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Old 10-20-2012, 06:54 PM   #1
Roger W Gerow
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Default Shellac on Cork Float

The float on my "new" tank gas sender has a hole in it. Sank to the bottom within two weeks. Making a cork float to replace it. (Model A Fords used them for years). If memory serves me correctly the cork should be coated with shellac to keep them from sinking after a while. Does this sound right? Comments appreciated.
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Old 10-20-2012, 07:14 PM   #2
bullrunmotor
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Default Re: Shellac on Cork Float

You better find a shellac that can stand up to the alcohol blended fuels of today.
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Old 10-20-2012, 07:20 PM   #3
ken ct
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Default Re: Shellac on Cork Float

You can solder up the hole in the float if brass and is not on a seam! ken ct. Test for bubbles in hot water after fixing. ken ct.
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Old 10-20-2012, 07:33 PM   #4
51 MERC-CT
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Default Re: Shellac on Cork Float

The standard gas gage on my old Piper J-3 (aircraft) was a cork on a rod thru the gas cap. It was never coated with anything and never sank.
I currently have the same type cork gage on a kerosene drum. It is not coated and has not sunk in over 20 years.
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Old 10-20-2012, 08:22 PM   #5
Roger W Gerow
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Default Re: Shellac on Cork Float

Hey, thanks for the replies. Will try it without shellac an give it a try. Ken, the float is plastic, at least it looks plactic and is hollow.
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Old 10-20-2012, 08:39 PM   #6
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Default Re: Shellac on Cork Float

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Coat it with gas tank sealer?
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Old 10-20-2012, 10:17 PM   #7
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Default Re: Shellac on Cork Float

Roger W. Gerow ...................
The alcohol in the ethonal will disolve the shellac. Alcohol is a solvent for shellac. It will last for a while. Then, after time, the cork will become gasoline soaked and become too heavy.
MIKE
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Old 10-20-2012, 10:29 PM   #8
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Default Re: Shellac on Cork Float

all my snowmobile gas gauges are made of plain cork, and NOT coated with anything
and they have held up for years without sinking.

















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Old 10-20-2012, 10:58 PM   #9
Ken/Alabama
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Default Re: Shellac on Cork Float

The float in my 40 coupe is cork,I was a little concerned about it with the ethanol gas but its been in there for several years now without a problem.
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:12 AM   #10
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Default Re: Shellac on Cork Float

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Originally Posted by FL&WVMIKE View Post
It will last for a while. Then, after time, the cork will become gasoline soaked and become too heavy.
MIKE
Is that a fact or just speculation? I have seen many in use for years.
None that I saw ever became gasoline soaked and too heavy.
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:22 AM   #11
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Default Re: Shellac on Cork Float

I just replaced my floats (there was 2 of them on the rod) in my 31Chevy they finally sank, however they were 81 years old the replacements from The Filling station said they were alcohol resistant & looked to be coated with something clear. My 34 ford has hydrostatic gas guage, no float.
Gary.
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:23 AM   #12
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Default Re: Shellac on Cork Float

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger W Gerow View Post
The float on my "new" tank gas sender has a hole in it. Sank to the bottom within two weeks. Making a cork float to replace it. (Model A Fords used them for years). If memory serves me correctly the cork should be coated with shellac to keep them from sinking after a while. Does this sound right? Comments appreciated.
You can buy a new brass float from most of the early Ford vendors. #68-9275 about $10.
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Old 10-21-2012, 07:03 AM   #13
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Default Re: Epoxy on Cork Float

Coat the cork with epoxy for fuel resistance.
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:42 AM   #14
G.M.
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Default Re: Shellac on Cork Float

I got stuck on the road with a sunk brass float in my 39CS carb about 20 years ago. I pulled the top off the carb and removed the float, It was 1/2 full of gas and had a small crack below the fuel level. Gas was comming out of a small split about 1/2"long when it hot. As it cooled the the fuel stopped flowing out and was still heavy. I held the float with pliers up to an exhaust pipe of a modern car and all of the gas came out. I rebent the arm on the float and put it in upside down and continued about 25 miles to the show. After the show drove it home and drove it for several weeks. I thought I better fix it before I forget. Soldered the split, turned it over and rebent the operateing arm and it's still working. I would say in years most of these brass floats crack. The problem is when brass is "worked" or in this case "drawn" it work hardens. This is to much of a draw to do at one shot. They should have been drawn halfway, annealed and then completed but this would have added an extra 1/2 penny to the cost. When soldering clean good and solder with an iron just hot enough to do the job. Just cover the crack with less than a 1/32" coat. Look close at any old brass float and most will show stress lines. I dip the cork floats in the gas tank coating material Red-Kote. Last year I removed the brass tank float in my 39 P/U and found the new gas along with moisture it attracted ate the thin brass float. G.M.
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Old 10-21-2012, 11:15 AM   #15
FL&WVMIKE
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Default Re: Shellac on Cork Float

Quote:
Originally Posted by 34PKUP View Post
Is that a fact or just speculation? I have seen many in use for years.
None that I saw ever became gasoline soaked and too heavy.
34PKUP ......................
I do admit that I have not had it happen to me, personally.
But, it is why Henry Ford coated them, in the first place. He wouldn't have spent the money, if he didn't think it was necessary.
MIKE
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Old 10-21-2012, 11:23 AM   #16
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Default Re: Shellac on Cork Float

I have been working on a 28 Hudson and the alcohol gas dissolved the original shellac coating in a couple of spots and the float became soaked and sank. We let the float dry in the sun for a few days and then we will recoat-I was going to use shellac but will now put some sort of gas tank sealer on it to make it a little more alcohol resistent. Thanks for the heads up on the sealer!
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Old 10-21-2012, 03:50 PM   #17
Jerry Parr WI
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Default Re: Shellac on Cork Float

Alcohol is in fact the solvent for shellac so coating a float with it is a waste of time. The purpose of the shellac is to prevent the cork from drying out not to prevent it from absorbing gas. A bare cork will not absorb gas but it will dry out. Consider that an uncoated cork is used to seal wine bottles. They are stored cork down so the cork does not dry. As long as the cork stays wet as in gas it will not sink. Coating the cork with something that doesn't dissolve in alcohol can help prevent drying but use it sparingly as it will make the cork heaver. The dried out corks that sink were dried long before alcohol was added to the gas.
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Old 10-21-2012, 04:11 PM   #18
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Default Re: Shellac on Cork Float

Ive used a thickened adhesive simmilar to "Crazy Glue"It is gasahol proof.I have used it to repair cork carb floats on my early auto's and has proven to hold up against the modern fuels.I paint a thin coat on the cork float with a brush.It doesn't add as much weight to the float as epoxy.The adhesive is avalible at hobby shops.Phil
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Old 11-04-2012, 02:58 AM   #19
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Default Re: Shellac on Cork Float

I've been using gas tank sealer on them for years, works great.
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