Got my tank all nice and stripped, sanded and, primed and ready for paint.
Did a forum search (admittedly, I'm not good at this) and found nothing about what you guys use for the silver paint. What have you used, please?
Also, what decal would be correct for my 1914; black or copper?
Thanks in advance for your help.
Oh, by the way, when I stripped the black paint off the tank, what I thought were paint runs turned out to actually be on the metal. There were little rivulets of what looked like was molten metal that I had to sand down! What could that have been?
From a 2010 posting on Prestolite tanks by Luke Chennell: "The labeling on the originals is not actually a decal. Instead, the tank was coppered, the label face masked off using a masking lacquer and silkscreen process, and then the tank was nickel plated. The masking lacquer was then removed to reveal the copper plating underneath. The result was a copper lettering under the nickel background."
But there are other ways to get a good look on a Prestolite tank: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/118802/156002.html?1282872554
That's right, it was a plating process that was copper - nickel and I have seen them the reverse also. From what I've read it was a because they had issues with underhanded companies trying to encroach on Prestolite's territory and using this complicated lettering process helped to ensure that you knew you had a genuine Prestolite tank. There was an interesting lawsuit about this at that time. The only instances I have seen of these tanks properly restored are on some early motorcycles. I'd expect it's pricey to duplicate today, hence the decal.
Marty, I used Rustoleum Bright Coat Metallic Finish. It has a shiny chrome plastic cap on the can. I'm happy result.
: ^ )
Here is a link to the lawsuit. Still had it in my history:
https://books.google.com/books?id=zIFNAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA516&lpg=PA516&dq=replating+p restolite+tanks&source=bl&ots=6d9nu4ZIEs&sig=JZ-Rr-_YB5wAWOMoPdrToz0Kvq4&hl=en&s a=X&ei=jHKUVOncIIKfggSS44KIBw&ved=0CDwQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=replating%20prestolite %20tanks&f=false
You have to back up a page to read the start of it. Midway through that first page that comes up they talk about the trademark and plating process. Pretty neat.
Well, I know it wasn't a decal, but the present day decals come in either black or copper. I guess my question is, on my 1914, should the label be black or copper. Sounds like, copper, right?
Keith thanks for the color response.
Anybody else use something different?
I think in your case it ought to be copper and that the black decals exist either because there is demand for them or they are a misunderstanding. I have seen original tanks where the copper letters have oxidized and appear black, though I don't think they would have appeared that way when new.
One more question: do you put any sort of padding or welting between the tank and the straps?
I don't, but you could do a layer of duct tape or gorilla tape on the inside of the straps if you wanted to.
According to the law suit.
The tanks are first plated with copper;
then plated with nickel;
Then a "resisting material outlining the letters of the trade mark is placed on the nickel surface"
Then it is plated with another coat of copper.
The law suit does not say but, one would assume that the "resisting material" is removed to leave an appearance "nickel on copper".
So the tank is copper with nickel lettering.
As far as welting; should not be necessary.
The tanks were nickel with copper lettering.
What looked like paint runs are metal, as you suggest. The tank is hot-dip galvanized and the coating was fairly thick. I don't believe the galvanizing was done when these were used in the automotive lighting era, but later, as these tanks were produced looong after they were used for lighting.
I should have said, " ...these tanks were still being produced long after..."
The law suite was filed back in 1913. I would bet they changed the color scheme at some point.
Or, I could be wrong...
Yup, it's happened a couple times already...
There are original existing examples of both combinations of copper / nickel and nickel / copper overlay. It's usually pretty easy to tell which one you have even when deteriorated. My thinking is copper with nickel letters fell out of favor early on since it would have been a lot more maintenance to keep it looking decent and most of the brightwork in the automotive world progressed from brass to nickel.
Restoration supply has a decal
Thank you all! Ordered the copper decal from Restoration Supply. Painted the tank so it looks more like aluminum. Ready to install the tank but I guess I'll put some sort of padding between the tank and the straps.
If you need something for padding, leather would probably be a good bet. It's easy to get in a variety of thicknesses if you're trying to fill a void of some certain dimension, looks era correct, and is durable.
You could use an old belt for the leather. Just don't use that as a cheap excuse to let your pants fall down!
I suppose you could also use an old fan belt or two, if you've got some. Or, maybe even some lasagna noodles.
I tried the lasagna noodles. Didn't work. So, I threaded some mostaccioli together and it worked great!!!!
Below is a photo I had a chance to snap yesterday of a Prest-O-Lite tank still sporting its original plating: