View Full Version : Red Lead Primer Question
10-05-2001, 12:52 PM
This may be a bit off topic, but maybe not. One of my many hobbies is restoring old cars. In this pursuit I often have to deal with areas of a car body where rust just naturally wants to be. Some examples would be the inside bottoms of doors and fenders. From what I understand, bridges and other iron works were traditionally painted with some type of lead paint to inhibit rust. I also understand that the lead paint treatment is still considered to be the best for stopping rust. Is the boatbuilder's red lead primer the same as the bridgebuilder's lead anti-corrosion paint? Is it close enough? There are countless miracle paints on the market for rusty steel, but I suspect that they were all developed to try to replace some older technology that really worked (but has been labeled "unfriendly".)
I don't know if the bridge painter's version is the same as the boatbuilding variety. It's probably about the same. Give it a try.
10-05-2001, 02:56 PM
From out of the archives comes:
Red Lead And How To Use It In Paint
John Wiley & Sons
For structural steel aka bridges...
100 lbs Red Lead Paste
2.5 gals Linseed Oil
1 pint Turpentine
1 pint Drier
since the above formula included drier I am assuming ( dangerous word that) the Linseed Oil is to be true raw Linseed Oil.
There is no mention of using Red Lead for wood or wooden shipbuilding.
But from mine own experience it was used extensively in the wooden boat yards I worked at but, I believe the paint came ready made from a paint company as it seems the above formula is on the thick side. And the stuff we used was thin enough to penetrate somewhat into the wood.
As far as stripping old cars or things of metal have you tried one of the shops that specialize in this. No need to dismantle the whole vehicle. They can dip the body and coat it with phosphate which if kept dry will not let rust form on the newly cleaned metal until you can get a coat of primer on it.
I just took 25 pieces of a bookcase system I designed. 1 inch seamless tubing TIG welded bents to a shop out here on the left coast and the cost is about $15 USD a bent not too bad considering the handling of each individual part. A single car body should not be as much as that. Though in truth I did not inquire about such as car bodies.
Do a www.google.com (http://www.google.com) search on rust removal or paint stripping and see what comes up for your locale.
10-05-2001, 03:33 PM
I am familiar with the whole body dip shops. Unfortunately, I don't have the workspace to tear down a car to that level. What I am interested in doing is treating the the areas where rust has a habit of forming before it becomes a problem. I would rather treat light surface rust now instead of having to replace whole panels later. Red lead might be the ticket.
10-05-2001, 11:08 PM
Why not ask Kirby. As a multigenerational paint company making traditional paints I couldn't begin to guess who would likely have more experience.
/// Frank ///
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