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repair and re-paint M4


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I recently purchased an old M4 that the previous owner had chosen to scratch his social security number all over. I'm starting with the base plate. I purchased another while I work on the original. I have chosen to use Cerakote rather than the more commonly used Duracote. Cerakote, which I have used for years, bonds at the molecular level, giving a very long lasting paint job without any appearance of paint buildup. The prep is everything.

I first had to remove the markings, which i accomplished by flat sanding (80 grit) until the impressions were gone Then I continued to sand with finer grit paper until all scratches were removed. I then lightly sand blasted the entire piece, a prerequisite for applying Cerakote. I have ordered what I think is a close match to the original finish. When it arrives I will paint and bake the piece, and post more photos.

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base plate first to verify quality of work. Then on to top plate. The trick with cerakote is that you need a very even sand blast of the part, since the paint does not cover flaws. Good prep is essential. Paint came yesterday, need a few touch ups with the sand blaster, and as soon as the wind dies down I will paint. I paint in my garage, but must leave the door open. You need a top quality chemical respirator for this. Even so, closing the garage door would permit paint fumes inside the house. They are absolutely devastating without sufficient ventilation.

I paint against a plastic drop cloth, which is dispose of after each use. Cerakote does not dry until it is in the oven. Fortunately for me, Cerakote does not out gas during the hardening phase, so I sneak it in when my wife is out shopping, and none's the wiser.

Since the base plate is so small, I probably will use my airbrush to minimize over spray.

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On 5/9/2019 at 10:42 AM, garygruber said:

base plate first to verify quality of work. Then on to top plate. The trick with cerakote is that you need a very even sand blast of the part, since the paint does not cover flaws. Good prep is essential. Paint came yesterday, need a few touch ups with the sand blaster, and as soon as the wind dies down I will paint. I paint in my garage, but must leave the door open. You need a top quality chemical respirator for this. Even so, closing the garage door would permit paint fumes inside the house. They are absolutely devastating without sufficient ventilation.

I paint against a plastic drop cloth, which is dispose of after each use. Cerakote does not dry until it is in the oven. Fortunately for me, Cerakote does not out gas during the hardening phase, so I sneak it in when my wife is out shopping, and none's the wiser.

Since the base plate is so small, I probably will use my airbrush to minimize over spray.

Hello Gary,

Welcome to the Forum. Nice work.

About the "out gassing": It might be prudent to be cautious about using an oven used for food for a non-food purpose.

Best Regards,

Michael

Edited by Michael Geschlecht
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On 5/17/2019 at 5:27 PM, garygruber said:

nope

The people who do chrome plating can also remove the original plating to start afresh and should also be able to fill the scratched writing with solder. On the other hand you can buy relatively cheap plating kits that will both remove and re-apply a plated surface. If you are thinking about doing the rest of the camera it may be a better idea as silver paint was never an option on a brass Leica, unless of course you just make it a black Leica......

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Take it easy man.

We are all just here to share our sincere views and opinions, which in itself is not a small expression of our interest in your project.

You are of course entirely entitled to your opinion too and hey, absolutely free to do whatever you wish with your camera. 

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Sounds like a good approach.  I would point out that while a fine coating, Cerakote does not bond at the molecular level.  Metals do not consist of molecules.  Also, I very much recommend not using an oven also used for food products.

Best, Frank

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  • 1 year later...
  • 6 months later...

Hi,

Im new to this forum and came here looking for information on exactly what Gary is intending to do...

Im working on refinishing a IIIf with Cerakote "H-109" gloss black at the moment....

Pics to follow...soon!!

 

From what I could find...Brass annealing happens as shown in the graph below.

Cerakote "H" is cured in an oven at 250f for 2 hours...safely below the 470f limit, so Gary should be safe there.

I have a dedicated toaster over for baking paint...even Cerakote strongly advises not to bake in an oven used for food. Considering my garage stinks when I bake this stuff, I cant imagine using it in a food oven....ever.

 

Cheers

 

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As promised...

Before the hate starts about the lens....I had to try it on a Russian lens, before id risk my Elmar. 😀   Hence the Industar-50, which by the way performance wise is pretty darn close.

Cheers

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  • 1 year later...

Thanks aerostigmat for showing your finished IIIf, it looks fantastic. Im wanting to do the same with my M2. I plan on using electroplaters to strip it to brass for me. I also had a couple of questions for you if ok. - First, how many coats did you do before baking it. Second, did you sandblast the brass, or is fine sanding enough for a bond? And did you paint with an airbrush for that finish? Any problems you needed to overcome?

Appreciate any help to narrow down my learning curve.

regards, Vada

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