After rewiring the car, it's time to start on the plates I got last year at Bakersfield.
Washed with soap and water
After paint (what was left) strip
Now in the 1/9 molasses bath.
George, in my experience, you will need to get all the paint off for the molasses to do its best. It will not remove paint.
Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.
Here's a nice plate restoration video:
Great video but I have a few questions: Where does one get the silkscreen to use on this? Can it be purchased or do you make it yourself? How is the paint baked? It it put into an oven or what?
Steve Jelf made the video, I believe he used to own or work at a sign business. Steve, can you comment?
Rick, do a Google search for "silk screen services near sparta, mo" , maybe something will turn up.
Rick: It may be a while before you read this note. When I saw you were from Sparta, I had to look on a map so see where it is and see that you are South west of Mansfield and Norwood. My old stomping grounds. I went my first two years of high school at Hartville the we moved closer to Norwood where I graduated in 1952, back in bibical(spelling) days. Was lucky enough to make it to my 60 year reunion, then the next year I ended up in the hospital with a 4 way bypass.
Oh well I am still alive and kicking.
Mark Strange: He posted the video of Steve doing those plates and they looked good. I met Steve in 2012 and he is a fellow of many tales. He has project yet to be done. Had great visit and saw and rode in one of his "T"s. We went to town in one and had lunch and he showed me a lot of his things he is/was doing.
I hope he lives to a long 100 years as he has enough to keep him busy for a bunch of years.
Many thanks to Steve Jelf for all the effort he puts into his cars, his videos, and all his various projects. I check his blog every morning to see what's new.
Steve, here's to you, keep up the good work!
Rick - After watching Steve's great video, I found a local screen printer who was willing to help me out (took a little searching to find someone who was willing to try it) for a nominal fee. I think they turned out great, and was well worth the time and cost.
Before any work was done. Plates were in fairly good shape when I got them.
After base paint color (sprayed)
After baking at 250' for 30 minutes.
After screening the numbers/letters
After being in the molasses for two days I took one out. There were a few small sections of bright metal. Check it again in 3 days.
Very nice restoration.
Just a side note: before taking on this task please check with your state/province. Some will not accept repainted plates for registration.
George is in California, where it's OK to use restored plates. The same is true for most states, but one big eastern state says you may not use restored plates and one big western state says you must use restored ones. In either case, how do they know whether the plates are restored or not?
The idea of taking the job to a local screen printer is excellent. Not being in the sign business anymore, that's what I'd do. But you need to do the body work first. The plates need to be flat and any dents or dings removed or filled. From the pictures it appears that George's plates are in great shape and need little or no body work. You can apply the background color yourself, then have the color for the letters and numbers screened on.
Your local sign painter or pin striper should be able to lay down the numbers and letters for you. I would think that Los Angles is teaming with them.
For example - the black on this snow machine plate was done by a talented gentleman in the Twin Cities who is both a professional sign painter and pin striper:
Wow! That guy is good! I've never seen a hand-painted plate which looks that good.
Regarding an earlier question about baking paint - with Rustoleum, after I have painted the parts, I hang them in my oven and bake them at 250 degrees for half an hour, they come out fully cured.
And yes, I am single.
About a year ago I posted on this forum how I restored a plate and duplicated another one for use on my 28 model AA fire truck. At the time I was only able to find one good plate but wanted to have a matched set for the truck. Since I have a small foundry I used the original plate after bead blasting as my pattern and placed an 1/8" metal frame around it making it thicker for casting with an aluminum alloy to reproduce this duplicate plate. After that I then powder coated both the fronts of the plates with a gloss white powder and baking them in my toaster oven. I then powder coated both the fronts and backs with a close match to the original green used in "28" and then carefully wiped off the letters and numbers exposing the gloss white before baking the plates for a final time. It's not as good as some of the plates that are done by the professional restorer but for people not suffering from OCD it passes and you can only notice the extra thickness on the one from a side view if its not in the plate holder. Bob
Hand painted numbers and letters can be painted on by hand and look just as good or better than silk screening.
The local school bus garage uses a guy that hand paints all the lettering on buses. I watched him for a while and it was an eye opener to watch him whip out perfectly straight lines and turns with those brushes.
The trick is using the right brush and speed. And of course have a steady hand!
I have a 1915 Arkansas plate that I'd like to replicate. I assume that would entail making a mold from my plate, but it would need to be done without damaging the paint which is now on it. If anyone knows how to do that, I'd like to discuss it. I don't mind paying to have it done. My email address and phone number are on my profile page, if you want to contact me directly.
Mike, that sounds easier than you might think. All you need is a "release agent" that can be sprayed on your plate, so that when you make a mold from it, it will come off clean. I'd try a place like Hobby Lobby. Or try Pam, but try it on something else first.
Then you make a mold, by pouring Plaster of Paris over the plate, inside a wood frame slightly larger than the plate. Vibrate it a bit to get the bubbles out.
When you separate them, you have a "negative" of your plate.
You can then pour some plastic, or something, into the mold. Again, using a Release Agent.
If you use something breakable, put some mesh in it to strengthen it.
Then paint it.
Make several -- why not?