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Old 05-15-2013, 04:18 PM   #1
Hunter
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Default Painting Wheels - Spin Speed

I am going to take a try at painting some 21 wheels. I have a mechanism set up that will rotate the wheels for me as I spray them. I can adjust the speed. For those of you that have done this, do you have any recomendations on the rpm to pick when paiting wheels.

Thanks - Hunter
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Old 05-15-2013, 04:45 PM   #2
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Default Re: Painting Wheels - Spin Speed

Hi Hunter,
I do not use a motor to rotate them as I spindle them up on a 10" long piece of electrical conduit. I rotate them by hand to get all the tough spots. The hardest area to get is behind the long spoke where it attaches to the center hub. You need to aim from the rear and get down into the rear of the long spoke. I rotate them using my hand in the middle of the drop center rim because I paint that area last. When done with each one I slide it down the conduit to get to the next one.
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Old 05-15-2013, 04:53 PM   #3
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Default Re: Painting Wheels - Spin Speed

I used to spin mine at 1 to 1/12 rpm so that you got time to spray s0okes or wait and get it next time around. I was using a hardner and used a bank of heat lights and let it spin for about 45 to 1 hour for it to set up and not run. They do come out nice. good luck buddy
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Old 05-15-2013, 06:41 PM   #4
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Default Re: Painting Wheels - Spin Speed

Hunter can you send a picture of your mechanism
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Old 05-15-2013, 07:09 PM   #5
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Default Re: Painting Wheels - Spin Speed

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Hunter can you send a picture of your mechanism
Also Ken, can you give us a more detail idea how you did your paint job?
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Old 05-15-2013, 07:35 PM   #6
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Default Re: Painting Wheels - Spin Speed

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Hunter can you send a picture of your mechanism
sorry that's just funny
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Old 05-15-2013, 08:00 PM   #7
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Default Re: Painting Wheels - Spin Speed

I make use of an Airbrush painting spoked wheels. It lets me get into the small tight areas to get good coverage, and the after those areas are painted, spray the rest of the rim with a touch up gun. With the Airbrush you can get right in close where you need it without getting too much paint in adjoining areas. Works for me with my current skill set. :-)
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Old 05-15-2013, 11:58 PM   #8
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Default Re: Painting Wheels - Spin Speed

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sorry that's just funny
Yes it is, now that you mentioned it.
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Old 05-16-2013, 12:32 AM   #9
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Default Re: Painting Wheels - Spin Speed

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Originally Posted by Ken Ehrenhofer View Post
...I spindle them up on a 10" long piece of electrical conduit...
How many wheels at a time can you get on a ten inch long piece of pipe?
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Old 05-16-2013, 12:48 AM   #10
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Default Re: Painting Wheels - Spin Speed

I'm with Ken. I spin mine by hand so that I can rotate them in both directions if need be to get the spokes from both sides. Then, after paint is applied, I spin them for a short time so that they will not develop any runs. They do not have to be spun very fast. I paint wheels with PPG Concept which sets up pretty fast.
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Old 05-16-2013, 01:03 AM   #11
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Default Re: Painting Wheels - Spin Speed

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How many wheels at a time can you get on a ten inch long piece of pipe?
I'm sure Ken meant 10'.
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Old 05-16-2013, 02:18 AM   #12
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Default Re: Painting Wheels - Spin Speed

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I'm sure Ken meant 10'.
I'm sure he did, just adding a little humor here and there. No offence intended.
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Old 05-16-2013, 05:53 AM   #13
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Default Re: Painting Wheels - Spin Speed

Here is how we do it....





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Old 05-16-2013, 08:25 AM   #14
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Default Re: Painting Wheels - Spin Speed

Start at the slowest speed possible and then adjust to what feels most comfortable to you and your individual spraying technique.
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Old 05-16-2013, 11:54 AM   #15
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Default Re: Painting Wheels - Spin Speed

Apple Green Painted Ken's Method on my wheels at his garage..works great!
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Old 05-16-2013, 12:54 PM   #16
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Default Re: Painting Wheels - Spin Speed

Let me comment one or two points. There really is not a right way / wrong way when spraying wheels because they were originally dipped. Therefore basically you must decide what you are trying to accomplish.

For me, I want a thin mil thickness of paint that flows out like glass where we do not need to colorsand & buff the finish coat to have them slick. Because of that, we typically shoot one medium coat and allow to flash before spraying one heavy coat with a slow solvent. My Dad's wheel painting machine (from the 60s) uses an old variable-speed BBQ rotisserie motor so the speed is almost infinite in speed however the problem I have when I use it, is the tendency is to spray short little bursts of paint which creates orange peel from the trapped air. That is why I prefer Ken's method too. With that said, folks just need to be creative with what works for them. If you notice, we use multiple pipes with placement all around the booth. Ken stacks his (ducks ) up in a row. It is just a matter of personal preference.
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Old 05-16-2013, 01:16 PM   #17
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Default Re: Painting Wheels - Spin Speed

I have tried many ways of painting them such as the pole, hanging them and such but I have found the real secret is to spin the wheels at 60 mph, much faster and the results have been much better.
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Old 05-16-2013, 01:48 PM   #18
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Default Re: Painting Wheels - Spin Speed

At 60 MPH all the drips just sling off!
I paint my wheels flat, backside first, and then the fronts, I use a cage wire stand so the spray doesn't bounce back
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Old 05-16-2013, 01:56 PM   #19
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Default Re: Painting Wheels - Spin Speed

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At 60 MPH all the drips just sling off!
I paint my wheels flat, backside first, and then the fronts, I use a cage wire stand so the spray doesn't bounce back

I don't have any drips, 60mph is how fast I spin the wheels on My truck on the way to the powder coater!!!!! LOL
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Old 05-16-2013, 02:04 PM   #20
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Default Re: Painting Wheels - Spin Speed

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I don't have any drips, 60mph is how fast I spin the wheels on My truck on the way to the powder coater!!!!! LOL
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Old 05-16-2013, 08:03 PM   #21
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Default Re: Painting Wheels - Spin Speed

Brent -

Do you prime the wheels say using DP 90 before final paint? I do not want to use a sand able primer (such as PPG K36) because I don't want to lose details. I think I remember you saying that you just shoot the color over a properly sanded wheel. Am I correct?

Thanks - Hunter
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Old 05-16-2013, 08:11 PM   #22
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Default Re: Painting Wheels - Spin Speed

Sorry Brent - One more question

When you say slow solvent do you mean a reducer with a higher temperature rating than the ambient temperature. For example if it is 70 F and you use DT 85 instead of DT 70 is the DT 85 considered a slow solvent?

Sorry for my confusion on this - Hunter
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Old 05-16-2013, 10:49 PM   #23
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Default Re: Painting Wheels - Spin Speed

I built a rotisserie to paint my wheels on. Each wheel is mounted between cones like a wheel balance would have done and the wheel will hang out in mid-air on the horizontal arbor so that I can paint it from four different directions. You can paint every corner this way. The wheel arbor is belt driven off of a variable speed drill. The wheel speed that works best for me is about 1 rpm and just a little slower. The wheels' paint always come out looking like glass and with no paint runs. After painting each wheel, I let it spin dry at 1 rpm for about an hour, and then I go on to painting the next wheel. I found that a BBQ rotisserie is not strong enough and it will strip out its gears. A tip here is to straighten your wheels before you paint them. I painted 8 good looking wheels. In the end, I only had 4 straight wheels without wobbles.
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Old 05-17-2013, 06:50 AM   #24
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Default Re: Painting Wheels - Spin Speed

Quote:
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Brent -

Do you prime the wheels say using DP 90 before final paint? I do not want to use a sand able primer (such as PPG K36) because I don't want to lose details. I think I remember you saying that you just shoot the color over a properly sanded wheel. Am I correct?

Thanks - Hunter
I recently got into a debate with a young hobbyist here regarding his 'disapproval' of our method so I am hesitant to get into this again but we have a special way that we treat the rust first which we feel eliminates the chance of rust happening under the paint. Where this can be controvercial is, some claim the paint needs a primer to properly adhere to the metal. After discussing this with some reps and factory engineers, we don't necessarily subscribe to this as 100% gospel. If you take many powderpainted steel products, it has been proven where the paint has been applied to bare metal and that paint has successfully held up in harsh climates for years if the powder paint was properly applied. The two biggest reasons for this success was properly cleaned metal, and no trauma to the paint where moisture has the opportunity to works it way under the paint.

How I think this applies to Model-As is generally speaking, restorers like to apply too much mil thickness of paint, --either with the topcoat or with substrates which these extra materials cause the paint finish not to be as durable. Therefore I feel my way greatly reduces the chance for chips and trauma which ultimately protects the wheel from having rust form under the paint. The second part of this mindset is the environments by which most of our vehicles see. Most tend to reside in a garage and are treated with care, however lets look at it a different way and suppose the vehicle was left outdoors and treated with much more disrespect. I suppose it is plausible in those environments where the paint applied in my method could only last for 10+/- years or so before rust particles under the paint would start to release to paint in areas. My take is this is not that big of a deal in that the labor & material savings by limiting the substrates and the labor involved in working those substrates now would offset the price of possibly needing to recondition the wheels in 10 years (when the old tires need to be replaced anyway). I also think it is plausible that if you have "thick paint" on a wheel and left them in the same environment, then you will likely be repainting them in 10 years too. Therefore I feel it boils down to goals and whether you are wiling to take a chance on longevity but again, 95% of the cars will never see the harsh environments that would cause premature failure. If they did, the paint on the wheels probably wouldn't be the only thing needing reconditioning!


Quote:
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Sorry Brent - One more question

When you say slow solvent do you mean a reducer with a higher temperature rating than the ambient temperature. For example if it is 70 F and you use DT 85 instead of DT 70 is the DT 85 considered a slow solvent?

Sorry for my confusion on this - Hunter
Within reason, the slower the paint has to dry/cure, the more it will flow out. This can be controled with solvents that take longer to evaporate, or it can be accomplished by controling the air and the temperature of air that flows across the paint. This is because that moving air will cause the solvents to evaporate even quicker. The warmer the air, the quicker the solvent evaporates so you must fool the paint by choosing/mixing a solvent that evaporates slower than normal.


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Old 05-17-2013, 07:18 AM   #25
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Default Re: Painting Wheels - Spin Speed

There was an old saying in the paint biz that enamel was it's best "primer" over properly etched steel. The key word there is "etched". Sand blast, chemical treatment, combination of the 2, if the wheels are clean and have a good tooth then Brent's method is by far the longest lasting result. Those who scream the loudest against can't seem to answer why something like Rustoleum lasts so long outdoors with no treatment or care what so ever. Even silver fence paint lasts over a decade unless it borders a lake or the ocean. My old neighbor would do his every 12-15yrs.

Also Brent, dead-on-balls about slower dry times. The longer that "wet" paint has to permeate the etch on the metal the better. Our catalyzed materials in use today are far more flexible than powder or even the old enamels of the past, and the thinner it is (mil thickness) the more flexible it remains. Just peel a layer off the inside of plastic cup and you'll see it has nearly the same characteristics as Saran Wrap. I have Packard wire wheels painted over bare metal from 20yrs ago, but also as stated they never get left outdoors for very long (!!!).
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Old 05-17-2013, 07:28 AM   #26
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Default Re: Painting Wheels - Spin Speed

If you are concerned about the mils ( thickness), then you can use an etch or wash primer. These primers are not a build type primer at all. They are very thin, very even "watery" in composition, but contain an acid ( etch ) to aid in adhesion. They are used as the first line in DTM materials and are not going to effect the overall thickness of the paint very much at all.
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Old 05-17-2013, 10:03 AM   #27
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Default Re: Painting Wheels - Spin Speed

Anybody think of this? Spin the wheel about 15 rpm and allow centrifugal force carry the paint out on the spokes. I hate to paint any rotational parts and leave them standing in one position for long. I haven't tried this yet, but I'm building a "Wheel Lathe" out of an old headstock from a lathe. This creation of mine will handle any size wheel down to lawn tractor which is another issue. Just wondering!
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Old 05-20-2013, 01:29 PM   #28
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Default Re: Painting Wheels - Spin Speed

Ken, Gary, Brent, and all -

Thanks so much for all of your advice, wisdom, and experience. Attached is a pic of a device i put together to spin the wheels. I could vary the speed of the wheels using this device.

When I started using this I found that I was always cuting it off and moving the wheel orward and backward manually so that I could target the spray. I should have just hung tehm on a piece of the pipe and saved myself the trouble. The only time I felt the device was helpful was after shooting each whee completely I could let it spin dry.

My advice to anyone else -No need to get fancy. Go with the experts and hang them on pipe and spin them manually. Live and learn - Hunter
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Old 05-20-2013, 02:45 PM   #29
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Default Re: Painting Wheels - Spin Speed

Hunter, I think you hit specifically onto something that is a disease for many restorers. Often times we feel we must have a fancy specialty tool to accomplish each task of the restoration, ...and therefore we waste 3X as much time making such a tool just so we can save a few minutes in that restoration task. It is no wonder many restoration projects take many years to complete because of the times we get side-tracked making labor-saving tools instead of doing it with what tools & resources we already have!!


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Old 05-20-2013, 06:23 PM   #30
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Default Re: Painting Wheels - Spin Speed

How did the dealers paint the wheels back in the 29-31 time frame. Spray, brush, dip?? I'm sure there wasn't consistency dealer to dealer??
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Old 05-20-2013, 06:45 PM   #31
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Default Re: Painting Wheels - Spin Speed

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How did the dealers paint the wheels back in the 29-31 time frame. Spray, brush, dip?? I'm sure there wasn't consistency dealer to dealer??
Paul in CT

Paul, based on what I have researched most dealers just stocked colored wheels that the branch had dipped. DeVilbiss invented the spray gun in 1925 and I have a 1927 sales literature where it showed how dealership could open a paint shop to increase profits. The cost was pretty expensive for the day and I would venture a guess that only the most wealthiest of dealers could afford it. I would say that towards the end of 1930 is when even the majority of all Ford agencies had a bodyshop. Up to that time, you ordered the replacement sheetmetal painted and ready to install. The same with wheels I would say.
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Old 05-20-2013, 08:15 PM   #32
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Default Re: Painting Wheels - Spin Speed

Thanks Brent ! !
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Old 05-20-2013, 08:51 PM   #33
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Default Re: Painting Wheels - Spin Speed

I have a question on spinning wheels on a pipe. How do you spin a wheel once it is almost painted without messing up the paint just applied and getting paint on your fingers? Do you just try to spin it by trying to pushing it on the inside part or use a very thin piece of metal and push a spoke? I can see at first there is no problem, but as it is getting close to done and you are trying to get to some places where you might have missed, it seems difficult to do without maybe messing up the paint you just applied. I plan to paint some wheels for my phaeton and am interested in an easy, but good way to do it. BTW, our club has a wheel spinner in our tool loan program. The problem I see with that is you can only do one wheel at a time. I see no way to remove the wheel just painted to mount another wheel for painting.
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Old 05-20-2013, 09:11 PM   #34
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Default Re: Painting Wheels - Spin Speed

Rusty,

I just finished painting two wheels. I used professional Rustoleum (sp?) and this paint will dry in a very short period of time. Thus you can remove the wheel from whatever setup you have within a hour or so. Yes it is slow doing on wheel at a time. I used a screw driver in the valve hole to spin the wheel when I had to much paint on it to do it by hand.

Here was my setup. I can send you more pictures if you like. Just PM me.
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Old 05-20-2013, 09:50 PM   #35
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Default Re: Painting Wheels - Spin Speed

You can check out a wheel spinner we built at Honest Charley Garage that I used to paint some wood spoke wheels for a 1913 American Underslung.I found it turned the wheels a little fast for my liking, so i ended up turning them by hand.
Check us out on U tube and search 1913 American Underslung wheels
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Old 05-20-2013, 10:28 PM   #36
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Default Re: Painting Wheels - Spin Speed

Fred,
Thanks for the information. It appears that using a pipe might be the best method. Using the tire valve hole to turn the rim is a good idea. It will be a whie until I paint the rims so I can decide later. This string is full of useful information.
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Old 05-21-2013, 06:01 AM   #37
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Default Re: Painting Wheels - Spin Speed

Rusty, again do not make it complicated. Use your finger (with gloves on) and touch the wheel where the rubber band will later reside inside the rim. If your finger prints that area, it really does not matter and if the paint is messed up under your finger, give it a shot with the spray gun. Too much time is wasted with a screwdriver trying to find something to push against, plus you run a risk of damaging something over using your finger which you will have better, & faster control with.
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Old 05-21-2013, 06:40 AM   #38
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Default Re: Painting Wheels - Spin Speed

I paint wheels on a 20 foot length of one inch round bar stock.I usually prime them outside,hanging the bar between a couple of old trucks or bulldozers.I paint the inside of the hubs beforehand,and they never seem to take any damage spinning them on the bar.I just turn them with my finger,yes,I get paint on it,you can't make a cake without breaking some eggs.I could never see the point of a spinner,mixing paint and primer 10 times and cleaning the gun 10 times for 5 wheels does not look like fun to me.I still have quite a few gallons of DP 40 primer I'm using on wheels and such.That has to sit after mixing for 1/2 hour before spraying.A spinner is a lot of work and waiting for a simple operation.
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Old 05-21-2013, 07:09 AM   #39
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Default Re: Painting Wheels - Spin Speed

I use an extension ladder laid horizontally. Set the wheels in between the rungs.
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Old 05-21-2013, 07:12 AM   #40
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Default Re: Painting Wheels - Spin Speed

I would think that a dowel through the lug holes would work fine for a place to spin. You won't want paint built up there anyways.
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Old 05-21-2013, 07:22 AM   #41
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Default Re: Painting Wheels - Spin Speed

Ross,
I don't think you could use the lug holes to spin a rim. Since the lug holes are offset from the center, you would have a hard time spinning the wheel as it would always end up with the dowel in the upper lug hole. Maybe I am missing something, but it would seem hard to use lug holes to spin a wheel. I agree that it would be nice to not get paint in the lug holes so the paint didn't chip when the lug nuts are tightened.
Rusty Nelson
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Old 05-21-2013, 07:33 AM   #42
Hunter
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Default Re: Painting Wheels - Spin Speed

Rusty,
I did just as Brent suggested to spin the wheel. This whole deal is easier to do than I and others have made it appear.

It is one of the many tasks that seems difficult, but after you do one wheel you will wonder why you put so much time into thinking about it.
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Old 05-22-2013, 06:51 AM   #43
B_man_Al
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Default Re: Painting Wheels - Spin Speed

Since I like complexity without spending any money, I made a spinner out of an old noisy front wheel drive wheel bearing hub I had in the garage. It can be easily mounted to a base of your choice using the mounting holes on the fixed side of the hub.

If the stud pattern is wrong, it can be adapted using a wood/metal plate to do the transition.

It works well, and can be mounted either vertically or horizontally. It also runs true, is very easy to turn and very strong. It can also be used as a rotisarary (sp?) for anything you might want to paint while rotating it.
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Old 05-22-2013, 07:24 AM   #44
RonC
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Default Re: Painting Wheels - Spin Speed

Has anyone successfully dipped wheels in paint versus spraying?
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Old 05-22-2013, 08:19 AM   #45
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Default Re: Painting Wheels - Spin Speed

Ok, my gig. I used 2 old bar stool spinning bases and 4 5gallon buckets (6 wheels). I put 2 wheels at a time up for spray on the bar stools, face 1st, then flipped to the finish side. Spinning? As I need it, when I need it. Yes, I got some paint on my pinkys as I did the whole job. When 2 wheels were done they got pulled off the bases and set on 5gal buckets to dry and 2 others went up. I handled the wheels in the mount area, proud to leave my pud-beater prints on my work for some archeologist to find in the future. If the bucket would touch a finished area I set a metal 1gal paint can on top of it. I found the trick to be to get all the hard stuff 1st then spray the wheel as a whole for a fine final finish. You think Model A wheels are a challenge? Try a 33-36 Packard wire wheel. You A restorers got it easy...
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