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Need Help Just Starting to Paint my own tractors..

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10-25-2012 19:32:22

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My family and I have been collecting two cylinder John Deeres for years. We have always done our own mechanical work on them but have always paid to have them painted.. I would like to start painting them myself, and could really use some help with what to paint with... Right now I have a 30x40 shop that is heated. Can I paint during the winter with the heat on? Also I need to buy a new paint gun what is a good medium value dependable and easy to shoot gun? I talked to a collector that lives close and he sprays all factory John Deere Primer and Paints. I have a good friend that owns a few Napa stores so I can get all paint and supplies through him at cost. What would the best primer, and paint set up be for me through napa... Right now I have a 45 John Deere B to paint that is all stripped and cleaned, a 1951 John deere B pulling tractor, a 1947 G pulling tractor, 1 1951 GW, and a 1958 420c. As you can see I have a lot to do and figure by about the 3-4 one I will have the hang of it... Anyone that can shed some light on this I would greatly appreciate it..

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730d se

10-26-2012 14:29:55

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 Re: Need Help Just Starting to Paint my own tractors.. in reply to JohnDeereJimOhio, 10-25-2012 19:32:22  
I will add that the ones that take their time, use high end materials, prep properly, do it 30 times better than they left the factory back then.
When you are lucky enough to find a JD with orginal paint from especially pre 1960, you can find paint runs, all kinds of "messes" that would never be acceptable today.
It was a tractor, they slapped paint on it in an area called the "paint room". If it covered the sheet metal, it was considered good.
You can also find the numbers such as "630" & "730" in various locations on the side of the hoods.

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10-26-2012 17:54:43

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 Re: Need Help Just Starting to Paint my own tractors.. in reply to 730d se, 10-26-2012 14:29:55  

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10-26-2012 06:42:20

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 Re: Need Help Just Starting to Paint my own tractors.. in reply to JohnDeereJimOhio, 10-25-2012 19:32:22  
I paint in a 30x30 square foot area. I have two explosion proof exhaust fans in the wall, current price probably about $500 each. I have gas heat that I turn off when spraying and try to maintain at least 65 degrees. Even with the fans on there is some drift of the paint dust and fumes back into the building, unless I open the walk in door all the way. So I turn the heat off when painting and back on between coats. I try to compromise by getting most of the fumes out and still maintaining the temperature. How fast the building cools depends on the temperature. It is currently 27 degrees here, the temp in the building is 70 degrees -- I am not painting today, if I was I might be able to get one coat on depending on how many parts I have, then leave the heat on for a few minutes to get the temp back up. My tractors are completely disassembled and all parts are painted seperately, so due to space limitations (parts cannot be moved until the next day), it takes several days to do the painting. JD paint is not the worlds best paint. I use PPG Omni base clear. PPG Omni epoxy followed by the color coat, followed by the clear on the stripped chassis and all parts. The sheet metal gets a sandable urethane surfacer over the epoxy. PPG epoxy uses a catalyst that does NOT contain isocyanates, the color coat does not use hardener, hardener for the urethane surfacer and clear coat do use hardener and a supplied air system is mandatory--if I spray only a small amount without it I feel the effects. Single state urethane and hardener also require supplied air. I have so far use 7 painting sessions on my Farmall Super M, not including the rims and sheet metal -- it is not a one day job.

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Stephen Newell

10-26-2012 04:21:38

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 Re: Need Help Just Starting to Paint my own tractors.. in reply to JohnDeereJimOhio, 10-25-2012 19:32:22  
It's pretty labor intensive to paint a tractor and do it right but anyone that is patient should be able to do it. It's yes and no about painting inside the shop with the heat on. Paint fumes are explosive and without good ventilation and electric heat you could only paint a little at a time. You would have to heat the paint and the parts you are going to spray to above the minimum recommended temperature for the paint and then turn off anything that has a open flame or would make a spark. You would have to exhaust the paint fumes or the paint floating in the air would settle back on what you were spraying. Unless you had electric heat the temperature in the building would very quickly get cold and would ruin the paint. The easiest solution is if you have warm days from time to time where you live in winter, you can do preparation work while the weather is cold and warm days do the spraying work. As far as paint sprayers, I have good luck with using a cheap Harbor Freight conventional paint sprayers. I'm not impressed with their gravity feed HVLP gun although it comes in handy working small batches because it will spray every drop where a conventional gun needs a couple of ounces before it will pick up the paint. I buy paint from Napa. My store sells Dupont Nason so I use Nason Ful-Poxy 491-10 epoxy primer and Nason Ful-Thane 2k Urethane Topcoat. Regardless of brand a 2k urethane will be better paint for a tractor then the JD paint. While you are shopping for equipment, purchase a fresh air supplied respirator. It is a must for spraying many automotive paints. The Isocyanide hardeners in the paint can put a major hurt on you with just a small amount and it will go straight through a regular paint respirator. I know this because I sprayed one gallon outdoors with a regular respirator holding my breath when I was down wind from the spray. I had a constant cough for six months afterwards. Since you have so many tractors to paint I would start with the one that you are least particular with the quality of the paint job. The more experience you get the better you will get at it so I would save the tractor you want the best job on until last. The cast parts probably won't be a problem. Its when you get to the tin, it will need body work and you can work it over and think you have it perfect right up through primer and then start seeing defects in it when you start spraying the color coat. If you are picky you can purchase two different colors of primer and alternate the color of primer each time you prime and sand the tin. This will help show you where the dents are that are hiding from you.

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10-26-2012 18:31:18

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 Re: Need Help Just Starting to Paint my own tractors.. in reply to Stephen Newell, 10-26-2012 04:21:38  
I couldn't believe how well the dents hid from me until after I painted my 8N and saw them. After painting two tractors I appreciate the effort, particularly the prep time, involved. It has brought my patience to a new level.

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Jason S.

10-27-2012 06:07:04

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 Re: Need Help Just Starting to Paint my own tractors.. in reply to ASEguy, 10-26-2012 18:31:18  
All of the advice that has been said here is really good. The only thing I will add is to be careful since the EPA passed laws making it illegal to paint at home or anywhere outside of a downdraft paint booth. Even then you have to be EPA certified to use the booth. You aren"t even allowed to primer outside of a booth anymore. I don"t think you will have any problems but it is something to think about. All it takes is a nosey neighbor or something and you could be facing thousands in fines.

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10-27-2012 07:48:13

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 Re: Need Help Just Starting to Paint my own tractors.. in reply to Jason S., 10-27-2012 06:07:04  
Last I read some time ago, you could paint one car a year outside of a booth. I'm not concerned because it takes me about 2 years to restore a tractor--but if you have a link to the latest rules or an idea where you got the last info I would appreciate knowing.

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10-27-2012 08:31:26

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 Re: Need Help Just Starting to Paint my own tractors.. in reply to CNKS, 10-27-2012 07:48:13  
I did some searching, apparantly the comment about hobbiests I made above no longer exists -- I'm not going to wade through all the EPA rules. I assume EPA doesn't send a search party out to get us. So far I can still buy paint containing the VOCs that the EPA is trying to get rid of. It may be that the long term (or short term depending on which state you are in) answer may be the exclusive use of waterborne paints that I don't look forward to.

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Rod (NH)

10-27-2012 12:19:08

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 Re: Need Help Just Starting to Paint my own tractors.. in reply to CNKS, 10-27-2012 08:31:26  
Presumably, the following is valid as of 10/25/2012:

"(3) Surface coating or paint stripping performed by individuals on their personal vehicles, possessions, or property, either as a hobby or for maintenance of their personal vehicles, possessions, or property. This subpart also does not apply when these operations are performed by individuals for others without compensation. An individual who spray applies surface coating to more than two motor vehicles or pieces of mobile equipment per year is subject to the requirements in this subpart that pertain to motor vehicle and mobile equipment surface coating regardless of whether compensation is received."

Source See para. 63.11169d(3).

Don't know EPA future plans in this area.

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10-27-2012 12:42:38

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 Re: Need Help Just Starting to Paint my own tractors.. in reply to Rod (NH), 10-27-2012 12:19:08  
Rod, thank you, I was hoping you would read my post--a lot of stuff to go through. You keep up with that better than I do.

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Jason S.

10-27-2012 18:11:15

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 Re: Need Help Just Starting to Paint my own tractors.. in reply to CNKS, 10-27-2012 12:42:38  
Thanks for the information. I was going by what my local BASF dealer was telling me. I know he will not rent his booth to you unless your EPA certified. It would seem that if you are doing your own that the hobby rules would apply even in his booth but according to him it doesn't. Maybe he needs to read up some more. As far as water based paint...I have two different friends that own body shops one is a PPG shop and the other is a BASF shop and they have switched to waterborne and they both say they like it. I haven't tried it myself... and probably won't until I'm forced too...

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10-27-2012 18:31:08

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 Re: Need Help Just Starting to Paint my own tractors.. in reply to Jason S., 10-27-2012 18:11:15  
If he lets you use his booth and something happens, what I don't know, then he is likely liable. As to waterborne I think we need new guns-I have 4 and am not eager to replace them. I too will use urethane until I can't buy it. There is a chance that we will be able to buy it only if certified. However from the rules that Rod posted, perhaps not. Depends on what EPA does. If I find that out ahead of time that KS will not allow the current products to be sold, I am probably going to break my budget and buy more paint, and try to keep it usable.

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Stephen Newell

10-27-2012 18:42:32

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 Re: Need Help Just Starting to Paint my own tractors.. in reply to CNKS, 10-27-2012 18:31:08  
My how things have changed. I painted my first car in the driveway of a mini-warehouse that was next to an apartment complex. It was the era of lacquer though.

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10-28-2012 19:17:55

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 Re: Need Help Just Starting to Paint my own tractors.. in reply to Stephen Newell, 10-27-2012 18:42:32  
They can only come on the property of a State liscensed repair fascility ond they can do that unanounced and usually do just that. In the unlikeky event that they recieve a complaint from your neighbor , they would have to go to local law enforcement and there would have to be a warning and notification of any laws being broken. Only on the second offense and a search warrant and incriminating evidence in court and a conviction would there be any fines levied to a NON- LISCENSED local "Joe" painting his own piece at his own garage. They love "liscensed" shops for just that reason. You are their sitting duck.

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