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Restored 1910s Kellogg Candlesticks

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Kellogg Telephones1 of 57K500, DK500 and WE500 colorsHow To Clean faux-Brass Shaft and Bakelight???
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Posted 1 month ago

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SpiritBear
(701 items)

I decided to stop at this point (my 2-day project). I could redo the cords and felt bottom and continue sanding the Bakelite to a smooth polish, but I decided to give it the aged look and roughed-up my shiny, jet-black enamel paint I had given them (albeit I lightly polished the roughed enamel with an automotive wax).

The Bakelite was the hardest part-- Especially the earpiece. High-grit sand-paper, 0000 Steel Wool, and something called 'Ultimate Rubbing Compound' at least made it black again, albeit a moderate amount of pitting and oxidation remains, especially on the collar. Non-yellowing, non-shrinking clear-coat should prevent further deterioration.
800-grit sand-paper, 0000 steel wool, the compound, and a clear-coat used on all black Bakelite pieces.

I used a heavy stripper on the brassed head (after dismantling half the phone and taping up parts I wasn't going to remove, like shaft and cords) and bought a rotary tool to polish it. Steel carbide rotary brush used before a nylon brush and 0000 steel wool and compound. 800-grit sand-paper used before brushes. Final touch was a felt polishing tip that spattered the Brasso I rubbed into it, even under low speed. I was disappointed with the brass brush, which shredded and lodged pieces in my face and leg almost immediately.

After a rubbing with Brasso on the brass, I wiped on a little black paint over the letters and numbers so as to accentuate them. More is needed, but for now I'm content and will let the brass age naturally to match the rest of the phone.

The sand-paper, wool, and compound removed the surface layers of the Bakelite shaft, but its oxidation is complete and will remain brown indefinitely. No clear-coat was added.

The other phone, I came to find out, is called a Dispatcher Phone, because of the style of holder. Upon finding the correct ear-piece, I will strip the lever and head down to brass as well. For now, it sits. Same treatment as other phone; main difference is I repainted the base.

Everything went back together well and works (as far as I know) just as it did before.

They look great with the redone bell-boxes.

Comments

  1. AnythingObscure AnythingObscure, 1 month ago
    AHA -- I *thought* that 2nd phone was kinda unique... :-) I like old phones too, but don't think I've ever seen one with an unusual hookswitch like that. Glad you found some info about it, was a "Dispatcher Phone" used on a switchboard or something??
  2. SpiritBear SpiritBear, 1 month ago
    Office use. It should have had an extending arm to allow it to move without being knocked over, and that may have been what cracked the Bakelite-- the bracket that would have clamped on.
  3. PoliticalPinbacks PoliticalPinbacks, 1 month ago
    FINE job there SB The brass looks ? sexy LOL
  4. SpiritBear SpiritBear, 1 month ago
    *Chuckles.* Just wait, John. If the brass is sexy, once I fix up an incoming nickel one (and get something to adapt it to work with my new cell-phone), you're gonna think my next one is friggen HAWT.
    As for how I'm gonna rewire and adapt it, no idea. I just know that with a will there is a way. :)
  5. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 1 month ago
    That was fast ! And a great job !
  6. SpiritBear SpiritBear, 1 month ago
    Thank you, Blunderbuss. I had figured it would be a 2-day project due to drying times.
  7. jscott0363 jscott0363, 1 month ago
    Amazing restoration SpiritBear!! They look incredible!
  8. SpiritBear SpiritBear, 1 month ago
    Thank you kindly, jscott0363.
  9. Rick55 Rick55, 1 month ago
    Great restoration job Spirit! Photo 3 really shows off your excellent metal work!
  10. SpiritBear SpiritBear, 1 month ago
    Thank you, Rick, for the compliment.

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