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Thread: DIY Japanning

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Geraldton WA
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    148

    Default DIY Japanning

    I have a few old planes in need of japanning; the old guy selling cheap tools at the markets seems to be pretty good at removing all of the old japanning before selling them.

    I was going to use the following recipe from the forum…

    1 teaspoon shellac flakes
    1 teaspoon asphaltum
    1 teaspoon boiled linseed oil
    enough meths to dissolve but no more (about 1.5 teaspoons).

    Wire brush off loose existing japanning and rust, paint on the brew, leave to dry for 12 hours, recoat, leave to dry (it will still be a bit tacky after 24 hours), put in cold oven, heat to 200 degrees C and bake for 2 hours, leave in oven while it cools.

    I tried a few places to buy asphaltum powder (Jackson’s Art Supplies & The Art Store) but got the following reply…

    “Unfortunately we don’t stock it any more. Due to new laws we aren't allowed to sell it without a special licence. I'm afraid we don't know of anyone who does sell it.”

    Does anyone have any idea where I can buy asphaltum powder or have another recipe for japanning?

    Thanks,
    Chris

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Canberra
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    Default

    Although I've never been on the market for it, it seems you can buy it online.

    Here's the first link I found
    ASPHALTUM (Natural Bitumen/Natural Asphalt) Powder - eBay (item 390127357651 end time Jan-03-10 11:21:24 PST)

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Geraldton WA
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    Default

    Thanks Thumbthumper,

    I have sent an e-mail to Australian customs to see if they will allow the product to be bought into Australia.

    I have work colleagues who fly into Australia every 6-weeks and I wouldn't them to get hassled at the airport (or they may stop bringing things in for me)

    Chris

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    77

    Default Asphaltum

    Chris,

    I bought a 1lb tin from Jacksons in Perth about a year ago, I'd be surprised if they've run out of it in all their 16 stores. I'm sure I ordered the "Etching Asphaltum Powdered One Pound" from their web site but looking at the tin in front of me the label says, "1 lb Asphaltum Lump" - it's imported from the Graphic Chemical and Ink Co. in the USA.

    Either way, it's definitely a fine grained asphaltum powder which seems to be ideal for japanning but I haven't tried it yet (need more spare time and a oven which won't have food cooked in it!). If you don't have any luck tracking it down, drop me a PM and I'll see if I can send you a few teaspoons - a little goes a long way.

    cheers

    Acolyte

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Mount Hutton N.S.W
    Age
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    Default

    Hi Chris
    here is my easy recipe
    1 78 record (old rigid ones that play on record players) not the woodwork ones
    break into little pieces with a pair of pliers and place in a glass jar
    add metholated spirits to cover plus a bit more put lid on jar and give a shake a few times a day for a few days and after a week or so the black stuff leaches out dip a paint brush in this and coat your plane (24 hours between each coat) top up jar with metho
    3 coats will bring your plane up like new
    best wishes
    greg

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Geraldton WA
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    Default Customs

    I got the following reply from Customs...

    "Dear Chris

    Asphaltum isn't subject to any import prohibition administered by Customs and Border Protection.

    Post importation, the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) could conceivably have an interest, although that would normally relate to importations of commercial quantities for commercial purposes. There phone number is 1800 638 528

    There may also be transportation issues with its carriage, particularly if it is flammable and you should make inquiries with the carrier airline or postal service.

    Thank you for your email.

    Jill,
    Senior Customs and Border Protection Officer | Customs Information and Support Centre | CE&CS Australian Customs and Border Protection "

    Does anyone know if asphaltum is flammable?

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Melbourne
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    Default

    Check the MSDS (Material Saftey Data Sheet), It should be on the suppliers website. You would probably need to provide this to the delivery service anyway.

  9. #8
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    Jul 2005
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    Castle Hill
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    Default I think I know where you can get it!

    Chris,

    I bought a 1 lb tin of powdered asphaltum a few years ago. This amount represents about 3 lifetimes supply, but it was cheap.

    i am almost certain I bought it from Jackson's Drawing supplies. They are a web based reseller of painting supplies:

    Jacksons Drawing Supplies

    If the link doesn't work, just copy and paste.

    If they can't help you just let me know, happy to mail some over to you so that you can try your recipe. A little bit goes a long way with this stuff.

    Hope that helps Chris,

    Anthony

  10. #9
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    Sep 2009
    Location
    Minnesota, USA
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    Default

    Dissolving old 78 rpm phonograph records sounds like a great way to go. My understanding is that they are made fromm shellac and Gilsonite which is a high grade form of asphaltum. I will have to try it.
    Mike

  11. #10
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    Default Ooooops, didn't read the post above

    Quote Originally Posted by Luddite View Post
    Chris,

    I bought a 1 lb tin of powdered asphaltum a few years ago. This amount represents about 3 lifetimes supply, but it was cheap.

    i am almost certain I bought it from Jackson's Drawing supplies. They are a web based reseller of painting supplies:

    Jacksons Drawing Supplies

    If the link doesn't work, just copy and paste.

    If they can't help you just let me know, happy to mail some over to you so that you can try your recipe. A little bit goes a long way with this stuff.

    Hope that helps Chris,

    Anthony
    Chris,

    My apologies, I did not notice Acolyte's post prior to posting my comments. I read you post then just typed my comment....embarassing that I wrote almost exactly the same thing.

    Nevertheless, the offer is still there if you would like some asphaltum, just let me know.

    Regards,

    Anthony

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Perth
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    7,682

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by msiemsen View Post
    Dissolving old 78 rpm phonograph records sounds like a great way to go. My understanding is that they are made fromm shellac and Gilsonite which is a high grade form of asphaltum. I will have to try it.
    Mike
    Old wives tale, I hear.

    Try this very easy recipe that cures cold.

    Mix asphaltum into spar varnish. Paint on (thinly, build up layers), and leave for two weeks. It works.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    Visit www.inthewoodshop.com for tutorials on constructing handtools, handtool reviews, and my trials and tribulations with furniture builds.

  13. #12
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    Default

    [QUOTE=derekcohen;1080295]Old wives tale, I hear.

    no derek i is not an old wifes tale even though my wife rekons i am an old woman sometimes
    it is amazing to watch the black stuff leach out of the record smashed up in a jar of metho, i shudder to think what 20 odd years of smoking did to me before i gave up .
    my carter no 6 came up very nice after 3 coats,i will post a pic when i can borrow the wifes camera
    cheers
    greg

  14. #13
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Geraldton WA
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    Default

    Looks like I have scored two actions out of the ideas posted.

    1. See if I can get someone from work to bring in a bag of Asphaltum from the US (postage is $27 for a $7 bag)
    2. Head down to my local antique dealer and see if they have any 78 records (both types ) From what I have read on the net they need to have been made before 1940 otherwise they are made of vinyl.

    Derek: I prefer your method of applying asphaltum as it is a lot simpler than the original method I was going to use.

    Farm Boy: Looking forward to seeing how your 78 record method looks.

    Obviously to apply fresh japanning I will need to strip down my planes, which means I should throw out any plastic knobs & totes and turn up jarrah handles plus make brass replacements for any of the steel nuts that hold the knobs & totes on.....

    Regards,
    Chris

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Brisbane
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Farm boy View Post
    here is my easy recipe
    1 78 record (old rigid ones that play on record players) not the woodwork ones
    break into little pieces with a pair of pliers and place in a glass jar
    Eek! Dissolving old records?
    Next thing somebody will be saying it's ok to paint scenes on nice old hand saws!

    pjr
    Peter Robinson
    Brisbane, Australia
    Slowly working on my Spokeshave and Titan references

  16. #15
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    Dec 2009
    Location
    Lowood Qld
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    64
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    39

    Default

    Polie, if you want to try the old 78 RPM record idea and don't have any luck at your local antique dealer, PM me and I'll send you a few. I have a box of them stored at my eldest sons so I'm off to collect them tomorrow.

    Some already have broken edges or are otherwise damaged so I can't think of a better use for them

    Ken

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