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    Re: Sextant on ebay
    From: Bill B
    Date: 2006 Sep 7, 17:15 -0500

    Courtney wrote:

    > I hope I'm not wearing out my welcome....

    More like the exhausting the knowledge stored in my gray matter or paint

    > but, it being a Russian naval sextant, what would you assume
    > they finished it with, say 25 yrs ago ?  Enamel, lacquer, or ??

    I believe lacquer was an automotive finish before enamel.  My historical
    knowledge on when enamel went into common use is not good, but it has been
    around for a long time.  At least 25 years.  It would be the choice over
    lacquer for a sextant.  Ken of Celestaire would be your best source of what
    was used when.

    > What would be the more durable in a marine environment ?

    Enamel would be my choice over lacquer for a sextant. (Note there is a
    difference between furniture and automotive lacquer).  Ken of Celestaire
    would be your best source of what was used when.

    If starting from bare metal today, perhaps a two-part epoxy, anodized or
    electrostatic powder application?
    > When you say 'good quality enamel' what's the difference
    > between good and less so, chemically  ?

    No idea chemically.  A cheap enamel on a car might last a few years before
    it starts to chalk.
    > More generally, what makes up lacquer other than the alcohol
    > solvent and some beetle stuff; and, what is the solvent and solute
    > in enamels ?

    *Shellac* is ground up beetle stuff dissolved in alcohol.  I don't recall
    (if I ever knew) what the chemical makeup of the lacquers, enamels, or
    enamel thinners are.  Enamel thinner comes in different formulations based
    on spraying conditions (temperature, humidity, and size of area to be
    sprayed).  Some enamels can also be catalyzed for a quicker cure--almost a
    must if you cannot bake it.  Solvent-based enamels come as "synthetic,"
    Acrylic and God knows what else these days.  On the other hand Rust-Oleum
    "enamel" is oil based.
    > Pardon my ignorance and thank you for your patience,
    Pardoned.  Short of hitting my library (which is out of date on automotive
    finishes as the low-VOC/medium and high solids and clearcoat finishes evolve
    at a rapid pace based on government pollution regulations) I would suggest
    you do what I would have to do, start Googeling.

    Or visit a local automotive-paint supplier.  By the time you teach yourself
    everything there is to know about paint to date it will be obsolete.
    (Suggest a Ph.D. in chemistry to keep abreast.)


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