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Paint and Prep for Restoration Projects

tailstock4

Cast Iron
Joined
Mar 3, 2013
Location
Oklahoma, USA
The topic of how I paint machine tools including the Pratt & Whitney is lengthy, but it’s the details that make a difference. I’ll break it into multiple posts to try to make it more readable.
I’m not a professional painter or paint expert. However, one of the reasons I decided to post this is that I figure many who are interested in this subject on this forum aren’t either. I generally get decent results, and I’m confident that others can too.
First thing to remember is that I consider a good paint job to be a byproduct of a refresh or a rebuild of a machine. What I mean is the quality of the paint job is proportional to the amount of disassembly done. It is easier to prep and paint small individual parts than to try to mask a large machine made up of intricate parts. When you paint a machine that is not disassembled, it can wind up with too much paint in some areas and not enough in others. This is how you get runs and overspray.
I’ll divide this into three sections: 1) Materials and tools, 2) Machine preparation, and 3) Painting.

*Moderator edit from Heavy Iron: The beginning posts of this thread were copied and used to make a new thread, as I felt it was quite deserving, and this new thread moved to the Reconditioning section. These posts began around post #132 of an excellent thread here:

Also the pics in this very first post were left in by the mod as eye candy, but also because copying and moving individual posts is not quite as easy on the new platform. I had to cut, add, delete to make it happen.*
 

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tailstock4

Cast Iron
Joined
Mar 3, 2013
Location
Oklahoma, USA
1) Material and Tools

I’ve included some pictures of the materials I use. Through the years I’ve tried several paints but finally settled on Anchor Paint’s Saf-T-Gard I or II with a cyanalite hardener. This paint seems to be durable, relatively low cost, and easy to touch up or repaint. The hardener I use is Anchor’s Polyurethane Converter J1100. Using a hardener allows me to change ratios from an 8:1 full strength which is very hard to a 16:1 half strength which has more chip resistance.

I know some people are reluctant to use cyanalite, but if you are careful about ventilation and safety equipment, I’ve never had a problem. The one thing to keep in mind is if you miss a little part and you’ve already taken your mask off, don’t think “I’ll just shoot the one little part without a mask.” You cannot do that. Always use an appropriate respirator. I use two North half-mask respirators. One has a P100 cartridges which is used only for sanding. The other has a P100 cartridges with charcoal which is only used for painting. The reason I use charcoal version is that it removes the paint odor. If you smell paint, you’ll know you have a problem with your filter. I also use a Tyvek full white suit with hood and nitrile gloves that I get from Harbor Freight.

I use Evercoat Rage Gold filler. It is easy to sand, relatively soft, and sticks to about anything. I experimented with harder fillers, but they are harder to sand and if you drop a crescent wrench it chips it regardless of the type of filler used.

For sandpaper I use Indasa Rhynostick Rolls which I buy from Eastwood. I use 80, 120, 180, 220 and 320 grits. This sandpaper has a sticky back which can be folded over on itself making it easy to hold. It’s expensive but cuts quickly and lasts a long time.

I use either Evercoat Feather Fill primer or Eastwood High Build Self-Etching primer in aerosol cans and by the quart applied via a spray gun depending on the size of the part. This goes on after the filler work is done.

The other primer I use is Anchor Quick Dry Gray Primer which goes over the feather fill coat. This is important because the feather fill primer is porous. I use the Quick Dry Primer not only because it dries quickly, but when you paint intricate parts, it is easy to get too much primer in small areas which causes cure problems (i.e. it leaves it soft). If you spray over an uncured soft primer, you’ll get peeling or cracks. This primer helps you avoid some of those problems.

I use is Anchor J1131 Synthetic paint thinner. It works well in a variety of different temperatures and works with the primers and paint.

When I mask parts, I use low stick masking tape, box of razor blades and a full bucket of rubber and cork plugs ranging in size from about ¼” to 2” in diameter. I use these to plug holes and bearing bores. It is important to keep this paint off precision surfaces as it can be difficult to remove when dry. Also keep several rolls of round foam weather insulation. This can be put in bolt holes and cut flush with a razor blade.

The spray gun I use is a 3M Accuspray. For general painting I use the 1.4mm head and the larger heads for primers and fillers. The heads are plastic, come in different nozzle sizes and are disposable (i.e. pitch instead clean). The gun also has liners and strainer built into the disposable cups. This makes clean up very easy, requires very little solvent and allows for quick color changes. The gun is very simple to adjust. It has a fan control which I use one turn open; fluid control with 3 turns open at 20 PSI trigger down and hold. It does a remarkably high-quality job for being mostly plastic and disposable.

One other tool… Most machine tools have metal tags that are held on by little brad screws. These can be difficult to remove without destroying the tag. I use a wood chisel that has been ground down to a long, thin wedge with a small square notch in the center (1/8” x ¼”). The leading edge is sharp. This allows you to get under the tag’s edge and pry up the brad without damaging the tag. If you don’t want to damage existing filler and paint, stick a piece of poster board under the heal first. This always works. These metal tags should be removed because they are harbinger of oil, the nemesis of a good paint job.

There are four power tools I use which are a belt grinder with a medium Scotch-Brite belt, a buffer which I use with only two compounds that I keep separate on two different wheels, and a two wire buffers which I keep very soft wire wheels on. I keep all of these away from precision surfaces, but there are many other places these can be used. The power tool is a power washer as mentioned in an earlier post. I use it on bases, chip trays, beds and columns – things that all moving parts can be removed first. I usually keep it away from headstocks, saddles, aprons, those kind of things.
 

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tailstock4

Cast Iron
Joined
Mar 3, 2013
Location
Oklahoma, USA
2) Machine preparation

First thing I do even before I disassemble anything is to give the machine a good cleaning using lacquer thinner with white rags. I then break the machine into subsections. For lathes this is headstock and bed, apron and saddle, pedestals or base, tailstock, and taper attachment. Each section is its own project. Mills, drills, grinders, and jib bores are sectioned in the same general manner.

If possible, I use a degreaser and power washer on the bases. On more sensitive parts I use lacquer thinner and brake cleaner. I remove all old paint by either lacquer thinner and/or sanding. I try to leave the original filler intact wherever possible. Oil contamination will of course require you to go to cast iron.

One word of caution… Many of these old machines used asbestos as a binder in the filler. It makes for a hard filler that is easily sandable. If you must sand these machines, it is best to do it by wet sanding. I found many of the old fillers are better than anything you can find now so try to leave them.

Next, I begin filling with the Rage Gold and sanding with 80 grit. Then sequential filling with less material and finer papers. When finally satisfied, I will spray the High Build primer. If you have any oil contamination, it may take 24 hours or more to appear and will often appear as a slight wet or dark spot. Draw a circle around it with a magic marker about 4 to 5 times larger than the spot, dig it out and start again.

When everything is covered with the primer and sanded with 320 grit paper, the High Build primer will fill in any fine scratches left from sanding. From there clean and remove all dusts with lint free rags and shoot your Quick Dry Primer. I usually wait 24 hours to make sure all areas are dry. You should not be able to dent anywhere with your fingernail. Any areas that feel gritty or over sprayed should be sanded with 400 grit wet/dry paper. Sand it dry. Then clean again. Any place you might have that has not cured, take a white terry cloth and lacquer thinner and gently remove some thickness of the primer. When it dries, sand with 400 grit paper and spray that spot with a good quality quick drying gray aerosol can primer. We are now about ready to paint

A pallet jack and a couple of pallets are helpful items to move around parts. You can also rig 2x4 frame with arms for hanging small parts. I use aluminum electric fence wire. It is cheap and pliable.
 

tailstock4

Cast Iron
Joined
Mar 3, 2013
Location
Oklahoma, USA
3) Painting

A few words about mixing paint, hardener and thinner. An example, put in 16 ounces of paint. In this case I need 2 ounces of hardener. I’ll pour the hardener in clear, disposable cup and mark a line at the 1 and 2 ounce mark. I’ll mark up several of these disposable cups this way. This makes it quick to mix up additional batches minimizing paint waste. Leave enough room when mixing paint for the hardener and thinner. When it is cold, you’ll add more thinner to avoid orange peel. But too much thinner will cause runs and thins the paint too much. You have to find a happy medium somewhere in between.

I usually apply 3 to 4 coats. When applying the first coat it is important to ensure complete coverage of the part hitting all of the nooks and crannies. You are not worrying about thickness of this coat. After each coat, let it dry until it becomes tacky to the touch. This is very important.

The second coat is the first wet coat. This means heavier application of paint until you get a wet appearance. Let it dry until tacky. If the fourth coat is the finish, then the third coat would be a repeat of coat #2. On the fourth and final coat, I usually back up a little bit and spray more broadly until the paint has a wet sheen.

A brief word about potential problems.

I paint outdoors or in an open door with a slight draft pulling outside. Bugs, occasionally drifting cottonwood tree seeds, etc. can happen. Two things I always keep handy. A pair of long nose tweezers and small foam brush. If you get a bug that decides to take a swim, you can pluck him out while the paint is still wet, dip foam brush in a small out of thinned paint and carefully pull it over the blemish. Then recoat with one more spray. If you’re lucky, you won’t be able to find it back. If you’re not lucky, you may have to wait 24 hours, sand and recoat.

It is important to get the masking tape off within about 24 hours. As the paint dries, it tends to grab it. One of the pluses of this paint for machine tools is that it can be carefully handled in 24 hours, assembled in 48 hours and rigged on in about a week.

The reason I apply the next coat to a tacky surface is if you paint too many coats too quickly, the paint will begin to run in a “curtain” fashion.

The time between coats varies with temperature. In hot weather you can apply the next coat almost as you can get done shooting the previous coat on several parts. In cooler temperatures you may have to wait up to 10 to 20 minutes. One tip is if you have less experience painting, don’t try to paint too many items at once. With more experience, you can manage more items in one session.

In 24 to 48 hours you can use polishing compounds to remove any overspray if needed.

This paint tends to need a little temperature to start to harden. At least close to 70 degrees. If fact both hardener and mixed paint can be kept under refrigeration for up to a week with no issues. The paint will eventually turn solid.

I know this is a long and perhaps too many details, but good paint results are about details. And this is the kind of information I wish someone had shared with me when I got started.

I've included some pictures of other machines I've rebuilt and painted.
 

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tailstock4

Cast Iron
Joined
Mar 3, 2013
Location
Oklahoma, USA
Great write up and pictures. How did you do the covers for the Moore? Dave
Thanks.

The way and the dial covers are rubberized vinyl. They are attached by a two-piece frame inside and outside with the cover material sandwiched in between and fastened together with screws. At the bottom of the brackets on each side there is a screw that holds the frames to the saddle. This was Moore’s original setup – I just changed the material. Originally, I tried Buna-N sheets, but this attracted dirt so I settled on the rubberized vinyl.

I also made a cover at the very top of the machine for the open slot in that top cover. It just helps keep out that much more dirt in the gearing up there.
 

texasgeartrain

Titanium
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Location
Houston, TX
For another glimpse of how tailstock4's work turns out, check out this thread:
 

Gard

Aluminum
Joined
Mar 18, 2016
Excellent write up, could you provide any more detail on the tool you use to remove the metal plate brads? About what angle is it ground at? I guess the slot is 1/8" wide and 1/4" long?
 

Madharvester

Plastic
Joined
Dec 28, 2022
Tailstock4, or anyone really. Is there a special paint that you use in the valleys on the tables? Also, I've read a lot of re painting threads, and I couldn't find anyone who mentions painting under the base or coating the inside of a column for example, is this done or since it's not much an issue people just bypass? I understand large machines most people probably wouldn't do because of the weight and or not having proper lifting equipment and such.

Thanks, in advanced and great write up/nice work
 

texasgeartrain

Titanium
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Location
Houston, TX
Good copy, same stuff used in engine valleys. Makes sense... Thanks
I had some of the same questions myself, and had talked with tailstock4 about it. As Garwood mentioned its Glyptal.

Glyptal was developed by GE, and in at least part, was used to paint and insulate inside of electric motors as well. Glyptal has different part numbers based on size, color etc, the typical red color is 1201 or 1201b:
163.jpg

I found mine from a Houston distributor Hisco:

Doing a bit of clean up and restore to an old electric motor it worked quite well:

184.JPG 185.JPG

With the pretty inside hidden, the outside turned out well too:

190.JPG
 

tailstock4

Cast Iron
Joined
Mar 3, 2013
Location
Oklahoma, USA
Tailstock4, or anyone really. Is there a special paint that you use in the valleys on the tables? Also, I've read a lot of re painting threads, and I couldn't find anyone who mentions painting under the base or coating the inside of a column for example, is this done or since it's not much an issue people just bypass? I understand large machines most people probably wouldn't do because of the weight and or not having proper lifting equipment and such.

Thanks, in advanced and great write up/nice work
I often use Glyptal, but I have also used Anchor’s Saf-T-Gard paint with the urethane hardener. Both hold up well to oil and chips although Glyptal may be a little tougher.

As far as painting the inside of machines, I often will paint the inside of columns, inside of pedestal bases or electrical boxes – anywhere I may have to access for service in the future. It just makes things cleaner and neater to work on and shows an attention to detail.

The most important part about painting machine tools is getting everything really clean first – both inside and out. At that point, it is easy to paint the insides. I often just prime and brush this part.
 

tailstock4

Cast Iron
Joined
Mar 3, 2013
Location
Oklahoma, USA
I had some of the same questions myself, and had talked with tailstock4 about it. As Garwood mentioned its Glyptal.

Glyptal was developed by GE, and in at least part, was used to paint and insulate inside of electric motors as well. Glyptal has different part numbers based on size, color etc, the typical red color is 1201 or 1201b:
View attachment 382910

I found mine from a Houston distributor Hisco:

Doing a bit of clean up and restore to an old electric motor it worked quite well:

View attachment 382914 View attachment 382919

With the pretty inside hidden, the outside turned out well too:

View attachment 382920
Regarding “With the pretty inside hidden, the outside turned out well too”… Amazing how often that turns out to be the case. I suppose it has something to do with being thorough and detail oriented.

Nice job!
 

Madharvester

Plastic
Joined
Dec 28, 2022
I had some of the same questions myself, and had talked with tailstock4 about it. As Garwood mentioned its Glyptal.

Glyptal was developed by GE, and in at least part, was used to paint and insulate inside of electric motors as well. Glyptal has different part numbers based on size, color etc, the typical red color is 1201 or 1201b:
View attachment 382910

I found mine from a Houston distributor Hisco:

Doing a bit of clean up and restore to an old electric motor it worked quite well:

View attachment 382914 View attachment 382919

With the pretty inside hidden, the outside turned out well too:

View attachment 382920

I'll add this to my knowledge as I have a couple motor clean ups in my future. Thanks for the additional in-depth information and that motor turned out nice. Nice work.
 

Madharvester

Plastic
Joined
Dec 28, 2022
I often use Glyptal, but I have also used Anchor’s Saf-T-Gard paint with the urethane hardener. Both hold up well to oil and chips although Glyptal may be a little tougher.

As far as painting the inside of machines, I often will paint the inside of columns, inside of pedestal bases or electrical boxes – anywhere I may have to access for service in the future. It just makes things cleaner and neater to work on and shows an attention to detail.

The most important part about painting machine tools is getting everything really clean first – both inside and out. At that point, it is easy to paint the insides. I often just prime and brush this part.
Tailstock thanks for the added insight and follow up.

All makes sense, I just wasn't sure if there would be a reason not to besides access and what not. I painted the base and inside the column on my current rebuild just because I felt it made sense being torn down completely and it makes it cleaner or less hidden potential problems I guess, at least in my mind.

Once again thank you for your knowledge and time.
 








 
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