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Old 01-04-10, 06:01 PM   #1
Banzai
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Frame re-finishing

I have a Nashbar "X" Cyclocross frame that I'm going to pretty up a bit. Worth it? Probably not, but it will be cool anyway. Here's my plan:

Strip the paint.
Mold Bondo over the weld beads to give the bike a smooth, fillet brazed, appearance.
Re-paint.

Now, here's where your advice comes in:

1) What paint thinners are best with Aluminum? I suppose I could sand the paint off as well, but chemically stripping would, I think, be more thorough.

2) I'm pretty sure that Bondo is the best option for this. Any other suggestions?

3) A couple of "budget" local auto-painters said they could paint the frame for me. (Think a "Midas" type place.) I've never been to one. Is it any better than just getting Duplicolor rattlecans and painting myself?

Thanks for the input.
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Old 01-04-10, 06:35 PM   #2
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Been doing some online research...there are LOTS of Bondo type fillers/putties. I sent an e-mail to 3M, but experienced advice on what will work best with Aluminum is very much appreciated.
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Old 01-04-10, 07:41 PM   #3
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Rattlecan is the least durable. A real paint place will use real paint with hardeners. You could also look into powder coating, especially by a motorcycle place that's used to doing frames.
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Old 01-04-10, 08:51 PM   #4
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You could also look into powder coating,....
Will powdercoat work with the filler material?

I use West Systems Marine epoxy for a filler and add micro-balloon thickener until it's like toothpaste. After sanding and painting, it makes even my welds look great.
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Old 01-04-10, 09:05 PM   #5
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Try this as a filler http://www.sjdiscounttools.com/fib416.html .Because of the high heat involved with powder coating most fillers will melt or burn off. This is also why rust runs rampant under Powder coat. Ever see a spare tire rack with the plastic coating peeling off?
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Old 01-04-10, 10:07 PM   #6
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Not going to do powder. The last time I tried to powder a frame locally, the guy put the powder on so thick that I couldn't even clamp the FD to the frame anymore. AND, he wouldn't give me my money back or strip the frame again for me.

I'll try the local auto painters. I'm sure doing a single, solid color on a frame won't be a problem for them at all.

However...further words on Bondo-like fillers are appreciated.

By the way, I read somewhere that the rattle-can Duplicolor rim paints/enamels for cars are MUCH more durable than the body paints. The rim enamels only come in black, gunmetal, and white...but I was going to do black or gunmetal anyway. Does anyone have any experience with these?
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Old 01-04-10, 10:08 PM   #7
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Try this as a filler http://www.sjdiscounttools.com/fib416.html .Because of the high heat involved with powder coating most fillers will melt or burn off. This is also why rust runs rampant under Powder coat. Ever see a spare tire rack with the plastic coating peeling off?
That looks like it might be the ticket. I still appreciate any other experienced advice though...particularly on the best method of stripping the frame.
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Old 01-04-10, 11:00 PM   #8
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when you pick a filler make sure it says it's for aluminium. You just need a glaze type filler for the welds... Also give the painter some time to do it and most have leftover color from when they overmixed. Pick a color from there.
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