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Another Hand Plane Rehab #3: Look - I Used a New Body Paint

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Blog entry by HokieKen posted 06-06-2021 05:22 PM 809 reads 1 time favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Sandpaper is Good for the Sole Part 3 of Another Hand Plane Rehab series no next part

Well, I said I probably wouldn’t blog about painting this one since I covered my process pretty thoroughly in this old blog entry. However, I did some things differently this time around and thought it warranted a quick entry to document.

I decided to take some cues from Sansoo22's process since he does such a great job on his planes. I had planned to bake my plane the way he does but then decided against that since it’s too big for my shop oven and I didn’t want my wife to beat me for stinking up the house by using the kitchen oven. I also found I didn’t have enough Duplicolor enamel like I typically use but I had some Rustoleum Enamel and Primer that was left over from painting a mailbox. It looked nice on the mailbox and has held up well out in the elements. And since I’m kinda cheap, I decided to use what I had on hand :-)

I also decided to follow Sansoo’s advice about not masking the top edges and the front and back ends and scraping the paint off afterwards instead. I’ve never been really happy with the corners at these intersections because I always get uneven edges due to the rounded corners from the casting process and the small cracks that sometimes result when removing the masking.

So I sprayed the primer first. Two coats gave me full coverage with no runs so I stopped there. I let it sit for ~48 hours then wet sanded to get rid of any rough spots. I found it was really thin and I actually sanded through in a couple of spots. So I blasted all the dust off with compressed air and gave it a wipe with acetone and sprayed a third coat. Let it cure a day and it looked fine. (Sorry, no pics. Like I said, I wasn’t planning to blog this part…)

Note on the primer: I don’t like it as well as something that goes on a little thicker and sands better to a smoother finish. Though this primer does go on easily and evenly and does well at promoting adhesion.

So then it was time to paint. The can basically says get all your coats on in an hour or wait 48 to recoat. So I sprayed three coats about 15 minutes apart and it looked pretty good to me so that was that. In hindsight, it really needed another coat or two. It shrunk a lot more than I’m used too and has less gloss than the Duplicolor semi-gloss. So it’s acceptable but I won’t use it for planes any more. I’ll quit being a cheap-ass and pick up some Duplicolor primer and enamel next time I do a plane. I didn’t take any pics comparing the two paints but you can see in some of the following pics that (at least IMHO) this paint is perfectly acceptable.

So now it was on to the main point of evolving (hopefully) my process – scraping the edges instead of masking per Sansoo’s advice. He was kind enough to run point for me on scraping a plane that had been primed and painted (see the comments of the last entry in this blog series) to be sure the primer didn’t present any new challenges for him. His came out great so after letting the plane cure for about 60 hours I went to work with a utility knife blade. Well actually about a half dozen by the time I was done…

As advertised, the enamel peeled off pretty clean in nice, long strips. But, because these edges aren’t really flat and the blade is, a good deal was left behind.

It’s kinda hard to see in that photo but it’s the best one I have. There is some obvious black enamel left after scraping. What you can’t really see is that there’s also a great deal of primer left in low spots of the casting surface and the surface looks really rough from being scraped and gouged by the razor blades. I was however really happy with the intersections of the painted and scraped surfaces :-) This method is considerably more work than masking these edges but the improvement in the lines makes it well worth the effort IMO.

I found the best method to get the crisp lines I that have always eluded me with masking was to rest the edge of the blade on the inside corner so it was angled at about 10 degrees to the inside of the body and so the back of the blade was higher than the cutting edge enough so that it would cut the paint cleanly but not dig in if it caught a rough spot or inclusion in the casting. Here is a shot after I finished removing paint with the razor blades and removed all the masking. I think it shows the nice clean lines fairly well.

By contrast, a close-up of the frog reciever after removing masking shows how those corners can sometimes look by relying on masking to create the lines:

After I finished scraping, I tore some small pieces of 80 grit sandpaper per Sansoo’s advice and set to gently abrading the edges. I was very careful to avoid scratching the paint at the lines I had worked so hard to create!
I went over each edge and the front and back probably 6-8 times using a fresh piece of paper until I couldn’t see any remaining spots of paint or primer or gouges from the razor blades.

I’m not sure the photo has enough resolution for you to really be able to see it but this is how the edges looked after the 80 grit paper. Clean but also pretty rough. Especially in comparison to the sides and sole that had been sanded up through 320 grit already. So I repeated the same process again with small pieces of 120, 220 and finally 320 paper. And voila:

Clean lines and smooth edges. I’m a happy camper :-) Well, mostly….

I’m not sure if it even shows up in the photos above after the resolution is reduced for the site. And you probably wouldn’t even notice it in full resolution pics if I didn’t point it out but, in some spots it looks like there is a border between the black enamel and the polished cast iron.

Yep, didn’t think it through with the gray primer. It’s definitely not terrible and it’s staying like it is because overall I’m happy with how this plane looks now. But it’s something to keep in mind for future.

So, in summary, I tried a new enamel and primer. While they worked well, I’ll revert to Duplicolor in the future because I’m familiar with it and like the sheen better. How it looks when wet vs. after curing is easier for me to predict as well. I also tried scraping instead of masking for the ends at the heel and toe and for the top edges of the cheeks. While it’s a good deal more work, it also yields much better results in my opinion and will be how I do planes going forward. I will either use a black primer or no primer though to avoid the primer coats showing in the final edges. I’ll also sand the edges back before painting so there aren’t as many nooks and crannies for the paint and primer to get into. That should reduced the amount of time needed to scrape and sand them after painting significantly.

That’s where I’m at for now. I still have to sand the wood pieces back to bare and repair the busted horn on the tote. I plan to follow a different finishing schedule so I’ll definitely post on the repair and finishing of those pieces when I get around to it. That might wrap up this series though. Polishing up all the hardware and painting the frog and working up the blade and chipbreaker are also outstanding tasks. But, my methods for doing all that will be the same as in my old series other than using a powered sharpener instead of stones on the iron. So I will probably skip over all that unless anyone has special requests to see anything I may not have covered previously. If so shout out in the comments.

Thanks for reading and a HUGE thanks to Sansoo22 for graciously putting up with all my questions about his painting process :-)

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA



15 comments so far

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

7716 posts in 1702 days


#1 posted 06-06-2021 05:56 PM

Looks pretty dang good from here, Kenny! Thanks for walking through it all for us.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View duckmilk's profile

duckmilk

4552 posts in 2445 days


#2 posted 06-06-2021 06:12 PM

^ I agree, it looks good.

-- "Duck and Bob would be out doin some farming with funny hats on." chrisstef

View sansoo22's profile

sansoo22

1676 posts in 775 days


#3 posted 06-06-2021 07:08 PM

Very nice work Ken! Those edges look nice and crisp. Scraping can be a pain but I really like how it comes out in the end.

Regarding primer I decided yesterday I am done with it on planes all together. Good old DE1635 has a completely different look with primer underneath. Its almost a straight gloss black and I don’t like it. Cure times are completely different with primer underneath. My baking process that turns Dupli Color engine enamels rock hard is useless with primer. The list goes on and on. I’m sure someone with vastly more experience painting cast iron could “school” me on why primer is needed but now that I’m blasting cast iron before paint I feel there is a very nice uniform texture on the cast iron that provides more than ample bonding surface for a ceramic engine enamel.

Sorry that was a rant about primer but I just had to respray a plane yesterday because I hate primer.

And also are we going to see a shiny red frog to go with that excellent paint job on the body?

View HokieKen's profile (online now)

HokieKen

17932 posts in 2259 days


#4 posted 06-06-2021 07:31 PM

Yep, the frog will be getting painted too. Just haven’t gotten around to stripping the old paint off it yet. I also don’t have any red enamel so I have to run by Advanced Auto and restock on Duplicolor of all flavors…

I agree with you that primer is unnecessary with Duplicolor. I’ve never baked mine so I obviously never noticed that difference and I kinda flop back and forth between DE1635 and DE1613 and primer or no primer so I don’t really notice a different look but my planes don’t have a uniform look anyway. I typically opt to use primer if I have a particularly rough casting. It can be easier to shoot a couple coats of primer and sand that smooth rather than sanding the casting itself to improve the final appearance IMO. But I’ve never had any issue at all with Duplicolor bonding to cast iron without primer. That’s true for sandblasted planes, wire brushed planes and even planes I didn’t remove the old enamel from and just sprayed over top of it. So I don’t see any reason you need to start using it now and wouldn’t try to persuade you to do so. I’ll probably even abandon it myself in light of your comments about how it affects baking and how I can see it on this plane. Seems the aggravation outweighs any perceived advantage.

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View pottz's profile

pottz

17594 posts in 2105 days


#5 posted 06-06-2021 07:42 PM

beautiful restoration kenny,gonna be better than new when your done.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View HokieKen's profile (online now)

HokieKen

17932 posts in 2259 days


#6 posted 06-06-2021 07:46 PM

I’ve also been pondering something… Duplicolor makes a gloss clear coat ceramic enamel too. I’ve been wondering how I would fare if I were to paint as I have already then mask the sole and shoot a few coats of the clear over top of everything except the sole including the unpainted sides and edges. Seems like it would give some pretty dang great protection against rust.

Probably a stupid idea but it’s been rattling around in my dumb head ;-) I’m certainly not going to experiment on this plane but I have a couple of block planes that are slated for a fresh coat of paint. I might try it out on those and see what happens…

Anybody ever used a clear coat on bare cast iron before?

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View HokieKen's profile (online now)

HokieKen

17932 posts in 2259 days


#7 posted 06-06-2021 07:47 PM



beautiful restoration kenny,gonna be better than new when your done.

- pottz

Thanks Larry! The horn is broken off the tote on this one. Thanks to you, I have the Cocobolo on hand to repair it :-))

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View pottz's profile

pottz

17594 posts in 2105 days


#8 posted 06-06-2021 09:14 PM


beautiful restoration kenny,gonna be better than new when your done.

- pottz

Thanks Larry! The horn is broken off the tote on this one. Thanks to you, I have the Cocobolo on hand to repair it :-))

- HokieKen


glad to help cant wait to see it done.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View sansoo22's profile

sansoo22

1676 posts in 775 days


#9 posted 06-06-2021 10:14 PM


Probably a stupid idea but it s been rattling around in my dumb head ;-) I m certainly not going to experiment on this plane but I have a couple of block planes that are slated for a fresh coat of paint. I might try it out on those and see what happens…

- HokieKen

You wouldn’t be the first to consider this. I didn’t plan to shoot clear on cast iron myself. My plan was polished steel handles on my Shopsmith and Dunlap drill press. Those things tend to rust if you forget to look at them for a few days. Like they feel neglected so grunt real hard and rust. I’m intrigued now with the idea of a clear coat on cast iron.

I just took a commission to restore a whole set of bench planes so will be awhile before I can experiment. If you happen to try it before me please let us know the results.

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

4561 posts in 3468 days


#10 posted 06-06-2021 10:59 PM

Have you tried psa paper on a piece of wood that could ride on both edges at the same time?

Looks pretty dang nice, especially for a work tool.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View HokieKen's profile (online now)

HokieKen

17932 posts in 2259 days


#11 posted 06-06-2021 11:19 PM

Have you ever known me to actually work Earl? The top edges aren’t really flat. They’re more like a dome with a flat ground in but even that flat is drafted a bit. So yeah, I did consider using a hard backer with paper but quickly realized that wouldn’t work with the casting. It would work and probably simplify the whole process to sand them in that method before painting though. Not sure though, it might look weird if the edges were flattened and squared like that.

Sansoo – like I said, I’ll experiment on a block plane and report back.

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View robscastle's profile

robscastle

7950 posts in 3324 days


#12 posted 06-07-2021 12:18 AM

Oh Ken,
You make it look so easy
Like its just plane sailing!

-- Regards Rob

View pottz's profile

pottz

17594 posts in 2105 days


#13 posted 06-07-2021 12:27 AM



Oh Ken,
You make it look so easy
Like its just plane sailing!

- robscastle


thats just plane silly rob.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View 489tad's profile

489tad

4009 posts in 4132 days


#14 posted 06-10-2021 12:35 AM

That’s a lot of work so far and the body looks great.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View Brit's profile

Brit

8330 posts in 3963 days


#15 posted 06-11-2021 11:47 AM

Most excellent dude!

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

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