What is a good choice for a correct stain and exterior varnish for a early 1910-12 firewalls?
Also my brass glass setting channel has seen some abuse and would like to replace it , the reproduction channel is not quite the same dementions as my Rands, which is a origional.any ideas of what to do
"What is a good choice for a correct stain and exterior varnish for a early 1910-12 firewalls?"
After some asking and searching, I just purchased this:
By the time it was shipped to me, cost about $17. Laurel Mountain Forge Cherry Stain. A small 4 oz. bottle. That's not much, so hoping it will cover one firewall! I tried some on a scrap piece of cherry plywood and compared it to the original finish on an old firewall:
I don't know what finish was used originally. I have heard many people have used polyurethane. I plan to use spar varnish, I used it on a wooden bodied car 15 years ago and it has held up beautifully.
The original finish on the early coilboxes was a shellac. It is very nearly the same color as appeared on these early "red board Fords" so it's possible that it was a shellac also. I haven't come up with a wide enough range of original dashes to be able to tell with certaintly although I have seen a number of these very red originals. I have successfully duplicated the red shellac and now use it on my reproduction boxes. Since shellacs are not highly lightfast, it is followed by 4 coats of UV resistant marine spar varnish.
The photo doesn't show the bright red color well. It's only obvious in bright light.
The 3 white spots are holes for the switch wires.
R.V. What is the formulation that you use for the red shellac? I will need to be doing a firewall aslo, but this will be for a 1911 Hupmobile. It is also a very red finish.
The finish on my 1913 original firewall is shellac, but not red shellac. The original red color went on first and it was heavily pigmented, like paint. When trying to duplicate it I had the closest results by rubbing slightly thinned red paint onto the cherry, wiping off the excess, and then going over that with a clear finish like shellac or varnish when it was dry.(something you definitely want to test out on scrap instead of your firewall).
It's a blend of several different dry shellacs of differing refinements plus some orange aniline dye. I don't have the exact recipe written down because I made a half gallon of a very concentrated mix that I can reduce for a more even brush job. This amount should handle all the coilboxes I'll ever make. Two light coats are best. I can send you a sample if you like. It's being used on 2 early T dashes that I know of. If there's enough interest I may re-create it and make it available in small packages as a dry mix that could be dissolved in alcohol by the end user as needed. It would have a much greater shelf life that way.
I have used NGR Dye stain from (Wood Finishers Depot) It holds up great, and they have a good color selection. Under $20.00 a quart. I just used it on a 12 T, and redoing a 09' T . Finished with clear urethane. Also did a couple of coil boxes that look great.
Thank you for the good information, ..W.Austen, could you give us some more information on the color or a part # of the stain you used?
Thanks To All Who Replied!
I usually mix the stains to match original parts like the back of a coilbox I'm pretty lucky as most of the cars I've worked on have some original wood stained parts somewhere. Wood Finishers Depot has a red mahogany, red stain, and a cherry stain, that I have used and mixed. I don't have any connection with them - They were the only company that I found that sells the NGR Stain in quarts Call them for a catalog 1866 883 3768 or go online for the colors.