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Thread: Cylinder paint

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
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    5

    Default Cylinder paint

    What color should I use to paint the cylinders only 1940 IndianSport Scout?

    Thank you
    John W Weiss
    AMCA #24633

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    122

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    Those were nickel plated from the factory so if you're trying to replicate the original finish it is nickel plating that you'll want to look into; a lot of folks just paint them black for ease of maintenance. There are a few folks on the AMCA forum who do the home plating kits but I have no experience with them, perhaps they will add their .02 worth.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Sarasota, Florida
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    I've nickel plated cylinders for Hendersons using the Caswell electorless kit. I think it works quite well, and you can control the brightness, or reflectivity by how you finish the cast iron, and how much nickel you allow to plate. It's a lot of work, and I mean, a lot of work but I like having irreplaceable parts in my possession, and there is a certain amount of masochistic pleasure in succeeding with such a miserable job Oh yeah, and it's also not inexpensive. If you have a plater you trust, who knows what vintage nickel plated cylinders should look like, let them do it. Otherwise, get the Caswell kit, and treat it like a science project.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  4. #4
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    I should mention that I had a 1940 Chief, and I had a plater electroless nickel plate the cylinders. He did a technically excellent job, but they were almost like chrome; way too shiny. Over time they dulled up a bit, but always looked too bright. I know a lot of people paint pre war Indian cylinders, but if you're going for a representative restoration, or something period correct; all Indian Scouts had nickel plated cylinders as Green Indian said.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Central Illinois, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by exeric View Post
    I should mention that I had a 1940 Chief, and I had a plater electroless nickel plate the cylinders. He did a technically excellent job, but they were almost like chrome; way too shiny. Over time they dulled up a bit, but always looked too bright. I know a lot of people paint pre war Indian cylinders, but if you're going for a representative restoration, or something period correct; all Indian Scouts had nickel plated cylinders as Green Indian said.
    Yes Eric!

    That's exactly why I cannot send out carbs for re-plating.
    Even after discussing it at length with a carb owner who is also a plater by trade, and told me he had a "Watts" tank, it still showed up looking 'bling'..

    ...Cotten
    PS: Its been an hour...
    Where's my troll?
    Last edited by T. Cotten; 11-06-2017 at 03:56 PM.
    AMCA #776
    Dumpster Diver's Motto: Seek,... and Ye Shall Find!

  6. #6
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    I don't know of any platers doing Watts, or dull nickel without brighteners, Tom. Looking at NOS Excelsior parts that were nickeled, I see that the pedestrian parts, like bell cranks, and forged parts have that dull look, but show parts like handlebars, shift levers, and shift gates are as bright as anything you would get today. Obviously, the surface texture before plating had something to do with the brightness, but again, that Watts nickel process was a big part of the finished look. There is another factor that has to be considered and that is age. My 1916 Excelsior was 90% re-plated 20 plus years ago, but there is NOS plated content, and age has made the newer plating look quite old. You might consider getting an electorless nickel kit from Caswell, and experimenting with pre plating surface prep, plating thickness, and post plating surface manipulation. In talking with a German friend who has un-restored bikes; he has to plate some parts to keep his bikes running, and maintained. He has talked about using weird mixes of natural acids, and, well, God knows what. Might be fun to try a few things.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
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    Eric!

    The real question is: Why are there no professional platers who want to step up and fill the need, even when they are vintage enthusiasts themselves?

    ...Cotten
    AMCA #776
    Dumpster Diver's Motto: Seek,... and Ye Shall Find!

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