sand the pink phone then mist it with methylene using an airbrush may work.

Chuck,

Any plans to build a heat controlled hot box to heat the shell to a certain temperature before injecting the methylene chloride into the box at a concentration high enough to reflow the surface plastic uniformly as described in the patent? Also, what precautions are you taking when wiping with DCM - using a vented hood or spray box?


And thanks for the DCM source info. Found out I can get it locally at an industrial chemical supplier.
            John . . .

              

Offline cihensley@aol.com

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Re: Restoring a WECo pink 500 Set - Sanding and Solvent
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2011, 03:48:10 PM »
TelePlay:

I may use heat lamps to warm and dry the shell after the methylene is applied. I haven't tested the application yet. I plan to spray the methylene on the shell with an air brush, no box. This trial is to see if this is effective. When I did the wipe test, the only precaution I took was wearing rubber gloves. I know methylene chloride is toxic. When I spray it I may wear a respirator. If you have any ideas on better utilization of the methylene, I am very open to suggestions.

Chuck