View Full Version : Dip or not to Dip part II

08-19-2007, 01:05 PM
We ran this thread before. I am trying to get a new way to finish these tools without spraying. I got some enamel 1 gal. and mixed with paint thinnner roughly 3/4 of the gal.(needed it to cover part) and cut with roughly 6 oz of thinner. It is now roughly 50% thinner than uncut.
I dipped the part dripped dry. I have posted pics here to see what I was left with.
Take a look
this one shows the tail edge that looks like air bubbles formed.
This one shows the inside corner where no pigment stuck. It has a gloss finish with no pigment. Both inside corners are the same.
This one if you look at the bottom of the cutout you will see another spot where there is no pigment.
This one shows more what seem to be air bubbles.
I had much buildup on the bottom (I cut it off) where it looks like it was too thick but the rest with no pigment make me think it was too thin. I know this is a crap shoot but do any of you guys know if I can make this better and how so?

I also tried black oxide looks real nice but the sealer I am using stays slimy and that is not good. I emailed Caswell plating to see if that is normal and I was told it was. I know that is used for gun work and I have a hard time understanding that it stays slimy.

Any thoughts?

08-19-2007, 01:29 PM
I used to dip paint parts when working in a foundry. The paint was thinned a bit more so there was less pooling and running.

Some of that could be oil on the part too, more thinner will cut through that too.

yep, more thinner.

08-19-2007, 03:08 PM
Mike thanks for the help. How much more should I thin it? Should it be so thin it runs right off the stick when stirred? Just trying to get a feeling for it.

You have given me hope for the dip.;)

08-19-2007, 03:22 PM
As for the black oxide finish, I was using Birchwood Casey's Aluma black a while back, and recognized the smell of the (expensive) sealer that came with the kit. It smelled the same as "Mop and Glow" acrylic floor coat. I tried using it side by side with the BC sealant and they did exactly the same. ;)

08-19-2007, 03:28 PM
As for the black oxide finish, I was using Birchwood Casey's Aluma black a while back, and recognized the smell of the (expensive) sealer that came with the kit. It smelled the same as "Mop and Glow" acrylic floor coat. I tried using it side by side with the BC sealant and they did exactly the same. ;)

Did the sealer stay wet? Mine is slimy 2 days after sealing. Caswell said that is normal. Does not seem right to me.

08-19-2007, 04:12 PM
Mike thanks for the help. How much more should I thin it? Should it be so thin it runs right off the stick when stirred? Just trying to get a feeling for it.

You have given me hope for the dip.;)

I am guessing but 50% thinner is about what we used at the foundry. (boss in a rush to get good parts fast.)

Mad Scientist
08-19-2007, 04:19 PM
If you think oil might be a problem how about first dipping the parts in a solvent to degrease them?

08-19-2007, 04:20 PM
I do not think oil is an issue as I sand blast these right before dipping.

08-19-2007, 07:47 PM
The air supply to your sand blaster can have oil in it, so sandblasting alone does not guarantee perfect oil free parts.

08-19-2007, 07:58 PM
Heah Bruce.... the air supply I think is fine. I not only have the dryer but 4 filters and traps all of which are dry. I guess oil could still be there but if so I think it would be visible on the trap glass. I think the air is fine.

I am going to thin the paint more as suggested and see how it works.

How you been? I am feeling real old lately. Messed up my hip while running a skid steer the other day. Was leveling out tons of fill that has been piled for 2 years. My whole back yard was dirt piles. I finally got to landscaping it and messed up my hip. Has slowed me a bit.

Gettin old stinks!

Duct Taper
08-19-2007, 10:23 PM
Here are a couple of things that might be helpful. First, go to the paint store and buy a viscosity meter. It is a simple tool that you put paint in and measure how long it takes to drain. That way as you thin out paint and come up with the right mixture you can measure the viscosity and then when you want to mix up another batch it will be easy.
Second, due to capillary action the paint will tend to pull away from dust particles, scratches, edges and inside curves. Get some "Fisheye Remover" from your auto paint dealer and add it to the paint to help it flow more evenly.

08-19-2007, 11:15 PM
The bubbles are from "solvent popping". Mainly, too thick on one coat, or sometimes from too soon on a second (when spraying). Using the wrong "temperature" of solvent can also do it. Once you get your process down, that should go away on it's own.

What about mounting it somehow in a very slow rotisserie to keep it from pooling on the bottom?

08-20-2007, 11:06 AM
Way too cool guys! Thanks, you are on point. I had no clue. I will see about the vis. meter and get some fisheye remover. The solvent popping must be correct as I was told I am still too thick with the paint. Everything you guys have said makes perfect sense and is totally related.

I should have a chance to get in the shop sometime today and will try your suggestions and I will report back.

Rich Carlstedt
08-20-2007, 12:40 PM
I use Brass dipping Laquer.
It is cut about 10 parts thinner to one part Laquer . (YES!)
This is for fine model work without the coating showing.
If you stir or shake your paint, before using it, you will also get the bubbles.
The can must sit undisturbed for awhile .
I donot use a viscosity cup or gauge as was suggested. They are good.
I take a known piece of flat steel , like a really Flat washer (no cup!)
and mike it.
It should really be flat !
A old fashion razor blade works well here.
Then I dip it halfway into the Laquer and let it drain. When dry, I mike it.
I look for a coating of .0005 to .001 thick
don't forget the reading is double of single side measurement.
When I get what I want, I have the right mix.
strip the razor blade for future use again

08-20-2007, 12:46 PM

No, the coating dryes to a satin sheen within an hour and is hard soon after that.

Rich Carlstedt
08-20-2007, 12:50 PM
Good post here for dip coats.
It was written for the clock guys, but has a lot of info



08-20-2007, 12:53 PM
I have not been able to find the visc meter anyway.
Let me ask when you say do not stir shouldn't the paint be stirred because of adding the thinner? Would it not seperate if not stirred? I did stir it.

Are you also saying not to use the fisheye remover?

I want to try your method today. Not sure now if I should stir or not. I will have to add more thinner and I would need to stir it right?

08-20-2007, 12:57 PM

No, the coating dryes to a satin sheen within an hour and is hard soon after that.

I guess I need to check into that. My part is still slimy. They say that is how it protects it from further rusting. As we know black oxide is a controlled rusting of the metal.
But the sealer I would think would dry hard as you mention. Wow now I am really confused!:eek:

08-20-2007, 01:18 PM

THe Birchwood casey kit that I had did aluminum and there was a seperate black oxide coating for steel. They both used the sealer. I found quickly that the treatment for steel was a pretty fragile finish. It came out of the solution a dark color but if you handled it much before you coated it, it would wipe off leaving a brownish grey color. The sealer protected it pretty well. We just dipped the part and let it drip dry. I did the dials on the Bridgeports at work, sealed them, and rubbed white paint into the lines and numbers. It turned out great. I am going to do the same to my mill as soon as I get settled in out west.

08-20-2007, 02:23 PM
You said your sealer dried hard correct? What type of sealer was it? Is there a name? The sealer I have came with the Caswell kit and it is like an oil. I think it is oil that would be why it does not dry. I should try another sealer. I emailed Caswell and so far they have been not much help. They told me to clear coat it. I thought that was what theirs did.
Shame on me :o

My black finish will wipe off like yours. It even wipes off after the sealer is on (stays wet go figure) so it is not what I need. Can't believe it would work for anyone really.

Duct Taper
08-20-2007, 04:15 PM
Here is a photo of a simple viscosity cup so you know what you are looking for. You could make one yourself, it is just a funnel shaped cup with a small hole in the bottom. Put the cup into the can of paint so it fills and then lift it up so it can drain back into the can. Time how long it takes for the cup to empty through the calibrated hole in the bottom. All that is critical for you is to know the time it takes for your final mixture to drain so you can duplicate it again.


08-20-2007, 04:22 PM
I did some research and found that but nowhere locally has it. So I tried the other suggestions about really thinning it I did 1/2 gal of thinner to 3/4 gal paint. It left a much nicer finish but it bled away from the edges and holes. I did not add fisheye remover but I am going to get some now and try that.

08-21-2007, 12:50 AM
Was unable to get fisheye remover so I guess I am done for the time being. I will try double dipping after they dry with the first coat.

Other than this I am at a stand still. Anyone know of any good finishing boards on the web?

Bill Pace
08-21-2007, 02:12 AM
I dont see any mention of the other, more acceptable methods of appliing finish......namely spray paint---the most obvouis, spray cans, and then by spray gun. some of the better quality rattle cans can lay on a quite acceptable coat, ------then one of Horror frts small 'touch-up' guns at around $15 can realley do a nice finish----

The dipped finish looks to me like the paint is too thin and there is some silicone issuses, which with thin paint is aggravated. I too use bead blast before blackening and painting and have good luck. I just cant see how you could get a good finish with dipping-----I admit I've not done any, just dont seem like it'd work as well as a sprayon finish

I will say that after thinking that caswells blacking kit was the greatest, I read of 2-3 of the guys bragging on a Brownell kit and decided to try it-----wellll!!!It is MUCH gooder...not as fussy on cleaning (though its still gotta be CLEAN, just not hospital clean, I'm glass beading the parts), ---less spotting/splotching, more consistant coverage, more color and they dont apparently have, or recommend a coat over it. I'm doing a light touch on a buff wheel to get the haze off and blend the colors to more consistently and getting good results.

08-21-2007, 02:30 AM
Bill... I mentioned that spray is out, right now. I lost my shed (or spray booth) and I have not replaced it. I do not have room for one in the shop and I really do not want to keep getting over spray on everything and the dreaded dust that is a result. I know I could come up with some kind of booth but again no room.

I was painting them with an acceptable finish. Good Ole Wally Mart buck a can bombs. But no booth now so no bombs.

I was told by others I could get a decent finish by dipping but as you mention I have not had any luck yet. i have tried mostly what others suggested and still no luck.

This is the reason I tried using black oxide. That would be a good finish but I need to get a non oily sealer that dries. Caswells is oil and stays wet.
Are you aware of a sealer for that process that would not be a wet finish? That would be the ticket for now. Just can't see this oil finish of Caswell to be right. Maybe if your storing parts or transporting but not something that will be used.

08-21-2007, 06:06 AM
Try dipping the part in boiling water first, shake it off and let it dry which will take only a few seconds and then do a quick dip in the paint while the part is still hot.

The reason for using boiling water is that it produces a very consistent temperature. On the subject of rattle cans, Krylon has a paint that I would describe as instant drying. It says it dries in 12 minutes or less but in reality it's more like 30 seconds or less. This reminds me of what type of paint makes the best dip. Henry Ford knew. It's black Japan Lacquer.

Ford used two japan black paints. The “First Coat Black Elastic Japan” was given the factory specification number F-101 (M-101 after March 15, 1922) and F-102 (M-102 after March 15, 1922) was the factory specification number for “Finish Coat Elastic Black Japan”. Both paints were very similar in composition. They consisted of about 10% linseed oil and dryers (lead and iron dryers were popular in oven baked paints), 55% thinners (mineral spirits or petroleum naphtha), and 25 - 35% Asphaltum. F-101 also contained 1 - 3% carbon black as a pigment, while the finish coat, F-102 contained none.