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Japan Black finish  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: Fri Jun 21st, 2013 12:19 pm
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Larry Miceli
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Ok, I've searched the archives and spent time on the old tool web sites reading up on using a Japan finish instead of modern paint or powder coat. But, I've not been able to find any pictures of a fan project from someone who tried it. At over $60 bucks a quart I don't want to spend the time stripping and cleaning a fan (my 6 wing Emerson) to end up with a crap finish. Has anyone actually tried using the Japan finish recently? If so, some pictures or comments would be appreciated. Thanks. (Thanks to Nick Denney for posting the link for the Japan finish).

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 Posted: Sat Jun 22nd, 2013 01:43 am
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David Hunter
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This is a topic, no matter how much it has been discussed, needs to be talked about more. There are so many antique fans that were japanned but it is very difficult to find real japan. It's expensive but I find the price very reasonable considering the full cost of restoration. On top of this, for many fans, using japan is historically authentic. Please post photos of your project. 
Also, when you get your japan, would you please post photo of the paint? I am very interested in the "viscosity" of the japan. I have long thought that some japan was thin but other japan was thick. 

Last edited on Sat Jun 22nd, 2013 02:12 am by David Hunter

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 Posted: Sat Jun 22nd, 2013 01:50 am
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Larry Miceli
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Well, I'm definitely going to try it. I just acquired a nice original SMY GE fan that has chips in the Japan finish. So my first experiment will be to do some touch up, then wet sand and buff to see how it matches. I'll post pictures, but have to get the product first.

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 Posted: Sat Jun 22nd, 2013 02:04 am
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Tom Dreesen
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"Full cure in 30 days."

No thank you.

There are reasons this isn't used anymore.

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 Posted: Sat Jun 22nd, 2013 02:06 am
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Nicholas Denney
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Larry, don't play with japan until you're set to use a whole quart. You can't let it sit around, it has a (relatively) very short shelf life. I have been advised that the maximum shelf life without special procedure (drawing vacuum etc) is a few weeks to about a month.

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 Posted: Sat Jun 22nd, 2013 02:08 am
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Steve Stephens
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I do not know if GE used japan after their pancakes.  If they did it is not as thick nor as durable as the japan used on the cast iron Emerson, Westy, and R&M fans not to mention many other cast iron fans.  I don't think japan was used on stamped steel fans.  So many catalogs state "black enamel" which could be japan but could also be regular enamel I would think.

Here are some links to japanning:

Black japan info

ElMorain- Japanning

Last edited on Sat Jun 22nd, 2013 02:08 am by Steve Stephens

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 Posted: Sat Jun 22nd, 2013 02:12 am
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Nicholas Denney
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Tom Dreesen wrote: "Full cure in 30 days."

No thank you.

There are reasons this isn't used anymore.

That's the cure time without "stoving", as they're call it. The japan on our old fans was baked...
The risk with baking is that you can get bubbles and cracks as the japan rapidly cures. I have a 21646 with a blemish on the "nose" of the blade - a burst bubble of japan.

Last edited on Sat Jun 22nd, 2013 02:13 am by Nicholas Denney

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 Posted: Sat Jun 22nd, 2013 02:21 am
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Nicholas Denney
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My memory is coming back a little... asphaltum and a solvent are the bare essentials of japan, but there are often additives used - to improve hardness, give more favorable viscosity... etc.

http://www.woodcentral.com/cgi-bin/readarticle.pl?dir=handtools&file=articles_117.shtml

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 Posted: Sat Jun 22nd, 2013 02:28 am
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Tom Dreesen
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Nicholas Denney wrote: My memory is coming back a little... asphaltum and a solvent are the bare essentials of japan, but there are often additives used - to improve hardness, give more favorable viscosity... etc.

http://www.woodcentral.com/cgi-bin/readarticle.pl?dir=handtools&file=articles_117.shtml

And they were dipped, not brushed on.

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 Posted: Sat Jun 22nd, 2013 08:55 am
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Larry Miceli
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Old tools I agree were dipped. But I'm not sure about the fan bases and motor housings. I've never had the finish on the inside of these parts, but it sure would make it an easier process. You'd just need about 5 gallons of the stuff to do it! 

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 Posted: Sat Jun 22nd, 2013 01:26 pm
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George Durbin
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couple heat lamps dries my paints just fine, I think Japan paint would dry evenly and look good under a couple of heat lamps

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 Posted: Sat Jun 22nd, 2013 02:19 pm
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John Trier
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I saw an old film of assembly line production of sewing machines.  They were just dipped in a vat of paint on an assembly line.   Certainly fans were done the same way.  Millions of sewing machines, millions of fans, not efficient to paint any other way.   Our challenge is to reproduce the 100 year old patina, throw in a few chips in the paint and restore so no one can tell if it's been repainted or not.  There is a real market for this, and an open door for someone's creative juices to flow.   I have a nicely repainted early emerson that I have no interest in.   Seems like collectors are split 50/50 on repaint vs. original paint.  With fans that must be repainted, this seems like a worthy project.  

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 Posted: Sat Jun 22nd, 2013 10:50 pm
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Nicholas Denney
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When you put exacting "reproductions" into a market, it becomes volatile and it can suffer overall.

This has already happened with other collectable antiques like radios, thanks to the nitrocellulose lacquer and other products used in their finishing being widely available. The better "originals" out there are often hotly debated because there's still a significant price gap between "masterfully restored" and "immaculately preserved".

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 Posted: Sat Jun 22nd, 2013 11:51 pm
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Tom Dreesen
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"immaculately preserved" will always win out as it should.

It is the area between
"immaculately preserved" and rust bucket that is in contention.

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 Posted: Sun Jun 23rd, 2013 12:21 am
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Larry Miceli
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Wow, looks like i started a healthy discussion! I've seen this debate in the collector car world over and over. An unrestored "preservation class" original will usually win over an excellant restoration, but it is all a matter of condition, and collectibility of the item. An all original GE pancake (in preserved but superior condition) should be worth more than a beautiful restoration. Just as a superb original and unrestored Jaguar XK120 will usually bring far more at auction than a 6 figure restoration. But, it's all a matter of the collectibility of the item and the buyers attitude at the auction. An original AMC Gremlin probably won't bring any more money than a restored Gremlin just because its original. It just isn't worth that much to begin with. My attitude is to restore them if you like them that way, or to preserve them; what ever you enjoy most. Although, preservation should be more than blowing off the dust and re-wiring the fan. Let's face it that it is far more difficult to bring back an original finish to an acceptable level than it is to strip and repaint. And while some may disagree, I don't mean just washing the fan and waxing it. I mean, cleaning, wet sanding and buffing and if necessary blending in some bad areas where chips or rust have taken hold to a level that the casual observer can't tell the preservation work from original. While I love the hobby, most of these fans are not going to provide a substantial difference in price one way or the other. So, just enjoy what ever you enjoy doing, be it restorations or preservations. My interest in the Japan finish was just because I'm a little OCD and wanted to give it a try and see how it turns out!

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 Posted: Sun Jun 23rd, 2013 02:44 am
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David Hunter
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Well, one thing's wrong. You did start a healthy discussion but this discussion has been started over and over again. The restoration vs. the preservation debate of antique electric fans is far older than most of us on the AFCA. After all of these years as member, I still consider myself a newbie. The real collectors on here are far smarter and wiser than I. They have been around the block time and time again and just might not choose to air their dirty laundry. Sometimes discretion is the greater part of valor. The only difference with your topic is that it is the most recently posted. I'm hoping, this time, it remains healthy.

Last edited on Sun Jun 23rd, 2013 03:27 am by David Hunter

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 Posted: Thu Mar 26th, 2020 06:02 pm
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Jim Roadt
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Larry Miceli wrote:

I know this is an old post,however, I did use ponypool today and I think it turned out great


1st coat pored on and cooked 390 for 3 hours
Because the only housing I had to experiment with had rough powder coating attempt on it the first coat was a little dull and still rough

The second coat poured on again drip drying

After cooking 2nd coat 3 hours 400 degrees 

I think it looks good and feels good just like japanning should

This is the ponypool I used


Ok, I've searched the archives and spent time on the old tool web sites reading up on using a Japan finish instead of modern paint or powder coat. But, I've not been able to find any pictures of a fan project from someone who tried it. At over $60 bucks a quart I don't want to spend the time stripping and cleaning a fan (my 6 wing Emerson) to end up with a crap finish. Has anyone actually tried using the Japan finish recently? If so, some pictures or comments would be appreciated. Thanks. (Thanks to Nick Denney for posting the link for the Japan finish).

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 Posted: Thu Mar 26th, 2020 06:31 pm
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Sean Campbell
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Very cool! So you just poured it on and baked it in an oven? How did you pour it and what did you do to bake it without touching it? As far as shelf life is concerned, would the one quart be enough for one 12” fan? I’d feel bad wasting any.

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 Posted: Thu Mar 26th, 2020 06:37 pm
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Richard Daugird
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You broke the rules Jim. "DO NOT STOVE under any circumstances."That's there words, not mine. How did you determine how long to cook it? I had some parts Japanned recently and there were a few small runs. Did you experience that as well? Seems every one of my old Japanned fans that I have cleaned and polished up, none of them had any runs. 

Last edited on Thu Mar 26th, 2020 06:40 pm by Richard Daugird

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 Posted: Thu Mar 26th, 2020 07:01 pm
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Jim Roadt
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I did break the rules and cooked it

1.How did I know what temp and time to use?

Fortunately I was doing meatloaf at the same time and I just used that temp and time........not

I have an outdoor electric smoker I used the recommendations for jappaning for temp and time

2.How did you pour it with out wasting it?

Over a bowl and then you can reuse that stuff.  ( you will waste some ) I think the dipping it in a bowl with water and paint on top method would be better

3.Is one quart enough for 12 ""

I  still have about 3/4 of a jar left

4.Did I get any runs?

Actually I felt fine thanks

5.  How did you hold it without touching it

wires through existing holes or screwed in
Pic is drip drying prior to cooking that tape is for powder coating and can be heated





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 Posted: Thu Mar 26th, 2020 07:16 pm
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Richard Daugird
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You should do stand-up comedy, Jim.

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 Posted: Fri Mar 27th, 2020 10:22 pm
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Jim Roadt
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After cooking 390 degrees 3 hours
Just one drip glob that was easy to repair



The globs on top are due to pre existing unknown cast problem


 

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 Posted: Fri Mar 27th, 2020 10:44 pm
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Richard Daugird
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How do you fix drips/runs? I have a couple that are minor I want to fix.

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 Posted: Fri Mar 27th, 2020 11:21 pm
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Jim Roadt
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in my case remove blob ( cut it off and hand paint )
If it was major run I would sand ,add another coat and recook

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 Posted: Mon Mar 30th, 2020 01:08 pm
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Rick Huckabee
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Thanks Jim. Your coatings look great. Thanks for sharing information with the group . I ordered a can of Ponypool, also have ingredients  asphaltum , linseed oil , Rosin etc.  will try it.

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