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Photo: Painting A Boxcar On The RIP Track

Bob Chaparro
 

Photo: Painting A Boxcar On The RIP Track

A photo from the Library of Congress:

https://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/fsac.1a34633/

From the technique shown it's easy to imagine how a roof could receive some overspray.

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA

Charles Peck
 

If I were doing that painting, there would likely be both overspray and underspray as I would be in a hurry to get back to a warm crew shack.  Note the snow on the ground.
Chuck Peck

On Sat, Oct 12, 2019 at 9:03 PM Bob Chaparro via Groups.Io <chiefbobbb=verizon.net@groups.io> wrote:

Photo: Painting A Boxcar On The RIP Track

A photo from the Library of Congress:

https://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/fsac.1a34633/

From the technique shown it's easy to imagine how a roof could receive some overspray.

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA

Donald B. Valentine
 

   The snow makes me really wonder if this is a paint scene or something totally different
as I find it hard to believe that anyone would be trying to paint in a temperature that is below
freezing. Even modern stains will not provide what is desired in such weather.

Cordially, Don Valentine

Bruce Smith
 

Don,

What is he doing then? 

You speculate that this is not painting but fail to give us any viable alternative. You also assume that the temperature is below freezing, when it could well be above freezing. I've spent many a lovely day skiing with temps in the 40s and 50s. At those temps, paint could be formulated to function. Indeed, at this same time, the PRR had different formulations of paint based on the season that contained different ratios of components such as Japan Dryer. For a blow-your-mind kind of a moment, these ingredients had an effect on the perceived color of the paint, and therefore it is likely that the as-painted color of the car varied with what season it was painted in 😉

Regards,
Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL


From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> on behalf of Donald B. Valentine via Groups.Io <riverman_vt@...>
Sent: Sunday, October 13, 2019 6:53 AM
To: main@realstmfc.groups.io <main@realstmfc.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Photo: Painting A Boxcar On The RIP Track
 
   The snow makes me really wonder if this is a paint scene or something totally different
as I find it hard to believe that anyone would be trying to paint in a temperature that is below
freezing. Even modern stains will not provide what is desired in such weather.

Cordially, Don Valentine

Lowell Dorman
 

The action in the photo is pretty well documented in Glen Guerra's excellent article on painting railroad cars in the first issue of O Scale Resource magazine. It's a free, online publication you can access at oscaleresource.com. Go to back issues and download the PDF issue #1.
Lowell Dorman

On Sun, Oct 13, 2019 at 8:55 AM Bruce Smith <smithbf@...> wrote:
Don,

What is he doing then? 

You speculate that this is not painting but fail to give us any viable alternative. You also assume that the temperature is below freezing, when it could well be above freezing. I've spent many a lovely day skiing with temps in the 40s and 50s. At those temps, paint could be formulated to function. Indeed, at this same time, the PRR had different formulations of paint based on the season that contained different ratios of components such as Japan Dryer. For a blow-your-mind kind of a moment, these ingredients had an effect on the perceived color of the paint, and therefore it is likely that the as-painted color of the car varied with what season it was painted in 😉

Regards,
Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> on behalf of Donald B. Valentine via Groups.Io <riverman_vt=yahoo.com@groups.io>
Sent: Sunday, October 13, 2019 6:53 AM
To: main@realstmfc.groups.io <main@realstmfc.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Photo: Painting A Boxcar On The RIP Track
 
   The snow makes me really wonder if this is a paint scene or something totally different
as I find it hard to believe that anyone would be trying to paint in a temperature that is below
freezing. Even modern stains will not provide what is desired in such weather.

Cordially, Don Valentine

Donald B. Valentine
 

Hello Bruce,

    There is no speculation involved here at all. To me the man is NOT spray painting. Look hard at the equipment being
used. Have your or anyone else ever seen a spray gun with a nozzle at the end of a pipe some 8 to 10 feet long? I have
not. Anything is possible but we have a piece of equipment at one place I work that look almost exactly like what it seen
in the photo but it is a sand blast unit, not a sprat paint unit. Having a Doctorate in Inorganic Chemistry I have spoken
with Bill Aldrich about h the photo. He feels it "could" be a paint system but seriously questions its use outdoors in
weather cold enough to have snow on the ground. It would require well thinned paint and good pressure to keep the
paint particles for precipitating from whatever medium they were carried in and questions how long one could paint like
this without things plugging up badly as soon as the flow was shut off. It is too bad I cannpt enlarge the photo to get a
better view of it but It is going to take at least that to convince me this is not a sandblast rig very similar to the one I
am familiar with.

Robert Heninger
 

Don,

If you download the magazine article in Mr. Dorman's post above, there is a reproduction of a drawing from the August 1899 Railroad Car Journal showing just such a spray painting apparatus being used on the Santa Fe, and in Terry Metcalfe's excellent UP freight car book, there is a picture of a worker using a very similar long necked spray gun to paint a UP steel boxcar in the late 1930s. The chief advantage to the long reach is that the worker can paint the car in its entirety while standing on the ground, without needing to erect scaffolding to allow brushpainting. As labor costs steadily increased, railroads looked for ways to improve efficiencies anywhere they could.

Given that Mr. Delano was a documentary photographer, I trust the caption given with the photo, that states the worker is painting the car. I was taken aback when I first saw that photo too, as I wouldn't think that cars would be painted outdoors in February in Chicago. But, it was 1943, and there was a war on. It doesn't look to me like he's sandblasting the car: there's no lettering on it anywhere, and that paint is nice and shiny. 

Just my two cents.

Regards,
Bob Heninger
Minot, ND

Robert Heninger
 

Oh, I should mention one other thing: I doubt this particular car got it's roof repainted: I've seen a few photos of freshly repainted steam era house cars where it's obvious the roof didn't get repainted, just the visible sides and ends.

Regards,
Bob Heninger
Minot, ND

mopacfirst
 

In Terry Metcalf's Union Pacific 1936-1951 book, there is a photo of a guy painting a freight car while standing on the ground, and he's wielding a similar extension nozzle.  .Presumably the color is slightly different.

I suspect this method of painting was fairly common for cars painted in the open air.  The airless sprayer was already a fairly established technology by the 1930s.

Ron Merrick

Bruce Smith
 

Don,

I hope that you can appreciate that there are a lot of things that you have never seen that still manage to exist ;)

Thank you for the alternative explanation of sand blasting, and it has merit, but I do not think that it is correct. Here is the full sized image (clicked the link on the top right of the photo)

A careful look will show you that there is a stream of something exiting the tip of the pipe. Now, I’ll admit that it could be abrasive media, but I doubt it. The material appears to be the same color as the very, very freshly painted car side to the left of the worker, whereas to the right of the worker is a small amount of already prepped car side. In addition, there is no accumulation of any sort of abrasive material on the ground under the car. 

Regards,
Bruce
Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL

On Oct 14, 2019, at 3:30 PM, Donald B. Valentine via Groups.Io <riverman_vt@...> wrote:

Hello Bruce,

    There is no speculation involved here at all. To me the man is NOT spray painting. Look hard at the equipment being
used. Have your or anyone else ever seen a spray gun with a nozzle at the end of a pipe some 8 to 10 feet long? I have
not. Anything is possible but we have a piece of equipment at one place I work that look almost exactly like what it seen
in the photo but it is a sand blast unit, not a sprat paint unit. Having a Doctorate in Inorganic Chemistry I have spoken
with Bill Aldrich about h the photo. He feels it "could" be a paint system but seriously questions its use outdoors in
weather cold enough to have snow on the ground. It would require well thinned paint and good pressure to keep the
paint particles for precipitating from whatever medium they were carried in and questions how long one could paint like
this without things plugging up badly as soon as the flow was shut off. It is too bad I cannpt enlarge the photo to get a
better view of it but It is going to take at least that to convince me this is not a sandblast rig very similar to the one I
am familiar with.

Tony Thompson
 

Sorry, Don, this was a common painting technique. Both SP and PFE used it, to name two.
Tony Thompson 


On Oct 14, 2019, at 9:30 PM, Donald B. Valentine via Groups.Io <riverman_vt@...> wrote:


Hello Bruce,

    There is no speculation involved here at all. To me the man is NOT spray painting. Look hard at the equipment being
used. Have your or anyone else ever seen a spray gun with a nozzle at the end of a pipe some 8 to 10 feet long? I have
not. Anything is possible but we have a piece of equipment at one place I work that look almost exactly like what it seen
in the photo but it is a sand blast unit, not a sprat paint unit. Having a Doctorate in Inorganic Chemistry I have spoken
with Bill Aldrich about h the photo. He feels it "could" be a paint system but seriously questions its use outdoors in
weather cold enough to have snow on the ground. It would require well thinned paint and good pressure to keep the
paint particles for precipitating from whatever medium they were carried in and questions how long one could paint like
this without things plugging up badly as soon as the flow was shut off. It is too bad I cannpt enlarge the photo to get a
better view of it but It is going to take at least that to convince me this is not a sandblast rig very similar to the one I
am familiar with.

Roger Huber
 

The pipe paint sprayer apparently was a common thing back in the day. I have seen photos of WM hoppers and N&W hoppers being painted as such. I can see this as a faster and safer way to cover something as large as a freight car. 

Roger Huber
Deer Creek Locomotive Works


On Monday, October 14, 2019, 04:57:43 PM CDT, Tony Thompson <tony@...> wrote:


Sorry, Don, this was a common painting technique. Both SP and PFE used it, to name two.
Tony Thompson 


On Oct 14, 2019, at 9:30 PM, Donald B. Valentine via Groups.Io <riverman_vt@...> wrote:


Hello Bruce,

    There is no speculation involved here at all. To me the man is NOT spray painting. Look hard at the equipment being
used. Have your or anyone else ever seen a spray gun with a nozzle at the end of a pipe some 8 to 10 feet long? I have
not. Anything is possible but we have a piece of equipment at one place I work that look almost exactly like what it seen
in the photo but it is a sand blast unit, not a sprat paint unit. Having a Doctorate in Inorganic Chemistry I have spoken
with Bill Aldrich about h the photo. He feels it "could" be a paint system but seriously questions its use outdoors in
weather cold enough to have snow on the ground. It would require well thinned paint and good pressure to keep the
paint particles for precipitating from whatever medium they were carried in and questions how long one could paint like
this without things plugging up badly as soon as the flow was shut off. It is too bad I cannpt enlarge the photo to get a
better view of it but It is going to take at least that to convince me this is not a sandblast rig very similar to the one I
am familiar with.

gary laakso
 

Plus there is snow at the top of the door track.  Thanks, for the better quality picture, Bruce!

 

Gary Laakso

Northwest of Mike Brock

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Robert Heninger
Sent: Monday, October 14, 2019 2:48 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Photo: Painting A Boxcar On The RIP Track

 

Oh, I should mention one other thing: I doubt this particular car got it's roof repainted: I've seen a few photos of freshly repainted steam era house cars where it's obvious the roof didn't get repainted, just the visible sides and ends.

Regards,
Bob Heninger
Minot, ND

Brian Termunde
 

Also, if you look at the upper right corner of the car, the color looks blackish or at least dark while the rest of the looks freshly painted. At least that is how it appears to me.

Take Care,
 
Brian R. Termunde
Midvale, Utah

Douglas Harding
 

Don go to https://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/fsac.1a34633/ and you can download a 136mb tif file of this photo. In that size you can clearly see the spray coming out of the end of the pipe being held by the workman. The spray is the same color as the fresh paint on the car, as is the spot the spray is hitting.

 

Doug  Harding

www.iowacentralrr.org

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Donald B. Valentine via Groups.Io
Sent: Monday, October 14, 2019 3:30 PM
To: main@realstmfc.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Photo: Painting A Boxcar On The RIP Track

 

Hello Bruce,

 

    There is no speculation involved here at all. To me the man is NOT spray painting. Look hard at the equipment being

used. Have your or anyone else ever seen a spray gun with a nozzle at the end of a pipe some 8 to 10 feet long? I have

not. Anything is possible but we have a piece of equipment at one place I work that look almost exactly like what it seen

in the photo but it is a sand blast unit, not a sprat paint unit. Having a Doctorate in Inorganic Chemistry I have spoken

with Bill Aldrich about h the photo. He feels it "could" be a paint system but seriously questions its use outdoors in

weather cold enough to have snow on the ground. It would require well thinned paint and good pressure to keep the

paint particles for precipitating from whatever medium they were carried in and questions how long one could paint like

this without things plugging up badly as soon as the flow was shut off. It is too bad I cannpt enlarge the photo to get a

better view of it but It is going to take at least that to convince me this is not a sandblast rig very similar to the one I

am familiar with.

Dennis Storzek
 

On Mon, Oct 14, 2019 at 03:11 PM, gary laakso wrote:
Plus there is snow at the top of the door track.
But the roof was painted (and it looks freshly painted or coated with car cement, as does the end) yesterday, or the day before, before it snowed. The angle the guy is working from is automatically going to form a color separation at the tip of the top plate of the side, which is hopefully not wet from the snow melt, but hey, the boss said "There's a war going on, get it painted so we can letter it and get it back on the road."

I suspect when he gets to the end of the side he's going to angle the blowpipe so he paints the near side of the corner, without too much over spray on the end. These rigs put out big droplets, and not much spray dust, you'll note there is no cloud of over spray where the fan of paint from the nozzle is hitting the carside. These rigs were designed for coverage, not surface finish. :-)

Dennis Storzek

Doug Paasch
 

Not only that, if you zoom in on the guy doing the painting, you can see the brown paint all over his gloves, sleeves, and jacket.

Doug Paasch

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Bruce Smith
Sent: Monday, October 14, 2019 3:56 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Photo: Painting A Boxcar On The RIP Track

 

Don,

 

I hope that you can appreciate that there are a lot of things that you have never seen that still manage to exist ;)

 

Thank you for the alternative explanation of sand blasting, and it has merit, but I do not think that it is correct. Here is the full sized image (clicked the link on the top right of the photo)

 

A careful look will show you that there is a stream of something exiting the tip of the pipe. Now, I’ll admit that it could be abrasive media, but I doubt it. The material appears to be the same color as the very, very freshly painted car side to the left of the worker, whereas to the right of the worker is a small amount of already prepped car side. In addition, there is no accumulation of any sort of abrasive material on the ground under the car. 

 

Regards,

Bruce

Bruce Smith

Auburn, AL



On Oct 14, 2019, at 3:30 PM, Donald B. Valentine via Groups.Io <riverman_vt@...> wrote:

 

Hello Bruce,

 

    There is no speculation involved here at all. To me the man is NOT spray painting. Look hard at the equipment being

used. Have your or anyone else ever seen a spray gun with a nozzle at the end of a pipe some 8 to 10 feet long? I have

not. Anything is possible but we have a piece of equipment at one place I work that look almost exactly like what it seen

in the photo but it is a sand blast unit, not a sprat paint unit. Having a Doctorate in Inorganic Chemistry I have spoken

with Bill Aldrich about h the photo. He feels it "could" be a paint system but seriously questions its use outdoors in

weather cold enough to have snow on the ground. It would require well thinned paint and good pressure to keep the

paint particles for precipitating from whatever medium they were carried in and questions how long one could paint like

this without things plugging up badly as soon as the flow was shut off. It is too bad I cannpt enlarge the photo to get a

better view of it but It is going to take at least that to convince me this is not a sandblast rig very similar to the one I

am familiar with.