- July 24, 2017 at 6:13 pm #9449
I’ve finished restoring a Northern Electric 5000 ‘Baby Champ’ almost to it’s original condition, as shown in the picture. The original owner hadn’t repainted the bottom so I was able to match its original Red Carnation colour with a custom-mixed automotive enamel in a spray can (R101 Fast Maroon 23.9, S105 Fine Bright Alumin 33.7+10.0, R66 Magenta 41.3+2.2,Y69 +3.0, Y71 +2.5, K54 Black 3.0, LVBR100 Low VOC Binder 126.6)
The problem is I couldn’t duplicate the hammertone finish used on the original. The paint store doesn’t sell custom-mixed hammertone paint, and suggested I try spraying water on the surface first. That didn’t work but seemed like a possible approach. So I tried spraying practically everything in the house on the surface, both before and/or after applying the enamel. I read on-line that silicone-based sprays for water repellents (like ScothGuard) would repel the enamel and create mottled effects, but none of them worked. I usually try to avoid silicone anywhere near spray paint because of ‘fish-eyes’, and I did get some interesting effects, but nothing like a hammertone finish.
Does anyone know how to create a hammertone finish with a conventional spray enamel?
Attachments:September 20, 2017 at 2:51 pm #9553
I havent; tried this with hammertone but it works with wrinlkle paint.
with wrinkle paint I just spray it with wrinkle paint, black is the most common , then spray over that after it’s dry and wrinkled with the color of choice.
hammertone has a slightly bumpy surface so maybe you could try applying that and then follow after dry with a metallic paint, You might find the metallic particles lay a bit more random because of the bumpy surface underneath ? it would be an experiment?
I went to lordco autobody several years ago and asked for a certain color and the paint guy handed me a book of swatches, each had a different year of car and I found the best match that way. It was for a crosley D-25 in the blue grey metallic color.September 29, 2017 at 12:13 pm #9584
Thanks, Phil, for your experience with wrinkle paint. Will try it when I have to repaint my next boat anchor!
Somehow, Northern Electric got their hammertone paint to be perfectly smooth and this is the finish I would like to duplicate. I have attached a picture of the original finish. Have tried mixing the custom-colour spray lacquer on the surface with every silicone-based liquid in the house with no luck.
Attachments:September 29, 2017 at 2:44 pm #9591
tough to get an exact match on that one. I did a google search for hammertone paints and found some that were close but not as red..
I have a northern electric midge in the funny green color , there was one that imitated that but I dont;think the midge is hammertone
Hichem Hammercoat Epoxy Paint Gold 400 Gram Spray
they can do hammemrtone via powdercoat but You’d first need a conductive paint since the bakelit is an insulator,, yea that wont’ really work. youll end up with a 500 dollar radio that you couldn’t get over a hundred for 😉
If you ever come across northern electric ones with the little propeller on the dial I have a secret stash of the little propellers, Ive also got the glowing red pointers for baby champs
the baby chanmp name was tossed around amongst different models.
here’s the propeller
I htink these are the red ones I have
I’d change it to a hammertone green though not original I think it at least fits the color scheme better than most of the gold hamertone that funny green color was popular in the era on business machines and things but if you look you might find an antique copper one if you look hard.
the only other thing I can think of is could you look for a hammertone gold and then mix some reddish paint into it? then you’d need to load a spray gun or airbrush. It seems the effect comes from liquids that are sort of incompatible, they mix like oil and water sort of.. silicone usually causes fish eyes and it’ is often dreaded by painters. I try not to use any silicone products if I can help it as the tinyest bit of contamination can cause fish eyes you cant’ easily overcome.
Ive got the master station and a couple of the slave ( or base) stations. That case was used for interoffice intercoms.. they aren’t radios…thye just use the amplifier parts. they have a little paddle switch to talk with.. I’m just not sure who to talk to on the thing.. 😉 I need a secretary ! they use the same case as the “rainbow” models.. fun 😉
i think the colored ones had white knobs, the brown ones had brown knobs. sometimes you see repainted ones with the brown knobs but I dont think they were sold like that.September 29, 2017 at 2:45 pm #9592
how about this green ? the one at the left.. I htink thats about thecolor of my midge but it isn’t hammertone
sorry that link didnt’ work and I realized that was one from “Seattle Powdercoat ” which is no help.. but if you look around the search that the link did go to maybe you can see something close?
September 29, 2017 at 3:07 pm #9595
- This reply was modified 3 weeks, 1 day ago by phil.
Phil, yes, you are correct – the coloured Model 5000’s used ivory knobs (unlike the photo of the carnation red one on the radiomuseum.org site.) I tried to match the original colour/knob combination, as seen in the photo at the beginning of this thread.
Good to know you’ve got more of the propeller dials – here’s a photo of one of my other Model 5000s with that dial. Luckily, it doesn’t have a hammertone finish! But learning to make a new dial cover was fun.
Attachments:September 29, 2017 at 3:08 pm #9597September 29, 2017 at 7:23 pm #9601
Thanks, Phil. but I think I’ll stick to my exact “red carnation” original colour match and just leave the finish without the original hammertone look. Someday I may stumble across some paint trick to get both.October 2, 2017 at 12:01 pm #9606
I found that I have a midge in a gold color. it isn’t’ red like that. I think the paint is original and that one doesn’t’ seem to be hammertone but the paint does have a teeny bit of texture.
I don’t think they look as nice with the knobs the same color anyway. sometimes if they are cracked and repaired with bondo and things I can see painting reapired ones, and just painting the brown knobs the ivory color.
sometimes when there are chunks missing you kind of need to repaint. I guess you could imitate the Bakelite color but at that point , with the rainbow models , they are pretty common so I wouldn’t loose sleep. the three knob models are more scarce
sometimes I find broken ones and with the more common models I think it would be possible to take a mold off a good one and then use that as a form to pour in place an epoxy or bondo repair. Easier than trying to shape missing parts of the cabinet. I haven’t tried this but I am fairly sire it can be successful , you just need two radios and use the good one to make the mold of the bad sections of the broken one..
another thing that interests me is trying to make a mold of an whole cabinet, maybe using fiberglass with a mold release, then using colored epoxies to make simulated catalin ones.. Its possible to have fun with some of the dropped ones you spot at sales for not much cost. . boats are often copied like this , you can use fiberglass to take a mold off a fiberglass boat and then use that to make copies of the boat.
I’m not usually too crazy about modifying antiques but If’s a fairly common bakelite and it’s all cracked then maybe any attempt at salvage is ok.. It would be wrong from a restorationis view to make fake catalin cabinets but I could see making a neat cabinet by swirling two different colors of epoxy resin together. If one were to go to the cost and effort to make a mold of the rainbow would be a good one because broken ones aren’t too scarce and so if it worked one could make a few of them. they are also a pleasing design.
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