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 Posted: Tue Oct 10th, 2017 04:26 pm
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Greg Rodocker
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It is my understanding that there are several members of the AFCA community who have worked on Japanning including myself.






As part of my research into japanning I have run across a reference that may add light to an issue that was brought up in The Fan Collector Vol 32, No 3, June 2017 "The Dark Side of Black Paint by Rick Powell". The issue of GE and their japanned paint not being as high quality as other companies.









http://www.google.com.pg/patents/US1726473









"Patented Aug. 27, 1929.




UNITED STATES 1,726,473 PATENT OFFlCE.




WHEELER 1. DAVEY, OE SCHENECTADY, NEW YORK, ASSIGNOR-TO GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY, A CORPORATION OF NEW YORK.




COATING COMPOSITION.




No Drawing. " From Google Patents












































The difference appears to be in technique and possibly the product used. In the above Patent GE was using:









"The following example illustrates a preferred embodiment of my invention. A japan base is prepared by heating the following ingredients until saponification of a part of the oil and blending of the constituents occurs. 85 pounds of oxidized linseed oil; 85 pounds of oxidized china-wood oil; pounds of rubber gum; 10 pounds of lamp black; 10 pounds of sodium carbonate. "









An earlier Patent for this process by Wheeler:














http://www.google.com.na/patents/US1294422














"WHEELER P. DAVEY, OF SCHENECTADY, NEW YORK, ASSIGNOZR. TO GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY, A CORPORATION OF NEW YORK.




NON-INFLAMMABLE JAPAN AND PROCESS OF MAKING SAME.




No Drawing.




' Application filed August 18, 1917, Serial No. 186,965.

















This is a discussion on the use of ammonia.

















"For example, when working with a japan consisting of asphalt, thickened or polymerized fish oil, china wood oil, copal, and a drier such as manganese resinate, about 8 parts by volume of the japan are mixed with 30 parts by volume of water, and 3 parts by volume of ammonia solution, sp. gr. .90 and heated in a closed receptacle."









Another patent on the same topic:









http://www.google.com.na/patents/US1724826









"HARRY CHISLET, OF SCHEHECTDY, NEW YORK, ASSIGNOR TO GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY, A CORPORATION OF NEW YORK.




METHOD OF DEPOSITING EMULSIFIED SOLIDS.




No Drawing.




Applicatlon filed August 16, 1928. Serial No. 128,647."









This details a process for using an electrolyte (alkali) coating to attract the water japan to the object to be coated. It outlines the process including heating of the object.









The advantages of using a water based product is the LACK of flammability and probably a reduction in labor required for 'painting' as these are applied using a 'dip' type process. Could this have an impact on quality? Driers are known to increase the rate of oxidation in japan and therefore could this be a cause? I do not know but knowing that GE was doing something different is a least interesting.









Greg











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 Posted: Tue Oct 10th, 2017 04:48 pm
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Rick Powell
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Greg that is very interesting, I'm not quite sure what to make of it though. I'm not sure GE did all of their parts using that process, in examining a few cakes and early 1900 GE fans some of the motors seem to have been Japanned in the conventional method and still look quite presentable in comparison to the bases and other small parts where it's clear the coating has failed much quicker. You mentioned yesterday that you found some references to different temperatures for stoving Aluminium and pot metal,were the patient information you referenced that, or a different publication?

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 Posted: Tue Oct 10th, 2017 06:59 pm
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Greg Rodocker
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Rick- yes the reference is the same one from yesterday- it was published in 1928.

Would you care to share your references?

https://archive.org/details/practicaljapanni00misk

The first patent above is from 1917- which predates this book. Most of the literature states that the first spray guns came in the 1920's. In this book under the section on "The spray method of application" the author reports the following: "Hundreds of models of spray-guns have been produced during the last 15 years by dozens of manufacturers..." (pg 98)- so ???. The above book goes on to mention "...over 95% of the japanning is done by the spraying and dipping processes." (pg 120).  So more than likely the early products were dipped. One of the challenges that is mentioned in the patents above is with small products and obtaining good coverage and these process sought to overcome that problem.

Greg

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 Posted: Tue Oct 10th, 2017 07:27 pm
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Steve Stephens
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Does anyone know if GE was Japanning their fans after the cast iron models?  I have noticed that GE Japan (or whatever it was) is not as durable as the Japan that Emerson, Westinghouse (cast iron models) or R&M used.  Was the GE coating just thinner or was the composition not the same as the three fans mentioned?
The patents which Greg posted were from 1917 and the late 1920s.  I've always thought that Japan was BLACK Japan and, to have a color, a coating other than Japan was used.  Is this not true?  In the late teens through the 1930s the predominantly green color used by GE does not have the same shine or durability of a good black Japan.  

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 Posted: Tue Oct 10th, 2017 09:25 pm
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William Dunlap
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The two loop handle Ge's I had were both enamel painted. It is not nearly as durable as the original Japan finish.

By the way, if you google Japan finish, you could be in for a surprise. Seems that you can call anything Japan finish these days from black enamel to wood stains.

It can be hard to pick through this mess and really understand what it is.

So far, from what I've seen around here, I'll trust the members here more than anyone else in discovering the true nature of the Japan finish as it was applied to our fans.

Now, I've always understood that Japan was only available in black.(Just ask Henry Ford)

But, that may not be the case, depending on whose definition you accept as to what Japan is.

Ronan Paints offer the full pallet of colors in a paint they're calling Japan. I'm not really convinced at this point.

Cheers,
Bill

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 Posted: Tue Oct 10th, 2017 10:07 pm
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Greg Rodocker
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Steve-

Japan definition vs. paint





















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 Posted: Tue Oct 10th, 2017 10:09 pm
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Greg Rodocker
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Driers and Japan





Greg

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 Posted: Tue Oct 10th, 2017 10:24 pm
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Rick Powell
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Bill you are quite right about the term Japan, Japanne, it is used for a variety of paints and varnishes. The earliest book I have found to date references Japan as a Copal varnish, the book was published in 1815 in England. I spoke to a pigment manufacturer that supplies pigments to museums for restorative work about Japanne paint/lacquer and its formulation, his comment was, "they have bastardized the formulas and processes for the past 200 years" The more research I do the more I agree with him, to top it off the raw materials of 200 years ago aren't compatible with those available today which throws off the majority of the recipes.

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 Posted: Wed Oct 11th, 2017 01:00 am
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Steve Stephens
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Greg, excellent information about black Japan and Oriental lacquers.    That confirms what I have thought and also says that Japan is always BLACK.   If a fan is painted black is there a way to tell if it is Japan or if it is another kind of paint?   I usually see Japan on cast iron fans and other cast iron items and, in that use, just looking at the item will usually make it clear that it is the asphaltum based Japan.

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 Posted: Wed Oct 11th, 2017 01:05 am
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Lane Shirey
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Steve, my test for Japan is to use any kind of polishing compound or cleaner wax to clean it. If the rag turns brown, it's either nicotine or Japanning, if it's black, it's paint. 
If you buffed through all the smoking residue, and you have bare metal now, it probably wasn't nicotine, it was the japan coating. 

That's my test. 

Last edited on Wed Oct 11th, 2017 01:07 am by Lane Shirey

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 Posted: Wed Oct 11th, 2017 01:12 am
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Steve Stephens
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Thanks Lane.  I know what you are trying to do; get me to polish up all of my fans and, in doing so, may I get a lot of brown rags but that test negative for nicotine.   I think I have heard that before; brown=japan, black=paint of some other kind.

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 Posted: Wed Oct 11th, 2017 01:35 am
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Lane Shirey
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LOL Steve! I know that'll never happen. So for you my friend, blow aside the white cat hair (that I always have to ask you if it's a scratch in the paint or cat hair) and test in an inconspicuous spot that will not deter its patina. Trust me, the patina (oxidation) and cat hair layer will return soon enough. 
Cheers! :D

Last edited on Wed Oct 11th, 2017 01:36 am by Lane Shirey

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 Posted: Wed Oct 11th, 2017 02:37 am
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Don Tener
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Lane Shirey wrote: Steve, my test for Japan is to use any kind of polishing compound or cleaner wax to clean it. If the rag turns brown, it's either nicotine or Japanning, if it's black, it's paint. 
If you buffed through all the smoking residue, and you have bare metal now, it probably wasn't nicotine, it was the japan coating. 

That's my test. 
I agree. The original japan has Gilsonite in it and when you cut it it turns brown. After using my home made paint with Gilsonite I sanded it and it turned brown. As soon as I polished it, it went right back to pitch black.

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 Posted: Wed Oct 11th, 2017 03:17 am
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Jim Kovar
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Don Tener wrote: The original japan has Gilsonite in it and when you cut it it turns brown. After using my home made paint with Gilsonite I sanded it and it turned brown. As soon as I polished it, it went right back to pitch black.
 

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 Posted: Wed Oct 11th, 2017 03:55 am
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Don Tener
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Here is where I buy my Gilsonite.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Gilsonite-Asphaltum-200-Mesh-Powder-One-Pound-/311973886847?hash=item48a317bb7f:m:mHBsiwpGNk8kNK8mQJDDj_Q






Last edited on Wed Oct 11th, 2017 03:56 am by Don Tener

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 Posted: Wed Oct 11th, 2017 04:31 am
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Jamie Williams
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Thanks guys, good info and based on this I guess my dirty laundry is a success story?

Last edited on Wed Oct 11th, 2017 04:32 am by Jamie Williams

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 Posted: Wed Oct 11th, 2017 05:31 am
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Jim Kovar
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Has anyone here tried this product?

Attached Image (viewed 360 times):

japan1.jpg

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 Posted: Wed Oct 11th, 2017 05:31 am
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Jim Kovar
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:wondering:

Attached Image (viewed 359 times):

Picture1.jpg

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 Posted: Wed Oct 11th, 2017 10:12 am
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Rick Powell
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Steve Stephens wrote: Greg, excellent information about black Japan and Oriental lacquers.    That confirms what I have thought and also says that Japan is always BLACK.   If a fan is painted black is there a way to tell if it is Japan or if it is another kind of paint?   I usually see Japan on cast iron fans and other cast iron items and, in that use, just looking at the item will usually make it clear that it is the asphaltum based Japan.
Steve I have to disagree with the information about Japanne always being black, European manufacturers Japanned their fans white, green and red. From what I have read for an article to be Japanned it must be stoved at a temperature in excess of 375 degrees in the process of applying a mineral to an object, the covering, or medium contains oil, resin, generally turpentine to reduce and generally Asphaltum as the mineral, it can also contain vermilion, alabaster, or zinc as a coloring agent. (red, green,white) There is a ton of misinformation on the subject, the information I referenced could be incorrect but like the "Meston " not being alive at that time we won't know.

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 Posted: Wed Oct 11th, 2017 11:27 am
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Lane Shirey
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It just occurred to me that a product that I used to apply to my driveway was a Gilsonite based product. This stuff dries hard and very shiny black, and it's not that expensive. It's made by a company in Baltimore and I used to get it at a paving company in Harrisburg PA. I'm wondering if adding a drier or other components to it and then stoving it would make it a good base for Japanning. Hmmmm, just wondering. See the ingredients below .



PRODUCT DATA. DRIVEWAY SEALER. LN-11 EQUINOX ASPHALT GILSONITE DRIVEWAY


 SEALER PRODUCT



DESCRIPTION:
Seaboard Equinox Sealer is a superior gilsonite driveway sealer that
dries to a beautiful black glossy surface. 



BASIC USES:Seaboard Equinox Sealer is used as a rejuvenator and sealer on
bituminous asphalt parking lots and driveways. 


LIMITATIONS:DO NOT HEAT container. DO NOT APPLY on bituminous surfaces
before they oxidize 60-90 days, inclined driveways, or over surfaces
with a coal tar coating. 


APPLICATION:Seaboard Equinox Sealer should be applied to a thoroughly clean and
dry bituminous surface after all cracks and holes have been filled with 
Seaboard Crackfiller. The material may be applied by brush, squeegee,
or spray equipment at a rate of 60-80 square feet per gallon. 


STORAGE:Seaboard Equinox Sealer can be used year round and the only
protection would be from weathering on the container. 


COMPOSITION:

Asphalt
Mineral Spirits
GilsoniteCAS 8052-42-4
CAS 64741-41-9
CAS 12002-43-6


This information is to assist customers in determining if this product is suitable for the proposed application, and to satisfy themselves as to suitability of the contents. Nothing herein shall constitute a warranty, expressed or implied, including any warranty of merchantability or fitness, nor is protection from law or patent implied.
3601 FAIRFIELD ROAD
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND 21226
[url=tel:(410) 355-0330](410) 355-0330[/url]
[url=tel:(800) 536-0332](800) 536-0332[/url]
FACSIMILE [url=tel:(410) 355-5864](410) 355-5864[/url]
 

Email: sales@seaboardasphalt.com



Last edited on Wed Oct 11th, 2017 11:32 am by Lane Shirey

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 Posted: Wed Oct 11th, 2017 11:37 am
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Lane Shirey
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This comes from their MSDS sheet and shows ingredient percentages. 
What do you guys think? 






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 Posted: Wed Oct 11th, 2017 11:58 am
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Rick Powell
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Lane compared to what I have neen making that is not a Japanne paint but a Asphaltum paint like General Electric used, doesn't contain any resin. The percentages appear to be close.

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 Posted: Wed Oct 11th, 2017 12:02 pm
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Rick Powell
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Rick Powell wrote: Lane compared to what I have neen making that is not a Japanne paint but a Asphaltum paint like General Electric used, doesn't contain any resin. The percentages appear to be close.Forgot to mention the mineral spirit percent is lower, I also have read where you can thin it and use it as a paint, imagine that the answer to this quest was a product from a big box store made in China!

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 Posted: Wed Oct 11th, 2017 12:03 pm
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Lane Shirey
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It's only $20-25 as I recall to buy a 5 gal pail. Would it make sense to add resin (linseed oil? ) and other components if needed to this mix and have an easy, cheap mix? Is there anything in here that you wouldn't want in a Japan paint?

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 Posted: Wed Oct 11th, 2017 12:07 pm
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Lane Shirey
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Are you saying that there's too much mineral spirits in the driveway sealer? I wasn't clear. If I recall, it is very liquidy. 

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 Posted: Wed Oct 11th, 2017 12:10 pm
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Rick Powell
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There is some sort of drier in it I suppose, adding linseed will act as a drier, in order to add resin it has to be heated to a melting point. If you are going to experiment with it make sure you use electric to heat not gas.

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 Posted: Wed Oct 11th, 2017 12:11 pm
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Rick Powell
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Lane Shirey wrote: Are you saying that there's too much mineral spirits in the driveway sealer? I wasn't clear. If I recall, it is very liquidy. Not enough in the sealer

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 Posted: Wed Oct 11th, 2017 12:18 pm
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Greg Rodocker
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Jim- I have used the Pontypool paint with good success. Painted an Emerson 2010 with it a couple of years ago. I outlined this in prior posts. I used the process outlined on a model T forum - using mineral spirits, turpentine, Japan Drier and the Pontypool paint. It is pricey for what it is. As others have outlined you can dissolve the Asphaltum/Gilsonite in any number of liquids. I recently used a product that should be readily available at a farm supply store.
Farm Paint
This product contains Asphaltum and Mineral Spirits. After a recent discussion I had with one of my neighbors who restores antique sewing machines he believes the Pontypool paint contains: Asphaltum, xylol, boiled linseed oil. This was based on a discussion he had with the manufacture. I can tell you the Pontypool paint does NOT have the same smell as the Farm paint. But the farm paint works.

Rick - I too have seen several references to Japan using colors. See below on page 277-278.
Encyclopedia of Practical Recipes

Based on this and other references in which the history of Japan finishes are discussed there has been a "bastardization" of japanning as you describe. Historically Japan Finish as you outlined in your article began in Korea. It is a multistep/layer (up to 40) process of applying a traditionally shiny black finish typically with inlay (was this baked?). These articles have lasted centuries. We all have seen these historical products. My view is: to short cut this process and grab the quality associated with the historical product and process - modern manufactures took the name japan applied it to the process of applying asphaltum varnish/paint= it was black and shiny. So I view Japanning more as a marketing tool/brand name that uses a specific process- taking a varnish and baking it. So could it be colored? - sure see the above reference and the Liberty on the Hudson website they sell Japan colors: Japan colors. They also sell the Pontypool paint. Pontypool Black Japanning Asphaltum Paint. :wondering:


Confusing right?


But for my purposes I will call the black stuff I put on my fans - Japan.


Greg



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 Posted: Wed Oct 11th, 2017 12:26 pm
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Rick Powell
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Greg one way or another it's pretty interesting to work with. I have read where the colored Japan/Japanne is stoving varnish or stoving enamel too. It's a good thing that the Emerson Meston, or induction motor wasn't painted black or we would all be in trouble.

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 Posted: Wed Oct 11th, 2017 01:07 pm
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Lane Shirey
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Rick Powell wrote: Lane Shirey wrote: Are you saying that there's too much mineral spirits in the driveway sealer? I wasn't clear. If I recall, it is very liquidy. Not enough in the sealerSo that would be an easy tweak then?

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 Posted: Wed Oct 11th, 2017 04:53 pm
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Rick Powell
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Should be, I have also read where roof cement thinned will work, I'm not certain of the quality of the finish, might be suitable for a GE!

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 Posted: Thu Oct 12th, 2017 07:51 pm
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Richard Daugird
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When was "Japanning" as such phased out for fans?

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 Posted: Thu Oct 12th, 2017 09:47 pm
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Rick Powell
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Richard Daugird wrote: When was "Japanning" as such phased out for fans?
I believe it was phased out shortly after DuPont discovered lacquer in 1926 if I remember correctly. 

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 Posted: Thu Oct 12th, 2017 11:03 pm
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Greg Rodocker
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style="background-color: rgb(255, 255, 238);"As Rick said - Mid 1920's when lacquer manufactures started using butyl acetate instead of amyl acetate (smells like bananas- and the smell remained for months on lacquered objects) and with the invention of the modern spray guns around the same time.

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 Posted: Fri Oct 13th, 2017 12:08 am
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Levi Mevis
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So would of my Menominee Staghorn Oscillator I have been Japanned? Just curious.Also Japan finish was also used on clocks as well in the 18th and 19th centuries, not just fans or wood planes or or other metallic items, and the clocks that used the Japan finish were made of wood!!  :D 

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 Posted: Fri Oct 13th, 2017 06:48 am
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Steve Stephens
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Levi Mevis wrote: ...and the clocks that used the Japan finish were made of wood!!  :D 
That would be a different kind of Japan than the black Japan with asphalt finish.  If an item can't be baked at 350 deg. or more it can't be Japanned.   I don't think black Japan was used on other than metals.   Maybe the clock was finished in Oriental lacquer?

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 Posted: Fri Oct 13th, 2017 06:52 pm
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Greg Rodocker
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Levi- like any new process there is cost associated with it's use. Many companies may have continued to use Japan for their products for awhile due to the costs associated with changing processes. Car manufactures even at that time (1920's) still used japan on fenders. Car manufactures really drove (pun intended) the change to a more modern paint called Lacquer - easier and faster to use, more color options, etc. The choke point in car production at that time was the finishing room. Also if you look in one of my earlier posts - there is a photo of a page that discusses the difference between baking japan and 'oriental lacquers'.

Greg

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 Posted: Tue Oct 17th, 2017 10:08 pm
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Richard Daugird
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 Liberty on the Hudson website they sell Japan colors: Japan colors
I see the color chart but not which paint is offered in colors?

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 Posted: Wed Oct 18th, 2017 12:12 am
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Steve Stephens
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Richard Daugird wrote:  Liberty on the Hudson website they sell Japan colors: Japan colors
I see the color chart but not which paint is offered in colors?
The Japan that was used on our fans is black Japan and that's the only color it comes in.   The colors of Japan are Oriental Japan, a totally different paint than black Japan and not used on fans that I know of.

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 Posted: Wed Oct 18th, 2017 01:30 am
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Richard Daugird
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I am curious about the colors they mention in the link. May be nice for some tool projects I have.

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