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  1. #1
    Senior Member jonwvara's Avatar
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    Removing paint from fork crown race

    I'm always the guy who urges everyone else not to repaint their frames, but sometimes paint is so bad that even I can't stand it.

    I recently had a local auto-body guy repaint a 1981 Miyata 1000 frame and fork for me. He did an excellent job, but for some reason forgot to mask the area at the base of the steerer where the crown race presses on, so it's now covered with primer, paint, and clearcoat. I don't want to take anything abrasive to that area for fear of affecting the press fit of the race. I don't want to use anything chemical for fear of damaging the paint on the fork below the race. Instead, I'm thinking I'll carefully scrape of the paint with one of those single-edged razor blades painters use before I press on the race. Or does someone know of an easier way? If so, I'm all ears.
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  2. #2
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    Razor blade or sharp knife, anything else and you might mess up the paint on the fork
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  3. #3
    Unreasonably tall member non-fixie's Avatar
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    No, sharp blade would be my weapon of choice as well. See if you can make a cut at the bottom of the area to be cleared before you start scraping so as not to chip away any paint from the wrong area by accident.
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    Senior Member CroMo Mike's Avatar
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    It would take a lot of sanding effort to remove enough steel to reduce the diameter of that part enough to affect the press fit. Razor blade first then light sanding (or careful wipe with lacquer thinner) to finish up.
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    Also, whenever I'm working around fresh paint, protect exposed areas. Tape, rags, whatever you have. One way or another accidents happen.
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    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    You should be able to carefully mask the painted areas where you don't want the paint damaged and then carefully apply a viscous semi-paste chemical stripper like Jasco Premium Paint and Epoxy Remover with a small throwaway brush to the race and steerer.

    If you're careful you shouldn't have a problem with damage to the paint on the crown below the race.

    I've done this with success more than once, but YMMV.
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  7. #7
    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
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    Or take it to a shop that has a crown race milling tool for a really clean job.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scooper View Post
    You should be able to carefully mask the painted areas where you don't want the paint damaged and then carefully apply a viscous semi-paste chemical stripper like Jasco Premium Paint and Epoxy Remover with a small throwaway brush to the race and steerer.

    If you're careful you shouldn't have a problem with damage to the paint on the crown below the race.

    I've done this with success more than once, but YMMV.
    +1 to Stan's suggestion though the first thing I would do would be to press fit the race and see how tight it is. There's some chance you might not have to remove anything.

  9. #9
    Senior Member jonwvara's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
    +1 to Stan's suggestion though the first thing I would do would be to press fit the race and see how tight it is. There's some chance you might not have to remove anything.
    The original race was on there tight--in fact, really, really tight. None of my home mechanic methods sufficed to get it off--I had to take it to the LBS, where they used one of those merciless threaded Park removers on it.

    Neal, your reference to Stan's recommendation got me to look back and see that he also mentions removing paint from the steerer. The steerer is in fact painted--all but the threaded portion which was properly masked--but hadn't occurred to me that that paint might pose any problems, and so had no plans to fool with it. Is there something I'm not seeing?
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    Yeah, Jon, there shouldn't be paint on the steerer surface underneath the crown race. That probably explains why the original race was so tight.

  11. #11
    Senior Member jonwvara's Avatar
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    U2
    Quote Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
    Yeah, Jon, there shouldn't be paint on the steerer surface underneath the crown race. That probably explains why the original race was so tight.
    Unclear explanation on my part--I probably need to take remedial expository writing. There wasn't any paint under the crown race originally, and I plan to remove the new paint that's now on the crown-race area before reinstalling it. My secondary question was whether there was also some reason to remove paint from the unthreaded portion of the steerer, as an earlier post seemed to suggest. I'm guessing not, but I may be overlooking something.
    Last edited by jonwvara; 10-19-14 at 07:04 AM.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member rootboy's Avatar
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    If it were me, I'd leave the rest of the paint. Might help to protect the steerer tube from rust…a bit.

    I concur with the carefully used paint stripper idea. Better yet would be someone with the crown milling cutter, and who knows how to use it. If the crown race that was on there was so tight, maybe a run through the mill might help some.

  13. #13
    Senior Member SJX426's Avatar
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    Broken record from me, but my Colnago had paint on the Crown race seat surface on the steerer. It was enough to break the Super Record crown race. Only .002" of interference is tolerable, any more and you risk breaking the crown race. BTW: SR crown races are extremely hard to find that are in any good condition to use.

  14. #14
    Bike hoarder. Murray Missile's Avatar
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    I'd be worried about slipping with the razor since no matter how careful I am I almost always do. I'd cover the fork legs and crown with a heavy plastic bag, mask the area adjacent to the steerer tube, mask the steerer tube above the race to keep stripper from getting on the threads and oozing out later, hang the fork upside down and use a small brush to carefully apply aircraft stripper to the affected area. That should keep any stripper from getting on the exposed paint. Might seem like overkill but better safe than sorry. Just my 2 cents.
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    I you use a crown race cutter to remove the paint, be sure to remove the paint from the steerer tube first. The crown race tolerance is very tight as you know and if there is a paint/clear coat buildup on one side of the steerer, you might remove paint and steel from one side while removing nothing from the other. I hope I explained that clearly enough. Basically, the steerer tube determines the center of the circle being cut and paint buildup can move the circle. It was most likely cut with no paint the first time so cut it with no paint the second time.

  16. #16
    Senior Member jonwvara's Avatar
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    Yes, very clear, thank you for the good information

    I think I'm going to follow my original plan and use a razor blade.
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