Paint Color

All discussion about lathes including but not limited to: South Bend, Hardinge, Logan, Monarch, Clausing and other HSM lathes, including imports

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Paint Color

Post by Chessi2700 » Fri May 10, 2019 4:14 pm

I have a 1932 Southbend heavy 9" lathe with a clutch drive. I want to overhaul and paint it. It is vary dark. I don't think it's black. some of it looks like a very dark blue Does any one know what the standard color was for that time frame? any help would very much appreciated.

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Re: Paint Color

Post by Harold_V » Sat May 11, 2019 3:26 am

Chessi2700 wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 4:14 pm
It is vary dark. I don't think it's black.
If you fail in your quest for the proper color, you might consider giving a small area that is still painted a little roughing up with some fine sanding media. I'd suggest something in the vicinity of 200 grit, and new. That will likely expose paint that has not oxidized or stained, and will be true to the original color, making it much easier to match.

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Glenn Brooks
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Re: Paint Color

Post by Glenn Brooks » Sat May 11, 2019 10:20 am

There are a couple of older threads on paint colors for machine tools. Very interesting comments and lathe history, if I remember correctly. Might be worth a search. For example early day Southbends were coated in a natural substance called Gilsonite, aka Asphaultium - which is a mineral substance that was mixed with linseed oil and lamp black, then baked on the castings. As it cooled, the mineral structures solidified and coated the lathe with an impervious surface. Henry Ford used the same coatings to protect undercarriages of his early day automobiles. Apparently you can still buy cans of this stuff from one or two vendors on line.

You might have this existing coating on your lathe as a base layer, although I don’t know if it was still in use in the early 1930’s. My 1924 SB 9” still has this style coating and it still functions like new.

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