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AVS619

Pitted Brass-Era Parts

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I am not sure this is the correct place to post but I need some help in the restoration of my 1911 IHC J-30. I have returned to work on it after long absence (hard to do at present as I can not use my left hand due to surgery but it has to get done). Attached is a factory photo of the car and photos of representative problems. Most metal parts, after de-rusting and cleaning, are pitted. The car sat from 1921 to 1991 and anything metal not covered in grease or oil got pits. Even the nuts and bolts are pitted. My question is, what is the best kind of filler to use to fill the pits before painting?  My promise to the original owners family was that I would use all the original parts, with a few safety exceptions. So, I need to fill, sand and prime them but need to know the best product for this. Thank you in advance!

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Edited by AVS619 (see edit history)

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Twer it me, and if I had infinite time and patience, I'd sand blast to give the parts good tooth, and fill with the best quality fine body fill, and sand, prime, paint. Of course all parts would not be good candidates such as wear parts, nuts, bolts, etc etc..............Bob

 

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If you can spray professional products, put 2-part epoxy primer on all steel parts, then use some sort of a filler primer from the same product line.

 

If you are stuck with rattle cans, get some rustoleum "self etching primer", put it on fairly thick, let it dry for a couple of days, and wet sand it until the high spots show through. Repeat until the pits are full (usually twice with deep ones like that), and then put one last thin coat on to cover the exposed steel, let dry, then paint.

 

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)
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48 firetruck gave you my choice--that ppg48 is good stuff--ahigh build primer& a sealer--been using it for the last 4 cars--Tom

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I really liked using 2 part epoxy putty. I bought it from POR-15, but it's available elsewhere too. Biggest advantage to that stuff is that it doesn't shrink later. Some other products do, so that even though you get it looking perfect when first completed, after some time the pits begin to slowly reappear. It's also pretty darn strong compared to thick buildups of paint, in my experience. 

 

But I am not a body man, and haven't done this kind of work in a decade or so. Perhaps by now some of those high-build primers, etc, are less prone to shrinkage now? I'll defer to folks with more recent experience. 

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I have actually used quite a bit of J B Weld to fill pits and even small amounts of rust through and pin-holes in rough parts. I usually use slow setting, however, the five-minute may actually be better for quick work. Part of the reason I usually use slow setting is because I use a fair amount of it for tasks that can take awhile to put together, or require that bit of extra strength, so I usually have it. You should see the pair of 1915 (rare early variation) model T Ford headlamps I just restored! They were nearly unrestorable when I got them. Dents, dozens of rust throughs under the size of a dime, must have been another hundred or more pin-holes! Even the mounting posts were pitted and one deeply gouged with a pipe wrench.

After a good de-rusting (I used molasses, followed by a rust converter), I worked out the dents. Then brazed several places that were broken and the worst rust thoughs (and one of them the threads on the mounting post were nearly GONE!). I also braze filled the worst pipe wrench gouges. Then, the J B Weld came out. I about thirty percent covered both buckets inside and out. Allowed to dry for a day, then filed all the outside (the inside I left a bit rough). Filled a few more areas. Filed a bit more. Then began priming and painting. Small amounts of spot putty were used to final smooth a few rough transitions. 

They're not ready for a show winning restoration. But they look darn good!

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Parts like that, I draw file or sand it first and knock down the high spots then fill with body filler, sometimes it doesn't even need the filler, the high build primer and a painter that knows how to paint these parts, works just fine.

 

Deeply pitted parts, I use a MIG welder and make tacks in the pits and sand them smooth, that is the best way. Time consuming and laborious though. 

 

Here are some parts I've made ready for paint. There is no easy way to do it, just lots of handfiling and sanding. This type of work falls in the category of "sculpting"

 

-Ron

 

 

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Thank you all for your help and suggestions. Looks like a lot of tedious work ahead of me (good thing I retired!) but this car is worth it. My wife bought it for my 40th birthday and that was quite some time ago (real life often gets in the way) and it was a real barn find (see photo). All the mechanics, brass and sheet metal have been restored and now down to the 'smaller' bits. It has been more than forty years since I did this sort of work and I appreciate the advice!

Our IHC.jpg

Edited by AVS619 (see edit history)
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Bob, Yes, I've been pretending to be a machinist for about 42 years now :)

 

Here are some patterns I made for some castings: The front axle yokes are for another car which needed to be remade as the originals were too far deteriorated. And while were on the subject of that vehicle, here is the seat I made and picked up from the painter, then I pinstriped it and the body. And yes I do my pinstriping in the kitchen.. I don't know why but pinstripes always look wider in pictures, those lines are only 1/32" wide, and they look jagged too in the pics, but they aren't. The main body is the original 1901 vintage, and man was it a mess when I started on it, broken, split, pieces missing and warped all over. Lots of sanding to get it flat.

 

For those that remember me mentioning and inquiring about it here, "Carriage black" from PPG turned out to be simply a gallon of black with 15 drops of white paint mixed in.

 

I stay busy....

 

-Ron

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Edited by Locomobile (see edit history)

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Extremely impressive. Is your mill cnc? It looks not, so  then how did you achive the 120 deg plane on the spokes without a rotary table i dont see.......bob

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Yes it's a CNC mill. Thanks for the compliment.

 

When CNC first started showing up on the scene, I was one of those "who needs that crap, that's for people that aren't machinists!" guys. Then I learned how to use one a long time ago, a huge Browne and Sharp Hydrocut tape reader,  now I have three mills, they are all CNC and one CNC lathe. I still have a big manual lathe for one off parts. Lathe work is mostly straight linear cutting, but I can do radii and arc profiles in the CNC lathe like this spherical piece pictured which is the swivel steering head for a tiller steering set up. Last pic it's at the top of the steering shaft on the tiller. The center piece curvature profile to mate the sphere was hand filed and fitted. Can't find those parts, have to make them.

 

-Ron

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Edited by Locomobile (see edit history)

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Beautiful attention to detail. When i first saw the differential casting on the mill i thought it was staged because i couldn,t see how you could make the angle cut as shown manually. Were the gears off the shelf or did you have them made. Forgive me for assuming you did not cut, heat treat and grind them.......bob

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Gears are always cheaper to buy than try to make, I bought those from Boston Gear. Gears are a science in and among themselves. Not only the geometry, but the correct material and proper lash, pressure angle and all that. It's not worth trying to make them, if they can be purchased. Even the Amish have a limit on DIY :)

 

To find one of those original differentials in serviceable condition, they are virtually non-existent. With this age vehicle (1901), a person could devote many years to just searching out all these original parts and never get anything built. My analogy on that is "it's like scraping paint off an old garage, at some point ya just have to stop scraping and start painting" At some point the part searching has to stop and the build commence, and make the things that are missing.

 

-Ron

 

 

Edited by Locomobile (see edit history)
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I totally agree. Are the castings steel? Chips look like it but maybe a more malleable cast iron. Bed time for me now...........Bob

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Good eye, Yes malleable cast, nodular iron, same stuff they make crankshafts, suspension parts etc out of. The only thing I use gray cast for is pistons in steam engines.

 

-Ron

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Your work is exceptional. I suspected you were an old hand early on when you mentioned "draw filing"............Bob

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