Author Topic: I bought a WE 500 on eBay because I thought it was grey?  (Read 1861 times)

Offline AE40FAN

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I bought a WE 500 on eBay because I thought it was grey?
« on: October 25, 2012, 07:59:58 PM »
I just won this on Ebay for 30 dollars including shipping (more than I wanted to pay due to a 10 sec. left to the auction attempted snipe from another bidder).  The coiled cord and underneath the handset reveal a greyish color.  I thought it may be a badly uv-discolored grey phone.  I am starting to have doubts due to the dial.  It seems to be a newer style dial with the small opening around the finger stop.  Anyone know the exact year they discontinued grey WE 500s?

Online LarryInMichigan

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Re: I bought a WE 500 on eBay because I thought it was grey?
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2012, 08:04:52 PM »
I looks like badly sunburned light gray from here.  The dial is a #9 and was most probably changed much later.  11-59 would place it in the early ABS timeframe (if the shell was also made then).  According to Paul-F's website, gray was made until around 1978.

I expect that some peroxide treatments will bring back the gray color.

Larry

Offline AE40FAN

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Re: I bought a WE 500 on eBay because I thought it was grey?
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2012, 08:29:07 PM »
I figure the plastics are probably at latest from 67 because of it saying western electric G1 underneath the handset. Also, having a square bell system mark on the back as opposed to the later rounded version.  Exactly what year did they start producing #9 dials?

Offline RotarDad

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Re: I bought a WE 500 on eBay because I thought it was grey?
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2012, 09:17:22 PM »
I believe it was '65.  I have a #9 dated 5-65.  I have also tried to determine the date on the WE emblem transition from square versus more oval version.  I have a 4-69 red shell with the oval version and a '70 black one still with the square emblem.  I'm guessing the oval version was phased in during that time period.  Your  G3 handset (not the Bell System Property version) is earlier too.  '65 - '67 is probably a good guess for your refurb.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2012, 09:29:41 PM by RotarDad »
Paul

Offline AE40FAN

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Re: I bought a WE 500 on eBay because I thought it was grey?
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2012, 09:39:36 PM »
I hope I can get this to look good again...

Offline Dan

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Re: I bought a WE 500 on eBay because I thought it was grey?
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2012, 10:32:56 PM »
Peroxide would be tough here. Sanding would work , but it would be a labor of love.
"Imagine how weird telephones would look if our ears weren't so close to our mouths." - Steven Wright

Offline jsowers

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Re: I bought a WE 500 on eBay because I thought it was grey?
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2012, 12:33:47 PM »
Faded light gray hard plastic responds well to bleaching. Soft plastic too, for that matter. I speak from experience. Try one part bleach to two parts water in the summer sun for a day. Clean it off with plain water and dry. You may have to bleach it more than one time.

This time of year, unless you're in Florida or California, might not be optimum bleaching weather. It needs to be sunny and 80 or so for the full effect.

Sanding would be the absolute last resort, and with the modular modification on the back, it's not going to be as valuable as an unmodified phone.

I recently found what I thought was a light beige soft plastic phone, as a Buy it Now. I thought about it and emailed the seller with a couple questions and decided to get it since it was less than $30. It turned out to be faded light gray and not light beige. Sometimes it's very hard to tell the color when the pictures aren't good. I'm going to try bleaching on it when it turns warmer.

Good luck on your phone and please post pictures of the transformation.
Jonathan

Offline AE40FAN

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Re: I bought a WE 500 on eBay because I thought it was grey?
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2012, 01:35:38 PM »
Phone arrived today.  Plastics and Dial are from 67 and the base/internals are from 59.  Unfortunately, It arrived with a small crack on the back.  Wrapped in just newspapers.  Contacted the seller to inform him on his terrible packing job.  Hope I get at least a partial refund. It definitely has major UV discoloration.  It will be a labor of love to bring this back to life but, I am confident I will succeed as I've done it before with a cracked UV discolored Acqua Princess.  Any idea where I can pick up some NOS closed center fingerwheels for a decent price?

Offline olderdude60

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Re: I bought a WE 500 on eBay because I thought it was grey?
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2012, 09:41:45 PM »
If you check out the September Find of the month, you'll see my grey 500 - it was almost the same color as yours and it turned out well.  I used a 40 percent peroxide but I think 20 would have worked just as well - had a bit of swirling on main base housing.  Mine is also light grey and turned out well.  It took three light batches of the peroxide.  Did cords too!

Jim