Oak Telephone

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Project by Jim Jakosh posted 05-28-2010 05:03 PM 1711 views 8 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a telephone I made some years ago when I only had a Craftsman radial arm saw , a jig saw and a Craftsman 1hp 1/4” router. One friend gave me the detailed drawings of the wood parts for these old phones and another friend gave me 1 old metal dial extension phone from a school that was demolished. I gave them each a wood phone and completed this one with the dial from the old metal phone. It was all black and under that old finish I found that it was a solid brass dialer with white porcelain with black inlaid numbers in a stainless back ring. I modified the phone plan to make mine a dial phone. The mouthpiece ,the dialer and the ear piece worked with the modern dial phone so I installed the guts from a Bell phone and it works on our phone system.

The wood parts are red oak and I finger joined the box using the RAS tipped at 90 degrees and cutting all the boards in ones stack. I had to make a big dial for my RAS graduated in 1/64’s so I could accurately index it up for each cut.

The finish is Zar 120 stain with polyurethane on top.

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

15 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


116492 posts in 3386 days

#1 posted 05-28-2010 05:12 PM

Really cool Jim I like it.

-- Custom furniture

View BOB67CAM's profile


269 posts in 2881 days

#2 posted 05-28-2010 05:15 PM

thats really cool!

-- if you dont have it, build it, especially when its a stupid idea

View thatwoodworkingguy's profile


375 posts in 2739 days

#3 posted 05-28-2010 06:00 PM

Love it. Brings back memorys. My grandmother had one identical to this. I used to pretend to call people on it.

-- ~Eagle America~ ~Woodcraft~

View Ken90712's profile


17488 posts in 2998 days

#4 posted 05-28-2010 07:13 PM

Nice project!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View ohwoodeye's profile


1913 posts in 2962 days

#5 posted 05-28-2010 07:40 PM

Very nice. I was looking into making one of these myself or perhaps just a dummy phone with a cordless hidden inside the case. Your real working phone is awsome however I couldn’t live with the dial vs push button feature.

-- Directions are just the Manufacturer's opinion on how something should be assembled. ----Mike, Waukesha, WI

View wchips's profile


314 posts in 2897 days

#6 posted 05-28-2010 07:58 PM

Nice phone. I remember when my folks had one similar to yours it did not have a dial. instead it had a crank on the side that turned a small generator . back in those days most everyone was on a party line,about4 to6 on the line. each person had its own ring Something like Morris code LOL. 2 long rings or i long and a short and so on You could listen in any person,s conservation Every one knew everybody else’s business or gossip. They called those the good old days. Have a nice day Lee

-- wchips

View oldoak's profile


56 posts in 2788 days

#7 posted 05-28-2010 08:35 PM

Nicely done. I have an old Chicago phone similiar but without the writing shelf. Could it be possible to get the pattern?

View levan's profile


472 posts in 2789 days

#8 posted 05-28-2010 08:43 PM

really neat idea great job

-- "If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right". Henry Ford

View Jim Jakosh's profile (online now)

Jim Jakosh

19567 posts in 2915 days

#9 posted 05-28-2010 10:24 PM

Hi Lee, to be exactly original, this phone should have a crank, but I thought I’d put that dial to good use and we could also use it on our system. It is a novelty when folks come over.

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 3583 days

#10 posted 05-28-2010 11:48 PM

Good looking phone. Very nicely done. Thanks for posting.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View Grumpy's profile


23082 posts in 3660 days

#11 posted 05-29-2010 01:06 AM

Nice one Jim.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Jim Crockett (USN Retired)'s profile

Jim Crockett (USN Retired)

852 posts in 3542 days

#12 posted 05-29-2010 02:48 AM

What a masterpiece – very nicely done! Do you use it or is it for display now?


-- A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including his/her life".

View Monty Queen's profile

Monty Queen

1593 posts in 3061 days

#13 posted 05-29-2010 04:07 AM

Awesome job on the phone, fantastic work.

-- Monty Q, Columbia, South Carolina.

View Skylark53's profile


2653 posts in 2869 days

#14 posted 05-29-2010 04:25 AM

I just put an antique one up for my Mom-in-law. Great work on yours.!

-- Rick, Tennessee, John 3:16

View Jim Jakosh's profile (online now)

Jim Jakosh

19567 posts in 2915 days

#15 posted 06-02-2010 05:28 AM

Hi Jim Crockett, The phone is always there to use. It is hooked to the AT&T phone system. The ringer is turned off and now we can only get incoming calls. When we switched to U-Verse, the system no longer accepted dialed numbers- they all have to be digital push button calls.
I have one more case put together but never finished it. I does not have the dialer bored in the front so it is more like original.

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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