January 6, 2013

SnapOn Box Restoration with Dupli-Color

Dupli-color is sending me some of their high-end product to use on some of my projects and I'll be sharing the work and how the products perform here ever so often.

First up was using Dupli-color Self -Etch, High Build and then Engine Enamel to paint a vintage SnapOn tool box. The box was ROUGH as rough can get - hardly worth doing, but like the over-achieving surgeon, I just love trying to "save" something....

Here's how it went::

Stripping it down.....

Several drawers and the box itself required some fairly involved hammer and dolly repair...

The insides and bottom where REALLY rusty -

Cleaned up the greasy drawers and sliders in the parts washer
                                                                          - lots of accumulated dirt and grit in there!

To neutralize the rust, I sprayed it down with a phosphoric acid solution. The one I use is called MetalPrep from the makers of POR15. It's very useful stuff and can be used on new metal to etch it before primer, on areas and seams to be welded to stop rust from starting and increase welding conductivity, and - of course - kills rust - by converting (red) Iron Oxide to a (black) Ferric Oxite.

I always warp or cover parts I've treated with plastic, so the MetalPrep will not evaporate too quickly, extending it's working time.

I pulled all the removable part of the sliders out, as well as a couple tracks that aren't normally removable but had come apart from the box over the years.

To repair these, I used a 1/8" rivet and then peened the protruding end over to it wouldn't catch the slider as the drawer goes in and out.

Once the MetalReady had done it's job (I left it wrapped in the plastic for several days), I unwrapped it and wiped it all down with a solvent called Wax and Grease remover.

Then I stripped almost all the old paint off with a DA sander and 80 grit paper.

Once stripped, I took the MiG welder to a couple spots that had split. 

As well, I re-attached part of the front cover that had separated from the hinge -

Once all that was done, I coated the rustiest areas with a rust converter from Eastwood. It brushes on smooth and stays there, ready for the Dupli-color Primer.

The box was so rough I decided to give it a skim-coat of filler to even it out. I blocked the filler with 40, 80 and 120 before priming.

Lastly, I noticed that the lid had a curve in it due to the edge being stretched, so I positioned it on my lift in order to get the lid lip into the shrinker-stretcher I have.

The shrinker-stretcher is a machine that can either pull metal together or pull it apart, thus shrinking, or stretching it. This causes a curvature to occur, but you can also straighten a part that has had a curve put into it somehow.

After a good wipe down with Wax  and Grease Remover, I sprayed all the bare metal parts on the box and the drawers with Dupli-Colors Etch Primer, which attaches itself to metal via an acid reaction. Once dry - but within the recoat window - I followed that up with several coats of Dupli-Colors High Build primer. The next day I block-sanded the high build down with 220grit, then re-sprayed it. This was repeated several times over several days until I felt it was smooth enough to paint.

Painting commenced with the insides and reverse panels before attacking the fronts last. Dupli-Colors paint comes with a fan-type sprayer, which makes overlapping your passes easy for full, even coverage.


It turned out great and will be a nice piece in the shop for many more years!

Don't forget to check out my website at www.E-tekRestorations.com !