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Painting a Forklift

11/23/2008 10:40 PM

I NEVER PAINTED A CAR I SEEN SHOPS PREPING AND I KNOW THERE'S MORE HOURS.

WHAT STEPS CAN I SAVE IN PREPING AND SUPPLIES IN PAINTING FORKLIFT?

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#1

Re: PAINTING FORKLIFTS

11/24/2008 10:29 AM

Have painted both. Steam clean the forklift. Use wire cup brush on a grinder to knock off all loose paint. Remove the hood and cover the engine with drop cloth. If the mast is a different color cover it with drop cloth. Tape up any exposed cylinder rods. Paint away. Note that the people that use the forklift don't own them. So unless you are trying to resell the forklift i wouldn't worry about a perfect job. Most likely be scratched up in a week.

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#2

Re: Painting a Forklift

11/24/2008 11:12 PM

re "Note that the people that use the forklift don't own them. So unless you are trying to resell the forklift i wouldn't worry about a perfect job. Most likely be scratched up in a week."

OZZB gets to the heart of the matter!

Rub it back with a brick!

Paint it with a broom! :)

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#3

Re: Painting a Forklift

11/25/2008 12:00 AM

Hello Logic:

Some good stuff there from OZZB.

First, park the fork-lift in a place where you will not have to move it until you are finished. leave enough room for a stack of pallets to lower the fork holder onto while you clean it and the whole machine. Undo or isolate the battery terminals and stick tape round them, to stop them earthing out.

I have painted two at different times and found scraping the grease from the inside of the runners of the mast by hand to be pretty quick and beneficial. It is always messy and is usually contaminated by dust, grit etc. I was able to take three or so hydraulic rubber tube tabs off which gave me an extra metre to allow me to firstly remove the forks, then lower the fork holders onto the pallets I mentioned. You should not need to mess with the hydraulics doing this way.

Once the grease is scraped away this surface can be degreased as can the whole of the machine in areas you have to paint. I used 'thinners' to degrease and clean, then you will not need a steam cleaner and will not have to wait for it to dry.

I would take all the paint off the inside runners where the fork-holders move up and down. I measured the wheels on the fork lifter and put masking tape on the inside where the fork guide runs which leaves it free of paint. To be removed after of course.

The ones I did were not fancy. But I found using a medium grade wet and dry gave a good 'keyed' surface to paint on. Just remember to wipe all over afterwards with a thinners cloth and a clean cloth. I painted by brush rather than a spray pump, but, that is just because I didn't have one! I also removed the floor mat and washed that while the paint was drying.

Remember to paint the wheels, a special custom job with a different colour and perhaps 'go-faster-stripes' in the same colour? It will get a smile if nothing else!

Clean and degrease and paint the fork-holders, as above, if you want to. Otherwise just clean it and the forks ready for re-assembly. Wipe any bare metal with grease and leave until you finish painting. then wipe and wipe and wipe again to clean the metal but leave enough grease to protect. There is a need to clean but not grease the forks themselves. Just maybe put a little grease on the parts of the forks that run along the fork-holders.

Remove the strips of Masking-tape and either, with a small brush or a rag apply some good grease to the clean surface. Remember, it may not be cleaned like this for five or ten years so do all you can while it is out of use. I had to fit new battery leads on the battery nearest the back end of the machine. Then reassemble.

Good luck and take care, those forks are heavy.

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#4

Re: Painting a Forklift

11/25/2008 7:10 AM

The hardest part of any paint job is the prep. As pointed out keep it proportional to the intentions of the job. Get some bondo ready if you get aggressive in grinding off paint from the counter weight. Those are just large castings and it is common to fill in rough spots with body filler at the factory. Don't be afraid of it. Follow the directions on the can and it will be fine so long as you keep the layers thin and give it plenty of time to cure out. But, as for the paint I would use an enamel type paint. I buy mine at farm stores such as Rural King and Tractor Supply Company (TSC). Spend the extra $10.00 for the can of hardener. I used this on a carry-all platform I built for my tractor. I have since wrapped chains through the stake pockets and have had rocks spill over the top when filling it with a loader. Yes there are some chips but not anywhere near what there would have been without the hardener. Also buy a good paint gun. Remember you do not have to have the best. Mine was around $40 or $50 when I got it 11 years ago. Clean it well when you are done and it will last a very long time. I don't run a body shop so it only gets used a few times a year. Pick up a water separator as well. Water will condense in your air hose and can ruin a paint job. I like the plastic bulbs that attach to the gun. They are filled with gauze so they are cheap and work great. Depending on your humidity and dew point where you will be working you may not need one. I use one every time regardless of the conditions just to be safe. When spraying the primer keep the first coat very thin. I normally can still see the old paint and bare metal through the first coat. Put it on to heavy and it has nothing to cling to to keep it from running. The following coat will bond with the first more readily that the first will with the metal and old paint. If you do get a run then it can be wiped off if it is a small painted area or let it dry and cut the high spot off with a razor blade. You could also use self etching primer and not scuff sand everything before priming. Oh, and don't forget to wipe it down before spraying primer. I like to use an air hose to blow off the dust from the item and the shop floor before using the tack rags. I forgot to clean the floor once. I blew dust up into the fresh paint. That was not a happy moment.

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#11
In reply to #4

Re: Painting a Forklift

11/25/2008 4:06 PM

Hello The Mechanic:

Like your idea of the hardener!

I put extra coats on the hard used parts of the first fork I did. And used Polyurethane with added hardener on the second. Kind of have to get a move on that way though, as I was using a brush and it almost set in my hand on the first coat after the primer.

Take care..............

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#5

Re: Painting a Forklift

11/25/2008 8:33 AM

A quick trick for masking hoses is to use aluminum foil. The type from the grocery store. Just crunch it around the hose length and tape off the fittings at the ends. It's faster to put on than the ususal paper and tape and it's faster to take off. And you don't have to worry if the tape will stick to an oily hose.

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#8
In reply to #5

Re: Painting a Forklift

11/25/2008 9:37 AM

Never tried that one!I used grease on tilt rods that works o.k.Some forklifts have a ton of old paint and any suggestion on what jackerhammer i should use?OR

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#9
In reply to #8

Re: Painting a Forklift

11/25/2008 10:27 AM

Heavy equipment I've painted and seen painted:

-wash/clean to remove oils and grease

-wire brush, light steel or brass brush to scuff up original paint but not enough to cut into the surface

-blow dust away (dry oil free air)

-spray on heavy coat of machine paint (after the dust settles)

A primer can be used but i've never seen anyone bother. A heavy coat usually fills in all of the scratches and marks well enough for equipment.

You can move the finished vehicle into a spary booth but a lot of times these are cleaned and sprayed in the parking lot.

.... just my experience

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#6

Re: Painting a Forklift

11/25/2008 8:45 AM

I voted several GA's on this thread. My only addition is to reinforce what all said about surface preparation. New paint will not adhere to a poorly prepped or unclean surface, and it will not only peel off, it will look like c-4-@-p (that looks like a link, but it isn't...) until it does. Also, if possible, match the old paint type - enamel on enamel, lacquer on lacquer, etc.

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#10
In reply to #6

Re: Painting a Forklift

11/25/2008 3:58 PM

Hello EnviroMan:

I thank you if you gave me a GA..........I also thank you even if you didn't!

Oh, by the way, I like your word for Cr-p! Had me fooled (doesn't take much) as I did click the 'link'!

I was a Decorator anyway so had a pretty good idea about the prep' being the most important thing. If you go to all that effort and the paint slides off, or runs and puddles because it is too thick, it is kind of disheartening.

A primer and two or three thin coats makes a much better finish I think. Personal opinion you know?

I think the 'hardener' was a good idea also. I used Polyurethane paint, on the second, simply because it was pretty beat up. But if you are not sure do a test patch where the driver sits, as a test. Actually on one I made a fitted tray/cup holder by the seat. Coffee marks on new paint doesn't look good!

Take care............

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#12
In reply to #6

Re: Painting a Forklift

11/25/2008 8:53 PM

Is there a premier that you don't have to sand after applying,my purpose is a finish product looking good.any suggestions or company products can help.

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#13
In reply to #12

Re: Painting a Forklift

11/26/2008 5:37 AM

Hello Logic:

Welcome. You look like a newbie?

You need to clean, remove any loose paint, grease and dirt.

And sand BEFORE THE PRIMER, not after.<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

The primer gives a 'keyed' surface which allows the top paint coat to adhere, or stick.

It really is worth spending time preparing it before you paint it.

Never sand Primer. It looks flat and dull and rough. It has to be like that to get a better finish for the top coat/s.

Take care...................

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#14
In reply to #12

Re: Painting a Forklift

11/26/2008 6:33 AM

There are several types of primers and I am not an expert. I do know that filler types give a rough surface but they are intended to be sanded. The main purpose of those is to fill in scratches. I normally use the primer found next to the enamel paint in the farm store. I never sand any primered or finished painted surfaces for this type of paint job. The finish is very smooth and has a nice gloss.

Here is the process I use.

Apply primer in thin coats until you can not see the old paint or bare metal. Usually 2-3 coats does it.

Let the primer cure out over night. Sometimes I will spray the primer in the morning and after lunch start the color coats. It depends on the weather since my shop is not heated.

Apply color coats. The first should be very thin to tack up the surface. After that I put on thicker layers but be careful of runs. Spray all inside corners first. Let the area next to them dry a little before spraying. That way you can minimise the chance for runs. The time between coats depends on temperature, humidity, and viscosity. When the previous coat gets dry enough the hair on the back of your hand will feel like it is touching masking tape when you touch the surface, then spray the next coat. Do not use your fingers to test as they will leave indentions or smudges. I normally apply 3-4 coats of color to get the thickness I desire. You can apply more if you wish.

So long as you apply thin coats in this manner and do not let color dry completely you will not have to sand. If the color dries to much then it should be allowed to cure and must be scuff sanded before applying another coat. Since temperature, humidity, and viscosity make a big difference in how the paint goes on I make a test spray on a piece of card board. This helps me adjust the spray pattern and adjust my speed. Keep in mind that the card board will absorb the paint and runs will not occur as easily. But it will give you a good starting point. I do not own a viscosity meter. I will mix the paint and thinner or reducer based on the directions but I do not use measuring cups. Then after stirring I will hold the stirring stick above the paint pot and count in seconds how long it takes for the paint to stop running off the tip and begins to drip. Then each pot I mix after that I will shoot for about the same count. I would not mix paint for a car this way, but this is industrial painting not automotive. I also use a regulator that hooks onto my belt. This lets me dial in the air pressure as I work. You do not have to have this type but the paint gun must be on a regulated line. To much pressure can make it impossible to get a good coat as well as damage some types of guns. I saw the pot blown off the bottom of a gun once because of this. I had a great view, since I was the one holding it. Turned out that it was not the siphoning type I was used to. It actually had a sealed pot and used the air pressure to displace the paint into the air stream at the nozzle. You do remember I said I was not an expert right?

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#7

Re: Painting a Forklift

11/25/2008 9:32 AM

I forgot to ask how old the lift is and where it was made. You may be dealing with lead based paint. If so, keep the sanding to a minimum and wear a respirator.

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#15

Re: Painting a Forklift

11/26/2008 8:51 AM

All of this prep and sanding and primier applications....... it's just a forklift???

Even if you are trying to sell it..... it's just a used forklift. Most people looking to buy a used forklift don't care if the paint is scratched.

Even on a six figure backhoe it's a quick clean, mask what you can reach, scuff and paint with a machine paint that does not require a primer.

Go to your local tractor dealer and ask them how to apply tractor paint..... it's the same thing. In fact, I recommend tractor paint.

I just don't want you to spend days when an afternoon would suffice.

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#16
In reply to #15

Re: Painting a Forklift

11/26/2008 9:43 AM

OK, I voted you a GA for every-day use pragmatism, but if it's going to be entered in a concours d'el├Ęgance, it's gonna haveta look pretty!

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#17
In reply to #15

Re: Painting a Forklift

11/26/2008 10:14 AM

It just depends on what you want. A good paint job will not change how the machine runs. But, it does give an impression to potential customers when they walk through your shop. I hate the paint jobs that are just slapped on something so it can be shipped off to auction. Along the that note, no one here has recommended doing a restoration type paint job either. Besides, there is not that much to sanding down a fork lift. Especially if you spend $40.00 on a DA sander and some discs. It goes pretty quick.

You can polish a turd and it is still a turd.

But with some paint, uh, well, it's still a turd now isn't it.

The assumption has been made that it is worth painting and is not a turd.

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#18
In reply to #17

Re: Painting a Forklift

11/26/2008 10:50 AM

Going with the non-turd assumption and you want to do a fantastic job painting this non-turd forklift then the only real solution is sandblasting it. Sanding all of the crooks and crevaces to get a good paint job will postively drive you insane. It's a tougn job to do even using mulitple style wire brushes.

So:

1-Dismaltle major components.

2-wrap/cover/protect what you can't or don't want to remove.

3-sandblast

4-re-bondo all of the areas in the castings that have been affected and sand

5-clean up

6-prime with non-sanding primer

7-spray 2 coats of a nice bright machine paint

8-re-assemble

9-repeated bash into shipping dock guard rail

10-repeat steps 1 thru 8

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#19
In reply to #18

Re: Painting a Forklift

11/26/2008 11:11 AM

Oh, gosh, if you're gonna go to all that trouble, be sure to paint it yellow so the orange and red flames you stencil on it will show up good. Nothin' like a nice flame job to show off the paint!

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#20
In reply to #19

Re: Painting a Forklift

11/26/2008 11:21 AM

If you really want to go over board then don't forget to make some custom mini mud flaps with chrome accents.

Refer to the 2nd sentence in post 4 "As pointed out keep it proportional to the intentions of the job."

I was raised on a farm. Lots of tractors and trucks painted with barn brushes and rollers. A spray job does not take much more time with a little prep and will look better.

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#21
In reply to #20

Re: Painting a Forklift

11/26/2008 11:53 AM

It ain't my forklift, I was just suggesting that anything truly worth doing is worth OVERdoing... <you mean the chrome accents of the seated girl with the oversize headlights? I'd do that...!>

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#22
In reply to #21

Re: Painting a Forklift

11/26/2008 2:36 PM

Sorry. I meant to reply to gdevine in the post above yours.

Yes, those are the chrome accents I was referring to.

themechanic

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#27
In reply to #21

Re: Painting a Forklift

11/26/2008 5:01 PM

Hello EnviroMan: ..............

I just do not believe it.

You are obviously thinking the same way as me!

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#23
In reply to #20

Re: Painting a Forklift

11/26/2008 2:50 PM

I think it's one of those things where you need to be standing there looking at it to decide how to attack it. And, once you get into it, many times you realize that you won't get done before the pub closes. And that is a terrible plite to a weekend DIY'er.

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#24
In reply to #23

Re: Painting a Forklift

11/26/2008 3:31 PM

Agreed

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#29
In reply to #23

Re: Painting a Forklift

11/26/2008 5:16 PM

Hello gdevine:

I worked at a Brewery now long gone as forks driver, goods in etc. And they had a Pub just next door! So I would pop in far a swift half between 'coats'. Problem was the paint I used did not always neem 6 hours to dry!......Luvaly.

I do not drink anymore..........I spill most of it.

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#30
In reply to #29

Re: Painting a Forklift

11/27/2008 8:35 AM

At one place I worked our engineering office had a view of the parking lot. We would make bets on how many beers the forklift driver would drink over his 1/2 lunch in his car before returning to work.

I would say average of six. He seemed to pause and think before geting into the second six pack..... most times.

Please note.... this was after we reported him. I hate to be a snitch but I would hate even more to be the guy he injured on the shop floor. And the drinking was excessive. It still took over 2 weeks before he was sent to rehab. Unions ya know.

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#31
In reply to #30

Re: Painting a Forklift

11/27/2008 12:44 PM

Hello gdevine:

I thank you for posting me OK?

That certainly sounds like the wrong man for the job!

In a Fork Lift you sort of work in '3D' for as far as the forks reach out and up. I have only ever driven Electric, and you always but always have to do a '360┬░' check before moving after lifting stuff. Most people will stand talking and, have no idea the forks are around. Particularly so in the last job where they had a Mezzanine floor and, I would lift stuff down and up but, also had to park the fork lift with extended forks, go up and remove the pallet I just put up and put another one over the forks, load it, and come back down stairs. This could talk 10 minutes. And often people would see the forks were still for a while and assume they were not working, and still walk past or start chatting behind. (I think I was invisible)! In the end I got some floor paint and outlined the usual driving, and or working ares for the forks and hand trucks. It was only a small company of 110 people, but there always seemed to be someone new or, a sales man who seemed drawn to the fork lift but, had no idea apparently, when it was about to move. (The coffee cup tray, you know) Silly really. They would not do the same in the car park? Not all liked the new working practices as they had to take a different route to the coffee machine and favourite friend. But it worked for me.

I actually do not drink but, I can understand why taking a break as you cleaned and painted the truck in the local pub. Just don't drive Forks after!

Take care................

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#28
In reply to #19

Re: Painting a Forklift

11/26/2008 5:10 PM

Hello EnviroMan:

I admire you for taking this seriously! The Forks I last used for some years were originally a dark 'hospital' shade of nondescript green. I painted it yellow with go faster thingies in three colours. It brought a smile to peoples faces ...........especially as I went past them going bbrrrrruummmmm.. Well, I did not say I was 'normal' did I?

Still taking the tablets!

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#25
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Re: Painting a Forklift

11/26/2008 4:53 PM

Hello gdevine:

I could not disagree with you more on item to do that are most inportant...........

Number ! has to be 'Go-Faster-Stripes'!

You can then keep clean because all is clean and new-ish painted. But Go-Faster-Stripes with super-charge the forks.

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Take it easy, bb. >"HEAR & you FORGET<>SEE & you REMEMBER<>DO & you UNDERSTAND"<=$=|O|=$=>"Common Sense is Genius dressed in its Working Clothes"<>[Ralph Waldo Emerson]
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Guru
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: USA/Europe
Posts: 4547
Good Answers: 68
#26
In reply to #18

Re: Painting a Forklift

11/26/2008 4:58 PM

Hello gdevine:

All the Forks I have driven already had 'slicks' anyway! You should not under-estimate how crucial these little extras are. It will take only an hour to reach top speed of...........uummmm, well, of uummm 3 mph.

__________________
Take it easy, bb. >"HEAR & you FORGET<>SEE & you REMEMBER<>DO & you UNDERSTAND"<=$=|O|=$=>"Common Sense is Genius dressed in its Working Clothes"<>[Ralph Waldo Emerson]
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Anonymous Poster #1
#32

Re: Painting a Forklift

11/03/2021 6:14 AM
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