Saturday, April 27, 2013

Cerakote and snakeskin...

Ok, so I've done snakeskin in liquid paint and sublimated powder, but combining such elaborate masking layers with ceramic is a new frontier for me.  The Ti Zombie bike pushed the negative masking envelope, but this is a whole new ball game.

The difficulty being this...the masks must be removed before the cerakote is fully cured, leaving the finish subject to smuding and smearing.

The frame starts off with a trip through the blast cabine, getting an nice even finish.

The frame then goes through a solvent bath and is put into the bake box to insure it is fully dry and all solvents are fumed off.

The frame then gets a coat of graphite black ceramic, is baked to a partial cure, and the first layer of masks are applied.

To create the snake skin effect, an expanded net fabric is cut to just shy of the diameter of each tube, then stretched tight and secured in place.

Hours later, the entire frame is enclosed in the pattern.  It is imperative that it is secured and will not move or the finish will be scrapped and we'll begin again.

A blue titanium is mixed to provide a flat appearance and is sprayed over the entire frame.  Sand grey and bright white are then sprayed to provide a little contrast and visual diversity.

Everything goes into the bake box for a partial cure and then gets yanked out for a quick undressing.

The material is carefully removed, lifting directly vertical to prevent smearing of the still soft ceramic.  Negative decal masks are then carefully lifted with an Xacto Knife.

A cool finish, but very tedious.



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