Preservation Methods

| January/February 2004

  • Smok stak Name plate

  • Smok stak Name plate

The following comes from a recent topic on Smok Stak, which can be found on the Internet at: smokstak.cgi. As ever, various individuals started, commented on and concluded the following bulletin board thread.

I saw a previous post alluding to methods of maintaining or enhancing the original finish on old engines. I also read in the SmokStak archives that linseed oil could be painted on, but other than that, I can't seem to find much else. What are the other methods, and what works best? I'm looking forward to another long winter in the shop. - Baggsy

I have left all of my engines with their original finish. First, they're cleaned with kerosene and left to dry. Then I apply a 50/50 coat of boiled linseed oil mixed with mineral spirits. It's important to use a 50-percent mineral spirits mixture because straight linseed oil will leave a sticky finish. You'll be surprised with the result. - Bruce

The 3 HP Fairbanks ZC I bought came on original wood skids with original paint, but had suffered numerous paint spills and splashes. The spills and slops came off with vigorous scrubbing, but in doing so, the paint gloss was damaged. After consulting the SmokStak archives, I tried something new and used a couple of wet coats of 'Petrol' oil-based paint additive. A multi-use product, it ordinarily dries overnight. My results turned out good: The gloss is even and the dried and flaking paint on the wood skids appears to have knitted together as if the remaining paint is holding, and the 'bare' wood looks like it has a coat of semi-gloss varnish.

The paint is a bit more glossy than original I suspect, but it's not overdone. I'm glad that I chose this method for this particular project. - Kid

I tried the straight linseed oil and it took a long time to not be sticky. I hear clear coat works, but it may yellow with time. - Vernon


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