Wednesday, July 1, 2009

That thar is a purty bicycle, um yep

Evening folks....I spent the day in the paint booth mixing up some special blends for a number of folks today.

On the to do list:

1.) Mikes 83 Fat frame/fork/bullmoose bar
2.) A Grove Assault...undated (more on this later)
3.) Matt's Suspension corrected segmented fork for his Titus
4.) Kevin's bullmoose bar (finally...been waiting for me to finish a LD stem to send along)

Doesn't seem like a lot, but when you consider the list includes 7 different colors, multiple layers applied, and then clears, time dwindles away before your eyes.

So let's start off with the Grove Assault. This frame is tough to date, as it does not have the traditional Grove serial number on the bottom bracket. This puts it into the small number of frames that actually were produced in Bill's basement shortly after leaving Hutch and before opening the shop in Pleasant Gap...somewhere around 84/85. It is in for a refinish and was pristine under the pretty beat neon paint scheme, quite the contrast to the Fat that is just two years older. I had free reign to play with on this one, so ended up doing a metallic camo finish using Midnight metallic blue, sparkling silver, and moonstone (dark charcoal) with a Prismatique dust added to the clear. The final product is very eye catching, exploding with color in the sun, and of course, looks quite dull and insignificant through a computer screen :) Here's a shot of the frame flashing off in the bake box after the first layer of clear...

While the clear on the Grove was hardening, it was time to begin spraying up the Fat. I laid on 3 strong layers of primer to blend in some of the battle scars from years of existing. I could have rubbed the frame down with filler, sanded, and had a totally smooth base, but morally something just does not feel right about using "bondo" on a bike, especially one that tells a story of it's history visually. I see the minor imperfections, but most will not once built up and rolling down the trail...kinda like a lover's secrete between the bike and me. Here she is all sprayed up with the second of three coats of raspberry red, a color out of the 82 Chrysler paint catalogue.
Once all the colors were down, I began laying down the clears. I try to economize my effort by getting all the pieces ready for similar processes at the same time...saves time cleaning the gun and heat energy running the bake box. This box is stuffed full...

Mid layers, I took some pieces out into the sun to see how they were looking, can you see the sparkles?
And Matt's fork...I played with some pinstriping ideas before pulling all the mask off and giving it a more traditional fade from moonstone to silver with a little flake in the clear to make it pop. It should go well with his black and silver Titus Racer without drawing too much attention away from the rest of the bike ;)
Doesn't look like much, but I chalked up 10 good hours in the paint booth today before grabbing the boys and the dog to hit the trail...15 miles at MOHO forest tonight, exiting the woods at 2100 hours just as the moon was rising high and darkness was taking hold.
Good day.

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