How do you like yours/ painted or rusty

On Sat, 3 Jun 2006 23:26:09 +0100, "Greg"
of fish, chips and mushy peas. Wiping their mouths, they swiggged the
last of their cup of tea, paid the bill and wrote::

If the item has most of the original paint, with transfers, with just the odd chip, then I'd say that that was original. The Lister D in my garage has little or no visible paint (I haven't yet looked in the "hidden" places where there might be some paint left) so it's going to get repainted.

As you rightly said: each to his own. My take on this was that for events like the Royal Show, manufacturers would really "bull" an engine and go to town on the finish - filler, high-gloss paint, chromium plated brasswork, My engines (and the D, when I get around to it) were restored to the sort of finish a local dealer might apply to a stock engine for his local agricultural show - major blemishes in the castings filled, a "nice" paint finish, brasswork and maybe flywheel edges and faces polished.
This was enough to satisfy my addition to Brasso but not overdoing it, but not standard factory finish. Brian L Dominic
Web Sites: Canals: http://www.brianscanalpages.co.uk Friends of the Cromford Canal: http://www.cromfordcanal.org.uk (Waterways World Site of the Month, November 2005)
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<Snip>

I think you're missing the point of concours restoration as do most people. The driving requirements of a concours restoration is not to improve the machine/bike/car/etc but to restore it to a condition that the manufacturer was trying to achieve. This means that rough castings are not polished but smooth metal that was originally shiny can be made so, like copper pipes. The original colour (or a manufacturers option) is nearly always maintained. Cases of blatent over-restoration, such as chroming parts that were not originally chromed, loose points. Stationary engines were certainly workhorses so were at the bottom of the finishing stakes. However, the fact that the makers applied a coat of paint meant that they tried to present their product as well as possible. No doubt their show engines were finished to a higher standard than their production cousins. To me that means that they wanted their product to look like that but were prevented by reasons of cost or time. Since we are not so restricted (well certainly not on time), should we not aim for what the maker aspired to? The question of keeping something original vs replacing it (including the paint) is a difficult one.Personally I err on the side that wants to present my exhibit as near original condition as possible. That means restoring the engine to as new. Since this means a repaint, so be it. As those who have seen my engines will know, they are never likely to be valuable contributers to our engineering history. I also have to consider that my engines travel to shows in the back of my car, frequently accompanying us on holiday. It's much better if they are at least clean so the boot can be used for other holiday stuff like clothes, toys, nappies, etc. There are many who want to restore to a different standard. So be it. Originality is rarely the best from any point of view except perhaps original cost. Would anyone criticise a resored car for having a pair of period spot lights fitted even if it didn't leave the factory with them? Personally, I happily support the owners individuality to the point where any changes become irreversible. If someone wants chromed pipes, etc, that's up to them. Modifying the chassis to accept a different axle is another matter. How many of us would happily replace original Whitworth fasteners with modern (different) ones? I would certainly hope that any 240V electrics use modern wiring and that pressure vessels comply with current safety requirements. The prospect of a steam boiler failing because the owner kept the original rivets is a horrible one. Of course the next question is whether to replace an earlier repair. Is that part of the engines history even if it was poorly done (as many were)? As many of our engines have evolved during their life, what age should you restore them to? This is a question frequently asked by folks who own competition cars. These cars changed weekly so should it be presented as one spec or another? Should specifications be mixed to show the development process? It's all down to an individualls choice but that's my 2P's worth.
John
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finished tucking into their plate of fish, chips and mushy peas. Wiping their mouths, they swiggged the last of their cup of tea, paid the bill and wrote::

I regret to say that most cars restored to concours condition go way beyond this, with parts polished that were never polished and paintwork finished to a much higher standard than on the production line. The same goes for buses: chassis are painted black and engines polished, when in service (or even on leaving the factory) the whole kit & caboodle would have been sprayed with aluminium / silver paint.
However, whatever flies your kite................
Brian L Dominic
Web Sites: Canals: http://www.brianscanalpages.co.uk Friends of the Cromford Canal: http://www.cromfordcanal.org.uk (Waterways World Site of the Month, November 2005)
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Brian Dominic wrote:

Brian, I agree that most concours restorations go way beyond the original quality of finish. I actually said that they "restore it to a condition that the manufacturer was trying to achieve" It's generally accepted that (in most cases) the original production versions fell quite a way short of this. I suppose we should ask what level of finish we should restore to? As the makers produced engines finished to a range of standards (probably dependant upon who was weilding the paint brush and how close it was to tea break), should we aim for the best, the worst or somewhere in the middle?
John
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finished tucking into their plate of fish, chips and mushy peas. Wiping their mouths, they swiggged the last of their cup of tea, paid the bill and wrote::

...... and the owners and restorers can get quite fanatical about this. I was once shown a concours Citroen DS and asked if I could identify the "new" wing. When I picked it out almost at once (because tho' they were all identical on the top, the bottom edge of one was much rougher than the rest) he was MOST upset!

.............. which is where I originally came in!
Brian L Dominic
Web Sites: Canals: http://www.brianscanalpages.co.uk Friends of the Cromford Canal: http://www.cromfordcanal.org.uk (Waterways World Site of the Month, November 2005)
Newsgroup readers should note that the reply-to address is NOT read: To email me, please send to brian(dot)dominic(at)tiscali(dot)co(dot)uk
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Oh I wish I could read the minds of men long dead, it would be fascinating 8-). But seriously, is there evidence of these claims the makers and even dealers would go to such lengths as stripping, filling and repainting for a show?. I've never read of such things in any authoritative work, and the actual engine that arrived would come as a bit of a shock to a purchaser if they had been sold such a 'ponced up' model.
Greg
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wrote:

Web: http://www.oldengine.org/members/diesel
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Bamfords,
standard
Stationary
I've now read quite a lot written by David Edgington but haven't come across anything to show that they went to the extremes of some modern engine restorers, though I must admit I'd never heard of SEM in the eighties 8-).
Greg
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wrote:

Oh, yes, it was around in the early days of preservation, mine go back to 1976 or 77. He did some articles that were related to show engines IIRC, I'll dig out the details if you are interested.
Peter -- Peter & Rita Forbes Email: snipped-for-privacy@easynet.co.uk Web: http://www.oldengine.org/members/diesel
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I have a Douglas flat twin that is both original and ponced up. It is obviously a show model, all the ali castings are polished, the pipework chromed and the paintwork black & glossy. It is also not perfect anymore & I'd say (not having looked inside) that it has never been run.
They do exist, I once had a Vincent vee twin engine that had a polished crankcase & inquiries indicated that it was from a 1950 show model.
Regards,
Kim Siddorn

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That's interesting, it always helps to have some hard evidence rather than just assertion, so those going 'over the top' have some justification for saying there were originals like it. Of course the same can be said for those who paint in 'wrong' colours as there is evidence that there were special paint jobs to customer's requirements.
My personal view is to preserve the original and that of course means the original of the particular thing, I have what I think is a fairly rare Lister D generator with original alternator, bed plate and trolley, only the control box is sadly missing. It's been painted over in black and I'm painstakingly removing this to reveal the original paint beneath and will continue with the emphasis on restoration.
Incidentally, if any one has any info on the control boxes of these sets, or even one kicking around, I would be very interested.
Greg
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My Lister JP3 generating set was supplied to the military so has a coat of military green,but also was given a coat of some sort of preserving wax probably whilst in storage,the Lister green isn't much different to the military green so it will be getting the oily rag treatment,and on the subject of painting can somebody please explain the purpose of painting jerry cans. Kev
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Thanks for that John. I have never really been conkers fan be it cars engines or whatever, but that is the first time I have heard a sensible explanation of what its proponents are trying to achieve.. Ie to reproduce what the the manufacturer would have liked to achieve (and probably did on show models) were it not for the time and cost constraints of mass production. I shall look upon their effort in a whole new light.
I've been trying to work out what my hobby is by the definition of the OP and reached the conclusion it must be 'preserving rusty old crap' - I'm comfortable with that ;-) As others have said each to their own, but try not to destroy too much historical evidence along the way.
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If a stationary engine had loose points, "...'er won't run!" ;-)
--
MatSav



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"MatSav" <matthew | dot | savage | at | dsl | dot | pipex | dot | com> wrote in message

And is the "blatent" one awaiting over-restoration along with the"contributer" by the contributor? :-)).
Seriously though, the magic of the "stationary engine line" for me is just to see them brought back to life, consequently the shiny non-runner does nothing for me. For me it is a more interesting challenge just to get something running really well, or to see something very unusual.
Martin
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I don't like shiney engines, I think they have ruined that part of the restoration. Old paint is part of an old engine, and should be kept, IMHO. I by far prefer to see an original engine, and find shiney examples unreal and boring.
Trolleys are a farce too - usually completely out of character with an engine, horrible varnished timber, as if it were a piece of furniture, or RHS steel and welding, completely out of character with the era.
Naturally there are problem engines - my Crossley had been slathered with blue paint over every single part, a repaint was the only solution.
An unrestored tractor or engine speaks for itself, it shows its age with its patina. A repaint removes all that component and makes the engine a foreigner in a new era.
I think the "strip it and paint it" reaction is normal to all who like to see machinery bought back to life, but I think we need to re-think this one, and consider the paint as part of the machine built so long ago, and worthy of preservation along with all the other parts.
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Peter Short wrote:

I think the "strip it and paint it" reaction is normal to all who like

I agree entirely with that. However, 50 year old paint will have lost it's original colour. It will have worn thin in many places and be missing in many others. It's quite usual to see 50% of the paint missing. If 50% of a piston ring were missing........? Surely no one would suggest keeping it or even trying to repair the remains. A new ring would be made, hopefully to match the original as closely as possible in material and design. Should we not do the same with paint?
John
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Personally I much prefer to see engines as working machines, not museaum exhibits. Next thing someone will suggest driving them with electric motors so they don't get all dirty and oily. Then why not just show plastic replicas with a recording........Work hard enough at that and who will know the difference?
To me these machines are living memory. I never saw them in showrooms, but on building sites and on farms. They were never polished or repainted. I see them as nostalgia, and for that they need to be seen in context. And writing this is making me realize just how old I am getting :)
Al
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For a change, most here seem to agree ;o)) If there is a finish in the least worth preserving, preserve it. If it is a rusty heap and needs complete restoration, restore the paint too - a number might prefer to put more eggs in their pudding than others, but that is the nature of man - to differ.
No one has mentioned rarity. As many of my Iron Toys are at least unusual, I think it is my duty during my period of tenure to Do No Harm & on the rare occasions that I repaint anything, to get it as close as possible to the original. Chrome etc costs money & I'm a mean, tight fisted sod when it comes to superior finishes!
The great majority of engines one sees displayed were made in their hundreds of thousands and survive often in thousands or at least hundreds. If it takes the fancy of one to rip all the paint off and start again, it may be unfortunate, but there are others just the same that have not suffered that fate & act as reference material for future custodians.
Finally, if you repaint, leave an out of the way patch of originality for subsequent owners to find who may not be of your mind.
Regards,
Kim Siddorn
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