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Discussion Starter #1
I have a couple of old mowers and tractors I want to start painting soon. Both of them have heavy steel parts as well as lighter engine parts like fan shrouds, etc., that are rusty and somewhat pitted.

What is the best way to cherry out the metal parts to make a smooth surface for the primer and paint? Some of the pitting is deep, some not so bad, but my feeling is if I just paint over it the new paint will just magnify the pitting.

Any ideas? (The old Clinton mower on my avatar pic is one of them, btw)

Thanks in advance for any input...
 

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You can start with sand-blasting the pieces, but use walnut shells instead of sand, does not hurt the surface.

Then give a light coat of auto filler..Bondo....sand until smooth. Or use Lead, but needs experiance to do.
 

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I sandblast, metal-prep(rust converter) epoxy primer and then will use one of two different methods. If the pits are deep I will use a 2 part glaze, smooth, then prime & paint. If they aren't too deep I will use a spray filler (1-3 coats), smooth, then prime & paint. Either way is pretty easy, bondo will work also if you don't want to buy 2 part glaze, it just goes on easier and smoother. Just make sure you get a 2 part glaze, the 1 part is not very durable.
 

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Method listed are excellent. I grit blast using 220 mesh aluminum oxide with excellent results. I don't bother filling the pits. Just prime and paint. My stuff gets used. If it was for show then I guess filling would be fine.

MU
 

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We used some stuff called "Feather-Fill" I think Morton Products made,it was a primer/filler that you had to add hardener too,it was like sprayable bondo..yellow in color..we did a lot of antique car restoration at one place I worked at (I didn't do the body work or painting ,but had experience selling and mixing auto paints)..it worked well to fill deep pitting without a ton of work and sanding afterwards,all you had to do was scuff it up with 600 grit wet/dry paper and topcoat it..

You could use spot putty or a skim coat of bondo too..there are probably all kinds of 2 part epoxy primer fillers and "hi-build" primers on the market now,I have been "out" of the body supply loop since about 1994,and a LOT of things have changed!--since I left the biz,laquer has been outlawed here,so have many acrylic enamels,water based paints are now common,and a lot of things I sold either no longer exist or are banned or restricted now..hard to keep up with it all!..
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Excellent ideas, all. Sounds like it would be easy enough...Before I lost my job due to medical reasons, I bought a nice air compressor with lots of goodies, including a paint gun. So I'm wanting to try it out on some old mowers I have. But some of them need some serious work first. Any idea how much CFM or pressure I would need to use a sandblaster with it?
 

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Your sandblaster will have its air requirements stated pretty plainly. Know the capacity of your compressor, and buy a blaster that requires only 80% or so of the compressors capacity.

You might also want to consider a water separator for your compressor.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yeah, I need to go over there and look at it. I've rented my house out (*sigh*) to keep from losing it while out of work, and all my stuff is there, and I'm living with my son for now, lol.
 
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