K-W Coil Box.... What's the best stain recipe?

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2015: K-W Coil Box.... What's the best stain recipe?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James J. Lyons III - West Virginia on Monday, February 02, 2015 - 09:17 pm:

A few years back, I purchased a 1913 touring. I've had a blast tinkering with it and have been slowly fixing things that are not correct. As often happens on these cars, someone had installed a 1918 metal coil box. Since I wanted to put an original style wooden coil box back in, I quickly got myself familiar with the cost involved. Not wanting to drop a grand or more on an original coil box, including re-building it and the coils, I opted for one of those raw boxes you can get from Langs that holds the standard size 1914 and later coils. The box is great and looks very nice. I then bought a KW Master Vibrator and robbed the switch from it. As a final step, I put the correct switch cover on it that Larry Smith was nice enough to send me.

Here is ta picture of the box in it's completed state, but before I installed the correct brass cover. Obviously it's not an exact duplicate of a KW box, but a man on a fast horse will never know it. Overall, I'm pleased with the appearance, but the trouble is, the finish is not dark enough to closely represent the shade of an original KW box. As much as it grieves me, I plan on sanding it down and taking another run at it.

So my question is, (for those who have restored their original KW coil box) what prescription did you use for duplicating the correct finish? How may coats? Did you mix different stains? Any help you can provide will be appreciated.
coil box


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Herb Iffrig on Tuesday, February 03, 2015 - 08:01 am:

It looks good right now!

How does that look next to the cherry stained dash?
Do you have a photo of it installed?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James J. Lyons III - West Virginia on Tuesday, February 03, 2015 - 08:04 am:

Herb, I'll try to reduce one and upload it. It looks too light next to the cherry dash. Which is saying something because my dash is all original and faded. I'll post it shortly.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James J. Lyons III - West Virginia on Tuesday, February 03, 2015 - 08:15 am:

I uploaded two images of the coil box installed. The cherry dash is original and un-restored so it is quite faded. While the pictures make the problem look worse than it actually is, the light color of the dash makes the coil box look orange compared to the dash. I'd prefer to have the box darker and look more like it did from the factory. The darker image was taken in the shop while the lighter one is in direct sunlight with the top down. In any event, maybe I am just being too picky. coil1coil2


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Wrenn on Tuesday, February 03, 2015 - 08:36 am:

Here's a thought, even tho it'd be a bit more work, but since you said the dash is faded, I'd be tempted to pull it out and refinish it to look closer to the box. I took my '12 dash out to just re-varnish over the existing cherry stain and it wasn't that big of a chore.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James J. Lyons III - West Virginia on Tuesday, February 03, 2015 - 08:45 am:

Tim - as whacky as it sounds, I want the parts of the car which are still original left intact. This is actually a very low mileage 13. The odometer says 20K and I'm pretty sure it's correct. The only thing that has been done to this car is the body was repainted, upholstery and top were replaced. The entire running gear has never been restored. Well, I take that back, I took the differential out and replaced the babbit washers but cosmetically, I left every thing original. It even has the original engine pans in place. Dash still has the original finish and the steering column, hood former and even the under side of the hood still have the original "midnight-blue-so-dark-it's-actually-black" paint still present. So, while your idea is actually a good solution, I'm probably going to hold tight and try to alter the box since it is a replacement anyways. :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Wrenn on Tuesday, February 03, 2015 - 08:47 am:

Well I can't blame ya there Jim! Sounds like you're on a good track.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roger Karlsson, southern Sweden on Tuesday, February 03, 2015 - 09:40 am:

Great car in great condition :-)
Here's some info on staining wooden coil boxes:
http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/331880/344059.html?1361890193
http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/257047/296221.html?1339908494

Did you find babbitt thrusts in your low mileage original '13?
Maybe Ford changed from bronze thrusts to babbitt earlier than the 1915 change date in the encyclopedia? (part #2528)
http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/P-R.htm#rax3


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James J. Lyons III - West Virginia on Tuesday, February 03, 2015 - 11:49 am:

Thanks Roger! And yes, they were babbit. It was interesting that just about every part in that differential was stamped "Dodge Bro's."


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Larry Smith on Thursday, February 05, 2015 - 04:04 pm:

The coilbox looks great Jim!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James J. Lyons III - West Virginia on Thursday, February 05, 2015 - 07:05 pm:

Thanks Larry! I might build another one... why? I have no clue! Other than it's fun and I have most of the parts.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James J. Lyons III - West Virginia on Thursday, February 05, 2015 - 07:07 pm:

Thanks Larry! I might build another one... why? I have no clue! Other than it's fun and I have most of the parts.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Larry Smith on Friday, February 06, 2015 - 01:44 pm:

Question: Is there a slight slope to the lid of the box? I've got four of them, and it seems to me there is a slope. Check with RV. His brother Jon makes new ones.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James J. Lyons III - West Virginia on Friday, February 06, 2015 - 09:02 pm:

Larry. .. there's no slope on this repro box. I agree there should be a slope.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By R.V. Anderson on Saturday, February 07, 2015 - 01:05 pm:

Yep. Should be a slope.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem - SE Michigan on Saturday, February 07, 2015 - 03:27 pm:

Don't know if anyone answered your question. To get really vivid colors use an aniline dye type of stain, versus a pigment stain, such as a Minwax product.

You used to be able to buy them ready to use from Behlin. The last time I used a dye stain I bought a product called Trans-Tint, which is a concentrated aniline dye. You add drops of it to denatured alcohol to make your own stain. You can mix & match colors as well. You can also add it to finishes such as Deft to tint it.

Some tips;

1. Aniline dye is bad for you. WEAR RUBBER GLOVES AT ALL TIMES.
2. Apply it very wet then wipe off the excess. Too dry an application will cause dark & light stripes where successive coats overlap.
3. It will dye whatever it touches forever. Wear old clothes.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By R.V. Anderson on Saturday, February 07, 2015 - 04:18 pm:

The trouble with aniline, especially alcohol-soluble aniline, is that it isn't lightfast. I learned this the hard way, mixing up a beautiful and totally correct aniline-tinted shellac. Within a month it was many shades lighter. I re-did a test panel and coated it with three coats UV resistant spar varnish. It still faded, and almost as quickly.

I mix my own stain, but a good commercial one is Laurel Mountain Forge's Cherry. It comes in a little, 4 oz. bottle which is plenty for doing a box and dash.

http://www.laurelmountainforge.com/stain_colors%20v4.htm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James J. Lyons III - West Virginia on Saturday, February 07, 2015 - 05:38 pm:

Thank you RV and Jerry. The information is very helpful.

I am planning to do a new box and am going to start with one that has a sloping lid.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem - SE Michigan on Saturday, February 07, 2015 - 06:03 pm:

Very surprised to hear that RV. I've never had a single problem with aniline dye & UV.

The Behlen Solar Lux product claims to be highly UV and fade resistant, while the Trans-Tint warns "Not for outdoor use", which seems to confirm your warning.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By R.V. Anderson on Saturday, February 07, 2015 - 06:11 pm:

All anilines fade; the water soluble fades slowest and the alcohol soluble is the quickest. After the experience I had, I went and did some additional research. Should have done that first but I can never seem to do things the easy way. I wanted to try the water soluble aniline but like all water based stains it raises the grain. So I gave up and went back to oil based stain.

I've never used the Behlen but I know they make good stuff; I use their special alcohol for making my Heinze coil shellac. Maybe theirs has some kind of additive or other that improves the mix's colorfastness.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James J. Lyons III - West Virginia on Saturday, February 07, 2015 - 07:18 pm:

R.V. I ordered the cherry stain from Laurel Mountain Forge. I'll post photo's as the project progresses. Thanks again for the information.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Larry Smith on Sunday, February 08, 2015 - 12:05 pm:

The Laurel Mountain stain is pretty much right on.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By R.V. Anderson on Sunday, February 08, 2015 - 05:51 pm:

Well, almost, or so I think. It doesn't quite have that deep, bright purplish tint. But it's very nice, and the best commercially available color. I used to be a color chemist for a large local paint company. Wish I still had access to their very large tinting setup (they are no longer in business). Hard to believe that was over 30 years ago. Yikes.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By R.V. Anderson on Sunday, February 08, 2015 - 05:58 pm:

Here are a couple boxes stained with LMF.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James J. Lyons III - West Virginia on Sunday, February 08, 2015 - 07:57 pm:

R.V.
Those look great compared to my box. They have the much deeper cherry red I am looking for. I ordered the stain so we'll see how it turns out. Thanks again for the lead.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By R.V. Anderson on Monday, February 09, 2015 - 09:59 am:

Just passing it on. A T guy hooked me up with this stuff awhile ago. I tried it and liked it, though I still use my own mix. The boxes are actually more red than they appear in the photo; I guess the camera flash sort of washes it out.


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