Thursday, February 7, 2008

Back from the powder coater

A couple weeks ago I dropped off a bunch of bike bits at Novation to be powder coated. The plan was to go with a clear powder coat.
First off, let me say this: Novation is a great place to get bike stuff painted. And specifically, Thurman, who is the powder coater, is just a really cool and easy guy to work with. To sand-blast, prep, and powder coat a frame, two forks, a rack, and two sets of cranks I paid $162. That includes tax. A bargain at twice the price.

Anyway, the clear deal didn't work out. Thurman gave me a call last week and had done a couple tries with the clear powdercoat. Due to the metal and how you have to heat the plastic, he said he couldn't get a pristine clear finish. Some parts were baking too fast and cooking before other parts had melted/set. So, he said there were yellow parts from the high-heat areas. Specifically, he said, "it looks like a dog pissed on part of the frame." So there's that.

My guess is that as a painter his eye is a bit more critical than mine, but I'm sure he's dealt with his share of high maintenance fussy paint customers. So we agreed to go with a color.

I asked him if he had any standard colors (cheaper and don't need to be ordered) that had metal flake. I figured if I couldn't go clear, then I'd go bling. He said he thought he might have "Laser Moss Green." He explained it as a dark hunter green with metal flake. Why not.

Well, it turns out he didn't have any of that paint, so he dipped into his private stash. The stuff that he reserves for his own projects and is not standard: "Blue Yellow Chameleon." Looks blue, but shows streaks of yellow under strong light.
Looking at it, it's hard to detect the yellow, but I don't have any sunlight here to really test it, so we'll see. Compared to the last frame I got powdercoated, where lugs sort of disappear under the thick plastic paint, this job is much cleaner. The lug outlines are really easy to see. It's a nice job. And he did a pretty good job masking too.

So, that's the story on the color of my bike and my buddy Wade's cranks.

By going blue, I did break my one promise to Alex on this bike. There will be a striking similarity to the same bike he just finished building:
Click to see pics of Alex's RB-T


Scott in Columbus said...

That paint job looks sweet! It gives me ideas. And I love that front rack. I've got the brazing skills, but no torch set-up. I'm working on that.

John Speare said...

Hey Scott,

I'm sure you've seen Alex's online tutorial-of-sorts on Rack Building Basics. If you haven't, then take a look as it will likely inspire you to run out and buy a torch set up.

Leo's Garage said...

Very nice restoration! I have a 72' Italian steel racer that I plan on repainting the frame as well. I ride in Spokane as well. Live to ride, ride to live.