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Old 07-02-11, 09:56 PM   #1
3speed
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Ever modify a lug?

Got a new bike. I took it for a ride today and I think it's gonna be a keeper for daily rider and putting into bike racks, so I think I might have it powder-coated. I was also thinking it would be kinda cool if I can modify the lugs or something cool like that while the frame is stripped. Anyone ever do anything of the sort? The simple seeming idea I have in my head now is just filing them down some on the points and hopefully making them look cool when I detail around them after powder-coat. Any other ideas/advice?
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Old 07-02-11, 10:03 PM   #2
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You can smooth out a lug after it has been brazed in, but it would be foolhardy to modify the actual contours.

That said, I'd be reluctant to smooth out lugs for a powdercoat, unless you're 100% sure that the shop puts on a crisp, thin coat. Finding a shop that can do that isn't common.

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Old 07-02-11, 10:10 PM   #3
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You could modify for powder coat, not that it would appear stylish by a guy into lugs. Sharp edges are bad in powder coat land, the film thickness reduces at a square edge or corner, rounded edges and fillets are happy for powder, the type of definition that lugs provide is the problem.
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Old 07-02-11, 10:16 PM   #4
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Hmm... So maybe I should just leave my lugs alone and just go for some cool pinstriping* or something...

*I'm thinking of what they do on the hoods of cool hot rods, not lines down the frame like a pinstripe suit.
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Old 07-03-11, 09:09 AM   #5
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I modified lugs on a bike before having it PC'd, but I didn't thin them. Rather, I just smoothed out some rough edges using a cutting wheel on a dremel. It looked like no files had ever been used on the lugs during production (French bike, so par for the course).
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Old 07-03-11, 10:51 AM   #6
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If I were you, I wouldn't do much to them except file off rough contours. Then consider a base coat of "chrome" on the bike and then a solid color, masking off the lugs and fork ends, rear stays, etc. A good powdercoater can do this. I've spoken with Groody Bros. in Kansas City, MO and they have done this to bikes. Takes more time and is a little more costly, but gives a nice look.

The "chrome" color is actually a metallic powdercoat and can be silver, gold, copper, etc. Lots of potential there for a unique scheme. Groody told me to be aware that is doesn't really look like true chrome, but is "chrome-like". It is very attractive, but some folks are disappointed because they thought it would look like real chrome.

I like your idea of pinstriping. Search pics of some older French and English bikes for ideas.

Good luck!
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Old 07-03-11, 11:21 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TugaDude View Post
I like your idea of pinstriping. Search pics of some older French and English bikes for ideas.

Good luck!
The Australians went full bore for hand accented bikes.

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/vintage-m...-/300556062668
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Old 07-03-11, 12:46 PM   #8
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The lug in my avatar has welded-on extensions top and bottom, and the ears cut off and a new set of ears welded on. Of course, all of that was before the frame was built. I wasn't smart enough back then to realize that most builders just use brazing for their lug modifications.

That being said, I wouldn't modify a lug on a frame that someone else built
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Old 07-03-11, 12:57 PM   #9
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I actually did a little more than thinning on this frame's lugs during its restoration. I also enlarged a few of the cutouts with a diamond-tipped Dremel burring tool. This was done slowly and carefully over a period of about a week. When I was done removing steel, there was still brass residue underneath, so I know I didn't get down into the tubing.

The lug window below was much smaller than it is now:

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4119/...9edc3e94_b.jpg

DD
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