How do I make new steel T parts, bolts, springs, etc, rusty and maybe even pitted in short order?
This worked for me:
A: Plated frost plug as purchased
D: Vinegar rinse
E: Hydrogen peroxide spray
Swimming pool shock will do the trick.... Note it oxidizes very fast, need to keep an eye on anything you put in it.
I'd use this with thick gloves and only in well "very well" ventilated area, it will choke you up really fast..!
Birchwood Casey Plum Brown solution. It's available from any gun shop and many sporting goods stores. It's used for making a rust brown finish on muzzle loaders. It works great, used it many times for this purpose.
throw it in the back yard. pee on it. wait.
Send me the parts here on the Texas Gulf Coast. I'll set them outside for 10 minutes then send them back to you. Problem solved!
All very good solutions. Thank you.
Why? Just to be different.
Going to car shows with all the big dollar shiny hotrods and muscle cars, I have learned people love to look at old cars in the condition they ought to be in after so many years of service.
I take my T coupe to shows. It is in good condition but the paint has chips, deep scratches, swirle marks. The engine has rusty water marks, pump grease here and there and people flock to the car to see it. People stop and look it over and talk your arm off. Never see that with the one of a dozen 57 chevys.
I'm building a speedster to look like it just rolled out of barn after 80 years storage. Distressed leather bench seat, distressed/sun baked wood platform, thin flat black paint, cracked tires and rust. All unseen parts will be rebuilt.
You might want to consider whether what you plan to do will impart hydrogen embrittlement to spring steel.
Muratic acid is aggressive if left to long. it will eat threads off bolts and nuts reducing their integrity. Ask me how I know---luckily it was nothing structural.
Any type of acid or acidic liquid you use (swimming pool stuff, vinegar), make sure its in a good sealable plastic container and do not store it near anything you value---like use it up or store it outside if possible if it is super aggressive. You should be outside if your using that nasty stuff also, and mucho protection--it burns, trust me.
I currently have some brand new zinc plated screws soaking in salt and white vinegar, after a day they are getting dull looking, I am thinking about 3 days might get them where I want them. I am sure if I media blasted the heads it would speed the process, but I have other thing pressing for my time right now.
I totally get the make it look old deal, to keep the look on the car. Shiny parts look out of place on something old---totally understandable. But to me, recreating a whole car like your speedster idea just to look old is a turn off, and I believe is the same sentiments of other here too.
Chad my wife would agree I do have a diseased mind. The inspiration for the car I want to build is from Tom Laferriere's #20 speedster. I believe it projects an image of the early race car of the common man. Long before all the fancy sponsored cars of today.
Love to hear it when people "get it" and recognize/celebrate a weathered/patinaed look.
I will never understand the attraction of having an over-polished garage floor "paperweight".
Kind of ironic that one has to replicate a weathered look when so many of these were
exactly that and then "restored" to perfect and shiny !
Going entirely sideways, how does one paint a crisp edge number on the radiator fins like
Burger, my son suggests you make a thin card template of the number you want. Use this and a foam paint roller to apply the paint. This will keep the paint sharp on the fins without any bleeding or overspray getting into the core.
Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.
Burger I agree with Allen. I have gone to Office Max and had then print a to size paper template. Cut out your number and tape template on. Paint. I use a spray can and apply several light coats to prevent runs.
This weathered car I want to build will be no different than the two shiny speedsters/racers I have built thus far. I go to great lengths to research and plan my ideas, get just the right parts, prepared just a curtain way and put them together with love. But you know, we speedster guys are rebels. Rebels of a different kind.
Off to see the Wizard
Interesting topic - the larger one I mean (not muratic acid and/or vinegar): "restoration" versus "preservation" versus "re-creation." About a year ago, there was a thread on the Forum about aging a wiring harness to match the rest of the car. At the time, someone went on a small rant about not understanding why someone would "ruin" a perfectly new part by attempting to age it.
I have restored vehicles and I have preserved vehicles. In the course of both, I'd argue that each was a "re-creation": restoration is a re-creation of the vehicle as it appeared rolling off the assembly line and preservation is a re-creation of the vehicle as it appeared at some point in it's life. How one chooses to finish a part depends upon what someone is attempting to re-create. If a part comes in primer from a vendor, do you paint it to match the rest of the vehicle? Of course you do! In the same manner, depending upon the target objective of your work, you would similarly age that part to match the rest of your vehicle. Of course you would. The same principle applies to someone doing a preservation.
Like doodlebugs, speedsters were not a Ford factory product - they were the result of individual design, generally using a cast-off vehicle. Consequently, there is no accepted "standard" for whatever form the re-creation - be it restoration or preservation - takes.
A week ago, I saw a 1915 speedster cross the block at Barrett Jackson for $100K. Livingston radiator, Detroit body, flawless paint - an absolute jewel. That being said, I think #20 above better captures a period-correct speedster in appearance and condition.
No one would take a showroom-new Model T, cut it up and apply a conversion kit to it. They would use a cast off. I only realized that after I finished my '25 Shaw and will never make that mistake again - my '27 doodlebug is an accurate re-creation of a period correct vehicle and I am working towards the same with my '27 IHC conversion, the '17 power unit and the sawmill.
Tyrone, I think what you are doing with your project is fantastic and accurate for the nature of the vehicle. Good luck and I hope you post many pictures as you progress.
I might have made some assumptions on the exact process Tyrone was going to take and jumped to conclusions. I think when he said recreate, I took it as a whole bunch of good and new parts that were going to get a whole faux finish to look old. That bothers me. But if someone gathers a bunch of well used parts and preserves them to make a vehicle, I am on board with that.
I have a hard time figuring how to weather parts I have had to make and/or touch up paint, so I do my best and let nature take it's course. Having the doodlebug is a whole new curve for me, because I still have to make parts for it to suit my needs, but now instead of using some semi-gloss or semi-flat paints, now I actually need to get texture on the surface, and that to me is a little harder.
So why were on this topic of making things look old, and I need to add texture, how can I recreate pitting in metal. I would like to redo a couple of ill placed homemade crossmembers on my doodlebugs frame and the frame and crossmembers have pitting in the surface.
Sorta on the same subject about making car stuff look old---watched a movie being made several years ago and the movie maker used something on the shiny/bright cars to make the paint look dusty and old. I think it was sprayed on and was told it would wash off easily. Several of the cars were used that way. Any idea what that was or how it was done? Thanks,
Chad - if muratic acid is that aggressive, can you find a way to spray it on the cross members so that it disperses in droplets? If so, it may produce the light pitting effect you are looking for.
John, I think it was talcum powder.
William, A local HS coach tried that. Was found not guilty of indecent exposure but HS wants to fire him. True story.
I got a staude tractor conversion that I take to car shows. I enter it as a old car,ratrod,tractor, special interests or I can't believe it made it to the car show. If I don't get best of show 1st, 2nd or third it't picture will be in ever newspaper that had a reporter there. This had set out side all it's life and really looks rough. I will be lined up with the muscle cars, and people flock to it like drunks to a beer joint. I had to put a new pine board floor in it. A man came by and said if you will promise me you won't paint that I will go home and get you some old barn wood to make floor boards. Most people say don't paint that and goof it up. Thanks to John Regan and a hour and a half lesson on coils it will free start with the best of them. If John Regan sez a rooster will pull a wagon, hook him up.
Eugene - I know EXACTLY what you mean! Mine get an enormous amount of attention at any show I bring them to (car or tractor). People can only see so many muscle cars or Farmalls before getting a little bored.
Supposedly the Museum is looking for a Staude.
This picture appeared in the Worcester Telegram last August - they were covering a local fair:
Bring parts to the Oregon coast! They will rust all by themselves. Forget a chrome tool out doors for a few days and it will match your T!!
Vinegar, salt and hydrogen peroxide.
Spray it on and it will start rusting before your eyes. That extra oxygen atom does it.
16 oz Hydrogen Peroxide (use a fresh bottle)
2 oz White vinegar
1/2 Tbsp Salt
Paint companies make a rust paint, a friend has just used some to age the new paint on his hot rod truck,
The paint is water based, you apply it and depending on the time you leave it (in minutes it goes rusty), spray a mist of water for the reaction the more water the rustier it gets, if you don't like the result you can wipe or wash it off. it is sealed with a clear when correct.
This is in Australia but I'm sure the same or similar would be available in the USA. Its original intention is for folk art people to use to age they products.
Jim Mays, the material you are thinking about is a water based plastic coating, it is made to mask off complicated areas such as a grille on a vehicle. You spray it on the surface it dries and you have effectively glad wrapped it. You can then apply paint around it or over it.
In movies if a car is the wrong color you coat the car with the material respray over it in the required color and when finished use a jet washer to wash away the coating .
Saw a Rolls Royce one that was white and they wanted it gold and they did this to it, no harm done to original car.
Thanks Peter Kable, that sounds like what I saw being used in the movie filming.
Sorry Chris for reposting your post.
Mike, not exactly a repost — I didn't mix them together as you did nor add salt. That sounds like an improvement. My first two steps of belt sanding and sandblasting I found to be very helpful when starting with plated parts.