Saturday, 6 October 2007

B & M Car Body Centre

I just had Brian from B& M Car Body Centre round to have a look at the project and to advise me on painting the cab, and he has left me feeling a lot more confident about doing it myself, funnily enough; and this is due to his generosity in recommending products and processes which will most likely do him out of my business.

He is being practical here. His problem is that if I go to him wanting two-pack he will have to get a licence to handle the stuff because of the new regulations requiring the use of water based paints, except for historical vehicles. The cost of licencing would be a significant factor in the pricing of the job - prohibitively so, he suggests, because jobs like mine at his workshop will be rare.

Brian told me that when he was an apprentice he routinely painted horse boxes with a roller, meaning that paint could be applied in a single coat, unthinned, and a satisfactory result could be achieved. Granted it wouldn't give anything like the result of spraying, but what he appreciates and what I have come to grasp is just how basic a commerial vehicle's paint-job of the era could be. Magpie's painting philosophy and the vans I saw at shows this year come to mind.

The trick to getting a really decent finish is in the priming stage; in spending the time getting the surface "flatted" so that the pits and grooves are brought up level with the rest of the material and a surface levelled off above this. I am looking forward to the feeling of satisfaction that I know I should get from this process. Brian says that Finnegans 1, a Hammerite product, will be good for this. He believes it has a red oxide content. I will check this and whether it will go on over POR-15. The POR people say anything will go on over their stuff, but I think I should ask Hammerite.

I will also test the products together. I showed Brian the radiator stand I made earlier this summer because it has virgin steel and welds on it, and of course welded metal is particularly susceptible to rusting. I am going to treat it with POR-15, in part to test it later with the Finnegans primer, but also because Brian (who says POR looks a lot like a Hammerite product he knows) suggested that I might POR-15 the whole scuttle, as he thinks it would (if tests prove it works) provide good protection on wider expanses of steel. I did think of this and had asked POR who didn't think it was normally the done thing, but then they hadn't seen anything like my van! As I have only used the product in small, localised areas, I want to see how it fares when spread over a wider surface (and how it works on virgin rather than rusted metal).

In the next few days I shall start the POR-15 process on the radiator stand and then I'll see if I can get a small pot of Finnegans and try it out.

Brian is a very useful chap to know. His outfit is based at Unit 3, Seven Acres, Waldringfield, Martlesham Heath, Suffolk, IP12 4PS. He can be phoned on 01473 811877 or his mobile 07773977349.

Thanks Brian!

No comments: