Paint or not to paint, restore or revive, new or repaired

Gentlemen,
Stationary Engine Magazine the last couple of months has printed letters and
articles where the age old question has lifted its head again, " To paint or
not to paint".
Who wants to start the debate first, not you John Manders, you can give your
views but not till the rest of us have :-)) you are so right wing its
frightening :-))
All of the subjects are in the Header so off you all go.
Martin P
Reply to
campingstoveman
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Well my opinion: I tend to paint more engines than I leave as original but nevertheless I feel that there should be room for both in our hobby. I believe that if the engine has very little original paint or has been painted in a totally wrong colour by a previous owner it then It may well be worth painting. If new parts have been fabricated then these can look out of place on an otherwise original engine. If the engine is common like a Lister D or Wolseley WD2 (I have noting against these engines) then unless the original paint is in exceptional condition then I would repaint, but supposing the engine is very early/rare or in good condition and/or of great historical importance then I believe it should be left as original. I like to see both original and re-painted engine on an engine line-up as if they are all 'new-looking' and shiny then onlookers may well think that they are indeed new, and often by painting an engine it can loose it's character.
As for restore or revive, I believe it should once again depend on condition etc.
New or repaired - this I also believe that should depend on condition - if It is possible to repair a part, that is what I would do, It seems silly to go around replacing parts left, right and centre if the originals are repairable.
It seems to me that these are not such great issues in other circles (classic cars, tractors, motor bikes, steamers etc.) and more often than not these are restored/painted. I always look at it that if it is left as original now it can always be restored/painted further down the line, but it is much more difficult to go back on your actions!!
Anyway I've had my two-pennies-worth over to the rest of you!!!
Andrew
Reply to
Andy S
Nods in agreement.
A well reasoned and well put response.
Now what shall we talk about? :)
Mark
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Reply to
Mark Howard
Surely we've done this one to death in the past? For the record, I prefer a light touch - interesting (and reasonably well executed) repairs and modifications left intact, original paint where possible etc etc. But each to their own.
Reply to
Nick H
Nick,
We do this to death annually but of late most of the old crowd has diminished or is resting in the back ground so I thought that new blood should have their say which maybe of a different opinion to ours. Also trends change as do idea's, I personally don't have a problem with a pink Wolesley WD, see SE, if it gets the youngsters interested be they male or female.
Martin P
Reply to
campingstoveman
That's discrimination Martin. Anyway I don't have time at the moment as I'm busy stripping the BSA ready to send the tinwork to be chromed like the tanks on the bikes were. As for the rest of you who only do part restorations, you're just just lazy tinkerers who have no pride in their work. People who turn up to shows with filthy rusty old lumps of iron are even less apealing that those with old mower engines. At least most of them are cleaned so that they don't get the owners caravan/4x4 dirty.
John (I'm only right wing, compared to you load of lefty radicals! I'm actually politically central)
Reply to
John
I personally don't have a problem with a pink
Is that a pink jumper? I've not seen a pink Wolseley. :-)
Martin
see SE, if it gets the youngsters interested be they male or
Reply to
Oily
I will add in John's defence that he is a wind up merchant of the grand order which is why I made the comments I did :-)) Chroming the tanks is just a lazy mans way of not painting and the bike tanks had paint on them as well.
Martin P
Reply to
campingstoveman
I actually do like to see a nicely painted engine. To me it shows the owner has something he cares about and spends time on. The paint will also go along way to protecting the engine for years to come. I do like some of the South African engines that have been restored and brightly painted, purist's throw your hands up in horror.
Joules
Reply to
Joules Beech
This first question you should ask yourself is this "Am I repairing or restoring?" The answer will make things clearer in your mind.
These are my two yardsticks, generally speaking.
If it's been found in a ditch & most of the paint has been removed by abrasion, sun and rusting, then to repaint it is just part of the restoration process. There is no "character" left to preserve.
If it has most of the original paint & just needs a good clean, then do just that & when dry, rub it all over with an oily rag. Repairs & new bits only add to the character of the device.
I am by no means consistent though & sometimes have a different approach. I like bare satin finished aluminium and the ST flat twin is a case in point. When I got it, it was devoid of paint & the chromate etching primer had eaten into the surface.
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I decided that I'd prepare it as a show engine, removed the barrels and heads to look inside & finding all well, gloss blacked them. Using a number of soft brass bristle brushes in a high speed drill, I then stripped off the chromate primer, washed the engine down with meths & lacquered the ali castings. I found traces of green paint inside the fan cover end caps and carefully preserved this for some future restorer to discover.
It came to me without a mag, but I had just restored a circa 1920 EIC magneto, complete with fabric covered HT leads. I also had a new matched pair of mica insulated sparking plugs and one of those brass cylindrical tanks from (I think) a mower. I chose these as they fitted the appearance of the engine. In doing so, I temporarily emphasise the "early vintage" look of the thing. Nothing irreversible. Here it is finished & mounted on a nice 100 year old rosewood stationery box I found for free in the club tent .
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My mindset is that we only have these Iron Toys for a while & it is up to us to at the least look after them, any restoration should be minimalist in nature & follow the maker's scheme of painting if possible. If, like me, you don't want to do the latter, then leave a witness for the bloke in our future who will be following you down this rocky road in perhaps 100 years time. Think doctor - and Do No Harm.
Make no mistake, for the great majority of the engines & driven devices that fall within our perview, once they are cleaned up & cared for, they will never be broken up for scrap now they are all beginning to appreciate. Only giant machines that few can store or manage are in real danger & for that we have Internal Fire and The Anson - and bloody good job too!
Regards,
Kim Siddorn,
Reply to
Kim Siddorn
I usually like to do a job on my engines if they have been done before, but I also like to leave well alone and preserve the original where possible as with my Lorenz. I think these restorations, in the link, look awesome from an engineering point of view, look good with all the machined parts cleaned and the castings left, you can tell they have had a proper going over but still look old.
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What do others think of them, may do my ingeco like this.
Cheers, MartinH
appreciate.
Reply to
Martin Hirst
Snip>
It sounds nice Kim but I have one comment - besides the expected one that is. By fitting a tank and other non-original parts that look in keeping with the age of an engine, you are laying traps for a future restorer. Will they realise that these parts are not original fitments?
A related establishment to the one where I work contains a Grade 1 listed building in it's estate. It's a lovely old stately home that's a credit to the estate and beautifully maintained. It's used as one of their admin blocks and they recently wanted to build a conference room in it's walled garden. The relavent authorities were aproached at an early stage and agreed to the building. The owners offered to construct the new building in that same style as the old one. This was turned down flat. They were instructed to build something that was visually different so as not to confuse the heritage.
In the world of classic cars (and probably bikes), great store is placed on original design. If a component is replaced it should be to the original design or totally different. The latter is preferable to a confused period piece.
John
Reply to
John
It is a valid criticism & I accept it without any kind of rancour ;o))
When I learn about something, I do my best to ensure that others know of it, especially if I happen to be fortunate enough to correlate the efforts of others. Stationary Engine Magazine is respected - and collected - worldwide & I do my best to write up my research in readable style, provide decent photos & get it published in SEM. I am in the middle of doing just this in respect of the ST flat twins.
In Doing No Harm, I make no modifications to the maker's design & adding an earlier mag & plugs will only fool the casual observer. In adding a tank, I have no choice as the original sat upon a framework that has long since vanished.
The other set will be much closer to standard & I am actively looking for a dynamo to complete it. I hope then to exhibit them side by side.
Having (for my Sins) been a Concours judge at one-make bike club events, I know well the store set by originality. A Vincent tool kit spanner recently sold on eBay for a three figure sum .......
The engine world has not reached that stage yet, but it will get there in due course, I've no doubt.
Regards,
J. Kim Siddorn, Regia Anglorum
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Reply to
Kim Siddorn
I restore my engines to concours because that is what tickles my stick. I also treat my Cars and Motor Bikes the same. I hate to see scruffy Stationary Engines running and Strumpshaw is a prime site for these. Each to his own. Col.
cylindrical
Reply to
Colin Jacobs
Question, I have a Lister FR (Freedom) 1953 marine engine originaly supplied with gray undercoat then painted red (with a tar brush) any suggestions how to remove red paint. With being a complex engine and fitted in a narrow boat scrapeing off the paint would be a major problem.? Is red a lister coulour or is green the recomended colour?
Col> I restore my engines to concours because that is what tickles my stick. I
Reply to
vic the barge
Question, I have a Lister FR (Freedom) 1953 marine engine originaly supplied with gray undercoat then painted red (with a tar brush) any suggestions how to remove red paint. With being a complex engine and fitted in a narrow boat scrapeing off the paint would be a major problem.? Is red a lister colour or is green the recomended colour?
Col> I restore my engines to concours because that is what tickles my stick. I
Reply to
vic the barge
Listers were painted red if used as fire pumps, other wise Mid Brunswick Green
Reply to
Colin Jacobs

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