View Full Version : Original color paint for Atlas 618 lathe

05-14-2016, 05:49 PM
My first post here guys. I recently purchased an Atlas 618 lathe that for the most part has the original paint on it. I have several questions but the top one is ...is there a company that sells original color paint for the Atlas lathe?

My other question is the ways have surface rust on them and I need to know whether I can use a Scotbright pad or steel wool to remove it? Is there a better option for cleaning the rust off? It is just on the surface and should come off easy but I didn't try to remove it as I didn't want to do anything to damage the ways.


05-14-2016, 06:02 PM
I highly doubt there is a paint just for Atlas machines. And Atlas probably used whatever dark grey they could find at the time.

Go to a paint store and have them color match a part just like they would on a car part. I do not know what kind of paint you would need, maybe epoxy or enamel with Japan hardener?

I'd choose steel wool and light oil (Kerosene, WD40) as scotchbright will remove material and could lave abrasive behind. Remove any burrs or raised areas around dents with a fine oilstone.

Have fun with your new machine!

05-14-2016, 09:13 PM
I have been using one of the Plastikote gray engine paints which is very close. I am needing some now so I'll have to go figure out which one I used last.

I have rebuilt 4 or 5 618s. I just picked another up a week ago....

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c196/rburkheimer/Machines/626B.jpg (http://s27.photobucket.com/user/rburkheimer/media/Machines/626B.jpg.html)

and have it mostly torn down and de-rusted.

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c196/rburkheimer/Machines/IMG_7381.jpg (http://s27.photobucket.com/user/rburkheimer/media/Machines/IMG_7381.jpg.html)

Far and away the best thing to de-rust and clean is a product called Evaporust. You just take the machine apart, and drop the pieces in to soak, as many as will fit without sticking out of the liquid. Next day the rust is gone, as well as any accumulated hard oil stains. It does not hurt paint, aluminum, Zamak or anything else - just rust and grease.

But it is pricey. A gallon costs $20 - $28. To do the bed, you will need something to contain the bed while it soaks. I use a plastic planter 6x36" from Lowes. It takes 2 - 3 callons. Remember to pile everything else in around it to raise the liquid level. If you run out of rusty parts, use blocks of aluminum or even (clean) rocks.

And you can use this stuff over and over until it quits removing rust and is black as night. Even then it will still soften hardened grease. Disposal? Pour it in the back yard, or down the drain. It's harmless.

05-14-2016, 09:19 PM
Now that I think on it, I have seen several shades of gray on 618s. The earlier lathes were lighter in color. The last one I did was a later model mk1. I found that Plastikote Ford New Gray engine enamel was a close match, so I used that. It looked great

05-15-2016, 09:19 AM
You won't find any paint code specifically for that machine or any machine in any automotive paint chip book.

You may however find a fleet paint code that is really close and since you painting everything if there is a slight variation who would notice it, and if someday you need more mixed you'll have a formula to go by and won't have to play hit and miss.

Your other choice is to have it custom mixed by your local automotive paint store.

But, one word of advice........ have them mix more than you will need and get a formula for what they mixed...... because someday you'll wish you did. Been there.


05-15-2016, 09:24 AM
The one that I have is dark blue and I'm fairly certain it is the original paint.


05-15-2016, 10:10 AM
Yes, they had blue, gray, green, I think mine was yellow.

I use rustoleum 'smoke gray' (or is it dark smoke gray).


05-15-2016, 10:49 AM
The following Atlas 618 has the original finish



In my community, Home Depot will colour-match your "CLEAN"
machine parts and then custom mix Rust-Oleum paint to suit.
No need to locate and wait until Monday for an automotive paint

As mentioned by Rex in #3, Evapo-Rust has worked well on some
projects for me. Pay attention to his remark about fully submerging
parts - having sections sticking out will lead to some unnecessary

Other methods include electrolysis, phosporic acid (where suited
for the material).


05-15-2016, 11:46 AM
Just take a painted part to a Sherwin Williams paint store and have them scan it. They can match the color dead on. I have done this with some Delta machines. Costs about $20 for a pint. Get a paint they recommend for painting a machine, usually an oil base paint which takes two days to dry hard enough to handle, about 2 week to get really hard.

05-15-2016, 01:09 PM
Blue was Craftsman's color. I have an original one but you'll never find the exact color code or paint. I know a restorer & he doesn't even know, he just gets close. I use the glass jars with the screw on propellant & lid you can store the uused paint.

J Tiers
05-15-2016, 01:45 PM
While I don't care what anyone chooses to do, I have always wondered why the big concern for "original" paint. For that matter, for "original" other stuff, especially when the original was not very good and there are better choices.

Is this a deal of reselling to "collectors", or what?

I have a Logan that is not very original, and gets less so every year as I improve it for my use. I just don't give a rip about original, I want what works for me. I don't even LIKE a considerable amount of the "original" stuff for it.

05-20-2016, 10:55 PM
Thanks guys for all the feedback.

05-21-2016, 09:33 AM
One thing I want to add.

If you look at my pic you can see some parts are brighter than others, but they were all painted with the same paint from the same can just at different times. I found the gray does get darker over time just from oils and using the lathe.

05-21-2016, 11:06 PM
Re: the blue lathes - The only blue 618s I have seen are the Mk2 late-models, particularly those labeled Atlas. Never seen a Mk1 round-head with OE blue paint, nor a photo of one.

05-21-2016, 11:16 PM
I did buy a new still shrink wrapped 6" Atlas square head & I think 20" that was blue so if you have a square head Brian I was wrong. I didn't like it & no one else did either. I bought it cheap & almost had to give it away, just didn't have the appeal of the 618 I guess.

05-22-2016, 09:04 AM
Is it not ANSI 61 grey?

05-27-2016, 02:35 PM
Ok, after much foot work I finally decided to use Ace Hardware farm implement paint. As someone suggested the Ford Gray is close in matching and I like the color. I also plan to use the Majic harderner from Tractor Supply.

As you guys pointed out the paint at TS is no longer made by Valspar...BUT...the Ace Hardware paint is! If you check the MSDS sheet for a product it wll tell you who the manufacturer is.

I just spent $70 purchasing a 3M respirator with appropriate cartridges for using paint harderner. Is there any real value in using the hardener? My biggest concern is having the paint resist the cutting fluids used on the lathe.


05-29-2016, 04:17 PM
Since no one replied I will start a new thread with this question.