Had a pretty good day in the shop-a-roonie today, got to work on a bunch of paint...let's check out the beginning steps, shall we?
After fabrication is complete on a frame, I take the piece into good light and meticulously go over all the junctions to insure everything is closed (occasionally I leave a portion of a weld open until the area cools to prevent gas back pressure due to the heat of welding), then the frame gets wiped down with degreaser inside and out, air blown off, and then the vent holes taped to keep the blasting media out of the interior.
On the belt drive frame, I also needed to mask off the SS coupler lugs to protect the stainless steel finish...
Once everything is all inspected, wiped and taped, it's off to the blast cabinet to give the substructure a fine mechanical tooth that aids in good primer adhesion.
Here we are back from the blast cabinet, you can see how the frame is now a dull grey color, even all over. When the blaster turns off, the gloves go on, and the frame will not be touched by bare skin again, insuring that all oils are kept to my self :)
And a close up shot for you...
Here's a lugged frame by big Joe Bringheli that will be getting a lush metallic grandeur blue...
After blasting, I blow off the entire frame with filtered air and then wipe it clean with a paint prep degreaser and a lint free cloth. Then it's time to mix up the primer...the armour of liquid paint finishes. I use Ditzler products (PPG) and have grown to love the DP40LF for my primer duties. Below are the ingredients for a tough primer coat.
Then it's time to shoot!
The third frame I began working on is Chris's SS road rear end...a misguided packing arrangement in his travel case had left a LARGE scar on the seat tube, so it's getting repainted to bring back that new bike glow.
Primer in progress...Joe's road fork. I thinned the primer down a bunch to maintain the shore lines on the lugged frame and fork, so that traditional sharp lug line is present.
The belt drive frame getting coated...my paint fixture allows me to rotate the frame 360 degrees to insure the best angle for coverage as well as to vary the position to chase drips in the final clear.
Once the primer is on, the parts go into the bake box to flash off the solvents.
After baking, everything is sanded with 600 grit paper and the process repeated two more times.
As a parting shot, I just love the lines of this frame...the bold bi-oval downtube, the custom bent stays elegantly thinning into the vertical dropouts, this bike is going to be killer. Just wait til you see the paint scheme coming for this one, gonna be unveiled for the handbuilt show!