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?
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.
'71 Mercian, '72 Jeunet, '82 Jack Taylor, '13 Rawland
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).
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.
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
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: