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Thread: Bare Metal Look

  1. #1
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    Bare Metal Look

    Would applying polyurethane to a bare steel frame protect it from rust? I completely stripped my steel frame down to the bare metal and would like to keep that look. No color this time.........I've gone thru two color changes on this particular frame and can't decide on a color so decided to keep that raw look. The reason I would like to use polyurathane is that I already have a gallon of this stuff in high gloss. Thanks.

    George
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    GT enthusiast midwestmntnbkr's Avatar
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    The problem I have had with putting polyurathane on bare metal is getting it to stick so it won't peel or chip. I would imagine if you sanded it with a rough sandpaper, it would help, but may be unsightly due to the scratches it would leave. There may be some kind of liquid etcher you could put on the metal to make it stick better, but I don't know. I don't have any first hand knowledge of this. One other problem I had in the past, is that the poly tends to "yellow" after being in the sun after a while. I don't know if this is still a problem with the polyurathanes made today or not.
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    Pain Cleanseth Feltup's Avatar
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    They make a outdoor poly that works great. A regular indoor poly will yellow and not last under riding conditions. You can get a quart of the stuff at Home Depot for around $10. A quart will be more than enough. I would put 6-7 coats and use a GOOD foam brush.
    It is better to lose clean then win dirty. Don't ride dirty

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    GT enthusiast midwestmntnbkr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feltup
    They make a outdoor poly that works great. A regular indoor poly will yellow and not last under riding conditions. You can get a quart of the stuff at Home Depot for around $10. A quart will be more than enough. I would put 6-7 coats and use a GOOD foam brush.
    That must have been my problem. Thanks, I know better next time.
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    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    Perhaps polyurathane for marine use?.....I've seen those at Home Depot. As far as making it stick, I'm using coarse sandpaper to give it that rough brushed metal look so I don't foresee any problem there. Thanks!

    George
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  6. #6
    road siklista dexmax's Avatar
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    i think it will work.. but i'm concerned if it will chip easily if the metal is too smooth..

    Mr. fix, it will work.. and.. great idea! maybe I'll try it on one of my frames..

    be sure to post pics.
    Invest yourself in everything you do. There is fun in being serious.
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    Senior Member surreal's Avatar
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    you can get a clear powder coat for $75. more expensive, but almost certainly more durable

    just a thought.
    -rob

  8. #8
    Senior Member Avalanche325's Avatar
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    I would go for the powder coating.

  9. #9
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avalanche325
    I would go for the powder coating.
    Yeah...but it's a beater Bianchi track frame for running errands only. Who knows.....in two months, I'll strip it down again for another change of color according to my mood..... just as my wife changes her hair color every month.

    George
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  10. #10
    Senior Member GreenFix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Fixer
    Yeah...but it's a beater Bianchi track frame for running errands only. Who knows.....in two months, I'll strip it down again for another change of color according to my mood..... just as my wife changes her hair color every month.

    George

    I am curious how that works for you. I used a spray on clear enamel for part of my last do-it-yourself paint job to get the bare metal look (a mountain bike frame). It worked fine. The clear paint has chipped in places, but it is mostly just where I get some cable slap on the top tube. The down tube and seat tube have seemed to hold up fine. I am toying with the idea of putting a reflective paintjob on my commuter/beater using the glass beads they put in reflective highway paint. I think that clear polyurethane would be a great way to suspend the beads and get them to stick to the frame. I am curious to hear how you make out.

    Fixer,
    On a separate note, I am thinking of getting a brooks saddle for my commuter. I notice you have many of them and a lot of experience. Would the B17 be fine, or do you recommend putting down a little extra cash for the higher end version?

  11. #11
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenFix
    On a separate note, I am thinking of getting a brooks saddle for my commuter. I notice you have many of them and a lot of experience. Would the B17 be fine, or do you recommend putting down a little extra cash for the higher end version?
    I would highly recommed either a B17 or a Professional as your very first Brooks.

    George
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  12. #12
    I couldn't car less. jeff williams's Avatar
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    George, I am looking into patina of steel (chemical) as a colorant rather than paint. Still requires surface covering.
    I'm particularly interested in blue steel patina.
    Have little info on this process, but can send links.
    This would be pre polyurethane coating and they may have superior metal coating preservatives.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Ebbtide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeff williams
    George, I am looking into patina of steel (chemical) as a colorant rather than paint. Still requires surface covering.
    I'm particularly interested in blue steel patina.
    Have little info on this process, but can send links.
    This would be pre polyurethane coating and they may have superior metal coating preservatives.
    Speaking of blueing, this maybe your answer:

    http://www.brownells.com/aspx/NS/sto...AKING+LACQUERS

    Good luck finding a big enough oven though. Perhaps a heat *** would do the job?

    I've used this product (for its intended use) and it is durable.

  14. #14
    Senior Member shecky's Avatar
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    I bought this can of stuff at the hardware store, it was next to the "plastic dip" stuff, made by the same company, but in a aerosol can. It's clear, and is supposed to dry into a more flexible "rubbery" coating unlike the more brittle polyurethane/lacquer. I got it for a different project, but this thread got me to thinking it might be a possibility.

  15. #15
    I couldn't car less. jeff williams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ehenz
    Speaking of blueing, this maybe your answer:

    http://www.brownells.com/aspx/NS/sto...AKING+LACQUERS

    Good luck finding a big enough oven though. Perhaps a heat *** would do the job?

    I've used this product (for its intended use) and it is durable.
    no..nice idea , posible but,

    I was interested in custom bike detailing and was reserching acid etching and in the case of my bike steel patina (corrosion, oxidization) cold chemical as to not have to entire strip the frame as in powder or plating for anodizing.
    A natural patina for ferrous metals is orange
    It can be colored and maybe more surface permanent.
    still will need coats and polish.

  16. #16
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    Here's a Gunnar with the bare metal look. Photos are not that great thou....

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...tem=3663762652
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  17. #17
    I couldn't car less. jeff williams's Avatar
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    s'nice....I'm still gonna acid etch my frame.

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    Senior Member Avalanche325's Avatar
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    Steel will go a royal blue if heated correctly. I am not sure how you would do an entire bike frame.

  19. #19
    I couldn't car less. jeff williams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avalanche325
    Steel will go a royal blue if heated correctly. I am not sure how you would do an entire bike frame.
    I don't want to entire strip, also remove grease.
    Patina acid corrosion can blue but WAY different.
    A pizza oven or ho-made kiln would do the bluing.
    I've never done reaserch into effect post weld, of heat on a frame.
    Brazing after weld is not good because of the re-heating?

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    This thread has always intrigue me, now I have a bare metal frame and really like the imperfections of the metal and brass weld joints. I am just going to use clear coat on it, the problem is it starts yellowing on before I finish wet sanding it. I will try dry sanding it, clean it with methanol spirits before using a few coats of clear. Any thoughts?

  21. #21
    Senior Member kevntri's Avatar
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    Be careful with the heat thing. Steel is heat treated and heating it enough to turn the whole thing blue could make the steel brittle

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