PDA

View Full Version : Anal-Retentive Can Painting Thread


BigFatGuy
10-22-2010, 9:14 PM
1: this may strike some people as being overly obsessive about something that is not important

2: as degreed engineers, my wife and I consider being overly obsessive about unimportant things to be a form of recreation. :cool2:

I like having things sorted and labeled. In preparation for some handgun training and experimentation, I have enough ammo to fill a surplus ammo can. So, naturally, I had to see about painting/labeling it.

The results for my first can were decent, but not great. As I try new things I'll make a note here.

Note: the writeups will follow the basic pattern of an engineer's testing writeup. I make no apologies for being a geek.

BigFatGuy
10-22-2010, 9:28 PM
This was my first attempt to paint a steel ammo can. I neglected to take any "before" photos, but it was the usual dusty, dirty green paint with yellow markings.

Pre-painted status
The can was rust-free. The paint was in overall good shape. The can was tough to open, as if the rubber seal was sticking to the can.

Procedure
I cleaned the can with Simple Green and paper towels. I did not attempt to remove the yellow markings. Nor did I take any action to protect the rubber sealing gasket from the paint.

Tools
The base color was applied in approximatly 3 coats, using a mixture of various brands and types of black spraypaint I had sitting around my garage. The markings are painted in two coats of white Rustoleum "High Gloss". The paint is then sealed with two coats of spray-on marine varnish.

The lettering is produced by printing a stencil on 8.5x11 paper using Microsoft Publisher (unlike Word, Publisher allows inter-character spacing to be controlled) and a free stencil font called "GunPlay" I found using Google. The stencil was cut out using an Xacto blade, and held on the can with painter's tape. The can was masked during lettering with random sheets of newspaper.

silicon lube was applied to the rubber gasket to prevent sticking.

Today dry time was approximatly two days. The rubber gasket took the longest to dry, the paint made it sticky.

Results
(note: the blacked-out part is my last name)
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4286123/Calguns/goodBlur.jpg

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4286123/Calguns/frontBlur.jpg

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4286123/Calguns/badBlur.jpg

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4286123/Calguns/insideBlur.jpg

Lessons Learned
1: I should prime first, or use thicker "enamel" spraypaint. The yellow lettering is slightly visible in bright light

2: I should apply lighter coats of the base color. The paint ran a bit.

3: high gloss paint looks better then high gloss varnish

4: the paper stencil breaks down quickly, and "leaks" around the edges. A better idea is to make the stencils out of the magnetic printer sheets sold in Office Depot, or perhaps out of thin steel, using strong magnets on the inside of the can to hold the stencil in place

5: cutting these stencils out by hand sucks. I need a better stencil font, or an automated way to cut the stencils

6: I should use white lithium grease instead of silicon lube on the rubber gasket, for longer duration "staying power"

QuarterBoreGunner
10-22-2010, 9:32 PM
OCD FTW.

BigFatGuy
10-22-2010, 9:37 PM
OCD FTW.

One day you're going to be all "my ammo cans look like crap, and the guys at the range laugh at me", and then you'll be back.

:o

BigFatGuy
10-22-2010, 9:39 PM
The pdf file linked below shows the various stencil fonts I've found online for free. The last few (named as some variant of the word "stencil") came native with MS Word 2010.

PDF file linked here (http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4286123/Calguns/stencil.pdf)

QuarterBoreGunner
10-22-2010, 9:41 PM
Dude you're talking to to the guy that numbered all his AR mags... and the hit them with acetone to remove the paint and start over 'cause the numbers weren't the same size.

I sort my mil surp ammo by year date head stamp... I suck.

BigFatGuy
10-22-2010, 9:53 PM
I bow to your awesomeness. ;-)

BigFatGuy
10-22-2010, 9:59 PM
Now you'll really think I'm OCD... I forgot to upload the photos of the little plastic ammo boxes that sit inside the big metal ammo box.

G-forceJunkie
10-22-2010, 10:02 PM
Wow, and I thought I was anal by labeling my couple dozen cans with those "hello my name is _________" tags because I got tired of opening 20 cans untill I found the caliber I needed.

PS: ditch those plastic cases and just fill them level with ammo. The skinny cans hold about 1200 9mm.

Recession
10-22-2010, 10:02 PM
I bet you can't guess which caliber this is!

http://i700.photobucket.com/albums/ww4/ruben73/ammocanresize.jpg

Cokebottle
10-22-2010, 10:04 PM
OCD FTW.
No kidding.

I'm completely OCD/ADHD, but when it comes to cans, I leave them as the Good Lord provided them.
Any additional markings by me are made with a Sharpie.

69Mach1
10-22-2010, 10:04 PM
I would have blasted it in my media cabinet. Parkarized it in my tank. Painted the area where the lettering/numbers are going to be with high viz yellow paint. Let dry. Then grab some stickers (numbers and letters), place them over the yellow paint, and finish painting it with black paint. Then peel away the stickers.

BigFatGuy
10-22-2010, 10:11 PM
PS: ditch those plastic cases and just fill them level with ammo. The skinny cans hold about 1200 9mm.

once we decide on and buy our guns we'll most likely do that. Right now we're just making it easier to transport them in smaller amounts as needed to/from the range and training.

BigFatGuy
10-22-2010, 10:16 PM
I would have blasted it in my media cabinet. Parkarized it in my tank. Painted the area where the lettering/numbers are going to be with high viz yellow paint. Let dry. Then grab some stickers (numbers and letters), place them over the yellow paint, and finish painting it with black paint. Then peel away the stickers.

Once I find a good way to make the stencils adhere, I plan to try a "negative" stencil as well.

amazingly, stickers never occured to me. :o

Pyrodyne
10-23-2010, 4:10 AM
Once I find a good way to make the stencils adhere, I plan to try a "negative" stencil as well.

amazingly, stickers never occured to me. :o

Here's a couple methods:

(best) get a small vynil plotter/cutter and do the lettering with paint masking - as precise as it gets.

(cheaper) get a thick roll of masking tape and a lettering stencil, use a hobby knife to cut the letters out of the tape and slap them on one at a time

VictorFranko
10-23-2010, 4:45 AM
I just use Avery labels, printed right off the computer. Neat, organized look, easy to read, and easy to change if I want to use the can for something else.

OP, yes,a light sanding followed by a good primer would yield a better result for you.

Personally, I don't like to flash the neighbors with firearms gear when loading or unloading the truck. I prefer to be as discreet as possible (rifle case looks like soft guitar case, range bag could pass for a gym bag, etc.)
Kind of hard to be discreet with military ammo cans all marked up like that.

When I see a post about "My house was broken into and all my guns were stolen", I can not help but wonder how "flashy" these individuals were with their gear.

BigFatGuy
10-23-2010, 9:49 AM
I can not help but wonder how "flashy" these individuals were with their gear.

We have considered that very thing.

The can is for the house, the plastic boxes are for transport in a backpack or some such.

Thanks, all, for the advice, keep it coming!

Neil McCauley
10-23-2010, 9:55 AM
Why stop there, go all the way and set up some LED lighting inside as well. One of these would be cool too.

http://www.cymba.com/starrx/STSALTY.jpg

BigFatGuy
10-23-2010, 10:28 AM
Beer and guns don't mix, but what makes you think I haven't thought about LED lighting already?
A reed switch, a magnet in the base, a couple of LED's in the top, it would be fairly easy to do...

God damn it, I need a life...

chesterthehero
10-23-2010, 9:01 PM
wait.... you have two types of ammo in the same can...... wtf...

QuarterBoreGunner
10-24-2010, 8:27 PM
^And you never leave anything to chance.

MSB3050
10-24-2010, 8:38 PM
Wipe the yellow lettering with Acetone. You could also use a medium sanding sponge to remove it. Then followed by primer and paint. Really recommend not to remove down to the bare metal unless needed. Labeling - Use a simple code to label your cans not like your doing. Low profile is always best. MSB3050

steve91104
10-25-2010, 9:11 PM
dude you spelled degreed wrong :D

BigFatGuy
10-25-2010, 9:35 PM
it didn't look right, and I'm not OCD about spelling. ;-)

QuarterBoreGunner
10-25-2010, 9:37 PM
it didn't look right, and I'm not OCD about spelling. ;-)

I am.

I'll fix it.

bsg
10-26-2010, 5:48 PM
OCD? nah....

you have motivated me to get out the Meguiars wax and protect my ammo cans from the elements in my closet; i'm on it.

thanks for sharing. :)

Cokebottle
10-26-2010, 6:17 PM
OCD? nah....

you have motivated me to get out the Meguiars wax and protect my ammo cans from the elements in my closet; i'm on it.

thanks for sharing. :)
Hey now....

Those rectangular rust stains on the carpet are a badge of honor for a gun owner!

DRM6000
10-26-2010, 8:12 PM
what happened to the "&" in .40 S&W?

BigFatGuy
10-27-2010, 12:18 AM
what happened to the "&" in .40 S&W?

Didn't fit on the front clasp, and effing hard to cut out with an exacto blade... too many curves.

DannyInSoCal
10-27-2010, 12:51 AM
2: as degreed engineers, my wife and I...

How kool is that...!!

What's it like to drive a train...?

Any pics of her in overalls yanking on a whistle...?

bsg
10-27-2010, 2:09 AM
Hey now....

Those rectangular rust stains on the carpet are a badge of honor for a gun owner!


i guess so.... :rofl2:

Exile Machine
10-27-2010, 5:36 AM
To avoid that conspicuous look that alerts the neighbors, may I suggest an innocuous form of camo?

http://img836.imageshack.us/img836/598/ammocan4.jpg

Caliber markings spray painted on one side, Geocaching sticker on the other. Keep the geocaching side facing out. Your neighbors will just think you're one of those geeks* that hunts tupperware in the forest.

For the record I use one of those Brother P-touch(R) (yes I agree the brand/product name sounds creepy) systems that produces a thin plastic label. Easy to peel off and re-do if you change your mind about keeping your .9mm and .40S&W in the same box.


*disclaimer: I am one of those geeks that hunts tupperware in the forest (http://www.geocaching.com/profile/?guid=234b73d5-b2ed-4719-ae3d-d1c71ced58a6), but I prefer to hunt for ammo cans. Nature's perfect geocache container.

BigFatGuy
10-27-2010, 7:37 AM
To avoid that conspicuous look that alerts the neighbors, may I suggest an innocuous form of camo?


I don't know... it's one thing for people to know I have guns... but I don't want them to think I geocache. ;-)

powaybob
10-27-2010, 10:25 AM
+1 for Brother P-Touch.

I label ammo cans with type, and use blue painter's tape to track how many rounds are in the box. I put a label on each side and two on the top so a label can be read from any angle. Most of my cans (actually they are properly called boxes, cans are one use only- the Spam type opener) are generally pretty new so don't generally do anything more than wipe them off if needed. The ammo boxes are about the only bargain at the DelMar Gun Show - one vendor specializes in them and I often pick up a half dozen of the .50 cal size, and the so called fat 50.

I also label the garage cabinets with their contents- tools, supplies or parts. Just about any container gets labeled whether for guns, amateur radio, or fishing equipment.

My degrees are math and computer science.

QuarterBoreGunner
10-27-2010, 10:28 AM
I also label the garage cabinets with their contents- tools, supplies or parts. Just about any container gets labeled whether for guns, amateur radio, or fishing equipment.

You all are my tribe.

jdberger
10-27-2010, 10:42 AM
My aunt started labeling the shelves in the refrigerator of the family cabin....

Condiments
Butter
Lunch Meat

My kids make sport of how thoroughly they can rearrange things....

QuarterBoreGunner
10-27-2010, 10:45 AM
Totally off topic, but I'd love to know how many calgunners are on the spectrum.

BigFatGuy
10-27-2010, 10:50 AM
My aunt started labeling the shelves in the refrigerator of the family cabin....

Condiments
Butter
Lunch Meat

My kids make sport of how thoroughly they can rearrange things....

You have an entire shelf for butter?

My kind of people...

Masterdebater
10-27-2010, 3:10 PM
did someone say anal?

BigFatGuy
10-27-2010, 4:05 PM
My degrees are math and computer science.

But you repeat yourself. ;-)

Totally off topic, but I'd love to know how many calgunners are on the spectrum.

"on the spectrum" ?

Cokebottle
10-27-2010, 5:25 PM
You have an entire shelf for butter?

My kind of people...
One shelf for butter
One shelf for bacon
One shelf for English Muffins

Life is complete.

bsg
10-27-2010, 5:28 PM
i guess this is our little corner of a big round world....

QuarterBoreGunner
10-27-2010, 5:44 PM
"on the spectrum" ?

Aspergers, is a very mild form of Autism and is considered part of that condition. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autism_spectrum)

People with Asperger syndrome often display behavior, interests, and activities that are restricted and repetitive and are sometimes abnormally intense or focused. They may stick to inflexible routines, move in stereotyped (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stereotypy) and repetitive ways, or preoccupy themselves with parts of objects.[19] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asperger_syndrome#cite_note-BehaveNet-18)

Almost prototypical nerd/geek behavior. I've also noticed the same sort of behavior in certain type of gun owners that are also in the tech industry. Technologically obsessive, gadget oriented with a high degree of mechanical aptitude.

BigFatGuy
10-27-2010, 5:55 PM
dude!

On facebook I literally JUST took an Autism Quotient test (it seemed at least based in some kind of real psych test, not some goofy facebook thing).

32 points is apparently the border between normal and rain-man, with the average person being something like 16.

I got 32.

Now I'm all nervous and tense about it. ;-)

QuarterBoreGunner
10-27-2010, 5:58 PM
Quick!

<spills toothpicks>

How many are there?

Cokebottle
10-27-2010, 6:01 PM
dude!

On facebook I literally JUST took an Autism Quotient test (it seemed at least based in some kind of real psych test, not some goofy facebook thing).

32 points is apparently the border between normal and rain-man, with the average person being something like 16.

I got 32.

Now I'm all nervous and tense about it. ;-)
Is this available outside of Facebook?

I have a feeling I'd score pretty high.

On repetitive tasks, there's a method to our semi-madness.
Once it becomes muscle memory, we don't have to worry about omitting something or making some other mistake.

BigFatGuy
10-27-2010, 6:08 PM
Is this available outside of Facebook?


This is the same questions as the Facebook based one, and I got the same score

http://glennrowe.net/BaronCohen/AutismSpectrumQuotient/AutismSpectrumQuotient.aspx

steve91104
10-27-2010, 6:14 PM
hmm, will this change your answer to the mental defective question on the DROS form?

BigFatGuy
10-27-2010, 6:36 PM
I figure this is one of the times that the act of worrying that I might be crazy is enough to show that I'm not. I'm just a techie.

Sadly, I'm one of the better-adjusted people in my classes. ;-)

Cokebottle
10-27-2010, 6:45 PM
This is the same questions as the Facebook based one, and I got the same score

http://glennrowe.net/BaronCohen/AutismSpectrumQuotient/AutismSpectrumQuotient.aspx
Yup

27

bsg
10-27-2010, 7:22 PM
Yup

27


32 for me.

BigFatGuy
10-27-2010, 7:33 PM
apparently this test just detects nerds.

The guy who wrote it must be a liberal arts major. ;-)

jdberger
10-27-2010, 8:49 PM
Eek - 27

BigFatGuy
10-27-2010, 9:08 PM
my wife just scored 40.

I swear she's not autistic...

This test sucks. ;-(

Librarian
10-27-2010, 9:10 PM
Quick!

<spills toothpicks>

How many are there?

all of them.

I got 22.

bsg
10-30-2010, 9:02 AM
apparently this test just detects nerds.

The guy who wrote it must be a liberal arts major. ;-)


probably a behavioral science major.

badreligion
11-02-2010, 6:52 PM
Didn't bother taking the test, already know my head is funny.

Back on topic. All of my ammo cans are painted a differnet color depending on caliber. Then a P-touch label on the top of the lid and the closing/sealing latch. Put a label inside to give me a round count, bullet and powder info per can, need to put another on the outside too. I keep my handgun ammo in skinny .30 cans, rifle ammo in .50 cans and shotgun ammo in fat .50 cans. When I get 2 full cans of the same ammo I put the older one in my long term storage area, then paint a new one to match and start filling it. I only use ammo from the partial or new cans for range trips. This set up, plus reloading has increased my ammo count on hand from several hundred to nearly 20,000 centerfire rounds in a year, and I shoot monthly. I hate partially full cans.

Dutch3
11-03-2010, 4:44 PM
That surplus "Chrome Yellow" paint or whatever they call it is a pain to cover, as it will bleed through nearly anything. The suggestions to sand it or clean it off with solvent before painting over are on the money.

I used to own a homebuilt teardrop trailer, built in 1948 from surplus aircraft sheet. Most pieces were painted yellow, with a few in "Insignia Blue". Of course, the original owner had built it with the painted side "in".

I tried painting over it with light colors inside, but it would always peel off. A few times, I woke up in that thing and freaked out, thinking I had been involved in a plane crash...;)

-D

Paper Boy
11-04-2010, 7:11 AM
I also label the garage cabinets with their contents- tools, supplies or parts. Just about any container gets labeled whether for guns, amateur radio, or fishing equipment.

I do the same and my GF can not understand it. She really thinks I am insane when I decide its not good enought and take everything out of the shelves in the garage / pantry / closet and re-organize.


Back on topic. All of my ammo cans are painted a differnet color depending on caliber.

Yup same here then inside the can the rounds are broken down by who made them. Hand loads are further broken down by powder charge depending on what rifle they are for.

Brass is broken down by cal and number of times loaded and put in tupperware and stacked.

I found that if you happen to have a power sander around you can use it to hit all the exposed paint then I paint with a black first to kill the yellow and then top coat with what ever color I want them to be. Working on getting a vinyl cutter so I can make some better stencils. Right now I use strips of file folders that i painted with elmers glue to make them less floppy seems to work ok if you dont hit it full blast from the rattle can.

And I scored 29

BigFatGuy
11-04-2010, 10:01 AM
sniff sniff... I'm home. ;-)

CGT80
11-06-2010, 9:56 PM
I scored 32

BigFatGuy
11-12-2010, 6:27 PM
Stopped by the Turner's on Hawthorne today, they had a few green plastic .50cal ammo boxes for $9.99 each.

Waterproof, stackable, plenty large, lighter then the steel ones... and yet, there's something... wrong with plastic ammo cans. ;-)

chris
11-13-2010, 12:16 PM
i either use a paint pen from work or a sharpy. that's about as detailed as i get with my ammo cans.

bsg
11-13-2010, 3:17 PM
Stopped by the Turner's on Hawthorne today, they had a few green plastic .50cal ammo boxes for $9.99 each.

Waterproof, stackable, plenty large, lighter then the steel ones... and yet, there's something... wrong with plastic ammo cans. ;-)


yes... there is nothing to tinker with.

G lock
11-13-2010, 3:41 PM
here is a suggestion, you can make a stencil out of a magnetic sheet, then it will come out alot cleaner if you dont want to buy pre cut vinyl

http://www.idealtruevalue.com/servlet/the-79256/Detail

T-Bear
11-13-2010, 5:31 PM
When I read the title, I about fell out of chair. This is a classic story for you all. Sit back and grab a beer.

In speaking of the devil, I started my DIT yourself paint job with the digital kit, took me 1 day to complete this project from tear down to build up. Then another week for a final cure. Please remember it took me 1 day:
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e396/wrathje/IMG_0134.jpg
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e396/wrathje/IMG_0136.jpg


Then my room mate saw the final outcome and was so impressed that we wanted to do his own. I said no problem I have a total of 5 cans left from my project. And that he will just pay me back when done...................
.................................................. ..............................................
After trying to replica my project after 3 weeks, 3 freakin weeks he was still not done. This guy stayed up till 2-3 am on a work day, this is crazy he got out of control. Started buying acetone, can after can after can to complete his 10-22 stock.
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e396/wrathje/IMG_0122.jpg

T-Bear
11-13-2010, 5:33 PM
Now he is pushing on his 4 week, after trips to Home Depot I thought for sure he was done. Boy I was wrong, next came trips to Michaels store, bought a airbrush kit, stencils, tape, exacto knives of all sizes. I would say he spent close to $200 so far.
I had to stop this guy, so I mention Boyds stocks. He can purchase a stock for the time being and shoot his brand new 10-22 while he works on now a $200 stock, lol. That lit him off, and started crusing at me, don't forget about those mood changes in week 3.
Towards the end of the 4th week, he had lost his mind, he now has a paint booth inside the garage:
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e396/wrathje/IMG_0123.jpg

With a heat gun speeding up the process along with his bad *** air brush kit, and ropes and wires hanging every where. At this point it was a total loss for him, he had lost it. He started to print out his own stencils and forget out the digital camo theme. He started gong for tiger strips, now this is the turning point for me.
My response, "Cool man, go for it" There was turning back for him.

On to week 5, remeber it only took me 1 day to complete my detailed digital camo scheme. He has resorted to peeling off blue painters tape and started masking off his own scheme, I had no idea what the hell he was doing, I just let me do what ever he wants to do .

He is still using his paint booth, ropes, wires, heat gun, exacto knives, acetone, and razor blades.

I reminder him again, "Dude all you had to do was read the instructions that came with the digital camo kit" At this point I was no longer allowed in the garage.

Speed up time, it took him 6 weeks to complete this:
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e396/wrathje/IMG_0137.jpg
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e396/wrathje/IMG_0138.jpg

T-Bear
11-13-2010, 5:35 PM
Even until this day, that stock is still not on the gun. LOL
Here are some pics of the garage as it is. This garage used to be clean, open, park a freakin car inside.
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e396/wrathje/IMG_0120.jpg
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e396/wrathje/IMG_0121.jpg
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e396/wrathje/IMG_0122.jpg
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e396/wrathje/IMG_0124.jpg
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e396/wrathje/IMG_0126.jpg
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e396/wrathje/IMG_0130.jpg

T-Bear
11-13-2010, 5:37 PM
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e396/wrathje/IMG_0128.jpg
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e396/wrathje/IMG_0129.jpg


The culprit and the guy with OCD:


And it took me 1 day to complete my project, in my little tiny cubble hole, this is my only space in the whole freakin garage, its insane. The kit that I bought was enough for 2-3 guns, I only planned on doing 1, but shoot can't do any more now
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e396/wrathje/IMG_0131.jpg

I posted this without him knowing, but I'm sure he will read up on calguns and see this and go apes, lol

T-Bear
11-13-2010, 5:40 PM
If anyone can guess the total cost he put into that stock I;ll offer my cans of tan paint to them. Even I don't know the end cost, but I;ll ask. My guess would be close to $300 for the project, and I dont even think it is complete. ohh and the dremel he purchased and went to town with. This story is classic,

bsg
11-13-2010, 11:07 PM
If anyone can guess the total cost he put into that stock I;ll offer my cans of tan paint to them. Even I don't know the end cost, but I;ll ask. My guess would be close to $300 for the project, and I dont even think it is complete. ohh and the dremel he purchased and went to town with. This story is classic,


love it; thanks for sharing. i've been to that rodeo a few times! that level of insanity is not too far to drive to.... :taz: :willy_nilly::banghead:

BigFatGuy
11-14-2010, 2:32 PM
That's why I plan to buy my guns in black whenever possible... no concerns over look/color/finish... it's just black.

One less thing to ocd over.

BigFatGuy
11-14-2010, 2:34 PM
T-Bear,

if you don't mind, can you give us the 20-word summary on how the kit is SUPPOSED to work? Your stock looks freakin' sweet, and your friends looks pretty ghetto by comparison... I'm particularly interested in how you made sure those right angles and square edges turned out so nice.

T-Bear
11-14-2010, 3:41 PM
I bought the kit from a local store $60.00. Here is there website:http://www.aervoe.com/paints_coatings/Military-Digital-Pattern-Camo-Kit-Stencil.html

It is a 4 stage kit, comes with the stencils enough for 3-4 guns, my mistake was that i did not use enough of he stencils. The kit comes with about 20ft of stencils all sizes and can be cut to make smaller ones as well.
I just then start the layer process coat by coat. When all done is when I remove all the stencils. Then let dry for a couple days before putting th gun back together. I have roughly 3,00rds so far through the GSG and by now means I treat it with knit gloves. The paint has held by well. The forearm grip, I actually put skaters tape on it for that rough feel.
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e396/wrathje/IMG_0140.jpg
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e396/wrathje/IMG_0139.jpg
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e396/wrathje/IMG_0141.jpg


I very much would like to keep this thread going, in the hopes that my roommate puts his stock on and goes to the range with me.
Somewhere in between week 2-3, he started to make his own stencils, that is a task all by itself, He wanted to make smaller digital stencils than what the kit provided.
But he will be on here shortly to take over the tale of the

BigFatGuy
11-14-2010, 3:56 PM
I'll be at the gunshow at the end of november, no doubt I'll pick up a few more ammo cans then... so I'll certainly keep this thread going. Feel free to continue your stuff as well, if only to serve as a warning to the rest of us. ;-)

oldrifle
11-14-2010, 5:05 PM
I use a Sharpie.

IntoForever
11-14-2010, 6:03 PM
Speed up time, it took him 6 weeks to complete this:
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e396/wrathje/IMG_0137.jpg
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e396/wrathje/IMG_0138.jpg

Looks like someone vomited duct tape on the stock.

As for the stencils in the earlier post, you can get a weak tack spray and make the letters stick to the can, hit with a light clear coat to fill any gaps beneath the stencils then the color will look nice and sharp. Another alternative is plastic tack film, just cut out what you want and remove. Best yet is the die cut vinyl. Great, now my OCD is kicking in and I NEED a die cut vinyl machine.

BigFatGuy
11-14-2010, 6:35 PM
Great, now my OCD is kicking in and I NEED a die cut vinyl machine.

Since I started this thread I've been trying to justify to myself the cost of a vinyl cutter on the idea that I can make it back selling magnetic vinyl stencils for like-minded ammo-can painters... but those cutters are a lot of freakin money.

T-Bear
11-14-2010, 7:04 PM
I;ll join in with OCD, if you make them or know where to buy them.
I might even go as far as buying a sand blaster to start them off.

BigFatGuy
11-14-2010, 7:11 PM
I have a sand blaster. ;-)

This is the least expensive commercial unit I've found for cutting 8.5x11 vinyl sheets:

http://www.silhouetteamerica.com/silhouette.aspx

$300.:(

T-Bear
11-14-2010, 7:18 PM
I wonder if we can hook up with some printer shops that have this machine and just buy a couple for starters. I;ll check with my guy that deals with our shop printing needs.
Your getting me hooked.

BigFatGuy
11-14-2010, 7:50 PM
I wonder if we can hook up with some printer shops that have this machine and just buy a couple for starters. I;ll check with my guy that deals with our shop printing needs.
Your getting me hooked.

I'm a pretty fair hand with Illustrator if you know people in the print industry. Any place I've seen that cuts vinyl for hire charges pretty insane rates.

IntoForever
11-14-2010, 7:53 PM
I've committed my funds to buying a Canon 5D and a 20" AR upper. If someone can show me that I'll make my money back, I'm down to buy a vinyl cutter. All the machines I've seen were expensive thus making the vinyl decals expensive. I'd do the more offensive cuts though as long as they aren't anti-USA.

BigFatGuy
11-14-2010, 8:45 PM
if I was certain a cutter would pay for itself, I'd have one now. ;-)

Jsapata
11-17-2010, 7:38 AM
I'm a pretty fair hand with Illustrator if you know people in the print industry. Any place I've seen that cuts vinyl for hire charges pretty insane rates.

You can post in another forum where I know many people have the ability to cut custom vinyl. I have had 3" tall names cut in heat press vinyl for printing custom jerseys. PM me if you want the info. I am sure there are some folks there that can help.

BigFatGuy
11-17-2010, 10:07 AM
pm sent.

five.five-six
11-19-2010, 9:16 PM
This is the same questions as the Facebook based one, and I got the same score

http://glennrowe.net/BaronCohen/AutismSpectrumQuotient/AutismSpectrumQuotient.aspx

OK, now I am worried, I scored a 12, and I reload... AFAIK, a bit of OCD is a good thing when reloading, so I went back and took it again, checking and making sure of my answers, I got an 11 :eek: but I swear I am OCD on a bunch of things...like when I wire up server racks, my cabling is impeccable, or finishing up a C&R stock, I can spend a lot of hours.... IMO this test sucks

Rivers
11-19-2010, 10:06 PM
You're worried? I scored 9. I know that my responses today are different from how I would have answered when I was younger. (I'm not that old now...) I'd like to think that I'm more wise in how I react today, not as impatient or likely to frustrate as in my youth.

troda
11-20-2010, 3:50 AM
Scored a 15. ps I'll never look at my label maker the same after the" creepy brother P-touch" comment ;-)

five.five-six
11-20-2010, 10:30 AM
what's creepy about a P-touch? I stencil everything

Falstaff
11-20-2010, 6:27 PM
One word: Sharpie.

(major faux paux on the multi cal cans..)

BigFatGuy
11-20-2010, 6:51 PM
(major faux paux on the multi cal cans..)

give me time, give me time...

Jsapata
11-28-2010, 9:18 PM
How tall are the letters you guys are painting on your ammo cans?

BigFatGuy
11-28-2010, 9:34 PM
mine are about an inch, maybe an inch and a half.

BigFatGuy
11-28-2010, 10:15 PM
I take it back, I was looking at old notes.

The largest letters shown in teh photos are roughly 3/4" tall. In Illustrator, this is roughly 180pt font for the fonts I'm using.

Jsapata
11-30-2010, 6:38 PM
Killer Bee you def need to add larger lettering. I can't read those! :p

But I am liking the system you have going.


I printed 1/2" tapes on my p-touch..

can# and caliber only for the can latch..

I keep a running account on the computer for inventory purposes..

before and after..

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/attachment.php?attachmentid=47278&d=126722119776849

five.five-six
11-30-2010, 7:33 PM
p-Touch FTW

DREADNOUGHT78
11-30-2010, 8:17 PM
Great....So I took that test and scored 28. I made my GF take it and she scored 7? So I made her help me take the test so I answered the questions honestly. Well This time I scored 35....Weak!

As for the cans I did refinish mine with the Krylon OD. I plan on buying a P-Touch and labeling them later. I buzzed them down with some 320 on a DA sander. Then scrubbed them with a red Scotch-Brite pad and some Comest household cleaner. Degreased them with PPG DX-330 Wax and Grease Remover. Hit the bare metal with some SEM etch primer and proceeded to spray them with the Krylon. I could have used better paint but cost was a factor and it also makes touch ups super easy.

BigFatGuy
11-30-2010, 11:44 PM
Wow, I just hit them with some Simple Green. ;-)

tacticalcity
12-01-2010, 11:13 AM
Not that I ever felt the need to be this anal about it, however, for my day job I work for a print shop. So I could design some pretty cool looking labels in Photoshop or InDesign and have the Copy Department do some 1 offs for each can. To do so would be abusing the priveledge. They already print my business cards for Tactical City for free for me. I don't want to take too much advantage.

BigFatGuy
12-03-2010, 12:50 PM
Thanks to jsapata's contacts I've got some single-use machine-cut stencils coming my way. I'll see how they turn out.

I've got 3 more cans to try stuff out on (one shown after a base coat of rustoleum "industrial" paint as a base/prime coat).

I've just about run out of all the various half-empty cans I had laying around my garage (the grey "industrial" paint is the last of that supply), so I'll be trying a few new things this time: real spray-on primer, putting a layer of spray-on tool dip or bed liner on the bottom of the can, better stencils, and high and low gloss base coats.

So far I can report this: the spray-paint shown in one of the photos does an excellent job of covering the can. if this were black I'd consider the can ready to stencil at this point. The paint goes on smooth, dries shiny, and hides the yellow color of the marking paint very well.

Also, that yellow paint is raised quite a bit over the base metal, so even if the color is hidden you can still read it due to the shadow it throws in certain light. When I do the 2nd can from this batch it will definitely get sanded down a bit.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4286123/Calguns/Cans2/01.jpg

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4286123/Calguns/Cans2/02.jpg

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4286123/Calguns/Cans2/03.jpg

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4286123/Calguns/Cans2/04.jpg

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4286123/Calguns/Cans2/05.jpg

Cokebottle
12-04-2010, 12:19 PM
btw.. these markings should have been removed or sprayed over prior to their discharge from military service..
I guess they've been lax.
I've got a bunch of 200rd 7.62 M13 boxes that look just like they did the day they got pulled out of the boneyard (dinged up, rust, etc...).
I bought every one of them from a surplus store.

BigFatGuy
12-04-2010, 8:14 PM
I didn't buy any for this session, but at Home Depot I saw both "Chalkboard" spray paint and "Whiteboard" spray paint, which would be handy for guys that like to mark the # of rounds in the can on the outside.

BigFatGuy
12-05-2010, 11:06 AM
I'm no old-timer expert, but I've seen many cans sold by several people over the past few months, and I'd estimate 9/10 were still marked in the original yellow.

BigFatGuy
12-08-2010, 10:59 PM
ok, my latest experiment:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4286123/Calguns/Cans2/stencil00.jpg
Thanks to Jsapata's connections, I got in touch with a guy who does machine-cut vinyl. These are in three layers, paper under vinyl stencil under a plastic top layer. The top layer lets you use the white credit card thing (sent for free) to burnish down the stencil without fear of damaging the fine details.

The vinyl sticks well, and in fact should be warmed up with a heat gun or shop light before removal.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4286123/Calguns/Cans2/stencil01.jpg
Undercoated in grey, overcoated in black. As an experiment I coated the bottom in spray-on tool dip.

Lesson 1: The spray-on tool dip goes on VERY thin compared to the dipped stuff. It took at least 3 coats to make the bottom look and feel remotely "rubbery". Also, keep in mind that if you mask off an area during application you have to remove the masking BEFORE it dries, or it turns very rubbery, and leaves a ragged edge when you remove the painter's tape.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4286123/Calguns/Cans2/stencil02.jpg
Despite cleaning and undercoating with a nice smooth layer of spraypaint, the black paint "crackled" in some areas. Not sure why, maybe the two kinds of paint were not compatible.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4286123/Calguns/Cans2/stencil03.jpg
The stencils applied to the can

BigFatGuy
12-08-2010, 10:59 PM
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4286123/Calguns/Cans2/stencil04.jpg
masked off for spraypainting.

This part sucked. I now understand why people use "negative" stencils (where you paint in the highlight color, apply the stencil, and then overpaint with the base coat)...

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4286123/Calguns/Cans2/stencil05.jpg
after painting the text

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4286123/Calguns/Cans2/stencil06.jpg
and the final results... very nice!

Paper Boy
12-09-2010, 6:45 AM
http://inlinethumb12.webshots.com/46603/2123875760072664822S600x600Q85.jpg (http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2123875760072664822GllvkV)

Crappy cell phone pic I will take better ones and document the whole project on the next set. Hit the cans with a power sander real quick and recoated them different colors for different cals. Still need to do cans for .45 .270 .22 and slug / buckshot and then working on the containers holding my brass. Used a vinyl cutter for the lettering

Jsapata
12-09-2010, 5:24 PM
Looks like it turned out pretty good. Do you think you will be using the stencils for the rest of your cans? If so will you go with the negative stencils next time?

BigFatGuy
12-09-2010, 6:45 PM
Looks like it turned out pretty good. Do you think you will be using the stencils for the rest of your cans? If so will you go with the negative stencils next time?

I got enough stencils to do my current crop of 4 cans, so I'll have to wait for the next batch to try something new... I will try it though, just to say I've done it.

BigFatGuy
12-10-2010, 12:29 AM
OK, I've had a very deep learning experience tonight with regards to spraypaint.

5 minutes of cleaning the outside of the can with turpentine and then Simple Green (and paper towels), then priming with actual primer instead of left-over paint has resulted in the best surface finish I've ever rattle-canned onto an ammo can.

Surface prep is more important then I figured.

ronas
12-10-2010, 3:45 AM
This is just a suggestion but with all the prep. work you have done it seems the weak link is the paint you are using. I think your fininshed product would look better and definatley be much more durable if you used paint that cured chemically, i.e., automotive paint. It drys fast and will get hard fast. Either a single stage with hardener or 2 stage paint, color coat and clear coat. I would just use single stage paint with hardener. The finish you get with a small paint gun painting small items will look fantastic.

Just a friendly suggestion.

BigFatGuy
12-10-2010, 9:41 AM
Do you go around throwing gasoline on fires? ;-)

The sad thing is, I have a paintgun and a compressor... so I may have to try this one day.

Damn you.

Deadbolt
12-10-2010, 12:59 PM
This is just a suggestion but with all the prep. work you have done it seems the weak link is the paint you are using. I think your fininshed product would look better and definatley be much more durable if you used paint that cured chemically, i.e., automotive paint. It drys fast and will get hard fast. Either a single stage with hardener or 2 stage paint, color coat and clear coat. I would just use single stage paint with hardener. The finish you get with a small paint gun painting small items will look fantastic.

Just a friendly suggestion.

Ventilation is key.

Automotive paint will melt your brain fast. I was doing some motorcycle panels a few years back and day 1 i didnt ventilate enough - gave me a gnarly headache for like 10hrs. Next day I had a ton of fans.

A respirator helps too (40$ for a decent one, they can get much more expensive tho) but it should be used with proper ventilation (day 1 i was wearing my mask and it was still brutal )

blackbox
12-12-2010, 10:19 PM
If you're really anal about quality, Midway is now selling brand new (not surplus) ammo cans:
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=929544

They are pricey, but I've never seen these before...

BigFatGuy
12-12-2010, 10:56 PM
Those are very nice!

but, that's a lot of money for one can...

Saym14
12-16-2010, 11:56 AM
ooooooohhhhhhh.. me likes!

three colors available.. (http://www.midwayusa.com/Search/#military%20m2a1____-_1-2-4_8-16-32)


http://media.midwayusa.com/ProductImages/Large/165/165462.jpg

and btw.. not too pricey considering what some guys are getting for ones in excellent condition..

fortunately for me.. I have never purchased one single can.. but I might buy a couple of these..:D


$6 for a used one and $4 for a can of paint = $10 can and you can choose your color.

Saym14
12-16-2010, 9:34 PM
the value of my time to restore used ammo cans is exponetially more than $10..

and btw.. tan is my favorite color.. :p

I sprayed one and it took about 60 seconds. only used about a third of the paint can too. your spare time is worth $600 per hour ?

BigFatGuy
12-16-2010, 10:14 PM
in his defense, I've spent a lot more then 10 minutes per can... but then it's kind of a form of meditation. ;-)

BigFatGuy
12-16-2010, 11:14 PM
I've actually been afraid to remove the seal... does it come out in one piece?

Painting over it hasn't harmed it that I can tell, although I do put a bit of silicon lube on it before I seal it back up.

Saym14
12-16-2010, 11:32 PM
I've actually been afraid to remove the seal... does it come out in one piece?

Painting over it hasn't harmed it that I can tell, although I do put a bit of silicon lube on it before I seal it back up.

dont worry - dont even ien the can - spray ot all while it is closed, you are not spraying a rolls royce.

destro360
12-16-2010, 11:43 PM
i used to work for a powder coating company and we would sand blast and refinish these cans buy the pallet load! the seals come off in one piece but honestly i was never comfortable with the way they went back on. i personally think ammo cans look freaky and weird if they are not standard od green.... but im all for ocd and over organization. it never hurts.

Saym14
12-17-2010, 11:50 AM
shipping for one can from Cabelas is like $14 ??

this took me about 10 minutes of mancave time exclduing drying time

http://i884.photobucket.com/albums/ac47/saym14/040.jpg

BigFatGuy
12-23-2010, 8:35 PM
OK, I suspect this will be my last posts on this subject for some time.

The point of this thread was not so much to make a "perfect" way to decorate a can, but to optimize the process, to get the most effect from the least effort and the least money. Essentially, I was looking for where in the "cheap fast good" triangle I'd like to live.

I decided to try my hand at a "negative" stencil, where you paint the text color first, then place the stencil as a mask, then paint the base color, then remove the stencil.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4286123/Calguns/Cans2/Neg1.jpg
The can as purchased

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4286123/Calguns/Cans2/Neg2.jpg
cleaned, primed grey, painted white

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4286123/Calguns/Cans2/Neg3.jpg
stencils applied. Note that these stencils are NOT cut properly for this type of stenciling. I'm using them out-of-scope for experimental purposes.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4286123/Calguns/Cans2/Neg4.jpg
painted and stencils removed

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4286123/Calguns/Cans2/Neg5.jpg
Here's my ammo shelf, with my "hey, can I try your gun?" ammo collection.

This method of stenciling was MUCH easier. Masking sucks, the tape screwed up the paint job, and I always managed to miss a seam somewhere.

However, given that the cnc-cut vinyl stencils I've been using are actually meant to be adhered to a surface as lettering, not a quick-on/quick-off stencil material. Thus, if I'm going to use negative stencils, I'd just use the vinyl letters themselves.

I've found the tool-dip coat, on the other hand, to be very useful. The spray paint tends to scrape off as you move the can around, which will let the can rust from the bottom. The tool dip spray-paint forms a very hard, durable surface, as much trouble as it is to apply.

So, for now, this is my can-painting process.

1: buff down any rust with sand paper
2: clean yellow lettering off with turpentine on a paper towel
3: prime with rustoleum anti-rust primer.
Inside and out.
Do not sand prime coat.
4: paint with base color
5: mask off majority of can to expose bottom for tool-dip spray
6: paint heavily with tool dip
7: run sharp blade along edge of masking to cut tool-dip
8: de-mask
9: apply cnc-cut vinyl lettering
A: fill with ammo, prepare for zombies

BigFatGuy
07-24-2016, 4:55 PM
Bringing a zombie thread back to life, but I think I've found a significant improvement to my process: decopage.

Using the freeware "Illustrator" type tool: Inkscape, I laid out some labels for the sides, front, back, and top of the cans. I found a green color that was "close enough" to the cans, and found bright yellow text was readable in my dim garage.

I also created a "counter strip" with a series of checkboxes that represent 50 rounds of ammo. As I empty the can, i check off the boxes.

The labels are printed, glued onto the cans with white glue or "modge podge" watered down slightly. There's also adhesive sprays that might work.

Not nearly as tedious as the full blown stencil/spraypaint, better looking than a sharpie.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/4286123/Calguns/decopage_1.jpg

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/4286123/Calguns/decopage_2.jpg

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/4286123/Calguns/decopage_3.jpg

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/4286123/Calguns/decopage_4.jpg

CGT80
07-24-2016, 10:13 PM
Nice Job, OP. When I saw the original date I was wondering who woke up such an old thread and why.

Stencils would look look more authentic, but the labels are very nice and far better looking than all the text and underscore crammed onto the white mailing labels I use. Then again, my labels are stuck to powdered creamer jars, raisin jars, nut jars, berry's bullets boxes, and coffee cans.

They used to get stuck to Dillon blue ammo boxes (of course the labels had to be aligned exactly with the raised line in the plastic so they would be straight), but all of that work to fill them and then empty them was just more than it was worth to satisfy my OCD. Most of the lever action shooters use ammo boxes and label their stuff just so, and they give me crap for showing up with a rifle, jug of coffee, and clear nut container with my cast boolit loads just thrown in. The teasing goes away when I win a match, but that gives them more to use against me when I show up the next month and just add to the challenge formed from all the other good shooters combined. I went easy on them today and let some other guys win........yeah, that's my excuse for a low score.

BigFatGuy
07-25-2016, 9:16 AM
Just to clear up a couple questions I got:

The plastic 22 box is covering my last name, which is there in case I take ammo in the box to a range or class.

They aren't my reloads. FT3 is a range in Stanton.

Yes, a 50cal box loaded with 1000 rounds of 45(or 2500 rounds of 22) is a bit heavy.

My favorite source for cans, right now, is Costco. $20 for a 30cal can inside a 50cal can, brand new with no rust.

readysetgo
07-25-2016, 9:51 AM
That last idea with counters is really cool BFG! :thumbsup:

Maybe you could hit up ammocanmagnets to do a generic magnetized label (or DIY). It would make clean up easier when you've emptied a can. :shrug: http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=706872

Now if we can just get OP to repopulate all the dead image links. :shifty:

therealnickb
07-25-2016, 10:47 AM
One day you're going to be all "my ammo cans look like crap, and the guys at the range laugh at me", and then you'll be back.

:o

No, I have a friend like you. His response is better.

"I know! And I'm dealing with it!" :)

BigFatGuy
07-25-2016, 10:56 AM
I've used a couple of magnet/sticker type companies. They look really good, but get expensive when you think of all the variables I'm documenting on the labels... Especially if you are building an ammo-fort before 1/1/17.

As for the dead links... Yeah, I deleted that folder a long time ago thinking this thread was too old to care about... Pretty much gone for good, I'm afraid.

readysetgo
07-25-2016, 6:31 PM
Never go full deletion on a cool DIY pictorial. NEVER!

I was thinking more generic just for the counter. eg ten rows by ten rows. Counts by tens. So works if box of 20 or 50. If 30 cal. cans, smaller amounts, just cross out the appropriate amount at the beginning.

baranski
07-25-2016, 6:41 PM
If this thread is OCD, I'm in trouble.

:)


http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/attachment.php?attachmentid=524160&d=1469501262

baranski
07-25-2016, 6:50 PM
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/attachment.php?attachmentid=524164&d=1469501358


Nice to have all the right stuff to do it right. :)


Time do some other than red and black. These will then be hand lettered.

BigFatGuy
07-25-2016, 8:48 PM
That's really nice... clearly not just rattle-canned. :-)

JohnFLand
07-26-2016, 3:49 PM
For us lazy OCD types who appreciate a nicely painted can:

http://thecanmanguncases.com/shop

readysetgo
07-26-2016, 4:03 PM
For us lazy OCD types who appreciate a nicely painted can:

http://thecanmanguncases.com/shop

Amazing! Not $125 amazing but...chrome plated ammo cans, cool.

http://thecanmanguncases.com/components/com_jshopping/files/img_products/thumb_0052.JPG