Thread Number: 35344  /  Tag: 80s/90s Vacuum Cleaners
PN4A: I'm Gonna Make it Shine!
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Post# 380236   10/24/2017 at 20:52 (391 days old) by human (Pines of Carolina)        

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Earlier this evening, I started buffing my PN4A with #00 steel wool. My initial idea was to prep the metal surface for painting. I was thinking of going from Silverado gray to 1205 teal but then I got another idea when I noticed that the places where the paint was missing were starting to get nice and shiny. So instead of painting it teal, I'm going to strip it down to bare metal and then polish it up as shiny as I can get it.

I've never made a secret of my affinity for shiny metal. It's something I love about my Kirbys as well as my PN2 and PN4. While early PN4's were polished like the PN2 they replaced, later ones were painted brown to match the Olympia. To my knowledge, the PN4A, which came out during the Olympia's run, always came painted, first in chocolate brown and then in slate gray to go with the Silverado. Since I don't have a Silverado, my PN4A is a bit of an oddball in my collection as it doesn't match any of my Electrolux canisters; therefore, I don't feel any real obligation to keep it original.

I think it'll turn out nicely since what I thought were deep scratches don't actually go down into the metal; they're just into the paint, which is surprisingly thick. It has done a great job of protecting the metal over the years, but now it's time for the metal to shine like it always should have.

Post# 380238 , Reply# 1   10/24/2017 at 21:56 (391 days old) by huskyvacs (Northern Indiana)        

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I always thought you are not supposed to use steel wool on stainless steel and other chrome finishes, because it puts permanent scratches in it? I made that mistake with my oven range hood and its permanently scratched.

When my great grandmother's old Electrolux (1967 Model G I think) blew out the motor in the early millenium, my mother being a "saver" kept all the attachments and accessories for it - including the power nozzle - and just took the vacuum itself in. They diagnosed it as FUBAR and not repairable and they gave her a deal on an Olympia, which she bought, and it came fully serviced upon purchase.

So long story short, 16 years later, still have that Olympia with the chrome power nozzle and 2 sets of accessories (one that came with the original one and one that came with the Olympia).

It currently has been broken since around 2006 or 2007. The brushroll on the power nozzle keeps falling off the mounts as soon as you turn it on, and the bag door on the vacuum refuses to latch shut for whatever reason.

But that power nozzle wasn't made for the Olympia, but it fits and works, but you need herculean strength to unplug the nozzle. Last time I tried to unhook it, I almost broke my jaw with the nozzle when it finally came apart.

Post# 380243 , Reply# 2   10/25/2017 at 07:43 (391 days old) by fantomfan57 (Central Texas)        
Steel Wool...

I also heard about steel wool scratching and possibly leaving steel embedded in the scratches (which would rust).

However, I discovered using 0000 and 00000 grade steel wool that can do a number of cleaning projects with no scratches.

I have used it on chrome and sparingly on aluminum. Gets lots of stuff off quickly.
Like a quick going over on a tarnished Kirby surface followed by Mother's Polish.

I have also used it on my truck great and took crud off thoroughly. That includes the RainX Jiffy Lube put on without asking me. That treatment effected the rubber on the wipers.

Post# 380245 , Reply# 3   10/25/2017 at 09:15 (391 days old) by vacuumlad1650 (Chicago Suburbs)        

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I think the polishing will.clean up the scratches, if there are any.
I haven't tried Mothers polish yet, Owen Perkins gave me a buffing machine, so I am attempting to use that. Hence Attempting...

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 2         View Full Size
Post# 380250 , Reply# 4   10/25/2017 at 10:04 (391 days old) by human (Pines of Carolina)        

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There's no worry of rust since the upper shells of the PN2, PN4 and PN4A are aluminum. I doubt they're chrome or nickel plated, especially not the later painted ones. Cast aluminum can take a really nice shine on its own without plating. I think I've done about all I can with the steel wool so I pulled out my cordless detail sander last night and put the battery on the charger. I'm going to sand it with a fairly coarse paper to begin with, like 100 or 120 just to knock the paint off, then work my way up to progressively finer papers to smooth the scratches out of the metal. I don't have a bench polisher like Andy's, but I do have a handheld one that I snagged from my dad last year when he and Mom were downsizing. I've also got a foam polishing ball that goes on the end of a drill, designed to use with mag wheels on a car. I'm sure they'll come into play to put the final shine on.

Andy, did the PN4 shell in your photos start out polished or did you strip the paint off? As I think about it, the painted ones would have a less highly buffed surface from the factory since you'd need that for paint to adhere properly. That may actually be an explanation for why they started painting them in the first place. In a mass production setting, painting them en masse may have ultimately been cheaper than the labor cost of polishing them individually.

Mother's is a wonderful metal polish, originally designed for automotive applications--chrome, aluminum, stainless, but it works on just about any metal surface except they caution not to use it with gold. It'll bring out a nice shine with very little effort. It turns black when you first rub it onto the metal as it removes the oxidation. Just follow it up with a good paste wax to protect the shine.

Of course, I've always got paint as a backup plan. The thought occurred to me last night that rather than 1205 teal, dark jade might be a better color in that it would coordinate not only with my 1205's but with my Diamond Jubilee as well.

Post# 380264 , Reply# 5   10/25/2017 at 18:13 (390 days old) by vacuumlad1650 (Chicago Suburbs)        

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My Pn-4 in the picture was factory polished. It came alongside an Electrolux Silverado Special...a 1453. It looks as dingy now as it did in the picture...I still need to learn the art of polishing metal.

Post# 380303 , Reply# 6   10/26/2017 at 16:01 (389 days old) by human (Pines of Carolina)        

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If you've got the metal nice and smooth, some Mothers will definitely take it from dullsville shine city.

I came up with a novel concept for my PN4A. I went to Lowe's last night with the idea of buying some sort of chemical stripper to speed up the paint removal process but in the end, I succumbed to my lazy side and went with paint, but not just any paint: Rustoleum Hammertone Paint & Primer in One. The paint is engineered to to simulate a hammertone finish by going on with a certain amount of orange peel. Besides just looking cool, the textured, glossy finish hides a world of sins.

The color I chose is simply called black, but it's really more of a gunmetal gray and it really sets off the coolest part of my 'resto-mod' beautifully. After I buffed out the raised "Electrolux Power Nozzle" nameplate area, I masked it off before painting the rest of the shell so it would stand out. Peeling back that masking tape after the paint had dried was a revelation. Quite frankly, this is how those painted power nozzles should have looked from the factory.

My paint scheme also solves two frequent problems I see in repainted aluminum power nozzle shells: bad surface preparation that shows through the new paint and the obscuring of the nameplate by painting over and not replacing the factory lettering. Also, being a few shades darker than the original Silverado gray, I think the new color scheme will look great with any of my Electrolux canisters. I still like the polished metal look best, but really like the way this one turned out.

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Post# 380314 , Reply# 7   10/26/2017 at 19:29 (389 days old) by vac-o-matic (Saint Louis, Mo.)        

Now that's a handsome power nozzle! Good job Edgar!

Post# 380422 , Reply# 8   10/29/2017 at 20:49 (386 days old) by human (Pines of Carolina)        

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Yes and the photo does not do it justice. That paint is great stuff. It goes down easy and is very forgiving. I'll be interested to see how durable it is when I start using it again. I don't abuse my machines, but stuff does occasionally happen.

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