Frankenstein a Navy Flameproof

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Frankenstein a Navy Flameproof

Postby NT9K » Fri May 30, 2008 11:22 am

Has anyone completely disassembled a Navy Flameproof? I have one of my old one's apart except for one last pin holding the axle in. The only way to punch it is from the top using the screw hole between the 2 adjustment screws. Problem is those pins are tough to punch out. They have 3 teeth on each pin, the entire length of the pin. I'm determined to get that last pin out, strip the paint off and polish or anodize or plate it. Not sure about that yet. The FP is cast aluminum and should polish nicely.

I might try altering the key itself, extend the lever and put a large screw cap on the gap adjustment. A few other crazy ideas too.

I talked with Bill W2BLC, I know he was thinking about doing this. Is there anyone who has already tried this? Anyone ever see a stripped down Navy Flameproof? Thanks, Bill..
73, Bill - NT9K
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Postby kb4qqj » Thu Jun 05, 2008 11:56 pm

How goes the strip down Bill?
I know you got the pin out but have you got it all back together yet?

Randy
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Postby NT9K » Fri Jun 06, 2008 10:21 am

I use some spray type paint stripper. It worked well and the key is now naked. I'll post some photos when I can. After the stripping the cast aluminum is very dark gray in color. Maybe from the casting. I'll have to take it down some more to get to the shine.

If the bare metal won't polish up as bright as I like, I may have it anodized or just paint it another color. Too soon to tell yet. I did learn something, this one was a CMI, the base was made of brass. I thought it too was cast aluminum alloy.

I think this will be a long term project.
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Postby kb4qqj » Fri Jun 06, 2008 11:36 am

Sound like fun is being had..hihi I thought all the bases were brass. Now I will have to look at mine. I have a CJB and CMI. The CJB I bought off the USS North Carolina from her ships stores when she was brought up river to be put to Museum Duty. The CMI I got in NJ at a hamfest. The CJB is a much better sender for some reason. They both look just alike. I thought about powder coating one. My Nephew owns a large coating company and it would be cheap...free... I'll keep an eye out for the photos.

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Postby NT9K » Thu Jun 19, 2008 9:00 pm

Here is one of my Navy Flameproof keys taken apart and all the paint stripped off the parts. There are 51 individual parts.
Image
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Postby kb4qqj » Thu Jun 19, 2008 10:17 pm

Wow Bill!!
I've used my CJB daily for 23 years. I've had my CMI taken down but never that far. I think I've polished the contacts twice on the CJB, never been into it though. Looks complicated. There is a wealth of info in that photo. Great work. I got a hoot out of seeing the poor thing with no paint..hi hi..looks kinda like a ship ready for re-fitting. Great job. What did you clean the shell with? I'm seriously considering powder coating one of mine now after you have shown me all the pieces! I think a brass or bronze powder coat with Navy anchor on each flank would be interesting.

Thanks for posting the parts photo.

Randy
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Postby NT9K » Fri Jun 20, 2008 12:32 am

I stripped it with a spray type paint remover I got from Walmart. It took 3 applications to get all the paint off. The base stripped with one application. The stuff works in about 10 minutes. The brand name is Klean Strip.

I still haven't decided how to finish it. There are so many possibilites. It sure was hard to get the 3 pins out. I got the punches at harbor freight that I used to punch the pins out. I broke 2 punches doing it.

I was thinking about anodizing it?
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Postby kb4qqj » Fri Jun 20, 2008 12:50 am

Sounds like I need to make a trip to Wal-Mart. Anodizing sounds good. Can you do it in metal finishes? (brass, bronze, copper etc.) I know it is easy enough in standard colors. Funny you used punches from Harbor Freight! I get a lot of stuff from there too. I also make regular rounds to Dollar General to get inexpensive things I can tear up to make into something else. hi hi I think I would put some anti-seize compound on those pins before I put them back in. (Versa Chem type 13 at Harbor Freight)

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Postby NT9K » Fri Jun 20, 2008 1:16 am

Yes, you can anodize in those colors. There are home kits for anodizing and plating that are reasonable. I think there may be a problem anodizing it as the parts are so gray. I sanded on a part in a place you can't see and it will shine up, but I think the whole think would have to be shined up before the anodizing would look right.

I don't care too much for chrome keys, but it would look cool chrome or nickel plated.
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Postby n0jl » Fri Jun 20, 2008 5:42 pm

Boy! Who woulda thought there were that many parts in the sucker. I think I'll just leave my CJB-26003A alone!
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Postby kb4qqj » Fri Jun 20, 2008 8:01 pm

I've used lapping compound ( the purple stuff) for polishing transmission covers and valve covers on engines before anodizing or plating them. It and a Dremel tool with jewelers buffing wheel will bring it to a fine mirror finish. You just have to work quickly because it starts oxidizing immediately. I'm not much on Chrome either, even if I have 3 chrome keys and bugs, but a Flameproof done in dull brass or even polished brass would be interesting.
LOL Jim, I believe I read once that the flameproof has more parts than any straight or sideswipper key!!
You can bet I saved that photo too!!

Randy
Thunder is Loud and Thunder is Impressive, but It's Lightening that does all the Work!
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Postby NT9K » Tue Jul 08, 2008 1:05 pm

It is starting to shine now. I have many hours in the polishing.
I'm not sure how much farther I will take it. I plan to mount it
on the piece of copper the black FP is on next to it.
Will do something else with that key?
Image
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Postby kb4qqj » Wed Jul 09, 2008 2:52 am

Bill,
What did you wind up polishing it with? Looks like it has a real luster to it.

Randy
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Postby NT9K » Wed Jul 09, 2008 11:36 am

After I had the paint stripped off as shown in a photo at the start of this thread, I used a dremel tool with a soft wire wheel. That removed the discoloration caused by the casting process. Then I used the dremel tool with several polishing wheels and cones using some metal polish from Walmart called Blue Magic.

After I took the last photo, I put several more hours of polishing and it just keeps looking better. Its not so easy, the polish will burn into the aluminum if your too aggressive.

I had been wanting to try this project for years. After all the work, I doubt that I would ever do it again. My friend told me doing this was my therapy. I think he is right. I have learned a lot from this project. As I progress, I'll post some more.
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Postby kb4qqj » Thu Jul 10, 2008 7:47 am

Thanks Bill,
I will keep an eye out. I will also get some "Blue Magic" I always used the purple valve lapping material and then some jewelers rouge or the white glass polish. I once used 4 ought steel wool on a Stainless Ruger GP100 that had some blemishes. It came out like chrome. I didn't like that very much. I like the matte or subdued finish better.

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Postby NT9K » Thu Jul 10, 2008 10:26 am

I highly recommend blue magic. It works on all metals and even plastic and corian. I got mine at Walmart, but they have a website with a locator.
http://people.consolidated.net/cargoche ... olish.html

This stuff cleans and polishes. You put it on and it turns black with all the crud and then you polish off the black just as you would your car when the wax gets dry. A dremel is too fast and can burn the polish into the metal, but can be used if you careful. My drill worked better but takes forever. I must have 20 hours just in polishing now.

I decided that I am going to take it farther, by sanding out some of the casting marks left by the mold. There are some sharp edges that I can clean up too. Those mold marks are preventing areas of the key from shining as well as they could. I'm still undecided on what to do about the black plastic cap for the binding posts. I think it might look better without it. I wish I had a clear one instead of the black. Wonder if I can cast my own out of resin?
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Postby NT9K » Wed Jul 16, 2008 9:55 pm

How's this?
Image
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Postby n0jl » Wed Jul 16, 2008 10:01 pm

WOW!! Beautiful!

N0JL
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