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 Post subject: Finish for steel caboose roof?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:13 am 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 3:07 pm
Posts: 696
Pennsylvania Trolley Museum is repainting our 1949 Monongahela Rwy. caboose 73. The roof of these cars was always black. Traces of the last-applied finish appear to be some very thick layer of paint that has protected fairly well, but is due for replacement as part of the project.

What recommendations do you have for a lasting finish that doesn't cost the National Debt to apply? Perhaps something specifically meant for freight cars?


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 Post subject: Re: Finish for steel caboose roof?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 12:23 pm 

Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 7:24 am
Posts: 541
Location: Canada
I'm going to assume that this is a Steel or Tin roof? if so a coating of Rust Bullet Blackshell should last a long, long time!
http://www.rustbullet.com/videos.asp#auto


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 Post subject: Re: Finish for steel caboose roof?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 3:24 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:29 pm
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Location: Youngstown, OH
For $141.00 a gallon I should hope so!

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 Post subject: Re: Finish for steel caboose roof?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:33 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 3:07 pm
Posts: 696
The price shown on-line is $189 a gallon. Either way, too much for this project.

Any less pricey suggestions?


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 Post subject: Re: Finish for steel caboose roof?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 11:50 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:50 am
Posts: 195
Location: Lakewood, CA
Some private car owners opt for the sprayed on rubberized coatings, used mostly for bed-liners in pickup trucks. I have used the same coating for the interiors of tender cisterns with great success.

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 Post subject: Re: Finish for steel caboose roof?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 4:12 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:37 pm
Posts: 289
Location: Niles Canyon Railway, near Sunol, CA
Not all pickup-truck bedliner coatings are suitable for a car roof. The lower-quality coatings (and/or lower-quality application techniques) are prone to cracking at the roof seams. A few years ago, Golden Gate Railroad Museum and Niles Canyon Railway (PLA) tried bedliner on several heavyweight passenger car roofs. Results ranged from OK to unacceptable.

Since then, Niles Canyon Railway chose the Hydro Stop roof coating system http://hydrostop.com/content/metal-roof-restoration-using-premiumcoat-system. This is a 20+ layer system of latex coatings and miracle-fiber mesh. The end result is about 1/8" thick and very slightly flexible. It's supposed to give 20+ years life, probably much longer in our mild climate so long as we add a UV-protecting black topcoat every 10 years. It's been applied to 9 of NCRy's heavyweight passenger cars.

Before any roof coating is applied, the steel underneath has to be throughly repaired and prepared.

- Doug Debs


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 Post subject: Re: Finish for steel caboose roof?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 6:50 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 6:34 pm
Posts: 31
Location: Santa Maria, CA
As has been stated in many previous postings on the subject of paint, prep is key and you get what you pay for. That being said, make sure you determine if your roof is galvanized under the paint. Many cabooses had galvanized roofs that were subsequently painted by the railroad without prep specific for a galvanized surface.

For my caboose, I sandblasted the roof and primed it with Devoe Bar Rust primer, followed by Devguard topcoat. Its only been a few years, but I'm very happy with the results so far. It wasn't cheap, but I'd rather wrench on the car instead of scrape paint and remediate rust.

Last month I painted another car with PPG Pitt Tech paint, after I read an article in the RPCA newsletter about its performance. I can't speak to its longevity, but I will say that it covered very nicely and was easy and forgiving to work with.

On the subject of caboose roofs- most of them have a stovepipe passing through the roof. When preparing for paint, I removed mine along with the large flange that sealed it to the roof. Copious amounts of old, hard caulk were scraped away, and I was left wondering what to replace it with. A local wood stove shop provided the answer: Silicone gasket sealer for automotive use. I used Permatex ultra copper to seal all areas around my stove pipe. It's flexible, heat resistant, and even takes paint. Locally, our temps vary from 100+ in the summer to winter night time lows in the 20's. So far, I've had no leaks.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish for steel caboose roof?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:11 am 

Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:46 am
Posts: 2589
Location: S.F. Bay Area
Hot Metal wrote:
For $141.00 a gallon I should hope so!

Wow and the stuff goes on at 6 mil thickness dry.
You have to think about coverage when pricing.
This is one reason polyurethanes get unfairly treated. They go on at 1-2 mil DFT.

I agree, prep is the key. Your service life is limited by the lesser of your prep and your paint quality.

A steel roof is not a flexing breathing thing like a rubber or canvas roof. Paint it like steel. I'm doing a couple and my plan is to blast to near white or good old paint, patch holes with fiberglass, then a good 2 Part epoxy primer like Amerlock, variprime, AwlGrip. Then a 2 pack aliphatic poly, specifically AwlGrip because I can roll/brush it. I expect cost will be about half again the cost of spraying it with Rustoleum. (no wasted paint when you brush.) Now how does that make sense? Simple, it will last 2-6 times longer and be fairly immune to branch/brush damage, which Rustoleum is definitely not.

Working on roofs is a pain in the butt, and I don't want to do it twice.

It's just paint, not a magic roof coating, So if you've got flexing joints up there, that's another problem.

By the way my standard trick is to figure what parts of the roof cannot be seen from the ground and paint those white or silver. The people inside will thank you,


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 Post subject: Re: Finish for steel caboose roof?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:57 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 6100
Location: southeastern USA
Might want to consider the difference between the way steel and fiberglass react to temperature and bonding iissues over time. I've seen those interfaces fail.

dave

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 Post subject: Re: Finish for steel caboose roof?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 6:20 pm 

Joined: Sun May 16, 2010 9:49 pm
Posts: 23
The caboose fleet at Whippany Railway Museum was all done with paint from Blue Water Marine Paint. I'm one of the folks working on ex-Erie C177 (owned by the Jersey Central Chapter NRHS) which is located at the museum. Given all their cabooses hold their finish despite being outdoors 100% of the time, we will most likely be following their lead. Here's the site for Blue Water:
http://www.bluewatermarinepaint.com/
Their products are also made in USA.


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