Evidence of the Factory Paint Method?

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2017: Evidence of the Factory Paint Method?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Don Allen - Conroe, TX on Saturday, March 25, 2017 - 11:59 pm:

My 24 Touring's timeline through life and the condition of the paint, lead me to suspect that it's still wearing the factory applied paint.

The car was put in a hay barn around 1969 with the paint pretty worn out. In order for it to have acheived that level of wear, and not be factory paint, it would've had to have been restored in the 40's or 50's, then pressed into hard labor on a cotton farm.

Not out of the question, but not very likely.

Also...the way this paint is showing it's age doesn't look like worn out repaints from the 40's or 50's. From my experience, the paints from those decades tend to crack.

The paint on this car also shows something I've never seen before, and was really flummoxing me, until I read about the way Ford applied paint on Model T's.....with something akin to a garden spraying attachment.

The remaining body paint (not the splash aprons and fenders) shows horizontal lines. And the lines seem to be about the same distance apart as the painting apparatus in the factory photo.

Here's a couple photos taken from different angles, of the cowl, that show these lines....and a factory photo of paint being applied.

This isn't something that would've been visible when the paint was new and thick, but as its worn away and gotten thin, my guess is that it's showing evidence of this painting method.







(Message edited by rustyfords on March 26, 2017)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Doug Keppler, Fredon NJ on Sunday, March 26, 2017 - 08:28 am:

Don the factory photo is marked 1915, do you think they used the same paint method in 1924? Anyone know how the cars were painted in 24?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Don Allen - Conroe, TX on Sunday, March 26, 2017 - 08:29 am:

I honestly don't know Doug.

But I'm having a hard time figuring in my mind, what else would cause those lines in the paint.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Peter Claverie, Memphis TN on Sunday, March 26, 2017 - 08:36 am:

I'm sorry, but this is suspicious!

The material coming out of those sprayers looks white, not black.

The material in the catch tray below is clear.

I simply can't believe the factory would paint a car with the upholstery already in place.

So, does anyone have any idea what is really going on in this picture?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Doug Keppler, Fredon NJ on Sunday, March 26, 2017 - 08:42 am:

That's a good point Pete!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By john kuehn on Sunday, March 26, 2017 - 09:00 am:

These days a purist would have a heart attack if they really knew how Ford applied the paint to his Model T's.

Ford's cars looked pretty good from 10 ft away but if you got closer they wouldn't pass a showroom inspection these days.

At the rate they were assembled Ford was interested in getting the cars out to 'the masses' and not making them pristine show cars.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Phil Mino, near Porterville on Sunday, March 26, 2017 - 09:22 am:

Your questions are all answered in this article which Trent Boggess wrote and Royce Peterson posted on the forum in 2010:

painting the Model T


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Don Allen - Conroe, TX on Sunday, March 26, 2017 - 09:27 am:

It's not suspicious at all Pete...that's the way Ford painted their car bodies.

It's a very old black and white photo...the black paint might look like it does in the photo based on how the light was hitting it...or that might be the final varnish coat that didn't have color in it.

My question is whether or not they were still painting like this in 24 and whether these lines in my paint are evidence of this method.

(Message edited by rustyfords on March 26, 2017)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Don Allen - Conroe, TX on Sunday, March 26, 2017 - 09:37 am:

Thanks Phil....Here's an excerpt from the article....



"The color coats were applied using a process called flow painting. J. L. McCloud in his “Reminiscences” described it this way:

Instead of being applied with a brush, a flood of paint was squirted on the automobile bodies out of these flow pipes. It was more or less run on... The paint was contained in an overhead tank ... and it came down in a pipe and came out in the form of slow streams from a comb-like end on the pipe... That was held up alongside of the body and drawn along the body as the body moved along on a conveyor. In that way it was flooded with paint, and the paint ran off and was returned to the tank and reused in that way....After the first coat was flowed on, the body was removed from the conveyor and stacked to dry for another 24 hours.

For the final coat a clear body varnish, F-751, was used. This varnish was made up of 38-48% Naphtha and Turpentine thinners, 44% oils and dryers and 18% gums including rosin. It had no pigment. Like the previous coats, it was flowed on, and after painting any runs or sags were touched up by hand with a brush.

Never-the-less, the final finish was quite good. McCloud also says that flow paintings “...had the practical equivalent of dipping the automobile body. It was very successful. It gave a quite nice quality paint job...”


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ed in California on Sunday, March 26, 2017 - 09:50 am:


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Don Allen - Conroe, TX on Sunday, March 26, 2017 - 09:52 am:

Dang....I guess you had to pay extra to get an actual tire on your spare!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Sunday, March 26, 2017 - 09:56 am:

There's a story to the effect that the painting method at one time was to dip bodies into a vat with a layer of paint floating on water. I suspect that's the same kind of legend as the floor boards made from shipping crates.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Don - Conroe, TX on Sunday, March 26, 2017 - 09:58 am:

I agree Steve....seems like too many variables in a paint method like that.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange - Hillsboro, MO on Sunday, March 26, 2017 - 10:07 am:

Some parts were dipped:

https://archive.org/stream/fordmethodsandf00faurgoog#page/n286/mode/2up/search/d ipped


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Treace, North FL on Sunday, March 26, 2017 - 10:07 am:

Flow Painting was Ford's methods, that was one of the fastest ways to paint, and the process was not wasting, as what flowed off the body was collected and reused!

Remember several or assembly branches did painting too, following the factory tools and methods. Right up to '26 flowing on the body paint was done. Then when the spray on Pyroxylin colors came along, more modern method of pressure spray painting was begun.




Flow on paint process, note the cardboard drip catcher under the tail of the turtle deck!



Newer spray techniques.

The flow painting did let the paint get a bit thicker on the lower parts of the body, many times the bodies are found today with thin or no paint on the upper panels, but some remaining on the lower part of the body.

Don, I would say your T had remains of original paint technique too. Here is my barn find, '23 touring cut-down, the paint remains (what there is!) are original too. :-)




Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Don - Conroe, TX on Sunday, March 26, 2017 - 10:15 am:

Funny....the first thing I think when I see these photos is that the painters aren't wearing masks or anything to breathe fresh air.

Can you imagine being around these solvents all day...for weeks or years!

It was a different time and all, but still...It couldn't have been good for their long-term health.

(Message edited by rustyfords on March 26, 2017)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Sunday, March 26, 2017 - 11:09 am:

Everyone see's something but i see a conveyor with too few trolley wheels!! What about paint on the early body's from the different body mfg's?? Bud in Wheeler,Mi.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Treace, North FL on Sunday, March 26, 2017 - 11:16 am:

Don

Wouldn't discount that early days personal apparatus may not have been the vogue yet or understanding of more modern health concerns.
But remember, Ford was against the 'evils' of smoking and prohibited workers from that at the factories, even so, fresh air was a main point.

These photos from Ford Methods and Shops, 1914 and a whole chapter is on fresh air in the factories and paint areas had separate blower systems, so think that Ford did the very best with the technology at the time, his factories were the most advanced.




And all the new building at Highland Park featured massive blowers by eight giant sirocco fans, and mated with conditioned air exchangers for the summer months, and winter months with heat exchange from boilers that provided a constant 72 degrees of fresh air, pulled from the roofs, and distributed by columns up all floors.

The massive system was designed to the requirement of total air exchange in all buildings every 25 minutes! providing clean fresh air.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dennis Seth - Jefferson, Ohio on Sunday, March 26, 2017 - 11:36 am:

And all this time I thought the slot in those columns were used just like the old medicine cabinets that had a slot in the back...used to dispose of old razor blades. :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Sullivan on Sunday, March 26, 2017 - 09:57 pm:

Less overspray and dust in those pictures than in many more modern body shops I've been in ( in the sixties and seventies). Dave in Bellingham,WA


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Lloid on Sunday, March 26, 2017 - 10:21 pm:

Wow what a process. Tim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Don - Conroe, TX on Monday, March 27, 2017 - 09:07 am:

Here are some photos of the top and passenger side of the cowl.

The paint lines are more visible in these photos.





Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Don - Conroe, TX on Monday, March 27, 2017 - 09:09 am:

For what it's worth...these lines were almost imperceptible before I cleaned the paint with mild soap and water, then treated it with Penetrol.

After that, they really popped out.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Don - Conroe, TX on Monday, March 27, 2017 - 09:15 am:

What's cool, in the last photo I posted, is how you can see the converging angles in the lines.

I believe this shows how the painter moved the "flow painting wand" across the top of the cowl in an arc back to the door opening, then started a more horizontal sweep as he went down the side of the cowl.

Again, it's probably impossible to tell if this is evidence of this factory painting method, but I'm inclined to believe that it is. I LOVE forensic traces of factory work like this....especially on something this old. It makes the car speak....almost to tell a story. And that's one of the main things I love about all old things....the stories they tell.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Eckensviller - Thunder Bay, ON on Monday, March 27, 2017 - 09:32 am:

How fast was that paint drying that it would leave perfect lines like that?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By john kuehn on Monday, March 27, 2017 - 09:48 am:

I have a feeling the viscosity of the paint was a little heavier than what we're use to today. In other words a little thicker.

Put that together with paint additives that causes faster drying, the flow method would work. And evidently it did.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Peter Claverie, Memphis TN on Monday, March 27, 2017 - 02:52 pm:

I stand corrected.....almost.

I believe the first photo in this thread must have been the application of the 'varnish" coat. That would explain why it looks clear or white coming from the sprayer, and looks clear in the catch pan below. I think it also makes more sense to spray a clear coat on a body with upholstery, than to spray black paint (or any other color).

So, I think we're both right.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Gregush Portland Oregon on Monday, March 27, 2017 - 03:33 pm:

Could also be the speed the paint is coming out blurring the photo making it look white also because of light reflection and the fact that no paint has been put on the side.


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