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antique cast iron radiator refurb adventure (TLDR warning)

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StevieD
StevieD Member Posts: 25
edited September 2023 in THE MAIN WALL
we had our rads taken out in order to put in a new floor.
now i am refurbishing the rads, and what an interesting adventure (or ordeal) this is!

here's some pics of the process

I thought we would discard them but then I realized (in large part from reading this forum) that they are totally cool and worth saving.
The guys who removed them were rough and carried them flat (UGH) and lucky nothing broke.







Heres the 1925 catalog that features the rads. They are type 7-B on p17 : Thanks for the link, @Steamhead !!!

https://archive.org/details/americanpeerless00amer/page/16/mode/2up?view=theater


I took out the bushings and plugs and cleaned all the threads, right hand and LEFT hand - That left hand 1 1/2" NPT tap was hard to find!

Put in new bushings and reinstalled the plugs. The rads will be powder coated so I used Hi-temp thread sealant, good for up to 400 degrees.







I gave them a good flush using this 90* spray wand I made to get around the corners. 100 years worth of crap came out. I flushed until the water came out clear:







Then I leak tested and luckily they all passed:




these rads were designed to be wall hung, but whoever installed them years ago just plopped them on the floor (LAME!). Back in the day, bolt on feet were available with the rads but they are nowhere to be found so I drew some up in Sketchup (an architecture/design CAD program). I based my drawing off of images from the original catalog:







I am either going to have the feet sand cast in iron or CNC machined from steel. Either way, its going to be expensive, so I'm bracing myself for that. The feet can be installed upside down and be used as shelf brackets.

Right now the rads are all sealed up and palletized, ready to go to the powder coater. Handling them is a real chore, and hanging them for blasting and coating will also be a challenge.

Stay tuned for more progress and please do share your experience if you have ever done this!





Steve in MD






Alan (California Radiant) ForbesCLambMad Dog_2DJDrewethicalpaul

Comments

  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,480
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    A lot of work and $$. Looks good so far.
    Be sure to add a dirt separator with a magnetic function to protect the pumps, valves, boilers, etc.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    StevieDMad Dog_2
  • StevieD
    StevieD Member Posts: 25
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    hot_rod said:
    A lot of work and $$. Looks good so far. Be sure to add a dirt separator with a magnetic function to protect the pumps, valves, boilers, etc.

    ah yes, thank you! I will tell the plumber

  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 17,008
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    I might be interested in some of those feet.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    Mad Dog_2
  • tim smith
    tim smith Member Posts: 2,774
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    Why not wall mount brackets? A little cleaner I feel. Btw cool and dedicated
    Resto project.
    Mad Dog_2ethicalpaul
  • Waher
    Waher Member Posts: 257
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    The high temp thread sealant was a major mistake. :s
  • StevieD
    StevieD Member Posts: 25
    edited September 2023
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    Waher said:
    The high temp thread sealant was a major mistake. :s
    Why’s that? 
    I can undo it if necessary
    I chose it bc the rads will be powder coated and that requires a bake in a 400* oven. 
    Im open to other suggestions as I aint no plumber
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,965
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    Never seize!
  • StevieD
    StevieD Member Posts: 25
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    tim smith said:
    Why not wall mount brackets? A little cleaner I feel. Btw cool and dedicated
    Resto project.
    Yeah that was my first choice for sure.
    but many factors conspired to make it just too complicated and finicky. 
    the feet will give much more flexibility at install plus, they double as shlef brackets when installed upside down on top! 


  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,480
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    Can you 3D print those legs?
    Maybe a glass/ nylon composite? Then you could send the program around and folks could print them locally. Online printers also now.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • StevieD
    StevieD Member Posts: 25
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    hot_rod said:
    Can you 3D print those legs? Maybe a glass/ nylon composite? Then you could send the program around and folks could print them locally. Online printers also now.
    I have the 3d print there in hand. 

    I explored 3d metal printing its just too pricey. 

    And my local university’s advanced fab lab is not responsive so, machining it is
    CLamb
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,480
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    What about a plasma or laser cut the first shape, cnc the recess?
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • CLamb
    CLamb Member Posts: 300
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    StevieD said:

    nd my local university’s advanced fab lab is not responsive so, machining it is

    Have you checked with an art foundry to find out the cost of casting?