Through the microscope

Posts tagged ‘paint’

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Baker Series IV paint matching

Baker Series IV paint matching

The Baker Series IV is a rather unusual colour, a sort of greenish grey with a metallic sheen. I am reliably informed that Baker used a cellulose paint. The colour and sheen is not easy to match unless you’re willing to spend a lot of money on a colour matching service at a fancy auto shop. As a car colour matching service would cost me more than I paid for the microscope, I plumped for muddling through on my own.

I have had a lovely German exchange student for the past week and I didn’t want to play around with paint too much in case the smell upset her, but I did manage to prepare the microscope for painting by scrubbing the rusted spots with wire wool dipped in de-corroder. Now I am free to stink up my house again, so I have prepared an essay on “what I did at the weekend”.

First, I braved a trip to Hobbycraft. Within five minutes of entering Hobbycraft I am usually ranting in the style of John Cleese. I HATE HOBBYCRAFT. Everything in there comes in kit form because Hobbycraft don’t seem to credit their customers with any imagination or creativity. The kits they sell are usually missing something important and the staff in there, although very pleasant, are powerless to help you. I have been in there on numerous occasions over the years asking why they sell fat quarters of quilting cotton and quilt wadding but no quilt backing. The only good thing about their appalling sewing range is that my loathing of Hobbycraft led to my discovering a very lovely quilt shop in Bristol called Poppy Patchwork. Visit them, they’re wonderful. I’ll put in a link at the end.

Back to the Baker Series IV : In Hobbycraft I managed to find some Humbrol enamel paints. I chose a variety of greenish/grey paints and a few others (because my husband was paying).
I painted a small area of the microscope with each of the greenish/grey paints and a couple of mixes.

In the photo above you can see (from right to left)
MET 53, matt 224, matt 75, satin 163, a 1:1 mix of matt 224 : MET 53 and right on the toe of the microscope you can just about see a 10:1 mix of matt 224 : MET53. None of these were perfect but it gave me an idea of where to go next.

After playing around for some hours I discovered a pretty good mix. Two small brushfuls of Met 53 mixed with one brushful of satin 163, plus two drops of black gloss 21 and one drop of green 75. The sheen is not quite right but the colour is good. Hopefully when it is polished up it will be a pretty good match. I’ll post more pictures when it is finished.

Poppy Patchwork – http://www.poppypatchwork.co.uk/

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I came, I saw, I conquered

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By George I think she’s got it!  I have conquered the paint work. I ended up using plasti-kote spray enamel from a rattle can.

It’s not absolutely perfect – there are a couple of runs in the paint but considering I’ve never spray painted anything before I’m quite pleased. I will have to leave it to cure for a few weeks before I consider sanding the runs but I shall probably leave it as it is. The runs are quite small and I think I can live with them.

At least it’s an improvement and all the paint it the same colour and sheen. I rather suspect that getting new paint to blend with old paint is impossible unless you are an experienced coach builder.

This evening I shall do some sewing.

Live long and prosper earthlings!

Bloody paint!

Bloody paint is driving me mad!

I mixed my black hammerite paint in a 1:1 ratio satin:gloss, I thinned it a bit (15% ish) and used a gloss roller to apply it to the Cooke Troughton and Simms microscope.

The paint is full of little bubbles.

ARGHHH! I’ve used gloss rollers on doors with no problems at all, but it seems they dislike metal. If I’d known i’d have layed off the paint a brush or used a brush to start with. I’m going to have to wait for it to dry and sand it for the umpteenth time.

On the plus side I think the 50/50 ratio of satin:gloss might be correct. I think. I’ll have to wait until it’s completely dry before I can say for sure.

I have just noticed that Hammerite say that satin and smooth paints should not be mixed. I can’t imagine why. They’re all the same solvent base. I’m wondering if there’s some problem with mixing them or whether it’s just a matter of them not wanting to recommend an untested combination in the same way some clothes manufacturers put “dry clean only” labels on washable items to save the cost of testing them.  It may be that mixing the two kinds of paints makes them less than perfect for their intended use outdoors in all weathers. If so then it is of no importance to me. I shan’t be leaving my microscope exposed to the elements.

Grrr, arrghh, grumble, moan, whinge.

I will win the battle of the paint. I shall not be beaten by a bit of black pigment in solvent.

Paint it black

I see a microscope and I want to paint it black…

Forgive me Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, I was trying to think of a witty title and that was the best I could come up with.

The story so far: Japlac is too shiny for my Cooke Troughton and Simms microscope so I tried Hammerite satin. Hammerite satin is not shiny enough. It’s a lot better than the high gloss Japlac but it’s not quite right. I have a new cunning plan; I shall mix a little gloss Hammerite in with the satin paint. I shall start with a 2:1 ratio and go from there.

I’m also going to thin it a little and use a gloss roller. I tried an ultra fine gloss roller previously and it was rubbish. I still can’t figure out why they chose a fuzzy material for the ultra fine gloss roller. I had fuzz in my paint. I’m sticking with the normal foam gloss roller in future.

I’ve buggered my hand up again. The hurtiness seems to be travelling down the tendon from my index finger towards my wrist. Maybe it will travel down my wrist, up my arm,  into my shoulder, up my neck and into my head from where I can sneeze it out?

On the other hand (pun not intended) I may have to go to the doctor.

 

Getting the paint finish right

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I have been using Japlac on my Cooke Troughton and Simms microscopes but I have found it to have too high a sheen. No matter how much I polish the original paint work I cannot get it to a high sheen like the Japlac has. Where I have filled in cracks or chips the new paint is very obvious. I tried using emery paper to take the sheen down but then it looks too rough.

I have decided I need to abandon the Japlac. I have bought two hammerite paints: satin finish and smooth finish.

The amount of gloss a paint has can be expressed as a percentage of the light which is reflected back at an angle of 85 degrees. As no manufacturers bother to disclose this helpful information on the tin I have no option except to assess the two paints using an old fashioned method: eyesight.

I’ve painted the back of an old envelope and a dog food can to see what it looks like. As far as I can tell so far by eye, smooth means gloss finish (80% or more reflectance) and the satin is a lower sheen. Maybe 50% ?
It’s hard to guess how much light is being reflected but I think the satin paint will work out well.

Happy 2014 earthlings, I hope it’s a good one. May your microscope stands be shiny and your objectives clean and clear.

Microscope paint work

According to Merv (who knows everything there is to know about microscopes) restoring paintwork is easy but tedious. I haven’t found it to be easy although I’d agree with the tedious part.

I have been attempting to perfect the paintwork on my Cooke Troughton and Simms polarizing microscope. I sanded the bits where the paint needed re-doing, I primed, I put on Japlac, I let it dry, sanded with a very fine grade sandpaper and repeated. Japlac is supposed to brilliant in that it doesn’t leave brush marks – all lies. I have brush marks, I sand them down and I’m back to the bare metal in places and still have brush marks. I’ve tried thinning the paint. No use.

I’m off to buy a gloss roller because as Merv says  “Continue until the new paint is slightly proud of the surface, or old age has carried you off…”

I’ve got things to do. I’m not spending the next 30 years on the paintwork.

I SHALL CONQUER IT!

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