Author Topic: 1950's Gamewell Restoration  (Read 2125 times)

Bob914

  • Guest
1950's Gamewell Restoration
« on: December 01, 2015, 07:39:47 AM »
I have a aluminum 1950's game well fire alarm box thats not in good shape. It was painted black and the kingpins were broken. I have stripped the box and had to drill out the hinge pins to remove them. I am now looking for hinge pins that will "fit" and blend in.

I've read what not to do with regards to paint but I'm curious what I should do as I will have to repaint and would like to use a scheme that is original.

Any ideas about hinge pins and color scheme?

Offline \\-olff

  • Professional Sculptor
  • Administrator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 231
  • Sculptor
Re: 1950's Gamewell Restoration
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2015, 01:54:13 PM »
If you post some photos that will help Bob,  I'll respond in more detail tonight.
Sculptures are drawings you fall over in the dark

Offline \\-olff

  • Professional Sculptor
  • Administrator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 231
  • Sculptor
Re: 1950's Gamewell Restoration
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2015, 07:44:01 PM »
Bob, until I see a photo I am assuming you have one like this:



This is newer than I collect so I don't have one on hand to look at the hinges, they almost seem like they are integrated into the door casting and not removable, or at least that's how a photo I saw looked.

If the hinge leaves are removable by unscrewing 2 or 3 machine screws on each half, you might be able to find hinges on Ebay, if the hinges are not removable and are integrated into the castings then there's that pin you siad you drilled out, the pin would be in the removable hinges as well.

The biggest issue I see is you said you drilled the pins out, the problem with doing that is unless you are a machinist, or have a very rigid drill such as a mill, and you have the hinge perfectly set up- it is almost a given that drilling the pin will cause the bit to wander and take metal out of the barrel itself- something you do NOT want to do!

Since it's already done it begs the question now of whether doing this enlarged the barrel holes so that now any OEM pin that would have fit now won't and the door will hang very sloppy and loose which will prevent the lock from working properly or the door itself won't shut squarely or both.

If this is the case you have two choices that I see- ream the barrels out slightly larger- almost to the next sized steel pin and insert those.
I don't know what diameter pin they used originally, but such pins in steel or brass can be obtained from places on line like McMaster-Carr and many others who have catalogues showing such items.

For my Horni Signal hinges which some guy drilled out and replaced with threaded screws, the local hardware store happened to have round headed steel pins right in the drawer that were exactly the right size and looked OEM.

The other alternative is just replace the hinges with used ones on ebay, quite honestly this style Gamewell box is extremely common, I see them up for sale  every day there, usually several of them as well as various parts and doors.

What you might consider is buying another box like the one you have, but one that is in  poor condition, and use parts from it and sell what's left. You could swop parts from  either box to the other and also have a spare mechanism at the same time.

As far as painting goes, you need the metal clean of any oils and grease, and just use a red oxide spray can primer, you can top coat it with either spray or brush. Since the newer boxes seem to have had gloss paint, you can use gloss enamel, but your choice of colors in spray cans is limited, so unless you have a spray gun and air compressor you might have to brush the paint on.

With aluminum however, you can probably get away with latex gloss paint since you don't worry about rust with aluminum and latex paint and latex is much easier to use and brushes out well.

I used Sherwin Williams metal enamel on my VF pedestal as it's cast iron, and I brushed it on as I wanted the brush-ed on texture as the city crews normally used a brush for periodic repainting. I also used a mix of gloss with satin of the same color because the gloss was TOO glossy and the satin was too dull.

By way of reference I used Sherwin Williams  satin Cherry Tomato SW 6864  with their gloss Real Red, SW 6868 about 50/50 and it cut that excess glossiness down the Real Red had, and since the Cherry Tomato is a little darker with no hint of purple or magenta the color is better too. You can see the colors on their web site and see which of the shades in that family looks best to you.
You can also take the box in to the paint store if the inside of the box somewhere still has the original paint, and they can scan it and get a very close color to that.

I would be more lax about these 1950s boxes for restoration, they are extremely common, still in use, I think Gamewell still makes them, and they aren't antiques, so my criteria for this is a lot different than it is for an 1895 box in mint condition with it's original paints.

With my VF pedestal I had no choice on repainting it, it had been painted black on the bottom half and the paint was flaking off on the top half, the door came from elsewhere so nothing matched for color anyway, and all the fine details were obliterated by 1/8" thick layer of paint.

« Last Edit: December 02, 2015, 12:25:26 AM by \\-olff »
Sculptures are drawings you fall over in the dark

Bob914

  • Guest
Re: 1950's Gamewell Restoration
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2015, 06:23:30 PM »
Thanks so much for your help.....

The hinge pins were broke and remained inside the hinges and inside the door itself.

I drilled them out pretty well and the bit did not wander.

Wiil explore replacements and follow your suggestions for paint

Offline \\-olff

  • Professional Sculptor
  • Administrator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 231
  • Sculptor
Re: 1950's Gamewell Restoration
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2015, 09:51:10 PM »
Welcome, good luck!
Sculptures are drawings you fall over in the dark