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Old 12-24-2018, 06:02 AM   #1
Steve Plucker
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Default The color "BLACK"

What was Ford's reasoning for painting the frame a "Satin Black", other chassis parts Semi-Gloss Black and/or Gloss Black?

Why did he go to the trouble in having three different color "blacks" for different parts?

Or was it that "dipped" parts had a different sheen than sprayed parts? Seems I heard that some where before.

Thanks.

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Old 12-24-2018, 07:54 AM   #2
BRENT in 10-uh-C
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Default Re: The color "BLACK"

Steve, I think the M-Specs will give you your answer but as I understand it, a bituminous paint (Gilsonite) was used on the frame because of its cost (inexpensive).


With regard to the different Blacks, he used Pyroxylin and Alkyd Enamel on chassis components. The application process of each type coating is what makes the difference we see in pictures that documented the process. With only a couple of noted exceptions, all enamel coated parts were dipped which left a slick, shiny surface. This was because of two basic characteristics in that Alkyd Enamel by nature is self leveling, and there was not any 'orange peel' to contend with. Pyroxylin was a sprayed paint which did not have the pigment purity and it left a heavier texture than what the dipped enamel did.


On a side note, a couple of decades or so ago I was following along with some discussions on the original dipped paint process and decided to see exactly what Marco and some were talking about. I purchased a plastic tote or two and mixed a couple of gallons of some Tractor Supply Black Alkyd Enamel with some reducer and poured it into the plastic totes. I took about a dozen different items that would fit into the tote (i.e.: motor mount blocks, plates, crank bearing, tail light stand, U-bolts, etc.) and dipped them. The metal was bare before dipping, and I double dipped each item and then hung it onto a rack to drip dry. While I had a couple of things that affected my experiment such as bugs flying into the fresh paint, and 'less that perfect' metal pieces (such as my rear motor mounts) but when you saw how smooth and shiny the pieces came out, it makes sense when judges explain that most chassis parts are over-restored. Items such as axle housings, bumper brackets, fender braces, and other mill-finished items are typically sprayed with primer by the restorer and sanded before top coating which fills the mill scale on the metal. This results in a slicker finish than original. Adding to that, the paint will typically have orange peel which is unlike the original finish. Now adding to one other debate is that in the Paint & Refinish Guide, it makes mention that the rear axle assembly was sprayed. Ironically, Ford devised & patented a axle dipping machine during the Model-T era where the complete housing was dipped in paint. This was likely done to cut costs. If this is/was the case, why do you suppose Ford would go back to spraying the assembly instead of modifying the machine he invented to dip the axle in?? This machine is discussed in Bruce McCalley's book and is on a CD. I will look to see if I can find it and send you a copy where the machine can be searched by patent. As I recall, it had an artist rendering of the machine hat was submitted to the patent office, but it may be the real machine. It has likely been 15-20 years ago since I looked at this, so my memory may be jaded but the machine was factual and caused some interesting debates on the old Fordbarn.
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Old 12-24-2018, 11:08 AM   #3
duke36
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Default Re: The color "BLACK"

Concur with Brent about the Gilsonite which was an asphalt based coating developed in the 19th century which Ford used in Model T paint formulas. Ford also had centrifuge-type machines that would spin the wheels, drums, etc. after dipping, then baking in huge ovens. Generators and some other parts were a satin finish as in some factory photos. Bonderite was (and is today) a conversion dipping process instead of paint priming for fenders, splash aprons, etc. which sped up production prior to black enamel dipping.

Last edited by duke36; 12-24-2018 at 11:15 AM.
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Old 12-24-2018, 12:09 PM   #4
Jim Mason
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Default Re: The color "BLACK"

Asphalt and gilsonite are bituminous. asphalt isn't gilsonite. think pine pitch vs. Amber.
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Last edited by Jim Mason; 12-24-2018 at 12:16 PM.
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Old 12-24-2018, 12:28 PM   #5
darrylkmc
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Default The color "BLACK"

Here is a link to a previous discussion:

Fun With Asphaltum Paint!

https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/showt...2055&showall=1

Darryl in Fairbanks
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Old 12-24-2018, 12:54 PM   #6
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Default Re: The color "BLACK"

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Quote:
Originally Posted by darrylkmc View Post
Here is a link to a previous discussion:

Fun With Asphaltum Paint!

https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/showt...2055&showall=1

Darryl in Fairbanks

Thanks.
Here's a link to my experiments with asphaltum(Gilsonite). I was working on 'Japan black'

http://jmodela.coffeecup.com/japan_black.html
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Old 12-24-2018, 03:06 PM   #7
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Default Re: The color "BLACK"

Agree with Brent as to why FMC did it = Cost & Availability.
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Old 12-24-2018, 06:11 PM   #8
31Abone
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Default Re: The color "BLACK"

The old GM painter I worked for in 63 told me that there is 100 diiferent colors of black and 100 diff of white ..he was right..sc
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