Author Topic: Modifications to 302 Bases to Prevent Thermoplastic Shells from Cracking  (Read 15182 times)

Offline crankcall

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I have had great success with shrinkage problems be simply taking a small hammer and hammering the rounded 302 bases inward. You know when to stop hammering when the case fits on easily.  If done evenly on all four corners you can't tell that anything has been modified. Pete Blanshard

Offline LarryInMichigan

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Pete,

Welcome to the forum.  It's been a while since I've seen you at the flea market.


Larry

Offline Doug Rose

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I have had great success with shrinkage problems be simply taking a small hammer and hammering the rounded 302 bases inward. You know when to stop hammering when the case fits on easily.  If done evenly on all four corners you can't tell that anything has been modified. Pete Blanshard
Pete...welcome to the Forum. Your creations are tremendous. It is a pleasure having you join us....take care....Doug
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Offline Dan/Panther

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My opinion on this topic is this. If I paid big bucks for colored 302, and when it arrived, the corners had been cut, on the otherwise great condition base, I would be extremely upset. However, if the bumps had been removed carefully most would not even notice it. It's not going to change the integrity of the case at all, Well maybe 100 years from now. But cutting the base is a very intrusive and obvious hacking of the phone. Altering the physical shape of any part of the phone, that is detectable, is seriously reducing the phones value.  JMHO
D/P

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Offline poplar1

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Still, I think that the important point in all this is that it might be best to take some preventive action rather than let the phones risk cracking. But I also fear what may happen when you try to open some of them. Maybe WE should have thought about changing the spacing between the housing and the rim of the baseplate at some point before or during the switch to plastic housings.

I'd be even more upset if one or more cracks happened between the time it was photographed for Ebay and the time the UPS guy tossed it on the front porch....especially if the stress on the corners had anything to do with the damage.

If a blue 302 were worth $1,000, then I'd guess about $650 of that would be the housing, $250 the handset, $25 the 5J dial, $60 for the cords, $8 for the ringer, $1 for the induction coil and $1 for the condenser---leaving $5 for the metal base plate and feet.

So if you *cut* the corners of the metal baseplate, the phone might then be worth $999 instead of $1,000. But if you modify the housing---even for "its own good"---then *some* collectors might think the housing was now worth a lot less than $650. While certainly preferable to having a cracked housing, it is still a modification. And it is doubtful, even if the modifier attached a note documenting the change, that the documentation would always follow the phone.


"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.

Offline Doug Rose

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My opinion on this topic is this. If I paid big bucks for colored 302, and when it arrived, the corners had been cut, on the otherwise great condition base, I would be extremely upset. However, if the bumps had been removed carefully most would not even notice it. It's not going to change the integrity of the case at all, Well maybe 100 years from now. But cutting the base is a very intrusive and obvious hacking of the phone. Altering the physical shape of any part of the phone, that is detectable, is seriously reducing the phones value.  JMHO
D/P
Dan,,,when I started this thread it was more for repairing a phone you owned than repairing it for sale. I found a very early thermoplastic phone that did not fit on its base. The shell had no cracks that was very unusual for this early version of thermoplastic. Many Forum members joined in with their opinions and I did get my shell on the base!! I was stoked. Super excited when it fit.

Yes,  I did eventually sell my phone and yes the buyer did know of the repairs. I think this is more about saving a vintage phone than seeing it damaged beyond repair from a crack. I understand your concerns, but I would be a lot more worried of someone drilling out the fragile thermoplastic shell than the very sturdy metal base. Just my humble opinion.

For the record, I have done NO preventative maintenance on my color 302s. It hasn't even been thought of, then again, I do not risk opening them either. No need! I just happily gaze at them on a shelf. They are a fragile piece of telephone history..take care....Doug
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Offline AE_Collector

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Good Discussion. THis has always been a cery relevant discussion for phone collectors with everyone having their own opinion on what is the best way to proactively prevent this problem.

Maybe some baseplates flare out at the top edge of the lip more than others. If so the tapping with a hammer might just do it. If it needs a bit more a small slot cut into the lip might allow the edge to be bent in a bit more while still not being as obvious as grinding the entire corner off.

Least obvious is grinding the inside of the plastic shell but that also seems dangerous to me.

Terry