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Hints and Kinks

Author Photo
By Staff

819 Mandrake Dr., Batavia, IL 60510

Some time ago, a GEM reader asked for a substitute for asbestos
insulation. ‘Excelfrax’ is a high-temperature blanket
insulation, and ‘Fiberfrax’ is a felt-type insulation, both
made of ceramic fibers with a thermoset binder. It is non-toxic,
easy to work with, and can take extremely high temperatures.
It’s manufactured by Carborundum Co., P.O. Box 808, Niagara
Falls, NY 14302-0808. Another handy item to know about is spring
temper music wire in diameters from .015′ to .156′ by
32′ lengths, available in hobby shops that sell model airplane
equipment. This wire is excellent for making any type of short
spring needed to restore or repair gas engines. It can be wound
cold, so no heat treatment is required before or after making a
spring. There is considerable spring-back, so you have to
experiment to find the proper mandrel diameter so the final spring
has the diameter that you want. The same model hobby shops sell
two-component epoxy paint in small cans that gives a bright, hard
finish much tougher than regular enamels. You can mix colors before
adding the hardener to create any shade desired. They also have an
epoxy primer that is one of the best that I have found to stick to
cast iron and give a tough, adherent base for any kind of paint. It
is better than enamel primers. One word of caution: make sure you
read the instructions. The fumes from the epoxy can be hazardous if
used in a confined space. This paint goes a long way, so mix small
quantities until you know how much you need.

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