Sunday, July 13, 2014

Painting A Wire Wheel Machine

I've recently built a wire wheel machine, and I'm quite pleased with how it turned out.

But it's begging for a paint job.

If I leave it unpainted, it will forever look like a bunch of cobbled-together junk. If I paint it all properly, it will look like the Cadillac of wire wheel machines that it truly is. So, I'll paint it all properly. I'll start with the mandrel.

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The mandrel came apart easily with only light hammering from a plastic-headed mallet.

That simplifies things a lot -- very little masking will be needed to make the casting paint-ready.

Suspending or supporting objects for spray painting them is often challenging. As it's turned out, the casting lends itself to being suspended fairly easily. A big washer and a wire hook are all that I'll need.

The washer and hook provide me with this arrangement.

And that makes the casting readily paintable. I just have to mask the machined surfaces where the bearings' outer races reside.

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Here's the mandrel casting painted.

That's one coat of primer, and two coats of Tremclad grey. The wire wheel machine is on its way to being gorgeous.

I'll set that aside in a safe place for the paint to harden.

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The Switchbox Post -- THURSDAY, JULY 17, 2014

Here's the post all painted.

The post got two coats of Behr No. 75 latex primer, followed by two coats of Tremclad grey.

Note that installing a long, protruding woodscrew in a concealed part of a thing to be painted can give you lots of ways to support/manipulate the thing. I make frequent use of that method when painting items.

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The Motor -- FRIDAY, JULY 18, 2014

These things are fairly straightforward items to dismantle and paint.

Note that the motor mount cradle is not symmetrical -- it's longer at the left than at the right. Some cradles are symmetrical; some aren't. That's the sort of detail one needs to watch out for whenever one is dismantling a piece of machinery.

Note also that I've scribed alignment marks for the motor's end caps.

Come reassembly time, there'll be no guesswork when aligning the end caps with the frame.

Removing two screws permits the start capacitor cover to come off, then there are two spade connectors holding the capacitor. There is no polarity consideration related to the capacitor's wire connections; I can just disconnect them with no concern for which goes where.

I've already removed the pulley and the motor mount cradle, so it's time to remove the four tie-rod screws and get the motor apart.

That was easy -- the bearings are slip fits on the shaft ends. Not all ball bearing motors come apart so easily. (Dealing with the possible complications is beyond the scope of this post; some other time.)

Note the two thrust washers left behind on the rotor's shaft. Always be watchful for such items when dismantling a motor. Some motors will have none; some motors will have an asymmetrical complement of washers. You always want to note the arrangement, and get the motor back together exactly as it was.

The wiring connections are mostly soldered,

so I'll detach the terminal board and thermal breaker, and just let them remain with the stator while I paint the frame.

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Here's the motor frame on top of a coffee can on top of a turntable, ready for priming

Lacquer thinner took the factory paint off completely. I stuffed in some paper toweling up top to mask the motor's innards.

And here it is after a coat of grey primer, and two coats of gloss black enamel.

Now I just have to do the motor mount cradle and the capacitor cover. Once that's all done, I'll leave everything sit for a week for the paint to harden, then reassemble it all.

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Motor Done -- TUESDAY, JULY 29, 2014

Here's the motor finished and back together.

I've also brush-painted the base plank.

And that's it. The machine is ready for final reassembly.

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All Done -- WEDNESDAY, JULY 30, 2014

Here's the fully painted machine back together again.

That looks much better.

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