Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Painting The Floor Clips

I've tried epoxy paint and find it scratches off too easily.  In general I favor Zinc Chromate primer, with Enamel paint baked to harden it.  Epoxy is plastic so you can't bake it or it just melts.  Epoxy or aluminum tape are the only good solutions to protect parts where fabric will be attached or where Dope or Poly Fiber products will contact the painted surface.  The solvents in them attack Zinc Chromate.
 The original floor clips were Cadmium plated by WACO.  Plating is a good solution if you have a reliable plating shop that will properly bake the parts immediately after plating to prevent Hydrogen Embrittlement.
My choice is to paint parts.
I still wanted these to look as close to plated parts as possible.

I wash parts with MEK (available at Lowes and hardware stores) to remove any oils.

If you don't have Zinc Chromate, Dupli-Color Self-Etching Primer (from Advance Auto) works well.  You want 2 or 3 very light coats about 10 minutes apart so the metal is covered with very little buildup and let it dry 30 minutes.  I hang parts from coat hanger wire, and I wear latex gloves (from the farm co-op) to save cleaning my hands. The gloves also keep MEK out of you and your hand oils off the parts.

For the color I used Dupli-Color Engine Enamel, Aluminum, again 2 light coats 10 minutes apart, with a final slightly heavier coat and then dry 20-30 minutes.

To get the the satin finish of Cadmium plated parts I used 1 light coat of Rust-Oleum Painters Touch 2X Matte Clear (from the hardware store, Lowe's probably has it).

I then let the parts dry in the sun for a couple hours before baking them.

To bake the enamel I used our kitchen oven with one rack at the top.  I heated the oven to 325 degrees, then turned it off so it was less likely to explode.  I quickly hung the parts from the rack so they wouldn't touch, closed the door and left them until the oven cooled.

I've got some 100 watt bulbs to build a parts drying oven.  Hopefully a better solution than the kitchen oven.

The parts came out great.  Now I need to make the ones for the NINE before I forget all this.

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