What is the best paint remover for B&J 5x7?

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Johnny V

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Apr 15, 2003
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Hi All,

I just purchased a 5x7 B&J tailboard camera.

I'd like to refinish it. Right now it has the battleship gray paint on it. I'm going to guess the best way to take the paint off is using paint remover.

Can someone recommend a brand?

Also for finishing I'd like to keep the natural tone of the wood. Is a satin urethane the way to go? Or an oil finish?

Thanks,

John V.
 

rbarker

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I think I'd use that environmentally-friendly, non-caustic green stuff. (Sorry, can't remember the name, but your paint shop should know.) And, use a plastic scraper, rather than metal.

As to the finish, I'd suggest using slightly-thinned high-gloss polyurethane, rather than satin, and then tone down the sheen with a bit of hand rubbing with Rottenstone powder and linseed oil on a soft cloth. Or, you could take the full "restoration" route with a fine shellac (along with hand rubbing). The modern polyurethane is probably more durable, though.
 

mikepry

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I had a 8/10 B&J Grover once that I tried to take that battleship grey off of and I couldn't find a single thing to remove it with. I don't know what in the world it was but it was tough, tough, tough! I ended up having to sand it off and it was like iron. I do know that it was lead based so take precautions when working with it.
 

barryjyoung

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Not best but it does the job

A fellow in another thread recommends 3M SafestStrip. As on the ball as his post was about everything else, next time I strip a camera, It will be with that.

I did a 4X5 Burke and James last night. It also had the gray vomit that B&J, Ansco and Agfa put on their Maple cameras to make them look like metal. I was able to strip it easily in this awful stuff called Jasco Premium Paint and Epoxy Remover. This stuff will eat anything, including vinyl and latex gloves. I have a very high tolerance to chemical burn, but it burned me when a small dollop flipped off onto my arm and I felt it before I saw it. So wear very good rubber gloves if you use it and do it outdooors, it reaks to high heaven.

Good Luck

Barry Young
 

KenS

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Johnny V said:
Hi All,

I just purchased a 5x7 B&J tailboard camera.

I'd like to refinish it. Right now it has the battleship gray paint on it. I'm going to guess the best way to take the paint off is using paint remover.

Can someone recommend a brand?

Also for finishing I'd like to keep the natural tone of the wood. Is a satin urethane the way to go? Or an oil finish?

Thanks,

John V.


John,

When I stripped the surplus WWII US Navy grey (gray???) paint from my 8x10 B&J, I used "Circa 1850" paint remover. It is far better than what else is/was available locally. I found doing it outdoors on the back deck in the heat of summer somewhat difficult in that it "dried off" a bit too fast... so I opened all windows and doors, layed newspapers on the the kitchen table and went to work. Applying the gel somewhat liberally, I then waited a few minutes and, using a one inch putty knife, found that nearly all the paint came off with the greatest of ease. I light rub with the finest grade of steel wool removed what the putty knife left behind.

Do not try and remove the bolts on the front standard... they are "stapled" in place to prevent the "bolt' from turning. I had to resort to removing the entire front board (a slight sideways twist allows this) and then, using a metal spatula, carefully removed the bellows from the board. For re-assembly the bellows glue back in place quite readily.

Two light coats of "pure" tung oil applied with a piece of old cotton T-shirt left the body in beautiful condition. If you decide to use tung oil, make sure you get the "real" tung oil. There are some brands of so-called "tung oil" that are not 100% pure tung oil.

If you would like a quickie .jpg.... drop me a line

Ken
 

gordrob

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I have used Circa 1850 to strip a Kodak 2D that was painted white. Because the mahogany grain is not closed a lot of the white paint got into the grain. Circa 1850 with a tooth brsh worked well. I use an aluminum cookie sheet or oven pan when I use Circa because it will remove the finish in anything that it gets on. With the aluminum sheet it make the cleanup afterward a snap.
Gord
 
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