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restoring '51 Champion horn button

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  • restoring '51 Champion horn button

    Hi Have looked everywhere with no luck to try and find an acrylic (plastic) friendly, crimson-red paint to recolour the inside of the horn button. Has anyone had any success in achieving a near match with a particular product? It would have to be a spray on, as I want it show quality. Have got the exterior looking brand new by sanding and polishing. If anyone wants to know how this is done please let me know.

    Dave D.

  • #2
    I've never tried to do this with ANY of the buttons in my collection of horn buttons. ( I have one of every postwar Stude horn button they made and a fair number of prewar ones as well)
    What I WILL say is that having held the repro button that SI has had made, you'd be HARD PRESSED to know it wasn't original. While a hundred bucks is pretty steep, it's also a jewel of a horn button. Since that backround color is almost like anodized aluminum, any solid red spray paint you find isn't gonna be an honest match to what it should be.

    Miscreant at large.

    1957 Transtar 1/2ton
    1960 Larkvertible V8
    1958 Provincial wagon
    1953 Commander coupe
    1957 President 2-dr
    1955 President State
    1951 Champion Biz cpe
    1963 Daytona project FS
    No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks, Mr Biggs. Yes, I had a hard time not buying one in Spokane. It was the steep price that kept my hand off the wallet.

      Dave D.
      Dave D.
      '51 "Bulletnose" Champion
      '59 "Silver Hawk" V8

      Smithers, B.C. "Where a Stude in hand is worth two in the bush"

      Comment


      • #4
        As for plastic-friendly spray paints, I know that Krylon makes a line called Fusion, especially for plastic. They have quite a few colors, and I have seen them at Wal-Mart and at Hobby Lobby.

        Lowe's carries the American Tradition brand, with a selection of colors in their plastic spray paint line.

        Not being familiar with those horn buttons, though, I can't really advise on how (or whether) to finish the back side. Whatever you try, I wish you success.

        1955 1/2 Ton Pickup

        Paul Simpson
        "DilloCrafter"

        1955 1/2 Ton Pickup
        The Red-Headed Amazon
        Deep in the heart of Texas

        Comment


        • #5
          Yeah, those once red buttons have faded out to a gold tone over the years.[^]

          Miscreant at large.

          1957 Transtar 1/2ton
          1960 Larkvertible V8
          1958 Provincial wagon
          1953 Commander coupe
          1957 President 2-dr
          1955 President State
          1951 Champion Biz cpe
          1963 Daytona project FS
          No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

          Comment


          • #6
            www.ebaystores.com/conwaycollectibles

            Gary Ash
            Dartmouth, MA
            '48 M5
            '65 Wagonaire Commander
            '63 Wagonaire Standard
            www.studegarage.com
            Gary Ash
            Dartmouth, Mass.

            '32 Indy car replica (in progress)
            ’41 Commander Land Cruiser
            '48 M5
            '65 Wagonaire Commander
            '63 Wagonaire Standard
            web site at http://www.studegarage.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks Gary, some good info. I have looked at the Fusion line by Krylon but haven't found the right color. The "Short Cuts" stuff may do the trick. Chuck Conway even sounds like a better resource and the best way to go.
              Yes, you can paint plastic. I sprayed the exterior of the bullet - and it turned out 100%. I am very pleased, looks absolutely original. First, I lightly sanded the plastic exterior with a #400 automotive paper to give the paint "grab". I then applied a product from NAPA, "plasti-kote" (#470 grey) etching primer. Allowing it to dry, I topcoated with a silver, Motomaster "Near Match". Between coats sanded with a "wet" #600 wet and dry paper. The finish seems to be quite hard and hopefully will weather the bugs and the weather. Although an exterior paint isn't original, it sure took care of the crazing and minor scratches. With the nice lustre, you can't really tell which side of the plastic the paint is on (however a judge might find it if he gets real close. Unfortunately I can't do this trick on the horn button - it has to go on the inside.

              Dave D.
              Dave D.
              '51 "Bulletnose" Champion
              '59 "Silver Hawk" V8

              Smithers, B.C. "Where a Stude in hand is worth two in the bush"

              Comment


              • #8
                I "refinish" alot of horn buttons and tail light lenses with a Krylon clear spray that is a UV-protectant. You can find it in some hardware stores and in "craft" stores too.
                I give the exterior of the button a good washing with dish detergent - even using a 3M dish scrubbing sponge's scrubby side. Then after dry (and in at least 65degrees F ambient air temp) I spray with a light but wet application of this clear. Man! - what a rejuvenation!
                Fact is, I just did an old bakelite radio cabinet with the stuff and you'd think the thing was new!

                Miscreant at large.

                1957 Transtar 1/2ton
                1960 Larkvertible V8
                1958 Provincial wagon
                1953 Commander coupe
                1957 President 2-dr
                1955 President State
                1951 Champion Biz cpe
                1963 Daytona project FS
                No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I refinished my 51 button with Dupli-Color E8800955 Milano Red. Comes in a 5 oz. can at Advance Auto and does a beautiful job. Ironically, I have a Honda DelSol that is that color. I already had a can on hand! If the crest in the center is in good shape, cut a piece of cardboard to plug the indentation and spray away!

                  51 Commander State Sedan
                  Butler PA

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    This has turned into an informative thread on plastic refinishing. I like it!

                    Mr. Biggs, is that Krylon clear spray an enamel or a polyurethane? It sounds like this Minwax Fast-drying Polyurethane spray that I found to be very good for these purposes. Until then, I had tried various clear enamel sprays, going for the ones with the longer drying times to avoid overspray "dust" that undoes a nice wet clear. Even the Rustoleum clear enamel, with its long drying time, left that dust on everything. But I was really impressed with the Minwax Polyurethane. It went on wet, didn't mind being put on kind of thick, and no overspray dust problems. It is not perfectly clear, though. I noticed a slight "antiquing" effect when I sprayed it on my custom truck horn button.

                    My truck's horn button was plain black, and had lost any lustre it may have once had. So, I sprayed it with a Sunrise Red Rustoleum (2-4 hr. drying time, it was the best quality spray paint Lowe's had). Then I borrowed an image of a Studebaker "lazy S" and used an image editing program to work over the closest Art Deco font I could find to the way "Studebaker" was printed in the 30's (and was still in use on the hood sides in 50's trucks). Then I used the SuperCal White Letter Decal Kit to produce a white decal, applied it to the painted red horn button, and clear coated it with the Minwax Polyurethane spray. Sorry this was so long-winded, but it may be of interest to someone, and should answer most questions about the photo of my horn button, as seen below. The white decal is made by printing the text in black or a color onto the kit's decal sheet paper, using an ink jet printer. Then, you immediately sprinkle their white powder on the text, before the ink dries. Then, shake off excess powder (it's hard to be sure it's all gone) and use a hobby heat gun to melt the powder. Finally, soak in water and apply like any decal. You can see in the photo that it's tough to get sharp lines, and there is some stray bits of powder that fused on the decal sheet and got transferred. Couldn't win a show, but it beats the heck out of the old faded black button. And I made it to my satisfaction, which is the thing that really counts to me:



                    By the way, if anyone would like a copy of this unofficial art deco version of the Studebaker logo, I have it in White on Red and in Red on White. Follow the links below to get the 300 dpi 900 pixel wide bitmap images. Note that you are seeing the smaller .gif images, but clicking on them will take you to the large and very slow to load .bmp versions. Or, do a right-click on the image and choose "Save Target As" (NOT "Save Image As" since that will only download the small .gif):


                    2.3Mb .bmp Right-click and "Save Target As"




                    2.3Mb .bmp Right-click and "Save Target As"



                    DilloCrafter

                    Paul Simpson
                    "DilloCrafter"

                    1955 1/2 Ton Pickup
                    The Red-Headed Amazon
                    Deep in the heart of Texas

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yeah that stuff's a polyurethane spray. I like using it on horn buttons because of it's UV protectant properties. Less likely to fade the button's colors over time.[8D]

                      Dillo, I think that button's COOL!!! Where do I find this SuperCal stuff??

                      Miscreant at large.

                      1957 Transtar 1/2ton
                      1960 Larkvertible V8
                      1958 Provincial wagon
                      1953 Commander coupe
                      1957 President 2-dr
                      1955 President State
                      1951 Champion Biz cpe
                      1963 Daytona project FS
                      No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks, Biggsy! That big red horn button looks even better mounted in the truck steering wheel.

                        Here's the place I got the SuperCal white letter decal kit from:

                        http://www.paper-paper.com/Supercal-USA.html

                        They say these are available "around the world", and say that you can get them at your local hobby store. I didn't try, since they were available online.

                        1955 1/2 Ton Pickup

                        Paul Simpson
                        "DilloCrafter"

                        1955 1/2 Ton Pickup
                        The Red-Headed Amazon
                        Deep in the heart of Texas

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          So, Dillo, which font did you use? It's close to Broadway, which Studebaker also used, but not quite.

                          I found "white embossing powder" in the scrapbook section of a local hobby/craft shop. It's supposed to be the right stuff to use for white letters on decals, though I haven't tried it yet.

                          I've bought decal material from http://www.beldecal.com and http://www.mcgpaper.com, both good places. White lettering is still the toughest thing. Here are some basic instructions if anyone else needs to do it.
                          http://www.paper-paper.com/WhiteLetter-inst.htmlhttp://www.micromark.com.

                          I used decals to restore the markings on my M5 gauges, speedometer, and odometer.
                          See http://www.studegarage.com/instruments.htm

                          Gary Ash
                          Dartmouth, MA
                          '48 M5
                          '65 Wagonaire Commander
                          '63 Wagonaire Standard
                          www.studegarage.com
                          Gary Ash
                          Dartmouth, Mass.

                          '32 Indy car replica (in progress)
                          ’41 Commander Land Cruiser
                          '48 M5
                          '65 Wagonaire Commander
                          '63 Wagonaire Standard
                          web site at http://www.studegarage.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Gary,

                            That's a great page you have regarding re-doing the M series instrument panel. My truck gauge is white on black, so I may have to try my white decal stuff and see if I can get crisp lines. Otherwise, they're just little rectangles, so I can probably cut them from white stick-on vinyl, using a straightedge.

                            As for the font, I do have Broadway, but I was going after the same font that was used on the truck hoods, on the sides:

                            The closest font I could find to that is BritannicEFBold (it came with one of my programs, I guess). I compiled the parts of the custom horn button logo in Macromedia Flash, so I could squish the spaces between the letters, among other things. I had intended to flip the letter "A" Left-to-Right, to get the thick leg on the left side, as Studebaker did - guess I forgot that step. In some ways, Broadway is more like it, but overall, I felt this one was closer. Ideally, I would want to use scans of the nameplate to make my own true "Studebaker" font, but I don't have the tools or talent for that.

                            Paul Simpson
                            "DilloCrafter"

                            1955 1/2 Ton Pickup
                            The Red-Headed Amazon
                            Deep in the heart of Texas

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              DilloCrafter, I think that particular trim bit is for the '54 3R series trucks only, how many of those trim pieces do you have?

                              'cause, well, did I ever mention that all of the trim bits, the wipers, the wipers motor, the tailgate, and a few other bits, were lost when Grandad had the truck painted.

                              The guy did good work, but he was a lousy business man, and the sheriff shut his body shop down. Grandad had a heck of a time getting his truck back from the police, and the box of bright bits and goodies was lost forever.

                              p.d.

                              Comment

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