Saturday, March 31, 2012

Hubey Racers Restoration Continues

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Hubley Racers Restoration Continues

     I finally was able to apply the second coat 9layer) of paint to the green and red Hubley # 5 racers. I also applied the silver paint to certain areas that were shown in catalogue photos of the original toys. I realized 1 thing with the red paint. Yesterday, I told you that I thought it was too glossy (shiny). I was right, however the reason was due to the wrong type of spray, rather than my spraying too much. I was using a paint spray for plastic, and I guess it's more glossy. Anyway, the solution was to use a matte clear spray finishing coat, which you'll see below.

 This is the Krylon matte finish  spray that I used to remove some of the
 gloss (shine) from the red car. I also added it to the green car as a protective coat.

So thanks for dropping by, and have a pleasant 
and restful Sunday, wherever you may be.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Searching For That Lost Treasure

Friday, March 30, 2012

Searching For That Lost Treasure

     My wife Heidi and I were walking our dog Buddy, when we bumped into our friend and neighbour Larry. We chatted a bit, and Larry then mentioned that he had some toys. One thing led to another, and so I dropped by Larry & Ethel's house after our walk with Buddy.

    Like everyone else, we all are looking for that great treasure or  want to sell something on E-Bay. 

   I'll get back to Larry's toys, but first a slight personal anecdote.

 I had a collection of  Canadian Plate Block stamps that my father encouraged my brother and I to collect. When my father passed away, and then my mother years later, we divided whatever was left in out house that we grew up in. My brother Michael, took the American stamps,and I stayed with the Canadian.

   For those who don't know, a plate block is simply the 4 stamps with the additional paper edge around it. In Canada, there would be writing indicating the Canada Printer, and sometimes even a number.
I collected plate blocks for almost 45 years, and then stopped. When Canada Post started to sell stamps with a portrait of myself that I could send them and have made into stamps,  and then started to sell American stamps with Micky Mouse on them, I know it was time to stop buying. Also, in the late 1990's, the newly-elected Liberal Government at the time took a Conservative Government proposal  and gave us a "present". It was called the GST or the "goods and services tax". We, the citizens got nailed left right and centre. 

   We even got taxed on stamps. To make matters words, not only  did our federal government start collecting,but our provincial  government(your state) as well . To add insult to injury, our provincial government taxes us ofter the feds do, so they tax a tax!

   I remember when older people would ask  for a 35 cent stamp, and would have to pay 40 cents.
I had trouble understanding the concept, so an 85 year old lady was certainly not going to get it!
Now, normally I'm impatient, but here was a great example of the government gouging us, and hitting the weakest people of all  - the poor and the aged. This was just about the Net took hold, and of course, many older people either can't afford the Net or computers, so they still write.

   Coming back to my collection of stamps, the fact is that I couldn't sell them. I had a vast collection of as I said from having collected over 50 years. I started to try and sell on E-Bay  at a 30% premium over face value. No interest at all! Then I tried selling at face value. Still no offers. Whomever would buy th collection would be making a 15.5% return, since they wouldn't have to pay the GST taxes. Still no offers.

I was soooooo mad, that when I say someone selling Canadian stamps at a 20%  reduction in face value, I bought them. My wife now uses them for her mail. Of course, sometimes, you have to put 10 stamps on the front of the envelope! Of course, I wanted to buy more stamps to get "justice" on the government, but my wife said "no more stamp buying!".

Now let's get back to Larry. I dropped by his house after my wife andI had walked Buddy, our dog. Larry was, of course eager to show me some toys he had, and an interesting box camera that I think is from the 1930's. Of course, we all know what happened to the typewriter records, tube tv's and of course the camera. He had many other toys, but I carefully chose what I though were the best of the lot.

Search # 1:
 A Solido Minibus # 4405

When I did an E-Bay search for active listings, only Great Britain sellers showed up on my search. I think this toy is European made. You can do the research if you want.

The starting prices were $ 1.78 - $ 7.96, with the prices having been changed to the American Dollar from the UK Pound.

Search # 2:
 An old Box Camera
Ensign Speedy 2 1/4B Camera

This camera again is European in manufacture. More specifically, it was British.
It's most-likely from the 1920's-1930's and took what is (soon to be "was") roll film.
The width of roll film is 2 1/4" (6cm), and for this particular camera, the length would have been  anywhere from 2 3/4" - 3" (7cm-8cm)

If you think of the average pocket camera coming with 12 megapixels or my camera, a DSLR (digital single lens reflex) coming with 18 megapixels, we think that that is great.  You can purchase medium-format v]camera for $ 30,000 or used in the range of $ 4,000-12,000 and they will produce anywhere from 12 megapixels - 60 megapixels.  Now that's megapixels.

However, if you were to scan a negative form the above camera, that's if you could find one, and then scan it at least 600 dpi, you'd come up with a file of 120 MB (megabytes), and you could easily make an enlargement of 30" x 40" (76cm x 101 cm) and the detail would be super and screaming out at you!

The starting prices were $ 14.32. - $ 35.00, with the prices having been changed to the American Dollar from the UK Pound, as this was a British manufacturer.

Search # 3:
 American Train Signal
Railroad Blinking Warning Signal

My brother and I used to have a Lionel train set when we were young. We never got to the stage where our whole house was filled with trains, and when we moved, I assume my mother must have given the neighbour's children our toys! I think my toy gun with bullets that you placed caps in would maybe be a good item to sell on E-Bay, but I digress.

There is a huge market for toy trains, and when I was in Toronto 2 years ago to search out old toys, I went to an antique toy show. One half of the convention cetnre was set up for model train afficianados.

So this last item that Larry had given me to check out surely had to be "the" great prospect! When you do a search on E-Bay for trains, you come up with at least 30,000 listing on a slow day!

I found only 1 listing for this exact model and the seller was asking a starting price of $ 22.95 US.

I phoned Larry to given him the news. Sorry Larry, but no great treasures today. 
I told him that for E-Bay homework he had to do an "advanced search" for already-sold toys or expired listings

I hope I didn't perk Larry's interest too much, because for sure he'll be looking for that "lost Treasure of Sierra Leone"

Oops, sorry everyone, I'm mixing my movies (Humphrey Bogart) with my E-Bay toy searches.

Time to go for supper!

So I hope you liked my try at comedy today.

As always, thanks for dropping by, and you're always welcome to be a guest writer on my blog.

And wherever you are, have a great weekend if it hasn't yet started, and for those whose weekend has started enjoy the remainder.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Hubley Racers # 5 - Restoration Continued

Thursday, March 29, 2012
Cold and Snowing!

Hubley Racers #5
Restoration Continued

     Hello everyone. Today's instalment returns to the 2 Hubley racers that I'm restoring. Any new task always has knowledge and experiences to be gained. And toy restoration is no different. When it comes to a new adventure, I like to read up on the subject, as well as venturing out on my own.  In this case, some mistakes are made, but that's what you learn from doing. So "let's get on with the show" as an old expression goes.

    I decided to paint the more-damaged and restored racer. If you remember, I'm just trying to sell the 2 for a slight profit. I had them listed, but I that I got was some interest in the 3 racers. I can sell them on E-Bay, but then who is going to want the rubber tires, the banged-up cars, and the axles?

   I painted the green racer with another coat of spray paint. The trouble with cold weather is that you need to paint indoors, and the only place is the garage. Unfortunately, the fumes start to build up. I let the cars stay in the garage for an hour, then placed them outdoors to aerate and lose the strong fumes and odours.

   I made an error in painting the red car, but its a good experience. I didn't have enough light in the garage, and I was too "lazy" to get a house light and extension cord, so that's how the mistake occurred! I sprayed too close, and also too much on the top of the red car. What happened is that there ended up too much paint on the top, and that created a different shine or gloss from the sides of the car. Please have a look at the photos below to see what I mean.

Continued Body Work Restoration 

Notice how the side of the car has more texture and is less smooth compared with the top of the car.

The solution will be to sand down the top,, make sure to use better lighting, and spray much less and more evenly!

Here is the red racer by itself.

It's not perfect, but whomever buys the 2 cars can continue where I finished.

The 2 Hubley # 5 racers side-by-side.

The 2 Hubley # 5 racers sanded down again.

The same items but photographed with a harser light for texture.

The Previous Work

Adding autobody filler (plastic putty) to the red car 

The car when it arrived

Start of the Tires and Axles

       As today was a cold and snowy day, it was easy to stay inside and do more than the usual amount of "toy work". Is that an oxymoron? 

The Tires and Axles as They Arrived

A Closer Look at the Tires and Axles

Another View of  More Tires and Axles

AThe first thing that I did with the tires was to wash them.

I used a fingernail brush, an old toothbrush, and some very fine steelwool.

I also used cotton swabs (ear cleaners)

The red earth took much longer than I thought. I had a bowl of soapy water, and used all of the above "tools" to clean the tires. However, It took me 3 times to remove the dirt, and still they could use more work!

I needed to use 1 of the silver-painted tires.
I used a lacquer thinner rather than a pint stripper, as I didn't want to "melt" the rubber tires.
I again used the cotton swabs to work the small areas (textures) of the tires.

Make sure to work in a well-ventilated (lots of fresh air) area, as the fumes are not good for you.
And be sure not to smoke! You might cause an explosion!

Alsop use latex gloves or non0-allergenic gloves. The reason is that the lacquer thinner may go through your skin, and you definitely do not want that!

Sandpaper and steel wool are good for removing rust from the axles.

In the above photo, I'm showing sandpaper in grades of 60-80-100-220-600.

I only worked with the 220 and 600 (the finer and smaller-grained sandpaper). The reason that I showed 5 different grades of sandpaper was to show you what they look like from the coarsest (biggest grains) to the finest (smallest grains).

You can also purchase even finer sandpaper to a grade of 1000, but that's not necessary.

How the sandpaper looks
rom left to right 60-80-100-220-600

I also used the sandpaper and my small files to try and remove as much of the red soil (dirt) as possible.

It's really amazing how that soil can stick to the rubber  and be so hard to remove.

 There is still that red soil even all of my hard work of scrubbing and filing!
Notice how the axle is nice and shiny!

So that's it for today.

As always, thanks for viewing my blog, and 
have a good morning, afternoon, or evening wherever you may be.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Mr. James (Jim) Bruno - Master Craftsman Revisited

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Mr. James (Jim) Bruno
Master Craftsman -Toy restorer Revisited

     I've written about Jim a few times before, and he most graciously took the time to write a blog instalment. However, I knew when his fine work (toys) arrived, I would have to write another instalment about him and his beautiful work. 

    Tootsietoy Grahams are one of the best samples of Tootsietoys that are beautiful to look at and also to sell.  However, restored ones, don;t always sell well, and luckily for me,  I decided to bid on the toys below,and I was able to purchase them at a very good price.

   If you look at my part blogs, I've written about the Tootsietoy Grahams or mentioned them several times. However, I've never devoted an instalment to new ones, and especially not to these fine beautifully-restored Grahams.  So without any more dialogue, please have a look at these beautifully restored "masterpieces". They look like the day they might have been made, almost 75-80 years ago!

The camera is, of course, better at seeing the fine details than your eyes. 
Even when I use my magnifying glasses, I can't see the  texture and weave of the material 
that the car rests on.

The 1932 Tootsietoy Graham  # 512 
5-Wheel Coupe
Manufactured Early 1933-1939
Length: almost 4" (100mm)

The  1932 Tootsietoy Graham  # 613 
Manufactured Early 1933-1939
Length: almost 4" (100mm)

The Tootsietoy Graham  # 806
Manufactured Early 1933-1939
Length: almost 4" (100mm)

The 1932 Tootsietoy Graham  # 516 
Town Car
Manufactured Early 1933-1939
Length: almost 4" (100mm)

I can certainly appreciate all of the work that went into restoring these old toys.I know that the few toys that's I've restored took lots and lots of time, so these also took a lot of time to do. What I can appreciate is the care, effort, and "love" that went into the restoration. I know that from my own experiences!

So thanks as usual for dropping by, and I hope that you enjoyed looking at the fine work of Jim Bruno, as I enjoyed photographing them.

Jim Bruno's ID on E-Bay in jbruno49
or those of you who buy and sell on E-Bay

Thanks for visiting, and  have a good morning, afternoon, or evening, wherever you may be.

Restoration-Part 3

Monday, March 26, 2012

Restoration-Part 3

     Hello everyone. Well, the weather this morning was certainly a surprice, but not unusual for this time of year. After last week's record-breaking temperatures in the mid-high 60 degrees Fahrenheit (18-20 degrees Celcius), we certainly soon forget what March cab be. This morning it was  28 degrees Fahrenheit or -3 degrees Celcius!

     Returning to the 2 Hubley # 5 restorations, the work is progressing.  When I was photographing the 2 Hubley racers, I realized that there is still lots of work to be done! I also realized that like any work project, you can put as much time as you want to get the quality that you want. 

    I'm going to put 2 more days of body work, then apply the final auto primer (paint coat), then the finishing paint colours (spelled colors for my American readers). I'm comfortable for now with my work, but I don't think any auto-body shop (car repair shop)is going to be phoning me for a job!.

I've included the first set of photos along with the latest repairs to show you the progress.

I'm going to list these 2 toys with their parts for a starting price of $ 45.00 US. I might leave the repairs of the axle body holders (on the car body)for a more-experienced "body-shop) man.

I have someone who asked if he could just but buy the 3 cast-iron plated racer drivers, and I said yes. Then another seller asked the same. The drivers alone are worth that price, but then everyone who buys wants a "good price", so I'll continue to keep you informed. I don't know if  I'll get my starting price, but if not, I can always sell everything off piece-by-piece. By as a seller, it's just not worth the effort or time.

Since I'm writing 2 blog instalments today, wait till you see the next  one! Of course, if you're new, you'll only see that one. I'm going to mention in that blog for readers to go back a day to visit this blog on restoration.

Have a great morning, afternoon or evening wherever you are, and as always thatnak for reading my blog.