Continuing my lunacy, as I've been painting parts for the bandsaw, I still had the base/foot casting for the shaper sitting here on a pallet. While I can't do much with the machine while the major bits are gone, I figured I could at least clean and paint a few of the parts while I'm cleaning and painting other parts.
I'd always assumed the green was a later color, but it was carefully applied, as there was no visible overspray, no places that were painted but weren't supposed to be, etc. Now I'm not so sure.
The green didn't "bubble" like most paints of today will when chemically stripped, and there were no other colors below the green- not even a primer. The black you see is almost a filler- it's "Japan Black", a very common industrial paint back in the day. (Ford used a variant of it on their cars- as it's primary components were asphalt and carbon black, it basically came in the one color, leading to the classic phrase in reference to the Model T, "you can have it any color you want, as long as it's black".)
As this machine came from a semi-local naval air station, it's possible the original japanning was at that point painted over with the green. Or since the machine was some forty years old at the point that air station was founded during WW2, it's possible the military obtained the machine from a machinery reseller, who repainted it during a refurbishment.
Unfortunately it's impossible to know and we don't have enough information to do more than guess.
However, the green came off easily enough, although the black was pretty resistant to the chemicals. Which was fine, really, it continued to act as a filler, smoothing the casting.
And, the first fresh coat of paint in at least
After a couple coats, I'll set 'er aside to await the return of the column and the ram. As I have time- IF I have time- I'll see what else I can clean up, to speed up reassembly of the machine when the time comes.