| January/February 1987

Having observed our hobby for the past twenty five years, we have learned that collecting and restoring habits repeat themselves on an annual basis. Once again it is our observation that the show season must surely be past, and that our readers are once again in the repair and regroup process. We know this by the amount of mail we receive-this month's offering is especially large! Obviously there must be a large backlog of engines and tractors out there which will be restored this winter, and be ready for next year's show season. The barns, cribs, groves, and junk-piles have been pretty well cleaned out here in eastern Iowa, but we are confident that a substantial number of old engines still remain-they're just harder to find!

Sometime ago the Reflector suggested that someone knowledgeable about engine and tractor painting come forth with ways and means of getting the beautiful finish which makes a restoration really stand a notch above the others. So far we haven't heard much, but perhaps during the winter months, we'll get some input. So far as the Reflector is concerned, we've learned a few things by osmosis-watching others do the job. We believe that sandblasting is probably the best way overall to remove unwanted rust and debris. Prior to sandblasting though, it is necessary to remove grease and oil, especially that which has become stiff and hard. Sandblasting won't cut this stuff. Immediately after sandblasting a good primer coat is required, since castings will rust just from the humidity if left alone. The Reflector then goes to work sanding and grinding the worst areas of the castings, filling in the defects, and sanding some more. After numerous sessions of sanding, grinding, and retouching the bare metal areas with primer, the entire engine should be smooth, or at least as smooth as you would like it to be. The important thing is this-when you finally decide to put on the paint, every blemish you can see beforehand will be there afterward, and subsequent coats of paint will make these blemishes seem even larger.

During the past couple of years the Reflector has gone over to using DuPont Centari or a similar acrylic enamel. Make no mistake, acrylic enamels are expensive. In addition to the enamel you will need acrylic lacquer thinner for cleanup, acrylic enamel reducer to thin the material, acrylic enamel hardener, and other supplies. If you wish to put one or two clear coats over the finish, a special hardener is required, and this stuff is very expensive. It's not at all difficult to spend $100 to $150 on painting a 6 horsepower engine. Thus, we tend to use acrylics on those really nice engines, and use somewhat cheaper materials on the 'common' engines.

Our methods are probably incorrect much of the time, so we too could benefit immensely from some input by those familiar with the job. One thing we always do, no matter what, and that is to use a suitable respirator, especially when working with acrylic materials!

We have a huge number of letters this month, so here goes the first one:

22/1/1 Q.Gilbert Merry, RR1, Box 154, Lowden, WA 99360 writes: In perusing American Gasoline Engines you say as of publishing date the Palmer & Rey gas engine has not surfaced, but here is a picture of one that I have captured. The Hoyt governor patent covers the intake valve, and not the exhaust valve as you state in your book. The governor acts on the intake valve, controlling the amount it can open to regulate the engine speed. See photo 22/1/1.