After reading about the Ford factory painting spinning Model T wheels, I decided to try it. I found that normal spray is inadequate. It worked slowly on the rim and hub, and was ineffective on the spokes. I suspect a much heavier spray would work. With normal spray I found that turning the wheel by hand worked much better.
Steve: My understanding was that ford "dipped" the wheels and then spun them to remove the excess paint , If I remember correctly they were spun at about 750 rpm. 'Course CRS could be clouding my memory??
Neat video. What kind of spray paint are you using?
It's spinning way too fast even for a conventional spray gun. There is too much air turbulence created by the wheel.
When I first made my wheel spinner, it was motorized but it had an extreme gear reduction. It worked well for application, but you had to stop it to see how much film thickness was accumulating on various areas. The other problem was by the time I finished one wheel, I was ready to throw up.
The little drive motor I had on it burned up and I found it easier to index the wheel by hand so I could stop and start at will and have more overall control. It's mounted on needle bearings, so once I get the final wet coat on it I can stand there and keep it spinning easily for several minutes until it flashes. That's what helps more than anything with flow control post-spray, which is usually where problems develop.
I was under the impression that Ford dipped the wheels in paint or the paint was flowed on the wheels and then spun the excess off. I have a hard time believing that they would spin them at high rpms while shooting them with an atomizer.
I thought there was a photo posted on the forum a few years ago showing the piece of equipment that was used to spin off the paint at the Denver assembly branch. I'll see if I can find it.
The wheels on my dad's Ford touring and Waverley were spray painted while they turned. However they were turned slow for even coverage and to avoid runs.
(Message edited by Erik_johnson on February 26, 2017)
Don, the paint is Ace Appliance Epoxy Enamel. Yes, I know real epoxy is supposed to be two-part, but that's what's on the label. I used this paint on some wheels about five years ago and so far it's holding up just fine.
These appliance epoxy's are actually pretty good stuff, with a nice shine to them. I'm committing the cardinal sin with my new '20 spokes by keeping them varnished as the car came that way. They're looking great. Waiting for my expensive Acrylic Enamel to come in so I can paint the steel felloes. Then I can get this car back on the road as soon as the salt residue goes away and the temp warms up. Next year I'll do the rear wheels.
It's amazing what you can do with rattle-can paint.
I used Rustoleum Gloss Black on most of the undercarriage on my 54 when I did a frame-off rebuild on it.
7,000 miles later, the whole undersides still looks new.
Neat video Steve, but I agree with Walter, the wheel is spinning way to fast, it's acting like a fan, look at the fluttering of the draped plastic. I would think that barbeque roasting spit speed would be more appropriate. Good luck with the rest of them!
At that speed you'll also have a problem opposite of what you're trying to avoid. The surface speed at the outside of the wheel is tremendous and the centrifugal force will throw the paint. If you finish with a nice wet coat and run it at that speed to dry, you'll have accumulation problems in other areas.
You want just enough speed that gravity won't allow the paint to gather at all the intersections and run or pool. The easiest way to explain it is kind of like how you set the speed on a reamer. Run it up to where it's a blur and then slow it down to where you can just count each spoke going by: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4....
The other problem I found running my spinner motorized is the need for variation in the surface speed. Hubs and rims are nice to spray with it spinning, but if you get a good speed set to do the rim and then move to spray the hub, you'll apply the paint way too heavy since the surface speed decreases as you move toward the axle.
For me, I've found that spinning the wheel by hand works the best and is most controllable. Doesn't matter if you get a finger mark in the center of the rim, as you'll never see it once the tire is mounted.
Use a BBQ grill rotisserie motor they are made to turn real slow. Works great for painting items that need rotated. But get the heavy duty one.
Spinning that wheel way to fast.
What I know wheels where dipped and spun to prevent runs or saggs
Spun 500 to 700 rpm
How about using something like a bench grinder with a adapter to mount the wheel on. I would think the adjusting lever on the grinder would allow it to be used to find the "perfect" speed. Or maybe once it is on, it is alrady too fast.
I might try to rig something up on mine.
An old washing machine motor and transmission works perfectly. Go to an appliance repair place and buy a used one for $10-20.00. They have a long shaft and easy to mount the wheel on. Rig the transmission to turn slowly and you will get a really nice finish. Use a spray gun for better results.
Back when I painted my wheels, I spent a lot of money on the wheel painting fixture. Found a piece of rigid conduit laying about, some mechanic's wire and some masking tape. Hung the pipe from the ceiling with the wire, taped the threads with the tape--and ran it out a ways, also did the same thing on the inside end of the hub--lesson learned while priming--paint builds up on the conduit and then peels off onto your freshly painted wheel! Turning the wheel is done by fingers on the inside of the rim, where the flaws will never be seen.
I paint following a pattern; first the inside of the rim, then Back 3/4 side of each spoke, then the other side of the back, then repeat on the front side, then the rim. and any touch up need on the hub. Repeat after a short time (to let the first coat set up).
My rotisserie motor runs less than 5 rpm. Rotating to paint evenly and avoid runs. No centrifical force.