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[TowerTalk] Rusty tower (Van Fair)

Subject: [TowerTalk] Rusty tower (Van Fair)
From: Bill Powell <>
Date: Sun, 19 Dec 2004 14:20:48 -0500
List-post: <>
>I am ready to start the project of restoring an old Hy Gain  HyTower.
Go with the best zinc-rich "cold galvanizing" coating you can lay your hands on.
For starters see: 

NOTE!!! You can NOT "re-galvanize" the Hy-Tower: it is made from HBX sections 
that are held together by aluminum rivets.  The first dip into the hot tank 
will destroy the rivets, drop all the section pieces to the bottom of the tank 
where they have to be "fished" out by hand and, worst case, possibly 
contaminate the zinc if they are dumb enough to try to dip a section in the 
first place!

ALL parts of the sections MUST be squeaky clean, bone-dry and completely free 
of rust, grease and oil prior to applying the coating.  How you do it is up to 
your abilities and pocketbook.  Beading and dipping in a solvent degreasing 
bath is the "industrial" way.  You will probably wind up with a wire brush 
(bronze - NOT steel which will leave nasty pieces in places you won't be able 
to get at and be THE spot where rust strikes again), sandpaper and elbow grease 
followed by appropriate pre-paint solvents, bunches of rags and even more elbow 

This is NOT a winter job unless you happen to have a heated garage big enough 
to hold the tower part.

After applying the zinc coating, a second coat should be applied to vill voids, 
pinholes and places you missed the first time.  Adequate time (per the 
manufacturer's instructions) should be allowed between coats.

After the second coat has been applies, and is completely dry, a "sealer" 
should be applied to protect the zinc coating and further prevent moisture from 
reaching the underlying steel.

The manufacturer of the coating should specify initial surface preparation, 
application and re-application steps which should be followed.

Also note that this all goes to hell in a handbasket the first time you crank 
down a bolt, nut or lockwasher on the coated surface so be prepared to re-seal 
or re-coat if you assemble after coating.

I'd also strongly recommend replacement of ALL hardware with NEW stainless 
steel: seem to be the "good guys" in the business.

Does all this work?  I know of a 30+ year old tower that has only rusted where 
the paint was chipped AND the galvanizing scratched.  Yes - it IS painted with 
lead-based paint and if I could lay my hands on more I wouldn't hesitate one 
single second to use it.

Good luck!  Someday I might get round to the Hy Tower I have out back,
Bill - WB1GOT


See:  for "Self Supporting Towers", "Wireless Weather 
Stations", and lot's more.  Call Toll Free, 1-800-333-9041 with any questions 
and ask for Sherman, W2FLA.

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