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Hints, Tips and Solutions (Do NOT post requests for help here) If you have any useful general hints and tips for vintage technology repair and restoration, please share them here. PLEASE DO NOT POST REQUESTS FOR HELP HERE!

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Old 10th May 2021, 9:56 am   #1
jamesinnewcastl
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Default Painting a Straight Line

Hi All

I have a piece of kit that is a casting and so the surface is relatively uneven. I need to paint a red line around it and so my first thought was masking tape. The problem with that are firstly, that the uneven surface can't be tracked completely by the masking tape and you get 'wobbles' in the line edge, secondly there were obstructions to the path of the tape which would have made the laying of the tape very difficult and lastly getting the end of the line to meet up with the start and be of the same thickness would also have been difficult.

This particular line was painted by hand on the original kit I believe but I had no time or inclination to become trained in that skill!

So my answer was to keep the paintbrush fixed in height by screwing it onto a large chunk of wood and sliding it along past the item to be painted with just the tip of the brush in contact.

I'll leave it to you to decide if that worked well - see the pic! I could easily apply a second coat without straying from the first edges. I dipped the brush in paint but did not overload it.

Cheers
James
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Old 10th May 2021, 10:07 am   #2
stevehertz
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Default Re: Painting a Straight Line

In my book that's perfect and a very clever solution to a problem. Well done I say!

Thinking about, a step further would be to fix a couple of 'sliders' to that block of wood to maintain a constant pressure on the brush. But clearly you didn't need it.
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Old 10th May 2021, 7:18 pm   #3
Ed_Dinning
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Default Re: Painting a Straight Line

Hi James, ladies dressmaking trick revamped, they used French Chalk !

Ed
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Old 10th May 2021, 7:39 pm   #4
Cruisin Marine
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Default Re: Painting a Straight Line

Nice work, nice solution!
I remember some Philips test gear having an orange stripe like that all the way round, the audio dB/millivoltmeters in particular.
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Old 10th May 2021, 7:47 pm   #5
merlinmaxwell
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Default Re: Painting a Straight Line

Upon reading the first part of your post I did think of something similar and was about to dismiss it as "too simple" and carried on reading, how wrong I was. You tried it and it worked wonderfully. A lesson to all of us, simple is good and give it a go. Another idea that is going into my mental toolbox.
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Old 10th May 2021, 10:02 pm   #6
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Default Re: Painting a Straight Line

I like it ,what about some sort of guide to keep the brush the same distance from the work, Mick.
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Old 10th May 2021, 11:29 pm   #7
Cruisin Marine
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Default Re: Painting a Straight Line

I wonder if an alternative to using masking tape (that never worked for me, leaves overspills and hairline type tracks either side of the required finish) would be to do the inverse.
Put on some masking tape, then spray or brush on some hot wax either side of the masking tape and overlapping the masking tape too, then remove the masking tape to leave just the bare area to be painted!
I wonder if anyone has tried that technique I have just imagined from the ether?

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Old 11th May 2021, 8:38 am   #8
jamesinnewcastl
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Default Re: Painting a Straight Line

Hi All

The brush did need to be fairly stiff so that it it didn't flop and kept to the same hieght but it was amazingly easy to do, I kept it fairly slow and the line just flowed from the brush.

I kept the brush at an angle and even going around the corners was a snip. Masking would have been a nightmare!

James
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Old 11th May 2021, 10:10 am   #9
GrimJosef
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Default Re: Painting a Straight Line

On a much smaller scale, and admittedly with a smooth surface, I was surprised to see how the colour bands were applied to vintage Erie resistors. The paint was simply sprayed through a slot onto the rotating tubes (before the resistor itself was inserted). You can see it from about 01:40 onwards here https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/i...ect/1060039091. The results were generally much more sharp-edged and well-aligned than I'd have expected, despite the slots being quite a long way from the tubes and the tubes themselves not being located very exactly in their holders.

Cheers,

GJ
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Old 12th May 2021, 9:20 am   #10
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Default Re: Painting a Straight Line

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesinnewcastl View Post
Masking would have been a nightmare!
Inventive and a successful outcome but I'm not entirely convinced that a masking/rattle can approach would have led to bad dreams.

Poor results using masking tape often stem from selecting the wrong type of tape. Standard decorators' tape invariably leads to disappointing results when a fine edge is required. The answer is to use modellers' tape which is widely available from modelling suppliers in various widths. It's a bit more expensive than ordinary tape but is well worth the extra cost. Modellers' tape doesn't bleed, adheres well and won't pull at the paint when removed.

The attached photos illustrate a couple of my re-painting efforts. Both of these paint jobs were done with spray cans using modellers' masking type for the fine edges. Clearly tape application is fiddly and time consuming but is well worth the effort in my view. It's perfectly possible to achieve nice straight lines by pulling the tape taut as it's applied.

The only difficulty for the box being discussed here might be the textured surface. However in similar situations it should be possible to amelliorate the possible problem of 'paint bleed' by spraying successive fine coats.

Alan
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Old 12th May 2021, 5:36 pm   #11
Al (astral highway)
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Default Re: Painting a Straight Line

Good skills! Iíd say thatís a great result ! Kudos to you !
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Old 13th May 2021, 8:11 pm   #12
agardiner
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Default Re: Painting a Straight Line

Great result indeed. I love innovative ideas like this!
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