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 Post subject: Heathkit case restoration
PostPosted: Feb Thu 20, 2020 2:34 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 82
Location: Jefferson, OH
I just finished the restoration of the case for my Heathkit T-4 Signal Tracer. As most of you know the grey wrinkle paint color and texture are hard to match. I experimented with several painting approaches without success. I finally decides to use the VHT grey wrinkle spray paint. Although it is not the right shade of grey the texture is not bad. I am satisfied with the results. Your opinions may vary. Here's some pics .

Roger


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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit case restoration
PostPosted: Feb Thu 20, 2020 2:49 am 
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Location: Richmond, VA
That turned out very nice. I might have to try that on my IT-12. All the paint has flaked off the back.

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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit case restoration
PostPosted: Feb Thu 20, 2020 4:36 am 
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Location: Portland, TN, USA
Looks like a new one from here, Roger!

Where did you buy the VHT? I’m not familiar with that brand.

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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit case restoration
PostPosted: Feb Thu 20, 2020 5:40 am 
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Joined: Mar Thu 15, 2018 2:23 pm
Posts: 460
VHT is a division of Dupli-color, part of the Sherwin-Williams brand. You can find the paint at auto supply stores such as Auto Zone, O'Reilly, Pep Boys, Advanced Auto, NAPA, etc. Amazon also carries the paint.

https://www.vhtpaint.com/


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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit case restoration
PostPosted: Feb Thu 20, 2020 6:29 am 
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Location: SoCal, 91387
Looks just a little darker than factory, but I wouldn'ta known the difference. Nice work!

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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit case restoration
PostPosted: Feb Thu 20, 2020 8:47 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 82
Location: Jefferson, OH
I could not find grey locally so I ordered it from Amazon.

Roger


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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit case restoration
PostPosted: Feb Thu 20, 2020 4:19 pm 
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Location: Mesa, AZ 85206
gotta find me some!


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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit case restoration
PostPosted: Feb Thu 20, 2020 4:28 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 82
Location: Jefferson, OH
Here's where I got it.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B004C11J ... asin_title

Roger


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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit case restoration
PostPosted: Feb Thu 20, 2020 4:33 pm 
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Location: Portland, TN, USA
Thanks, Roger.

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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit case restoration
PostPosted: Feb Thu 20, 2020 9:30 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Hartford, KY
I like the result. Looks very good.


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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit case restoration
PostPosted: Feb Thu 20, 2020 10:04 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Jefferson, OH
Thanks for all the nice comments. It wasn't really too difficult. Wish they made a lighter grey color as well.

Roger


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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit case restoration
PostPosted: Feb Fri 21, 2020 3:23 am 
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Joined: Jun Sat 18, 2011 5:14 pm
Posts: 325
Location: Washington State 98226
Really looks first rate... I am always trying to figure out how to up my game in the cabinet restoration side of the hobby. Would you mind sharing how your prepped before you painted.

John w.


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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit case restoration
PostPosted: Feb Fri 21, 2020 4:01 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 82
Location: Jefferson, OH
Sure John.

First, I removed all the dents and imperfections in the aluminum cabinet by sandwiching the damaged aluminum areas between two small 3/4" pieces of oak hardwood and then using a C clamp to press the aluminum back flat. For the most part they returned flat, but some areas needed a little more finessing with a plastic hammer backed with a piece of the 3/4" oak. I used the wood as a a backing and hammered on the high spots. Some I could even press straight with my hands since it's only thin aluminum.

Then, I stripped the the entire outside of the cabinet with a heavy coat of sprayable paint stripper. I let it set for an hour or so then scraped off the paint down to the bare aluminum with a plastic scraper. I then throughly washed it with water followed by rubbing the entire cabinet with steel wool to get a scuffed surface for the paint to adhere to.

Prior to painting, I cleaned the entire area to be painted with acetone. I let that dry and taped off the edge of the cabinet with blue painter's tape. Just before spraying the paint I wiped it down with acetone again to get rid of any oil from my fingerprints. Let it dry again.

I then shot the paint strickly following the directions on the VHT spray paint can. Heavy coat horizontal. Wait 5 minutes. Heavy coat vertical. Wait five minutes. Heavy coat diagonal. Make sure you get good, even heavy coats. Almost to the point of running.

I then let the cabinet dry for 24 hours in my house where it is warm and not high humidity. After about an hour you can start to see the wrinkle effect take place. Just let it go. After 24 hours the paint was dry to the touch and the wrinkling was complete and quite even. But, I could tell the paint was not completely dry yet as I could see a few shinier spots in the paint. I decided to put it in the oven at 200 degrees for an hour per the VHT directions. I stripped of the tape first.

After baking it and letting it cool the finish had a nice even sheen and now was dry. Baking it sets the paint. This VHT paint is high temperature paint.

Hope this helps you. It's really not difficult. Just take your time.

Roger


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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit case restoration
PostPosted: Feb Fri 21, 2020 5:26 am 
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Joined: Jun Sat 18, 2011 5:14 pm
Posts: 325
Location: Washington State 98226
Thanks Rodger

That was very helpful.

John w.


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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit case restoration
PostPosted: Feb Fri 21, 2020 9:22 am 
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Joined: Oct Sun 15, 2006 12:57 pm
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Location: Liberty, Missouri
I've used the VHT paints for a few years on several restorations, and been very pleased with the results. I typically pre-heat the metal, placing it on an up ended trash can, in the Summer Sun for half an hour or so. Then spray as directed. With the hot metal you have to be sure you apply the additional coats while the paint is still quite wet or you'll be doing it twice. :wink:

As Roger points out, the basic metal prep is very important, and I use techniques similar to his, using hard wood blocks. I also use Rubber mallets "work" the various areas of a large dent with out leaving any marks on the material. Deeper dents often take some very hefty blows using a 3 pound sledge to shrink the metal and return it to "Flat" again. Be sure to always use wood blocks against both sides of the metal so you don't mark it.

Here is an example of their Black, on an SX-101 dial scale bezel;

Image
ClickthePic

And here, the cabinet of an NC-240-D, in Gray.Bigger pieces often require the various "faces" to be painted individually so they are kept horizontal to prevent runs.
Image
ClickthePic

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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit case restoration
PostPosted: Feb Fri 21, 2020 8:44 pm 
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Location: SoCal, 91387
Nice equipment Mike, but that's a disgustingly clean work area! :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit case restoration
PostPosted: Feb Fri 21, 2020 11:53 pm 
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Location: Fernandina Beach, FL
fifties wrote:
Nice equipment Mike, but that's a disgustingly clean work area! :wink:

Richard, you stinker. I was thinking exactly that and guess what, you got there first.

Now back to the original post, it does look super! "Possibly" if you don't like the gray (grey) color, you could
spray it with gray primer that may be close. But I think what you did was a keeper.

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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit case restoration
PostPosted: Feb Sat 22, 2020 5:47 am 
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Joined: Oct Sun 15, 2006 12:57 pm
Posts: 7975
Location: Liberty, Missouri
Yes, I agree Roger's cabinet does look very nice and the "Wrinkle" is very consistent across the entire surface, as it should be, well done.

------------

Quote:
... but that's a disgustingly clean work area!...

Trust me, it's only that way in the pictures.

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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit case restoration
PostPosted: Sep Sun 26, 2021 2:24 am 
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Joined: Jan Sat 25, 2020 5:23 am
Posts: 804
Location: Colorado Springs, CO 80917
Quote:
Heavy coat diagonal. Make sure you get good, even heavy coats. Almost to the point of running.


Were you able to do all sides in one session or did you have to do one side at a time to keep the paint from trying to run?


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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit case restoration
PostPosted: Sep Sun 26, 2021 2:46 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 82
Location: Jefferson, OH
I sprayed it all at once. To the point it ALMOST runs. You don't want it to run. It was laid on the faceplate taped off edge so the back was up and the sides were vertical. Spray a few test scraps that are vertical to get a feel for the paint and how it looks before it runs.

Good luck!

Roger


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