At the end of the last post, I had laid down a second layer of japanning on the test plane. The plane was again baked in my outdoor “oven” for a couple of hours at around 250 degrees F. The japanning was then scuffed up, this time with 220 grit. 400 just wasn’t cutting through that well. The nice part about the thickness of the japanning mixture is that it does a good job filling the casting marks.
You can see in the picture above the low and high spots in the cast iron (white/silver high spots of bare metal and the dark black being low spots not hit by the sandpaper). A third coat levelled these out nicely. This coat also got a bake after being allowed to dry overnight.
Here is the result on a 606.
I was very pleased with the color and sheen of the final product. My only real complaint is that I didn’t have a dust free room, so there are blemishes in the finish from dust landing on and sticking to the japanning while it was still tacky and before baking.
Since Don asked in an earlier blog post about comparing with the Duplicolor Ford Semi Gloss black engine enamel, I did the tail of a broken #7 for a comparison. Left to right is the 606 with three coats of my homemade japanning, an unrestored Type 11 #4 and the #7 with four coats of the Duplicolor spray paint.
It is tough to make out in the photo, but there is a very subtle difference in color. Personally, I think the homemade asphaltum japanning mix is a better match to the original Stanley, but it is very close. The spray enamel just seems to have a slight greenish gray tinge to the blackness of it. The sheen level of both finishes is very similar, with the japanning maybe a bit more glossy.
If presented with one plane by itself, I don’t think I would be able to tell if it was Duplicolor or my japanning recipe by the color alone. The one way that I would be able to tell the difference is that the japanning seems to fill the unevenness of the casting much better. That might be solved by heavier coats of spray paint, but I haven’t had a chance to try that. Maybe someone else who has used that method more often can chime in.
Well, that is the majority of the journey. There will be one more blog post summarizing the recipe, process and lessons learned.
-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."