View Full Version : Saving/repairing name plates etc

05-14-2006, 12:43 PM
I have several plates that are painted that are name plates or gearing and lever positions, TPI stuff etc, that I want to have refinished.

The main plate that has the Clausing-Colchester symbol also show the lever positions and speeds is a bit worn.

All these are rivetted on.

Should I take these off before I refinish the headstock or should I just mask them and save the effort

I would gladly pay someone to put these back into good looking condition, but is it likely some is willing/able to do it?

Here is a pic of a plate


Thanks for any advice

05-14-2006, 03:07 PM
Maybe here, although that plate in the photo does not look that bad to me. Maybe just a little polish?


05-14-2006, 03:12 PM
my worry about polishing it up is the removal of the paint. The photo is an older one and I did try to polish it up some, and I had paint comming off.

Maybe wrong process, or could use a better product?

05-14-2006, 03:31 PM
Some polishes may contain things that might attack certain paints. I always try a spot somewhere that won't show to bad to test them on.

I don't know for sure if that guy I suggested restores these. But I have seen some of the ones he makes. Very Very nice.

05-14-2006, 03:38 PM
cuemaker... you should be able to spruce that up on your own. The markings are raised. Take some Simmco (sp) polish and buff the raised marking. Then clean off and take a toothpick and some Testers model paint and touch-up the voids on the colored grounds and let dry for a few days and cover the whole thing with clear. Should make it look as good as new. From the looks of it should take no more then a hour or so at the most. Or you can float coat the spaces using a syringe to fill up the back ground areas to a level just below the top of the markings. This is a bit more involved as you have to level the piece and make sure you keep it out of the sun or any rapid heating as this will cause the top to skim and wrinkle. Either will give good results it just depends on what you wanted to do... make it look nice or restore to new. :)

You need to use a stiff backing and a low nap terry clothe or velour polishing clothe and old fashion elbow grease. You want to ride to faces. A buffing wheel is a No No in a case like this.:eek:

05-14-2006, 03:51 PM
For any "raised letter" nameplates, best results are obtained if you use a flat abrasive. It can be a piece of fine paper stapled to a wood block, or a fine-cut file, or any other device that allows you to follow the surface contour without getting down into the recessed areas.

05-14-2006, 04:11 PM
Try the hard felt dohickies that go on the bottom of chairs and such. with a polish like flitz or simchrome. The kind that has the sticky paper will work on a paint stirring stick. the round kind that come 12/16 on a card or the flat sheets that you can cut. Use them all the time on art metal projects.
But not on a buffing wheel on a motor. Unless you want to take all the paint off and refill it in. Then clear coat as stated before.


Here are the 3/4 and 1 inch size along with a doing it your self size all are self sticky. :D

Alan in Oz
05-14-2006, 07:09 PM
maybe the following is of use http://www.gasenginemagazine.com/archive/0403/0403_feature1.html personally I've not tried the process so can't comment.

Mike Burdick
05-14-2006, 08:32 PM

Rockrat posted a thread using the method described in the link you posted. It is very interesting reading if one wants to make nameplates.

Here is that thread:


To the Group:

I would also like to bring up another related point. Most people who frequent this forum have and restore old machining equipment that often has missing or poor quality nameplates. Perhaps those of us that have equipment with nice nameplates would take nice flat digital pictures of them and post them so others can use the method in Alan's link to recreate them or use CNC mills. This site won't store these pictures but perhaps Adrian's site would set aside some space just for that. What do you all think - should this be pursued?

05-14-2006, 10:07 PM
Hi Mike,

I think that's a good idea. Adrian's site should have room for them with no problem. They would fit in the Manuals... section nicely.

If all else fails I could put them up on one of my sites as long as they weren't too large.

05-14-2006, 10:19 PM
Any polish you use will remove some of the paint--It's the nature of paint and polish. The plates don't look bad but if you want them "restored", send me an email. Check to see if the screw-rivet holes go all the way through. If they do, you can just tap them out with a pin punch or similar object from the back side. If the holes don't go through, you'll have to wedge them out carefully. A keen eye and soft touch is needed or you'll break the rivet heads off or scar up the plate. If you remove the rivets gently, you can reuse them.

Unless you're going to "restore" a machine rather than just repaint it, keep the plates as they are. You can mask the plates with tape then trim the tape around the plate with a razor. I use a thin vinyl sheet material most of the time but masking tape will work too.

05-15-2006, 10:18 AM

Thank you for the advice. I am still debating what to do. Since I have the lathe almost completely apart, I am feeling the need to be extra anal and try to duplicate your efforts. My thinking is that I have gone this far, why not a little bit more and do the job right.

The reason I might do it is that my machines dont get the abuse that you real machinist put yours through. My will get covered in saw dust for the most part. Maybe bang a tool into it, or drop a tool in the tray. Grease and oil will be a bad thing. So if its not going to get ruined, why not do it up beautifully?

I have some Imron (not much) and I would love to put a coat of that on but its expensive and I would have to buy some more. But it would get used on my cues eventually.

05-15-2006, 11:04 AM
I pulled all the plates off my Bridgeport mill before starting the brush paint job on the parts. In cases where I could not reach them from behind, I ended up marking the rivet heads with a center punch and then carefully drilling them out. I opted to drill the holes out just a bit bigger and use tiny allen head (4-40 thread) button-head screws to re-attach. This also hid some booboos that came from drilling the heads.

Drilling may seem crude, but the rivets (that is not what they are actually called, but the real name escapes me) just did not lift out and I did not want to really mangle the plates.

As for polishing, I would try Flitz (great stuff) on the end of a new pencil eraser, just rubbing the high spots and staying away from the paint. I have hit paint with the stuff and if it is well adhered, it will not hurt as Flitz is *really* fine stuff.


Peter N
05-15-2006, 12:58 PM
Drilling may seem crude, but the rivets (that is not what they are actually called, but the real name escapes me) ...

Paul, we call them hammer drive screws over here, but they may well be called something different on your side of the Pond.


05-15-2006, 02:49 PM
we call them hammer drive screws over here, but they may well be called something different on your side of the Pond.
They're called drive screws here. McMaster-Carr http://www.mcmaster.com sells them.

Ahhhh... two countries separated by a common language :D