Friday, March 12, 2010

Ash's Azuki Bike Build / Restore: Frame

So I have started to make some progress. I completely take apart the bike. I mean everything down to the screws.

For the frame I decided I needed to start fresh since the paint is in horrible condition and there is a lot of rust. Normally with a restore you don't want to touch the paint or you lose value but for this project the original bike has no value and my wife cares more that it looks pretty than being authentic. So out comes the angle grinder with a wire brush attachment. (this is not the professional way, if you want to have a great paint job take it to a shop to get sand/bead blasted then powder coated cost $75 - $300 (my way about $12+labor)). This took me a couple hours and with the tight spots you will have sand by hand.
Now with a bare frame I wiped it down with degreaser and then soap and water. I stuffed newspaper into the openings and jammed coat hangers through the openings. Then hang up the frame and fork and surround yourself with plastic or sheets.

Now onto the paint, the best stuff to use is automotive paint. And you will need primer, base coat (color) and a clear coat. I could not find auto paint so I went with Krylon paint from HD. This is a $12 test and if it doesn't last then I'll redo with more expensive paint. But make sure that your paint is all the same brand. So on a very clean frame I sprayed 2 very light coats on the frame. Then within 10 minutes I added 2 thin layer of base coat (gloss white). And then again within 10 minutes, 2 more coats of glossy clear coat. With all this painting the quality all depends on the surface preparation. It must be clear of dirt, hand grease and old paint. And if you notice any drips (shouldn't since you are doing several light coats) then wait till it drys to the touch (30 min) and wet sand with 600 grit paper.
I like how the frame turned out and now I'll wait about a week for the paint to really cure, then onto to the components.

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