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Filling etchings in a ruler (Nashville 12 in 1)

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Forum topic by Rich posted 08-23-2018 02:08 AM 1378 views 0 times favorited 33 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Rich

4564 posts in 1009 days


08-23-2018 02:08 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I recently picked up a Nashville 12 in 1 tool on eBay. It is made of brass and is in excellent condition for its age. However, the etched marks for the ruler, while nice and deep still, have no ink or paint in them to enhance visibility.

So far I’ve tried going over it with a Sharpie and wiping it, but the ink came right out. I also tried a fill stick, but again, the material came right out.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki


33 replies so far

View Scap's profile

Scap

78 posts in 347 days


#1 posted 08-23-2018 02:16 AM

What about a crayon?
I’ve seen guys do that to fill in the lettering on their AR-15 lowers.

View 000's profile

000

2859 posts in 1319 days


#2 posted 08-23-2018 02:21 AM

What about spray paint? Epoxy black?
I thought that would be the obvious choice.

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

9950 posts in 1558 days


#3 posted 08-23-2018 02:23 AM

Machinists layout dye. You can get it in blue or red. It’s extremely thin and will get into tiny crevices. I’d paint that on, let it dry and rub the face over some very fine wet/dry paper on a flat surface.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View Rich's profile

Rich

4564 posts in 1009 days


#4 posted 08-23-2018 02:29 AM


What about spray paint? Epoxy black?
I thought that would be the obvious choice.

- jbay

I’m going to give that a try. I just bought a can. I’m also going to give some wax fill a try like Scap mentioned. I’m not sure it will be durable enough.

For all I know this tool might never have had filled markings. The commercial guys probably use some sort of powder coat that’s baked in.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

12843 posts in 2800 days


#5 posted 08-23-2018 02:40 AM

They are nice tools for the pocket, I use mine all the time. Mine is German silver even though it was advertised as brass.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View GR8HUNTER's profile

GR8HUNTER

6223 posts in 1132 days


#6 posted 08-23-2018 02:44 AM

THIS will work out great :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

10858 posts in 1906 days


#7 posted 08-23-2018 03:01 AM

Maybe a black epoxy appliance spray paint. Then squeegee then sand and polish?

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Rich's profile

Rich

4564 posts in 1009 days


#8 posted 08-23-2018 04:22 AM


THIS will work out great :<))

- GR8HUNTER

Thanks. I’m going to give that a try. I’ve had luck with paint pens on other tools and even if it doesn’t do the trick, it’ll be a good thing to have around.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

View Rich's profile

Rich

4564 posts in 1009 days


#9 posted 08-23-2018 04:29 AM


They are nice tools for the pocket, I use mine all the time. Mine is German silver even though it was advertised as brass.

- Woodknack

I read about it on your blog. I’ve been trying to snag one for a while, but the bidding always went too high. This one was listed for $20 and got no bids likely because the photos were a complete blur. I took a chance and it worked out. It’s in excellent condition.

In case you’re interested, there is a patent page. You probably already know about it, but since you didn’t mention it in your blog I’ll post it here just in case. It’s interesting because if you read closely, the original patent was for a tool with 12” arms, for a total of 24” when extended. All I’ve ever seen are 6”/12” ones.

http://pdfpiw.uspto.gov/.piw?PageNum=0&docid=01636637&IDKey=58366582C1E2&HomeUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fpdfpiw.uspto.gov%2F

BTW, I see what you mean about that dang thumb screw being easy to tighten and hard to loosen.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

12843 posts in 2800 days


#10 posted 08-23-2018 05:32 AM

Holy cow, someone reads my blog, lol. Thanks. I bet Hutchinson was quite the character. Wonder how long he had this thing kicking around in his brain and if he made any money off it.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View JCamp's profile

JCamp

986 posts in 971 days


#11 posted 08-23-2018 10:53 AM

You might give fingernail polish a try. It’s drys slow enough to allow easy clean up and easy enough to completely remove if u don’t like it. Plus it’s cheap/free if your wife has some laying around…. unguarded of course.
I’ve used it a few times to highlight the stampings on guns and in the gun sights so I can see them better. It works pretty good in my opinion

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

1880 posts in 583 days


#12 posted 08-23-2018 11:40 AM

a photo of what you are working with may help.

remove any residual paint and lacquer with solvents/paint remover.
thoroughly degrease it
light coat of black spray paint (DTM paint would work the best, if you can find it).
let the paint dry
wet sand (under running water) with 300 – 400 grit wet/dry paper glued to FLAT object.
polish with 1200 -1500 grit the same way.
let it dry
spray with clear of your choice.

if yours is solid brass and has deep engravings like this one, it should work.

.

.

-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --

View Bill Berklich's profile

Bill Berklich

830 posts in 808 days


#13 posted 08-23-2018 12:47 PM

Ditto on the steel layout dye – does a great job. I’ve used it on most of my combo squares. Wipe your tool down with acetone before hand though. It will get the grease and wax off the steel.

-- Bill - Rochester MI

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

5966 posts in 2829 days


#14 posted 08-23-2018 01:27 PM

Nail polish!! Durable? I have used it to mark timing hashes on engines for many years. Only on a very rare occasion does it get washed off by heavy oil leaks.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View Rich's profile

Rich

4564 posts in 1009 days


#15 posted 08-23-2018 03:18 PM


a photo of what you are working with may help.

if yours is solid brass and has deep engravings like this one, it should work.

- John Smith

You’re confusing deep pitting for engravings…lol. That one’s in pretty bad shape. Seriously, I assumed folks would know what etched rulers looked like, but I know you love your photos.

I like your process. I had realized that finding a way to fill the marks and level them off would be best, since solvents or steel wool seem to remove the material from them.

Next step I’m going to try Tony’s touch up pen idea. I’ve had good luck with paint pens in other similar applications. It should be similar to Gunny’s nail polish suggestion (although how he knows all about nail polish concerns me…lol).

I also like your wet sanding suggestion. I’m definitely going to try that with the grits you mentioned. Not sure about the clear coat though since this thing is made of two pieces that slide against each other. It could cause binding and would likely wear off quickly.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

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