Thread Number: 12144
Newbie KIrby 508 questions
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Post# 130082   3/31/2011 at 21:18 (4,713 days old) by andyjon100 ()        

Hello all! My name is Andy, lover of all things old. I am an electrician by trade, and love old mechanical and electrical things.. Years ago, I pulled this Kirby 508 and box of attachments out of a partially collapsed garage.I cleaned it up, and used it until I got divorced, and it was put into storage. Now, I am interested in the possibility of refurbishing it, like some of the beauties I have seen on this site. My new wife wants me to get rid of it, because she loves her Riccar, but I like the Kirby better.I feel it is more powerful and quieter. She doesn't want to deal with the attachments, as she is used to just pulling off the hose and going to town...I have done some research online, and found a bit of information, but I still have some questions. I know the light hood trim is wrong, as is the cord. Is the bag correct? How about the front trim? The hose isn't pictured, as I haven't run across it in the storage unit yet, but it is gray cloth with red stripes... Is that correct?
Can the correct parts be had for this? Somewhere, I also have the polisher and spray gun for this, along with a grinder that doesn't fit it...
I know it is from 1948... what was the selling price for this, along with the attachments back then?
Any assistance anyone can give me would be greatly appreciated!

Post# 130108 , Reply# 1   3/31/2011 at 23:21 (4,713 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

eurekastar's profile picture
As you already know, the 508 was built in 1948. Looking at yours, it does have the correct belt lifter. The 509 belt lifter took on a slightly different look. The handle grip would have been a gray rubber, along with the other trim pieces and nozzle bumper. The cord also would have been gray. I'm not positive, but I think your bag probably is original. Here are a few photos of mine with a replacement bag.

Post# 130109 , Reply# 2   3/31/2011 at 23:24 (4,713 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

eurekastar's profile picture
The rubber handle grips are no longer available. In fact, I think Kirby switched to a gray plastic grip with the 509. Kirby still makes replacement grips and plastic trim, but it's all in tan. So I spray mine out using a vinyl/plastic automotive paint.

Post# 130111 , Reply# 3   3/31/2011 at 23:26 (4,713 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

eurekastar's profile picture
Here's a look at the belt lifters for the 508 on left and the 509 on right. Notice that there is a very slight difference. The 509 (on right) has its original bumper. The 508 has a sprayed out bumper. I was lucky to find a gray paint that matches very closely.

Post# 130113 , Reply# 4   3/31/2011 at 23:28 (4,713 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

eurekastar's profile picture
The Em-Tor tray would have been a gray plastic. Mine has a replacement cord on it too. The original cord would have had a round machine end.

Post# 130115 , Reply# 5   3/31/2011 at 23:32 (4,713 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

eurekastar's profile picture
This is my 508 before I rebuilt it. It was actually in pretty good shape. The bag guard is not original to the 508, so I removed it when I rebuilt it. I don't think those were introduced until the 516 (but I don't know that for sure).

Post# 130116 , Reply# 6   3/31/2011 at 23:32 (4,713 days old) by henry200 (Saint Paul MN)        

This post has been removed by the member who posted it.

Post# 130117 , Reply# 7   4/1/2011 at 00:02 (4,713 days old) by henry200 (Saint Paul MN)        

Welcome Andy! Eurekastar, your restoration looks wonderful, congratulations. You have a replacement bag on yours, Andy. The insignia would have been a "script" style, like on your attachments box I'm pretty sure. I have the orginal bag for my model 515, but it's too fragile so I use a bag that's from a year or two later model. Even a new plain black bag as on Eurekastar's 509 would look fine on your machine, I think. Who knows, every so often someone here manages to find something which was thought to be extinct.

Post# 130123 , Reply# 8   4/1/2011 at 07:57 (4,712 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

eurekastar's profile picture
Neil is right! I don't know why I didn't pick up on that. Kirby gradually began introducing the block lettering on the 513. At first, they used it only on the builder's plate for the 4 amp model. Then it was phased in on the bags on later models. The block script didn't show up on the belt lifters until the 516. So you're bag is definitely from a later model, but I don't know enough to tell you exactly which one. But as Neil said, the black replacement bag looks really nice. That's the current bag that Kirby is selling.

Post# 130126 , Reply# 9   4/1/2011 at 09:33 (4,712 days old) by andyjon100 ()        

Here are a few closer photos....

Post# 130127 , Reply# 10   4/1/2011 at 09:34 (4,712 days old) by andyjon100 ()        

more pics...

Post# 130128 , Reply# 11   4/1/2011 at 09:35 (4,712 days old) by andyjon100 ()        


Post# 130129 , Reply# 12   4/1/2011 at 09:36 (4,712 days old) by andyjon100 ()        


Post# 130130 , Reply# 13   4/1/2011 at 09:36 (4,712 days old) by andyjon100 ()        

still another...

Post# 130131 , Reply# 14   4/1/2011 at 09:37 (4,712 days old) by andyjon100 ()        


Post# 130132 , Reply# 15   4/1/2011 at 09:38 (4,712 days old) by andyjon100 ()        


Post# 130133 , Reply# 16   4/1/2011 at 09:38 (4,712 days old) by andyjon100 ()        


Post# 130134 , Reply# 17   4/1/2011 at 09:39 (4,712 days old) by andyjon100 ()        

bag logo close up

Post# 130135 , Reply# 18   4/1/2011 at 09:41 (4,712 days old) by andyjon100 ()        


Post# 130136 , Reply# 19   4/1/2011 at 09:42 (4,712 days old) by andyjon100 ()        


Post# 130137 , Reply# 20   4/1/2011 at 09:52 (4,712 days old) by andyjon100 ()        

Thanks for all of your replies... The corduroy type bag on this one is still very pliable. It has some fraying starting around where it attaches to the dust cup, but it works well.A bag guard would probably help the situation. I hand washed the bag way back when I originally cleaned it. I think I'd rather keep what I have until I really need to replace it, as I feel that even though it's not a 508 bag, it's still vintage, and closer to original than a brand new replacement.Would anybody out there have a correct cord?

Post# 130138 , Reply# 21   4/1/2011 at 09:53 (4,712 days old) by henry200 (Saint Paul MN)        

Thanks for posting the additional pics, Andy. With some work and a few odd parts your Kirby should clean up nicely and be something you'll enjoy using and showing off......a great conversation starter when guests see it standing in the corner of the room. It looks like you have all the original attachments, and even a bonus extra shoulder strap!

Post# 130141 , Reply# 22   4/1/2011 at 10:04 (4,712 days old) by andyjon100 ()        

Thanks, Henry200... Unfortunately, I think actually displaying it may be out of the question...My wife wants me to get rid of it as it is...I already have the house filled with my "displays"..4 crank phonographs, 12 antique radios, 7 antique clocks,antique oil, electric, and gas lamps of almost every description, 3 vintage Pachinko machines... you get the picture....If I DO do it,I think I'm going to wind up doing it just because....

Post# 130142 , Reply# 23   4/1/2011 at 10:37 (4,712 days old) by henry200 (Saint Paul MN)        
just because......

LOL, anyone who collects things rarely collects only one kind of thing. Collecting and displaying our treasures gives us immense pleasure, sometimes in direct proportion to the consternation it causes everyone else in the household. I for one, and I'm sure plenty of others here would enjoy seeing pics of your other treasures on the off-topic forum.

Post# 130216 , Reply# 24   4/1/2011 at 22:11 (4,712 days old) by andyjon100 ()        

I am among my kind! I would love to post some pics of some of my other "treasures", which I will do probably next week.
Anyway, back to the topic at hand... the 508. It looks like it's not to be for me... After a lengthy "discussion" with my wife, if I put any money into it, I will have to "use it as a replacement to do the things I won't do for you anymore!"...If you get the drift...Honestly, she has been verrrrry paitent and supportive of most of my projects, so I'll give her this one.To do all that and not even be able to display it....So I guess I'll be looking for a good home for her. Anybody interested?

Post# 130229 , Reply# 25   4/1/2011 at 22:56 (4,712 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

eurekastar's profile picture
I'll bet you can find a taker. Wish I could take it, but I'm moving in June. So I don't need another thing to pack up!

Post# 130321 , Reply# 26   4/2/2011 at 15:34 (4,711 days old) by andyjon100 ()        

I don't really want to relegate it back to storage to deteriorate, and the wife doesn't want more "junk" (to her) here....The trashpile is out of the question....

Post# 130338 , Reply# 27   4/2/2011 at 17:43 (4,711 days old) by aeoliandave (Stratford Ontario Canada)        

aeoliandave's profile picture
Hey there, Andy.
I have a Model 510 that would love to have a 508 for company.

I live a mere 2 hours west of Buffalo but at this time of year because of work can only travel on Sundays - next Saturday is free, too.

We should talk...I'll toss an email your way later tonight.


Post# 130340 , Reply# 28   4/2/2011 at 17:50 (4,711 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        
@ Dave

eurekastar's profile picture
The handle grip your 510 looks different. Is that a Canadian model?

Post# 130346 , Reply# 29   4/2/2011 at 18:12 (4,711 days old) by aeoliandave (Stratford Ontario Canada)        

aeoliandave's profile picture
Not to worry, Bill.

I found this 510 with a weird replacement handgrip on it. As you spied its oddness it is a soft flesh toned featureless blob that faintly resembles a male body part.(!!)
I have replaced it since this photo with a proper Kirby shaped grip, although a red one.

I'm not sure about the bag but all the gray rubber trim and cord seem original.

I have no gray tools or the hose for it so the 508 would have a very welcoming home here among the 10 other Kirbys.


Post# 130353 , Reply# 30   4/2/2011 at 19:00 (4,711 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

eurekastar's profile picture
Dave, you're bag looks like it's in really good shape too!

Post# 130390 , Reply# 31   4/2/2011 at 23:23 (4,711 days old) by andyjon100 ()        

That would be great, Dave!Looking forward to hearing from you!

Post# 130471 , Reply# 32   4/3/2011 at 18:06 (4,710 days old) by aeoliandave (Stratford Ontario Canada)        

aeoliandave's profile picture
Had a bit of problem sending - probably a local glitch - but an email seemed to go through a few minutes ago, Andy.

Meantime I came across this Kirby Kickline shot when I was organizing the Vacuum Lounge a few months ago. The five G Series are lined up beside the bed on the left.


Post# 356003 , Reply# 33   7/13/2016 at 12:03 (2,782 days old) by KirbyCollector (Columbus Ohio USA)        

kirbycollector's profile picture
These are great examples of really old all original kirbys

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