PIONEER TOOLS, TO PAINT OR NOT TO PAINT?

RANGER
1st Sergeant
1st Sergeant
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Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2006 8:29 pm
Location: Nearest Motor Pool

PIONEER TOOLS, TO PAINT OR NOT TO PAINT?

Post by RANGER »

A perpetual question by new MV collectors as they seek trinkets to decorate their vehicles.
There was a recent remark or two made by a commentator, "in the rush to get equipment out, every thing was painted OD."
"The idea of sanding and hand finishing the pioneer tools handles if not an effective use of time."
41A 1277A Axe, chopping, single bit, standard Grade, 4 Lb Type A was stocked Painted OD or Non Painted
41-S-3170 Shovel, General Purpose, D-Blade Handle, plain back, strap pattern, round point, No 2, blade width 91/2" Blade length 11 3/8" in., length of handle 26" (type IV, size 2) was stocked the same way. The contract for the tool would specify that it be painted OD or not.

Many Supply Sergeants in order to have a neat looking supply room with neat stacks of items would paint and trim axe and shovel handles in order to have uniformity. No big deal, as GI labor was plentiful and cheap.

Sanding and hand finishing was not an issue as the Axe and Shovel was unpainted at the time of manufacture, no prescious GI time was wasted. The specifications required that the tool handles have a smooth finish for obvious reasons.
I have GI issue NOS WWII Issue axes and shovels on the CCKW and MB that were on our shelves since the 40s, none were painted.
Sift thru various ORD 7 SNLs from WWII and it is possible to find that Tools were listed as painted OD.
Supply Rooms were also issued items to be used in the care and cleaning of tools, Linseed Oil was one of thos items.

The GI 4# Axes I have observed from the 60s thru 80s have been unpainted when new issue.

NOTE:
There are TM, FMs, TBs, etc issued by the Army that specify use and care for all that is issued.
Collectors do not always have the luxury of all the manuals, and sometimes have to look to collectors websites for help. The information posted is great and runs the full spectrum of sources from "Colonel of the Urinal" to the correct TM.
US ARMY HONOR GRADUATE MECHANIC, Restorer of fine Jeeps, MV's, MVPA 40+yrs, DAV, Army Aircrew member, Donor to Military Museums & CAF, MV Hobby since 1945
Other Hobby- Army Air Force & Busting Big Ass Military Imposters-Good at it
RANGER
1st Sergeant
1st Sergeant
Posts: 6510
Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2006 8:29 pm
Location: Nearest Motor Pool

Post by RANGER »

Some collectors get carried away and paint their tools at the same time as their vehicle. The paint used on axes and shovels painted by the supply room personell was usually brushed on using the paint as it came out of the can with no thinneradded. This would result in a more glossy finish at times.
US ARMY HONOR GRADUATE MECHANIC, Restorer of fine Jeeps, MV's, MVPA 40+yrs, DAV, Army Aircrew member, Donor to Military Museums & CAF, MV Hobby since 1945
Other Hobby- Army Air Force & Busting Big Ass Military Imposters-Good at it
1958 M274
Technician 5th Grade
Technician 5th Grade
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Joined: Thu Apr 20, 2006 5:31 pm
Location: Roswell, GA

Post by 1958 M274 »

Hi Ranger,
What color is the paint on the metal parts of your NOS pioneer tools? I have seen some restored WW2 vehicles with the metal painted OD and some with the metal painted black.
Thanks,
Joe
1942 Dodge WC-51 (from Norway)
Other M-Series Vehicles
RANGER
1st Sergeant
1st Sergeant
Posts: 6510
Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2006 8:29 pm
Location: Nearest Motor Pool

Post by RANGER »

They were originally the natural black iron finish. I dressed up my blades with gloss black, but can take the paint remover to them. My favorite has a "split" wooden handle and was apparantly coated with a preservative that gave it a creosoted look that will not sand off. It is on my MB and fits flush with the side of my MB. Some brands appeared to have painted the metal parts of the handles. There were at least a dozen or more suppliers of WWII issue shovels.
Beware when buying shovels I bought one over 20 years ago from a long time shovel dealer who was painting any old yard sale variety shovel OD and calling them GI Issue. It would not fit my MB or any MV Pioneer tool rack.
US ARMY HONOR GRADUATE MECHANIC, Restorer of fine Jeeps, MV's, MVPA 40+yrs, DAV, Army Aircrew member, Donor to Military Museums & CAF, MV Hobby since 1945
Other Hobby- Army Air Force & Busting Big Ass Military Imposters-Good at it
Jack Perry
Corporal
Corporal
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Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2006 7:59 pm
Location: Seattle, Washington

Post by Jack Perry »

I recall one of the Motor Sgts in our battalion telling me that wood on pioneer tools should not be painted. Reason he gave was that, if you got a blister or cut while working, the paint may cause an infection. Best to just use lindseed oil to prevent this problem.

Sount reasonable I guess.
1958 M274
Technician 5th Grade
Technician 5th Grade
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Apr 20, 2006 5:31 pm
Location: Roswell, GA

Post by 1958 M274 »

Thanks for your replies!
Thanks,
Joe
1942 Dodge WC-51 (from Norway)
Other M-Series Vehicles