Monday, September 19, 2005

Nothing like the smell of VOCs

The fork is almost done....just need to polish the SS tips. I've used a set of proof decals for which I haven't asked AJ to make a production version. This is because the colors worked the best with the paint I chose. Maybe someday I'll have him make me up a set of these. BTW..... I love AJ's decals. They look beautiful. And, they seem tough and stable. Not to complain, but some (especially old ones) seem to tear easily - that's not a problem with AJ's. Plus he's nice to work with. Highly recommended.

I got the frame sprayed out since the last post. It looked pretty good, with a white headtube and white panel on the seat tube. I also probably made every possible painting mistake in the book. So, it was a learning experience.

One thing that I tried was outlining the lugs using a paint pen. It seemed like a good idea in theory - being a bit easier to control a stiff tip than the flexible tip of a brush. In reality - it laid down thick lines which got thicker after they setup. Ugh! Meanwhile, I have a coat of clearcoat on most of the frame and it looks pretty good - even in daylight.

As a result, I resprayed the head and set lugs. After things cure well, I'll go mask the headtube again and respray it white.

The paint I've been using is Rustoleum. The base is a metallic finish. It and the clearcoat share some characteristics. 1) They have to go on wet to end up with a smooth surface. 2) They tend to resist runs, and even when there are runs - they often smooth out as they dry. 3) The can atomizes pretty well and has a well defined spray pattern. The white paint is very different. 1) It seems to come out wetter - it needs to be held farther back to avoid runs (which in places like the underside of the seat cluster could be tough). 2) It doesn't seem to atomize well - parts of the spray are a mist and parts are drops of paint. 3) The spray pattern is very broad. As a result, using the white adds significantly to the complexity of completing the job.

Other things I've learned.... 1) With any of the paints (metallic, white, clear) there is a distinct physical line at the point of any masking. Be prepared to sand it away. 2) It's easier to work on the white (touch up, apply decals, etc) even after a couple of days of curing if a coat of clear is put on top and allowed to sit for a day. 3) The angle of the spray and distance to the work seem to determine how "visible" the metal flakes are in the metallic paint. If one isn't consistent, its possible to have places that look more silvery and others that look more like the base color. If this happens where there was masking, or a partial respray, there can even be a distracting boarder between these colors. 4) Blue 3M masking tape works like a charm - sealing well and pulling off easily. 5) My breathing filter (from Fred Parr) takes all of the odor out of my work. It's probably not even close to as healthy as using a fresh air supply, but its doing something.

Beyond paint, I've trimmed the head tube down to the lugs. I started with a rotary file, moved to 12" bastard, then a 10" 2nd cut. Everything looks read to face and ream. I ordered an adjustable reamer from Enco for use on the seat tube. It's cheap ($16.95) so probably won't last long - but I want to see how it does. Now that the BB is chased, I'll take the rotary file and remove excess silver from the bottom in the area between the threads. Then I'll chase out the paint and final face the BB. I still have to cut the slit in the seat tube, and polish up the dropout faces - but, we're getting close to mounting parts - I'd say within a week.



Steven Shand said...

who's AJ? I'm looking for a decal supplier....

Rick Guggemos said...

AJ is AJ of Victory Circle Graphix.
Good to work with, does good work.