Author Topic: Modifications to 302 Bases to Prevent Thermoplastic Shells from Cracking  (Read 16472 times)

Offline Doug Rose

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Re: Thermoplastic WE 302 July 1941!!!
« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2012, 11:03:02 AM »
Hmmmm....I like it! Looks like I might even be able to accomplish it. Might!!

Stupid question....do you just attach a grinding attachment to your drill?

How long does it take to grind down a corner?


Many thanks. I appreciate your post...Doug
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Offline paul-f

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Re: Thermoplastic WE 302 July 1941!!!
« Reply #16 on: January 31, 2012, 07:28:26 PM »
I've only had a couple of colored sets that bind seriously.  Rather than grind, I use a Dremel tool with cutoff wheel to cut a slot in the lip at each corder.  This gives enough space to bend the lip back a bit using duck-billed pliers.  Simple and quick.

You can always grind later, if the shrinking continues.
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Offline cihensley@aol.com

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Re: Thermoplastic WE 302 July 1941!!!
« Reply #17 on: January 31, 2012, 09:22:08 PM »
As Dennis observed, I don't like to remove any plastic from the shell. I use a bench grinder a take off a little material from each corner of the base. Then I touch-up the bare areas with flat black Rustoleum. From the sides it is difficult to see the modification. From a tops-down view you can notice the shell corner are a little thinner. The corners have always been the source of tightness, so I haven't been faced with the problem trying to fix sides.

Chuck

Offline Dennis Markham

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Re: Thermoplastic WE 302 July 1941!!!
« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2012, 04:51:10 AM »
Chuck, I plan to use your method on the next 302 I modify.  It sounds simple enough and maintains the integrity of the housing.  I've only ground the plastic on a few black 302's so far but held my breath on each one.  One slip of the Dremmel tool during the grinding and damage can occur that wasn't there prior to the modification. 

Offline Doug Rose

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Re: Thermoplastic WE 302 July 1941!!!
« Reply #19 on: February 01, 2012, 09:00:18 AM »
As Dennis observed, I don't like to remove any plastic from the shell. I use a bench grinder a take off a little material from each corner of the base. Then I touch-up the bare areas with flat black Rustoleum. From the sides it is difficult to see the modification. From a tops-down view you can notice the shell corner are a little thinner. The corners have always been the source of tightness, so I haven't been faced with the problem trying to fix sides.

Chuck:
I have some grinding bits for my drill that I have never used.  Do you think this will work? About how long does it take to grind one corner down. I am a raw rookie at this.
I appreciate your help....Doug
« Last Edit: February 26, 2012, 03:09:54 PM by AE_collector »
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Offline cihensley@aol.com

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Re: Thermoplastic WE 302 July 1941!!!
« Reply #20 on: February 01, 2012, 09:32:52 AM »
Doug:

On a bench grinder it takes only a few minutes for each corner. I don't see any reason that you could not do it with a grinding bit in a drill motor. It will take longer, but I don't know how long. Holding the base in a vice should shorten the time.

Chuck

Offline Doug Rose

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Re: Thermoplastic WE 302 July 1941!!!
« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2012, 09:48:19 AM »
thanks Chuck....I will get to it this weekend. I appreciate you sharing the knowledge!! I love this phone and I want to bring it back to life....Doug
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Offline sesjrs

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Re: Thermoplastic WE 302 July 1941!!!
« Reply #22 on: February 01, 2012, 10:03:12 AM »
I ground down the corners using a bench grinder and it took about fifteen minutes.  While I was at it I ground down the other protrusions that are on each side.  Often the back of a colored phone is pushed out further on one side of the line cord entrance due to the protrusion. My experience is if you don't do something like this because you don't see the need at that time, you will have a cracked case. I pulled a green 302 out of service around 1970 on an out order. The case moved easily on and off and I never gave it another thought.  It took 8 years before it cracked in the typical "half moon" crack.  To me the shells are too valuable to risk the damage.  You can pick up a 302 base for next to nothing but not the shell.
Just my opinion.  By the way, this Green 302 shown in the previous photo is my replacement that I finally found for the cracked green 302.
Steve

Offline Doug Rose

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Re: Thermoplastic WE 302 July 1941!!!
« Reply #23 on: February 01, 2012, 10:10:51 AM »
Steve...thanks for the info, I'll try it this weekend. I do want to keep all the dates the same, so I will use the original base. I will practice first on an extra.....thanks again....Doug
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Offline Doug Rose

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Re: Thermoplastic WE 302 July 1941!!!
« Reply #24 on: February 04, 2012, 02:53:07 PM »
I am working on the 41 Thermo today, there is good news and there is not so good news. The good news is I used both ideas from  Steve,  Chuck and Paul. I ground all the corners down as Steve had show. This really went quite fast. I secured it in my vice and ground the corners down in no time with my ancient drill with a grinding bit. It was better but still not there. I used my big dykes and bend the lip in places where it rubbled together and Voila....It fit on the base with no issues!! Just slid on and off with no force. I touched up the grind holes like Chuck stated with my Sharpie paint pen. When it dries I'll rub it down to make it match. That's the good news.

Bad news is the dial was really in there snug and it looked like there were small hairlines all around the edges. They could only been seen from insdie the phone. Honestly I was going to ignore it and take my chances, but the dial would not dial out correctly, when it did break dial tone at all. I took me well over a 1/2 hours to finally get the dial out. When I did all the hairline seems to disappear before my eyes. Those hairlines were actually tiny cracks all around the dial.

I am on a break as I have been at it for three hours on this guy. Here are the pics of the base. I am very happy so far....Doug
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Offline sesjrs

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Re: Thermoplastic WE 302 July 1941!!!
« Reply #25 on: February 05, 2012, 09:27:43 AM »
Doug,
2 options come to mind on the dial.  You could sand it down or the other possibility is to use a WE # 6 dial as it is slightly smaller.  Of course based on the dates on your phone it would be around 10 years newer.
Just some thoughts.
Steve

Offline Doug Rose

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Re: Thermoplastic WE 302 July 1941!!!
« Reply #26 on: February 05, 2012, 12:56:28 PM »
Steve....I did consider the #6 dial, but this 41 5H dial was dated correctly. The was really no way I was going to get in in without damage and I certainly dd not want to damage this. SSSSSooooooo I went with a dial blank. Slid right in with no issues. I had had this for awhile and it took me forever to find it with my great filing/storage system!!

It is a complete, WORKING manual phone! All dates are matching so I really can't be too upset with the way this turned out. I would have rather had the dial, but I am also very partial to manual sets as well.

Steve, Paul and Chuck....thank you all for your input. I am pleasantly surprised I didn't crack the shell. Patience is not my middle name. But this now slides on and off with ease.

At the moment I have no WE cloth cords to install on it, so I'll wait until I find some.

Doug
« Last Edit: February 05, 2012, 01:03:46 PM by Doug Rose »
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Offline cihensley@aol.com

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Re: Thermoplastic WE 302 July 1941!!!
« Reply #27 on: February 05, 2012, 02:37:16 PM »
It came out very nice Doug.

Chuck

Offline Tom B

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Re: Thermoplastic WE 302 July 1941!!!
« Reply #28 on: February 05, 2012, 04:00:38 PM »
Doug
That's a beauty. I have a 10/42 (all dates match) thermoplastic manual 302 like this which I am really pleased with. Good job with this phone - you should be proud.
Tom

Offline Doug Rose

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Re: Thermoplastic WE 302 July 1941!!!
« Reply #29 on: February 06, 2012, 07:46:12 AM »
Thanks guys....Doug
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