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Thread: RCBS 2A press disassembly help

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    RCBS 2A press disassembly help

    Just received today a grand old RCBS 2A (A2) press that had received a face lift by a previous owner who had repainted it industrial gray.!!?? Mechanically it is in pretty good shape with only a few dark spots on the bottom third of the ram. But who knows how bad a shape it may have been at some time in the past, although everything feels tight. Someone was concerned enough about future corrosion to use some seriously heavy grease that is about half a molecule from being cosmoline.

    It is a 2A and it does NOT have a date stamp around or under the adapter. Despite reports that 2A and A2 presses are identical except for the original mold manufacturing model ID snafu, there is at least one significant change to the A2s' along the way.

    On my 2A the right link pins (both top and bottom) are pressed in. To do the repaint I was planning I want to remove the right link from the press body. With the main shaft and left link pin removed there is an unobstructed opening passing through the body of the press to the right pin.

    That said, does anyone have firsthand experience driving the right pin out? Will it require heat, will it require a hydraulic press or just a good ole drift and a heavy hammer? How about when reassembled, will some type of brace or shims be needed to keep the lobe from bending? (seems unlikely due to the stout nature of the lobe.)

    Attached are pics and the possible new color selection with DIY texture. Attempts to create a repeatable wrinkle texture has been dismally unsuccessful so far. The texture shown is from a judicial use of silicone spray lubricant with the final (4th) coat of paint.

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    Last edited by oley55; 05-05-2020 at 10:51 AM.
    “Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem.” Ronald Reagan


  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
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    Very nice.......I have a 60's vintage Lyman All-American press I'm in the process of refinishing that I'm painting Pontiac engine blue. I'll post pics when finished.

  3. #3
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    As these press's are all hand fitted and assembled, and that is a spline pin I would think it was press fit using an arbor press. They were never intended to be removed.

    There were several changes to the frame when the A2 was introduced in 1961. Mostly around the primer arm and how it fits the frame. The pivot block through pin became a bolt and there are two pins on the upper links with snap washers to old them in.

    Stamping dates on the top didn't occur until 1967 with the introduction of the Rockchucker. The same time the A2 went through another major change from cast steel to cast iron with the upper frame redesigned.

    Paint color did change with each model, sometimes significantly as with the 2A using the A color and the A2 using a much more appealing light shade of green.
    As it has been repainted I cannot go into my rant about re-painting presses. Though I would try to get it back close to it's original color. Judging only from the pictures who ever painted it did a creditable job and did not disassemble the press.

    I have another brand press that some thoughtful soul painted industrial gray, I am still trying to figure out how to remove that awful color without disturbing the original finish.

    Ken
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  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pressman View Post
    …...Paint color did change with each model, sometimes significantly as with the 2A using the A color and the A2 using a much more appealing light shade of green.
    As it has been repainted I cannot go into my rant about re-painting presses. Though I would try to get it back close to it's original color. Judging only from the pictures who ever painted it did a creditable job and did not disassemble the press.

    I have another brand press that some thoughtful soul painted industrial gray, I am still trying to figure out how to remove that awful color without disturbing the original finish.

    Ken
    So I will forget about pressed pin removal.

    I absolutely agree with your withheld "re-painting" rant. I am trying to imagine just how bad the condition was to justify it's repainting/defacing. But I am trying to get over it, with the exception of the totally non-RCBS industrial gray!

    Just a couple minutes ago I dabbed a little bit of paint remover to the underside of the mounting plate, with the expectation the newer paint would immediately lift and leave some of the original finish behind. A 30 second soak of paint remover followed by a wipe/rub with a paper towel revealed bare steel. Only the distinct gray paint was visible on the paper towel. That tells me it was probably sandblasted to bare steel. That means there is little to no likelihood I will find the original paint color anywhere on the press.

    Since this is a 2A, should I be trying to match the olive drab(ish) color or something else? Do you know if the A and 2A models had the chrome plated handle? Although the spud easily unscrews from the toggle ink, my initial assessment says the handle is rust welded to the spud (looking down into the handle there is a LOT of orange rust caked on top of the spud). Also I see no evidence of chrome. Did the A's and 2A's come with the metal flake bicycle grip on the handle or something different?

    Attached are a couple pics of an A model up for thievery pricing on fleabay. (does that look like a crack just above the A??)

    thanks in advance for any insight or direction to a better on-line source,

    Oley

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    Last edited by oley55; 05-05-2020 at 11:21 PM.
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  5. #5
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    It's possible he just hated the original color, it really is not attractive. Mine don't show any real damage to the original paint which leads me to think it is durable.
    I agree that stripping the current paint is a good idea if you repaint, 3 coats is to much build up. Trying to match the original color gives you some options to slightly vary the color to make it more appealing. I have a 1st model powder measure painted the, almost, same color. It's lighter and looks much better.

    Our hardware store is allowed to be open, I might be able to get a computer scan of the paint to give you a better idea of the composition. I will work on that this afternoon. Pictures of the 2A and the powder measure also.

    As for the bicycle grip, the only one I have is on the original welded steel frame press. All the others have nothing, just bare tubing. I used Brownells bedding epoxy to set a bolt in the end of the handle on my 2A and put a vintage glass shift knob on it.
    Antique Reloading Tool Collector, Historian and Writer
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  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    Pressman,

    will be sending you a PM in a few minutes.



    EDIT ADDED:

    Some pics after today's efforts. The last photo shows the base painted with a slightly darker olive, but still too light I think. I'm headed out to Hobby lobby to see if I can eyeball a craft spray enamel that may be a better match for the original.

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    Last edited by oley55; 05-06-2020 at 06:10 PM.
    “Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem.” Ronald Reagan


  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    Pressman,

    I think I may have found the appropriate color of ugly green (Model Master, ES34079 "1910" Dark Green) at Hobby Lobby. Now to give it a day or so to see how craft enamel stands up to a little abuse.

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    “Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem.” Ronald Reagan


  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master

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    RCBS 2A press disassembly help

    I was able to remove the splined pin on my A2 pretty easily. Removed the pin on the left and then drove the splined pin out, away from the ram. Just took a few hits w/ a heavy hammer to get it moving and it was easy from that point. Unfortunately I still haven’t even able to remove the threaded piece the handle slips over. This has prevented me from fully disassembling the press for a paint job.

    I personally strip and remove the textured finish on any RCBS press I get. I hate that finish. It doesn’t hold up well and the color is god awful. Even a “clean” press that looks like it’s new looks well used due to that finish. To be fair I don’t care about original condition and collector value.

    Here’s a couple lube sizers I refurbed along w/ one that has the horrid original finish.


  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy
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    Dragon813gt,

    I see your point on the wrinkle paint and sea foam green. But for this press I have the urge to repaint in the color closest to original. Frankly I find most of the very early Rock Chucker's "Sea Foam" greens inappropriate on a tool and are uglier than this older olive drabish. I have also concluded the A's never came with wrinkle/texture paint since the texture of the 2A's steel casting already has plenty of texture.

    Thanks for the info on removing the splined pin/s. I have however got it clean enough without removal and can probably get adequate paint coverage in there. Although I wouldn't mind the opportunity the inspect the pin and rotate it a quarter turn if I were to find any wear. Although that seems unlikely.

    Reference: "Unfortunately I still haven’t even able to remove the threaded piece the handle slips over." For certain with that cone shape there is great opportunity for the spud to become seized to the toggle link. It is amazing how close/tight the tolerance is. Mine had just a tiny bit of paint down in the cone and it wouldn't seat properly. Right now I'm trying to decide if I should use never seize or a quality grease.

    I've also re-thought the grip option and plan to go with a ball knob instead.
    Last edited by oley55; 05-07-2020 at 12:35 AM.
    “Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem.” Ronald Reagan


  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
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    RCBS 2A press paint selection

    With the assistance of the most knowledgeable and helpful; Sir Pressman, I have found and applied a color I believe reflects the appropriate colors of the day for early RCBS tools. I am very much pleased with how the press looks when compared to the previous "industrial gray". I plan to let the paint cure for a month before I put it to work. But on the other hand, I can hardy wait to put it back to work.

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    Last edited by oley55; 05-10-2020 at 07:00 PM.
    “Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem.” Ronald Reagan


  11. #11
    Boolit Master 15meter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oley55 View Post

    Right now I'm trying to decide if I should use never seize or a quality grease.
    Anti-sieze is the way to go on taper stuff. I used to use grease on taper drive hydraulic pumps on combines and it was always a bear to disassemble the next time, went to anti-sieze and never had a problem when it was time to disassemble.

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master
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    oley55, nicely done.

    I don't know why RCBS chose that particular shade of green and the crinkle finish, but they did.

    Because I don't see a press as a collectable item, I'm not too concerned about whether it has original paint or not.
    I've always preferred the paints that dry to a "hammered" finish. Like the crinkle finish, the hammered finish hides minor casting imperfections but it's not as rough and porous as the crinkle finish. You can wipe off grease and dirt from the hammered finish but the crinkle finish will hold every smudge.
    Later on RCBS used a paint with a smoother hammered finish on their aluminum framed presses. I actually think that was a better finish.
    Redding equipment uses that crinkle finish as well. Maybe there's some reason or tradition behind that finish, but I don't care for it.

    You did an excellent job matching that RCBS green and you may even end up with something more durable.

  13. #13
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    That is a nice job, the color closely matches the pre-A presses. I like the result, and it really is better looking than the odd color original.
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