Thread Number: 37426  /  Tag: Pre-1950 Vacuum Cleaners
Hoover pre-war rubber bumper/protectors
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Post# 399412   10/11/2018 at 13:53 by Scoover (Scoovstoun, UK)        

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Wondering if anyone on the forum has ever tried making their own bumpers?

Most of my pre-war 'cans need bumpers. I reckon it could be done fairly simply with a wooden pattern, a silicon mould and Devcon Flexane as the bumper material.

I have already made an accurate wooden pattern for the 425/450/475 bumper and am currently working on the 725/750 flat bumper with the Hoover logo.

I was recently given a very small piece of original 825 bumper (see photo). I can get the profile from this for a pattern and it has the remains of wheel bolt recesses and a part number. However since its part of the side I don't know if the 825 bumper had a Hoover logo on it. Anyone tell me?

Also. I have seen pictures of 800's on VL that have a similar section bumper with a Hoover logo. Is this what the original 800 bumper looked like and is it the same section as the 825?

Lastly. Was the flat Hoover logo bumper factory fitted to the 700 and 543? was there a different bumper fitted to the 541?

That's enough questions for one post! Look forward to any answers....

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Post# 399423 , Reply# 1   10/11/2018 at 21:20 by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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Have you ever used that flexane stuff or anything similar? I've thought about stuff like this before. It's probably pretty easy to do, if you have the mold already.

Post# 399434 , Reply# 2   10/12/2018 at 13:26 by Scoover (Scoovstoun, UK)        

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I have not used Devcon specifically, though I have made many different kinds of moulds. I don't think the moulding or casting process is a problem. An accurate pattern and careful use of materials should give good results. Devcon is expensive here so I am considering a cheaper substitute which requires a pigment.

I am more concerned to get these as near as correct as possible, hence my questions. I would really like to know what all of the different bumper forms are for coffee can machines.

Post# 399436 , Reply# 3   10/12/2018 at 14:26 by Scoover (Scoovstoun, UK)        
Hoover 825 original bumper

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I have since found a very low resolution photograph on the net showing a UK built 825 with it's original bumper front on. This appears to have the Hoover logo in the middle and what look likes cast-in triangular reinforcing bars round the rivet mount points. It's all very pixellated in the image I have available and impossible to enlarge. Can anyone come up with some clear photographs of this item? Would be very much appreciated.

Post# 402287 , Reply# 4   12/10/2018 at 12:53 by scoover (Scoovstoun, UK)        
Laser cutting

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So, I made a wooden pattern for the 541/543/700/725/750 bumper with the hoover logo in the middle. I decided to sacrifice what was then my only original version of this bumper, (fitted to my 725) because it was falling apart and I did not think my carving skills were good enough to do the 1/4" high letters of the Hoover logo convincingly.

Anyway I routed a groove in the pattern and fitted the rubber section into it but I made the mistake of fitting the rubber to the routed hole rather than routing/carving the wood to fit the lettered section. Long story short I was not happy with it and scrapped it.

I have since found that there were two different patterns of this bumper: the early model has thicker bars and the later one is much more delicate. And of course the logo is also fitted into the later bumper for the 800 and 825 which I also intend to make (still looking for clear photographs of the details of these if anyone has one).

So having remade two patterns for the early type, how to do the logo? I am fortunate to work somewhere with laser equipment. I am not proficient with it, being much more of an old school band saw and chisels guy. However with things quieting down towards year end I got a colleague to help me. The results are in the pics.

Photo one shows the evolution; r/h being too small and too deep, l/h one is too big and baby bear's one is right in the middle. Of course, the font is not quite right and the computer automatically correctly spaces the letters unlike Hoover's pattern maker 100 years ago but then I am not trying to pass these off as the real deal.

If your interested in the details, those are 50mm x 8mm strips of 4mm cast acrylic, The letters are 7mm high. The background has been rastered at slow speed to get it reasonably smooth and to leave the letters 1mm deep. I thought about having the laser cut them to the exact shape to fit in the pattern but as I want to use these for 3 types of bumper I thought I would leave them as rectangles and alter them individually as required by hand.

Next step is to varnish finish the patterns (and make the 800 version), route and carve the correct space in them, fit the acrylic to that shape and get casting...

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This post was last edited 12/10/2018 at 21:53
Post# 402387 , Reply# 5   12/11/2018 at 11:56 by scoover (Scoovstoun, UK)        
800/825 bumper

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I recently got hold of a good example of the 800 type bumper that was fitted to older models as a replacement when the 800 and 825 were current. It's of identical section but without the hole reinforcements or the Hoover logo; Hoover part no 20611R (presume the R stands for replacement).

So today I used this section to make three lengths of wooden pattern at work. One will be a pattern for the replacement type, the other two will be the 800 type with logo and reinforcement. The picture below is a small test section of the wooden pattern with prototype for the reinforcement triangle next to the original section.

Have a look at picture 2 for what the 800 bumper should (roughly) look like. I am not going to hold my breath but does anyone know if the reinforcement of the holes is repeated at the rear of the bumper?

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This post was last edited 12/11/2018 at 20:05
Post# 402510 , Reply# 6   12/13/2018 at 13:06 by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

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This is very interesting.
I made a furniture gaurd for a much newer machine as the bumpers are always broken when I get them and parts are not available any more..

I used plastidip ( latex based ) to make my bumper and it looked just like the original and it was fairly cheap

Post# 402515 , Reply# 7   12/13/2018 at 13:43 by Scoover (Scoovstoun, UK)        

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That's also interesting. I have been avoiding latex based products. I once tried making motorcycle seat foam with latex. Its difficult to use and not very durable if you cannot vulcanise it (industrially complex I believe). I am going to stick with the Devcon Flexane despite the cost and I'll update this thread as I go. Glad someone finally found this interesting!

Post# 402516 , Reply# 8   12/13/2018 at 14:01 by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

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For those of us that restore This would always be a interesting thread.
If you restore vintage cars their is so much info on what to do and how, Vacuums Not so much.

On the durability, I used the plasti DIP IE as in the one used to rubber coat the handles of tools, Its actually really robust.
Even standard spray on plastidip is pretty durable, I have done cars with it and it lasts about 5 years and when you done you just peal it off( if the surface is shiny underneath.

I even coated a whole bunch ( about 30 ) of my Hoover convertibles or a film shoot were they all needed to be one colour. . I am going to clear coat the fron of my truck to keep scratches and stone chips at bay as soon as it comes back from having them removed shortly

Post# 402521 , Reply# 9   12/13/2018 at 14:34 by Scoover (Scoovstoun, UK)        
Vehicle versus Vacuum restorers

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I agree on the restoration info. I have a 25 year history of restoring old motorcycles. In my experience vehicle clubs and forums are almost completely focussed on restoration and ways of replacing/replicating parts. I thought Vacuumland would be the same but its not the case. I suppose most vehicle clubs and forums are single make which means everyone is interested in hearing what people are doing and it will have relevance for them. Here everyone is into different things. Thanks for Plasti-dip tip by the way, I've known about it for a long time but have just never got round to trying it. I will now though.

Post# 402542 , Reply# 10   12/13/2018 at 22:14 by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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I find it interesting :(

Post# 402551 , Reply# 11   12/14/2018 at 01:05 by scoover (Scoovstoun, UK)        
Interesting interest in interesting things

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Hey MadMan, not suggesting that people such as yourself are not interested. Like I said, there are so many different vac collecting options plus these things go in cycles. Inevitably what I am doing which is very specifically focussed on British market pre-war Hoovers is going to be of limited interest to most people on the forum. Don't worry though, I am not going to stop :)

This post was last edited 12/14/2018 at 07:36
Post# 402552 , Reply# 12   12/14/2018 at 03:01 by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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Not really focused to the prewar British market at all, lots of vacs have rubber bumpers that might need to be copied. :)

Post# 402553 , Reply# 13   12/14/2018 at 03:05 by scoover (Scoovstoun, UK)        
Coming up with the goods

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Yup that's true,

Maybe people will be more interested when I stop talking and have brand new bumpers to photograph.....

Post# 402556 , Reply# 14   12/14/2018 at 07:42 by midcenturyfan (Kings Lynn, Norfolk, England)        

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I will be very interested to learn about this process, as I have numerous pre-war British market Hoovers.


Post# 402567 , Reply# 15   12/14/2018 at 12:14 by scoover (Scoovstoun, UK)        

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Do you have an 800 or 825 with the original bumper? I still need to know if the rivet reinforcing triangles are on the back section as well as the front.....If you do, even a dried out, broken one some pictures would be great!

Post# 402619 , Reply# 16   12/15/2018 at 05:51 by midcenturyfan (Kings Lynn, Norfolk, England)        

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I can't promise anything, but I will have a look. I need to sort out my pre-war machines, as they are in temporary storage, in no particular order.


Post# 402632 , Reply# 17   12/15/2018 at 11:00 by scoover (Scoovstoun, UK)        

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Thank you! If you find anything let me know...

Post# 402794 , Reply# 18   12/18/2018 at 07:44 by midcenturyfan (Kings Lynn, Norfolk, England)        

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I have managed to locate a Model 800 and a Model 825, albeit not in perfect condition. This will give you an idea of the shape of the reinforcing areas around the rivets. I can always measure the parts if necessary.

It appears that the cross section of the rubber is different on each model, assuming that these rubbers are original.


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Post# 402878 , Reply# 19   12/20/2018 at 14:54 by Scoover (Scoovstoun, UK)        
Just what I was looking for...

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Fantastic, that's very helpful. Since I last posted I have had a go at an 800/825 full length pattern. I have been working from a fairly poor frontal picture of an 825 bumper so I just guessed about the double rivet sections. My pattern appears to be a reasonable match for the 825 bumper in your pictures which does not have the Hoover logo. That's interesting as the picture I have been working on has one with a logo. However they are both very different from the actual 800 bumper. I'll have to make another pattern for that one.

Have a look at the pictures, they show the four patterns I have made so far, in picture one from top to bottom: 400 series, "Thick line" early Hoover logo for model 105-543, "Thin line" for 725-750 and the 825 section. I have not fitted logo's to any of them yet as they're not finish varnished. It'll be the new year before I can get to work on the 800 version.

Thanks again, would appreciate your (or anyone else's) thoughts on accuracy.

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Post# 402895 , Reply# 20   12/21/2018 at 03:57 by scoover (Scoovstoun, UK)        
800 and 825

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Now had a chance to look carefully at your pictures Robin. I think the 800 bumper is a scaled up version of the 400 series section which I made using a tiny bit of original bumper from my 450. That would make sense that the 450 and 800, on sale together had matching bumpers.

The 825 pattern I have made is not bad, however the rivet reinforcements are too deep, they extend down to the bottom of the section but should stop maybe 5mm above.

The obvious next question is were the 425 and 475 versions different, but for now I probably need to make a new 825 pattern, an accurate 800 and finish the others.

Post# 402897 , Reply# 21   12/21/2018 at 09:06 by midcenturyfan (Kings Lynn, Norfolk, England)        

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Unfortunately, looking at the rubber bumpers on my Hoovers has shown up so many anomalies, that I would not like to categorically state anything.

All of these machines have had more than 80 years for people to repair them, and to fit non-original parts. Hoover also changed the design of things like badges during the production run of a model, so it is conceivable that they could have changed the shape of the rubber components.

Do you live anywhere near me, as maybe I could bring a machine over, for you to measure up?


Post# 402899 , Reply# 22   12/21/2018 at 09:36 by scoover (Scoovstoun, UK)        

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That's very kind of you but sadly, I am 300 and odd miles away from you in Scotland. Your right though, they've been kept running for 80+ years so originality is hard to determine. My patterns are not intended to be undetectable facsimiles, I am just enjoying the challenges of identifying the differences and then the technicalities of closely reproducing them.

I am happy with what I have for the 450, and all big Hoovers prior to the 800. I reckon (thanks to you) I can get pretty close to the 800 and 825. All of my patterns are at work so I wont get any further until after the break but I feel it's going well. The colleague who helped with laser cutting the Hoover logo for the 700-750 reworked it today to match the heavier and slightly cruder lettering on the bumper for the 541 and 543 so those two bumper patterns will be more or less ready to cast later in January.

Post# 402902 , Reply# 23   12/21/2018 at 10:53 by midcenturyfan (Kings Lynn, Norfolk, England)        

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It is a shame that you do not live somewhere slightly more local to me. To our American friends, 300 miles might not seem far, but in the UK, it means virtually another planet.

Another technique that will certainly be useful for making parts is 3D printing. A friend of mine is experimenting with it, and I will be very interested to see the results.


Post# 402903 , Reply# 24   12/21/2018 at 11:11 by scoover (Scoovstoun, UK)        
3D printing

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Yes, we've got a couple of 3D printers at work. The problem with those is that the more basic one prints in very durable ABS but the finish is unmistakeably 3D printed so needs sanded and painted to look period correct. The higher end one produces finished objects but the material is not as durable.

However one thing at a time. If good old fashioned pattern making produces decent results on a fairly simple form like the bumpers I am going to move on to more complex items and possibly recreate things digitally which will then be cast.

Post# 402921 , Reply# 25   12/21/2018 at 21:00 by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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Somebody's good at wood working...

Post# 402954 , Reply# 26   12/22/2018 at 14:53 by scoover (Scoovstoun, UK)        
It's my job

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I love my work!

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