by Rich Bakula
Within the past year, I successfully completed another project. It was the restoration of my air cleaner’s metal housing which some of the TE/AE United V attendees may have seen and mistaken as original. The original paint was peeling miserably, but I had an excellent sample of original finish.
I found a spray can of a product called “HAMMER” finish in my local “ARMA” hardware store. This product basically produces a “hammertone” finish, but it can be made to reproduce the exact original appearance of the Tiger air cleaner finish. It is made by Illinois Bronze Paint Company, Lake Zurich, IL 60074, and its part number is 322 Silver.
(Ed note: it has been reported that a similar paint is available from J. C. Whitney under part number 15?9398B. The name is listed as “Hammer Tone”.)
I let the first coat dry a little longer than was recommended, and I made the “texture” coat “spit” bigger drops. After drying, I put an overall clear coat of Krylon “Crystal Clear” on to provide a surface into which grease could not soak and it would enable one to bring it up to a “show finish”.
Surface preparation was an essential part of this job. Initially, I chemically stripped the old paint off of the air cleaner using Savogran Super Strip (Savogran Company, Norwood, MA 02062 and Addison, IL 60101).
Using a wooden popsicle stick, sharpened as a putty knife (30 deg Knife edge). The use of a wooden scraper is important, as the air filter plating (zinc) will be damaged by harder-than-zinc tools.
Strip the paint completely. Apply Pre-Klean or equivalent, apply lacquer primer, and allow it to dry. Sand, prime, etc., until smooth with #320 paper, then apply topcoat as above.
I found that Savogran Super Strip also works well on original Nardi steering wheel finishes. However, be careful with the rubber (black insert facing the driver) inlay. Ferrothane High Gloss matches the original finish superbly after three or four coats. Probably, the same procedure works on wooden dashboards.