Vinegar Bath?

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Buster27, Jan 16, 2006.

  1. Buster27

    Buster27 New Member

    Hello all. I'm new here so forgive me if I'm asking a question that's already been answered. I'm just getting started in HO model railroading and have purchased one of my Holy Grail engines, "The General" by Mantua. This kit comes unpainted in pot metal, and I've heard about soaking such kits in a vinegar bath in order to lightly etch for painting. What is the makeup of the bath? Is it straight vinegar, or is it mixed with water? Or perhaps a nice balsamic with olive oil? :) I understand too that I should wash the non-electrical & non-moving parts afterward, but wouldn't this promote rust? Thanks again.
  2. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    can't help you with the vinergar bath, but I will mention that pot metal won't rust :) I have painted several pot metal MDC locos. I washed the castings with soapy water, and then used an automotive primer from a spray can. After I painted the final coat, I baked the metal parts in the over at about 200 degrees for an hour or so. An old toaster over works great for this.

  3. HPRL

    HPRL Member

    Buster: I have never heard of soaking a loco (minus the motor) in vinegar. But I could have missed something in all these years of model RR. Maybe someone esle has heard of this restoration process.

    Are you sure you are in the right forum? Sounds like a salad dressing you trying to mix up:D . I'm Only Kidding.

    Serious, I have never heard of soaking in Vinegar
  4. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    :wave: welcome to the gauge.i use a vinegar bath on most all of the metal i paint it isn't as needed on white metal. brass need it more as it is a smother surface i use white mixed 50/50 with water then a good scrub with hot soapy water. after that don't touch the metal with bare hands as it leaves oils on it.on plastics i just wash with soapy water .
  5. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    I would think that vinegar makes a rather weak acid solution and would do little to etch the surface, but I can't say for sure since I've never used that technique. Once the metal has been cleaned of oil and dirt that a good primer would provide the "bite" you'll need for the paint to adhere.

    That having been said, one thing I've learned here is that you can get twenty different answers from ten different people, what's confusing is that they are probably all good answers.:rolleyes: :rolleyes: Take it all in, then pick a method that sounds the most logical and easiest, and try it. If it works for you, keep it, if not, try something different.:D :D
  6. 77railer

    77railer Member

    Welcome to the Gauge :) I've tried vinegar baths before....the wife didnt like the way I smelled afterward so I had to stop taking them, got the tub clean though,lol. Oh wait you meant the about that somewhere as well but have never tried it.

  7. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    on commerical models it has already been eched . having scratched many brass loco's some form of etching no matter how slight helps the paint to hold better and also more moderen paints tend to adhere better than old stuff.the white commerical vinegar i use is 35% acid.
  8. Buster27

    Buster27 New Member

    Thanks for the replies. First time I'd heard of soaking the engine (minus the motor) was at a hobby shop. The guy who told me about it is prett knowledgealbe about the hobby, but this one raised questions. I would think that, even though the kit is almost 50 years old, more modern primers and paints would adhere quite well. Nachoman's tip about baking it after final painting makes sense. And it's good to know this type of metal won't rust. Thanks again!
  9. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    a kit that old the white metal will tend to produse a white powder that you will need to scrub off the acid bath will desolve it.

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