First restoration project a winner
(Page 3 of 4)
On all the wooden parts, he said, 'it is very important when you begin striping that you do it slowly if you want to restore the original look. A lot of information can be found under all those layers of paint.'
Parke sanded each wooden piece by hand and because they were so dry, he coated them with linseed oil before painting each with from three to five coats of paint. The tongue needed a little filler, he said, but otherwise was in pretty good shape.
When he and his parents found the planter's original instructions for the plates under one of the lids, they carefully took them off and put them in a clear envelope, which they reattached to the lid after the project was finished.
The cast iron seat, which had 'James Selby & Co.' and 'Union' on it, turned out to be the most valuable piece on the planter. Parke said one person offered to buy it for more than they'd paid for the whole planter. To clean it, he used a wire brush on a die grinder.
Spray painting savvy
To make it easier to spray paint bolt heads, he put them into a cardboard box. Larger metal pieces were hung from the clothesline, and masking tape was used to edge the shoes before painting them, so black paint didn't get on the freshly painted orange areas.
'When spray painting,' Parke said, 'you should use many light coats instead of a few heavy ones. If you put it on too heavy and get in a hurry, it will cause 'runs' in your paint.'
'Putting the planter back together was like a puzzle sometimes,' according to Parke, 'and without those pictures, it would have been really hard. It was fun to see it start to look like a planter again. I didn't realize at the time we bought it how many pieces there would be to make it all work.'
He said he and his dad tried to be very careful not to scratch the paint when they tightened the bolts for the last time, so they didn't have much touch-up to do.
Once they'd finished the reassembly, they began putting the pin-striping back on the wheels, measuring and marking first where all the bends and points were to be. 'Then we laid the striping tape out kind of like 'connect the-dots,'' Parke said. 'They aren't all identical, but I doubt when they did them by hand they were exactly alike on each spoke either.'
He calculated he and his folks spent about 200 hours on the project. By talking to so many different people, and taking the planter apart and putting it back together again, he learned how all the levers and plates worked.