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Old 06-21-11, 07:28 PM   #1
americanfolk
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Baremetal finish?

If you pellet blast a frame, can you not paint it and seal it clear? I've heard clear coat will turn milky in a year. Is this true? Is it the only possible clear sealer?
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Old 06-21-11, 07:33 PM   #2
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It can be done, for sure, but I'm not sure it can be done well. Brompton folding bike frames are fillet brazed steel, and they used to sell one that was just clearcoated to show off the workmanship which, I'm told, is very pretty. But they have stopped offering that finish; apparently it just did not hold up well enough. And that in a factory that prides itself on doing things right. So... if you have access to all the right equipment, I'm sure you can do it. Maybe as well as Brompton; I, for one, could not.
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Old 06-21-11, 07:41 PM   #3
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Maybe a clear powder coat

http://www.flickr.com/photos/25671211@N02/2480107305/
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Old 06-21-11, 07:44 PM   #4
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I used to build those $40K choppers for a living. I had a guy who wouldn't listen and had it done. After a period of time handprints began to appear in rust as moisture found it's way into the clearcoat. Not sure why the hand and finger prints are where it began but if looked horrible.
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Old 06-21-11, 07:48 PM   #5
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i sandblasted my old trek y-glide[aluminum] then sanded it with 100 grit paper then cleared it. it still looks good after a year of hard riding.
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Old 06-21-11, 07:53 PM   #6
americanfolk
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that looks awesome, brian 3069, and exactly how I want it!

Last edited by americanfolk; 06-21-11 at 07:54 PM. Reason: update
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Old 06-21-11, 11:08 PM   #7
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Our bike shop's paint guy clear-coated a bare metal Chimo a month or so ago. Apparently the trick to durability and longevity is to use a clear primer, which is not at all widely available and is pretty expensive, like $200/gal. Having seen the bike in question, I'd have to say that it's worth it.


I keep thinking that I might gun-blue one of my frames, and silver-plate the lugs. I think that'd be hawt as hell, but I also think I might need to clear over that to keep it looking nice.
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Old 06-22-11, 08:45 AM   #8
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i've heard similar warnings against clear-coating a raw frame; that it won't hold up for more than a year or two, and that it will begin to rust under the clearcoat, especially where there are hand or finger-prints.

i've been riding a raw steel frame with no coating at all for two years. it's totally fine and looks great! it does develop light surface rust over time and i work it over with steel wool every 3-4 months to keep it clean.
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