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 Post subject: Were early cabinets sprayed or brushed?
PostPosted: Mar Wed 06, 2019 10:53 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 132
Location: Silver Spring, Maryland USA
I'm curious about the history of brush vs. spray finished radio cabinets (actually I DO have a life but curious about this trivia nonetheless). A couple of my early battery sets look as if they MIGHT have an original brushed-on finish. could that be? If so, would the top coat have been shellac?

Just wondering...

Craig
Silver Spring, Merry-Land


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 Post subject: Re: Were early cabinets sprayed or brushed?
PostPosted: Mar Thu 07, 2019 6:08 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 10773
Location: Baguio City, Philippines
Doubtful. Spraying is a commercial process, brushing is not. Arborphone, for example, was spraying lacquer finishes on their sets in the late 1920s. In fact their factory was destroyed by a fire that started in the lacquer spray area. Manufacturers used spray finishes because they were applied quickly, and more importantly, dried quickly. Less dust to settle in the wet finish and shorter time before the piece could be handled.

Brushed finished were used by carpenters because it didn't dry quickly. That allowed them working time to apply the finish to an entire room without having to worry about the solvents evaporating too quickly.


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 Post subject: Re: Were early cabinets sprayed or brushed?
PostPosted: Mar Fri 08, 2019 2:10 am 
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Joined: Jan Tue 31, 2012 1:55 am
Posts: 9834
Location: Mountains of Mourne. Ireland.
The Philco radio story. 32:34

Image
Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kanPsUDyKrU

Cabinet construction starts at 19:33


Greg.


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 Post subject: Re: Were early cabinets sprayed or brushed?
PostPosted: Mar Fri 08, 2019 3:36 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 4522
Location: Charleston, W.Va.
Alan Voorhees wrote:
Brushed finished were used by carpenters because it didn't dry quickly. That allowed them working time to apply the finish to an entire room without having to worry about the solvents evaporating too quickly.

+1 to above comments by Alan V. Painters and carpenters will typically apply finishes by brush when using slow-drying products, such as oil/alkyd enamel, varnish, etc. Applying a slow-drying finish coat with a high-quality brush will allow the product to flow together before drying, thus eliminating (or minimizing) brush marks. Lacquer can also be brushed, but this requires fast work and a high level of skill; even then it must be polished out to remove brush marks.

But as Alan says, brush-applied finishes would never have been employed in a high-volume commercial factory. Or at least not in one past the very earliest years of the 20th century. In fact, many American manufacturers were applying sprayed-on finishes as early as the 1880's.

_________________
Poston


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 Post subject: Re: Were early cabinets sprayed or brushed?
PostPosted: Mar Fri 08, 2019 3:06 pm 
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Joined: May Wed 27, 2009 5:24 pm
Posts: 195
Location: n9842 n birch rd, tomahawk, wisconsin, 54487
Having a vintage auto (or radio) brings a lot of strange related info to your doorstep. Looking up the history of how early cars were painted is interesting. From about 1900 to the mid twenties all cars were hand painted with brushes. There were no fast drying paints. Cars had to dry overnight for the second coat, etc. Except Henry Fords model Ts starting sometime about WWI. He setup an overhead chain drive assembly line with hooks that bodies, wheels and other major parts were hooked on and they were dragged down thru and out of a huge tank of Japan black and left to drip dry. Men were there with mops force fed with paint to catch any spots missed. Look it up. there are movies of this on websites! If you go to a Vintage car show and get to see a Model T that still has the original paint on it, look closely. There are drips and runs in the finish.
In about 1924, year?, Dupont chemical was experimenting with different polimers to replace the nitrocelulose film of that day. It was, and is, very flammable/explosive. In the process of developing the new "safety film" they also invented the first sprayable fast dry synthetic Laquer paint- Duco.


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 Post subject: Re: Were early cabinets sprayed or brushed?
PostPosted: Mar Fri 08, 2019 5:30 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 1956
Location: Monroe, NC 28112 USA
I think that many of the smaller makers before 1925 contracted with local cabinet shops to make cabinets in small quantities and many of them had not invested in spraying equipment. Judging by what I've seen, Crosley probably made the change in the latter half of 1924...
Robert


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