Watling Rol-a-top restoration

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Watling Rol-a-top restoration

Postby PA23 » Sat Mar 24, 2007 10:46 am

I'm a little confused as to how the top casting on a coin front Rol-a-top should be finished. I'm looking for an accurate, not over restoration.

I have several examples and each one appears to be different in their unrestored state.

Some have the cornucopia as a removable part of the casting, when this was done I have one that is chrome (Nickel?) and two that appear to have a brass finish and the cornucopia is also removable.

On some of the machines the coins have a definite tint, but some do not appear to have been colored. This however may just be due to their age.

I've even seen people gold plate these castings, however I've heard that this practice is not wise due to galvanic action between the gold and the aluminum castings.

Thanks!

Jeff
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Rol-A-Top Restoration

Postby watlingboy » Sun Mar 25, 2007 12:11 am

Jeff,

Maybe I can help with your question. All Rol-A-Tops, regardless of style were painted with clear tinted lacquer. The coinfronts and the birds were painted with a gold tinted lacquer and the cherry fronts were painted with a red tinted lacquer. Watling polished the castings and then sprayed them with a clear tinted lacquer giving the effect of a candy color. The only exception were the early cherry fronts. They were painted with red paint and not the candy color lacquer but only for a short time. The cast in horn was always gold lacquer and the top of the casting unpainted. The removeable horn usually chrome but I have seen some unrestored birds and coin fronts with no chrome so some must have been made with no plating on them, just polishing however most were chromed. The hue of the gold tint varies and is not consistent. The post war or plywood machines seem to be very weak with lacquer quality, some seem to have very little on them. Even unused surviving machines are of poorer quality than prewar machines. Many Rol-A-Tops have been plated with brass and gold over the years and many people like the look but originally they were not done that way.

Watlingboy
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Postby PA23 » Sun Mar 25, 2007 6:42 am

Watlingboy,

Thanks for the info, all my machines must be pre-WWI as they do not have plywood cases? However now I'm really confused about the two machines were the horn is removable and is brass (bronze?) casting and was obviously not plated. The material appears to be the same brass casting material used on the top of the coin tubes.

The Brass cornucopia may have a clear lacquer finish over it as when I took for a very quick hit against the buffing wheel there was almost no change so I'm guessing I'd have to burn through the coating first.

Also you mentioned that the top edge of the casting was not gold tinted? At least one of mine is tinted, the others appear to have been painted yellow or blue.

It almost seems as if the painting style was done based upon who painted them that day or what paint they had on hand.

Attached are pictures of some of the machines and some detail of the top casting or cornucopia.

Edit: links to the pictures for some reason they wouldn't upload..
http://jr.bubble.org/fpay.jpg <- Future pay with brass cornucopia
http://jr.bubble.org/skstop.jpg <- Skill stops with brass cornucopia
http://jr.bubble.org/dimefront.jpg <- coin front every polishable appears to be gold tinted
http://jr.bubble.org/dimetop.jpg <- including the top casting
http://jr.bubble.org/cornfront.jpg <- cornucopia casting brass frontside
http://jr.bubble.org/cornback.jpg <- cornucopia casting backside
Last edited by PA23 on Fri Feb 22, 2008 5:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby PA23 » Sun Mar 25, 2007 2:41 pm

The more I look around the more confused I get. Based upon the pictures I listed, the dime machine definitely had all the raised surfaces gold tinted as well as the coins. In addition the top casting where it goes around the coin head and the horizontal part of the casting where the bonnet butts up to it was also gold tinted.

The Future pay machine may have been a repaint at some point in its life but I'm not 100% positive. This one only had the coins gold tinted and the top of the top casting was painted blue. So happens, the metal "caps" on the wood case that the bonnet rides on were also painted blue.

The nickel machine with skill stops seems to have no tintng left on the coins, almost like it never had any, even after a close inspection, and the top casting was painted yellow going around the coin escalator.

Obviously Watling changed how they did things as time went on, the question now is how do I know which machine should get what as I have several machines that have had their paint removed long ago. At least they are all coin fronts without the removable cornucopia, I'm guessing that means i should match them to the dime machine I have pictured.

Also the brass cornucopia has the same casting number "R84" as the one that is chromed. Could Watling have gotten a special deal on the brass castings vs. cast iron that needed to be plated?
PA23
 
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Rol-A-Top Restoration

Postby watlingboy » Sat Mar 31, 2007 11:48 pm

PA23,

The future pay has been repainted. The skill stop one has had the front top casting repainted. Looks like two different color yellows on it which is why it doesn't have any color on the coins. Bottom casting looks untouched. The 10 cent is all original and has the correct color combination. The color scheme was the same for all coin fronts except for the cast in horn or removeable horn. The only difference was the cast in horn has only tinted lacquer on the top of the top casting and the removeable horn was painted yellow there. As for the horns, most of the removeable horns were chromed but I have seen some original machines where the horn were brass and appeared to never have been messed with. So I guess it could have come either way. In any case the horns were always made of brass or bronze. There is however two different removeable horns. Depends on the back bonnett that fits the top casting. Paint combination is the same on the coinfront Bird also. The picture you have of the horn appears to have been polished and lacquered by someone. If you would like I could shoot a couple of pictures of an unrestored removeable horn RAT. Watlingboy
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