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Derailleurless
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This post is one in a series of twelve posts depcting the build of my Hollowpoint MkIII.
Link to MkIII / Speedhub bike build post.

I swear, I didn't know what I was getting into, and I'll probably never do it again considering how much time it took. But that doesn't mean I'm not pleased with the outcome, and I'd like to share the results with everybody.

While waiting for some parts to arrive for my new bike, I decided I would strip and polish the rear triangle for that custom look. The criteria were simple: Make it a do-it-at-home project, meaning no powdercoat, no anodizing, and it had to be a brush-on finish.

My materials list:
+ Paint Stripper (Jasco Premium, Safety Kleen Aircraft Remover)
+ Purple Scotchbrite Pad
+ Aluminum Polish
+ Glisten PC 2-part Clearcoat (www.Por15.com)
+ AP-120 Metal Prep (Por15)
+ High Evaporative Lacquer Thinner
+ Xylene

This is what I began with (kind of a shame to touch it, ain't it?):



Since the frame was brand new, and I really didn't want to press out the bearings, I removed the bearing seals with a razorblade and set them aside for the duration of the project.



This paint stripper is toxic, so I was sure to wear sleeves, gloves and eye protection for this stage.

Brush it on and stand back.



The clearcoat, decals, and paint begin to blister almost immediately, and within minutes begin to flake.





The following are pictures of the frame after the first and third applications of paint stripper. Smooth sailing, except that the primer coat seemed to be impervious. The shiny spot along the right shockstay was done with the Scotchbrite pad.





This is when I brought in (what I thought were) the heavy hitters, the Jasco Premium and later the Aircraft Remover (it must work -- I haven't seen any L-1011s lately!).

This is when I realized I was in for a long project. I applied over a dozen coats of paint stripper to the epoxy primer, letting it sit for periods as long as 90 minutes, and it never softened.



I finally bottled up all the toxic chemicals and grabbed my Dremel. Using a variety of brushes, hours of patience, and the occasional Scotchbrite touch-up, I eventually got most of the primer off.

Again, proper protection is in order. In this case a breathing mask is highly recommended because the Dremel turns the epoxy into a very fine dust which is dispersed everywhere.







I finally got to a point where I could polish the frame, which was almost anti-climatic following the primer removal. The internet favorite aluminum polish is "Mother's Polish", but I stuck with some generic stuff in a green bottle that was on the shelf of my local hardware store. Good enough.

Here I am early in the morning on Paint Day, giving the frame a final buff before prepping it for the clearcoat.



The Glisten PC Instruction are very specific about the final prep, and a few emails to the company inquiring about substitutions for AP-120 metal prep and fast-evaporating lacquer thinner were answered with "No Substitutions."

So the order of application is:
- Wipe down the polished frame with high-evaporative lacquer thinner.
- Spray the frame down with AP-120 metal prep. Let is sit for 2 minutes ("exactly"), then hose it off.
- Dry the frame (I went at it with a heat gun).
- Begin applying the Glisten PC. Three to four coats, spaced out at approximately 3 hours, are required.

The Glisten PC is a 2-part mix. It takes a few tablespoons of the product for one coat. Coats subsequent to the first should be thinned with up to 30% Xylene to help it "flow" and prevent brush strokes from forming.



The stuff brushes out pretty smoothly, when I worked it, but I ended up with more than a few runs, drips and errors in locations where I wasn't paying particular attention.

All in all, this process took about 14 hours to complete.





Once the frame was painted, I had to set it aside in a dust-free location to let it cure for four days. I ended up hanging it from the bearings, supported by a wood dowel pierced through a large cardboard box.

In the end, I think you'll agree the triangle came out in fairly good shape. The flaws are less obvious from an arm's length, and completely disappear when the frame is covered in trail dust.


 

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+1 for the green too.

Holy Moly - I can't imagine hand polishing that!
This coming from someone who has machine polished
loads of stuff ;)

The final outcome looks cool though.
 

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Derailleurless
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
deoreo said:
Holy Moly - I can't imagine hand polishing that!
This coming from someone who has machine polished
loads of stuff ;)

The final outcome looks cool though.
Yeah, it was a moment of weakness. I was waiting for my spokes to be shipped from Sapim, and figure I had some time to kill. As it turned out, the spokes arrived the day after I stripped the paint!!!

I never would have gone through with it had I known how stubborn the epoxy coat would be. I finally got to the point where I said "Good Enough!" and there are still a few specs of epoxy in the welds, mainly in places where they can't be seen.

In retrospect, in terms of time and cost, it may have been cost effective to take it to a shop and have it done professionally -- but without the DIY satisfaction!
 

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Probably a dumb thought but for the final coats I might be thinking 'airbrush' if there
was a way to do it. Maybe it wasn't something you could do with the Glisten though.

I think I liked the paint myself, always liked a funky green.

Everybody I know who has stripped epoxie coat or most 'polycoat' has pretty much
said they wouldn't do it again. Were you using the wire brushes on the dremel and
what did you use for the final polish? Trying to get a smooth even polish without
waves is a PITA.
 

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Fart smeller
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Speedub.Nate said:
Yeah, it was a moment of weakness. I was waiting for my spokes to be shipped from Sapim, and figure I had some time to kill. As it turned out, the spokes arrived the day after I stripped the paint!!!

I never would have gone through with it had I known how stubborn the epoxy coat would be. I finally got to the point where I said "Good Enough!" and there are still a few specs of epoxy in the welds, mainly in places where they can't be seen.

In retrospect, in terms of time and cost, it may have been cost effective to take it to a shop and have it done professionally -- but without the DIY satisfaction!
How's about a pic from aways away so we can see the whole thing?

And get a new rear tire, for chrissakes.

fp
 

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Sin Rider
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Great info

This was exactly what I was looking for. I wanted to do my rear triagle. Looks really cool but also looks like a Lot of work. Thanks for posting all the pictures and supplies needed. Now talk me out of it before I start LOL
 

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Derailleurless
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If you're interested, I've got a whole bunch of the POR-15 Glisten PC clear coat stuff I used (the rear triangle only used a few tablespoons of material for the number of coats I applied).

If you're truly interested, PM me and we can work something out. I've got about 90% of the 2-part compound left in the cans, the special AP-120 metal prep in a spray bottle, and a pint of the solvent used to clean the metal. All you'd need is some high-evaproative lacquer thinner.
 

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a quart can of aircraft remover is like 8 bucks. use a paint brush or an old tooth brush to apply, wait an hour then scrape off with a plastic putty knife. the stuff works better at warm temps so doing it in the middle of winter at night in an unheated garage isn't the best.

remove all stickers that you can prior to application. the stuff will peel the stickers, but cant penetrate to the paint below until the stickers are removed. multiple applications will be needed regardless.

if you get sick of doing it, you only spent 8 bucks and can still take it to a shop to have them finish the job.
 

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Is flexy
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Mountain Cycle Shawn said:
Oh no! That's not polished. Here is what a self polished frame should look like! And it can get better. I used, if I remember right, 2000 grit before the Mothers. There is finer grit available, I think up to 3000.
Damn that looks good. I'm about to polish a set of cranks so would you ming giving a little more info on you got that to look so good? Is that just sanding with 2000 grit and then the mothers polish? Did you polish it that bright by hand?
 

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njhcx4xlife said:
Damn that looks good. I'm about to polish a set of cranks so would you ming giving a little more info on you got that to look so good? Is that just sanding with 2000 grit and then the mothers polish? Did you polish it that bright by hand?
First I would try 0000 steel wool. That will strip off any coating on the cranks, like color or clear anodizing or clear coat. If they are painted I would use paint remover first. The 0000 steel wool will give it a pretty good shine, I would say a little better then the swing arm that Nate did. Then go to an auto paint supply store and get a couple sheets each of 500, 1000, 2000 and 2500 & 3000 if they have it. I think I paid like .50 a sheet and I stopped at 2000 because beyond that I couldn't just buy it by the sheet and a whole pack was expensive. Wear gloves to keep the aluminum off your hands because it is not good for you at all. I always wet sand, that way you don't breath the dust, It's cleaner, it seems to work better and give a more even finish. From there just experiment a little. It depends on what kind of aluminum the cranks are made of and what process they were made with and some other factors, but you may be able to starte with 1000 and go to the 2000 or you may not. When you use the 1000 and 2000 paper it will actually take some of the shine away that you got from the 0000 steel wool. But polishing it up with Mothers for the last step will make it look like a mirror!! Cranks are pretty small so you can probably do it in three hours.

I want to see pics when its done!
 

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Derailleurless
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Mountain Cycle Shawn said:
Oh no! That's not polished. .
Ok, ok, you got me there. Very nice work. I don't know if I'd have had time for that.

What are you going to use to preserve it? Regular polishing? Or some sort of clear coat?
 

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pedal pusher
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For about $25, you can buy a media blast kit. Hook it up to any air compressor, and that paint--and the primer--would have been history in under ten minutes. I've used that method on two different bikes and it worked perfectly both times. Considering winter is now here, you should get some Mothers polish and work that frame over until the first warm day outside and really make it shine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
f3rg said:
For about $25, you can buy a media blast kit. Hook it up to any air compressor, and that paint--and the primer--would have been history in under ten minutes. I've used that method on two different bikes and it worked perfectly both times. Considering winter is now here, you should get some Mothers polish and work that frame over until the first warm day outside and really make it shine.
That frame (if you're talking about my MkIII from the original post here) is long gone, to some happy eBayer living in frigid Canada.

I will never, ever tackle a project like this again.

It was fun. Once.
 

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I go to family dollar and get a $1 can of Chrome spray paint "silver", I spray painted my nephews tires with it. Spin and spray and your bike will be totally pimp. It looks pretty cool, serious.
 

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Big Boned
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Am I the only one who thinks this whole project, while a mildly interesting experiment, is a bit of a waste of time?

An Iron Horse? Why bother? There's this saying -- something about "polishing a turd." All the polish in the world isn't going to make those toothpaste welds look better, or change the fact that the frame is a mass-produced piece of Chinese offal. (Taiwanese?) I mean, they're fine bikes to take out on the trail and beat on, but certainly there must be more deserving frames to receive such extensive TLC -- like restoring a vintage Stumpy or Ritchey or something.

This isn't meant as a slap at your skills, Nate -- it's certainly impressive that you have the time and focus to pull something like this off. I'm way to ADD to ever even try it, and I'd definitely hospitalize myself if I did. But -- like they say -- just because one can do something, doesn't necessarily mean that one should.
 

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Derailleurless
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Manmountain Dense said:
Am I the only one who thinks this whole project, while a mildly interesting experiment, is a bit of a waste of time?
You must be one of those label conscious marketing susceptible biker snobs who judges others based on the brand of bike they ride, eh? ;) No offense or anything...

If I had done this to a tawainese made Niner or Santa Cruz, would that make it "OK" or "worth my time"? What about a Specialized?

Even though I don't ride it any longer (this thread is two years old), the effort and engineering that went into the MkIII was both inspired and impressive, and I held it up as standard to meet by the RIP9 I replaced it with.

It always amazes me that riders will fall for the slickest ads yet totally ignore the engineering (or lack of) in the bike they buy. Sure, there are crummy cheap frames out there, but this wasn't one of them.

Just sayin'...
 
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