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  1. #1
    Ride it like you stole it theril's Avatar
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    Build & Paint - for a rookie

    OK - for someone interested in learning to build frames, and eventually paint them, what would be the best way for someone to learn how, given the following pre-existing conditions:

    1) No prior (related) experience - never welded, or done any automobile work. Never done any detail paint work either.

    2) Not in a position (either geographically, financially, or by credentials) to attend any of the clinics like Burnetts, etc.

    3) Do not have a custom shop (for bike frames) close enough to try to apprentice with (although there IS a motorcycle shop that might have some information on paints...)...

    Any references either for the building, or the painting operations..
    Suggestions on setting up a home shop/workspace to do the above?
    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    You need to look at www.frameforum.net. Lots of pros with lots of advice on building, painting etc.
    Many will recommend the Paterek Manual for framebuilders...a nice overview of techniques for frame construction.
    G

  3. #3
    Senior Member Nessism's Avatar
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    You also should read though the archive at the framebuilders list
    http://www.phred.org/mailman/listinfo/framebuilders

    Painting a frame is just like painting a car. Follow the basic process as detailed by the automotive paint manufactuers like PPG and Dupont.
    Becareful buying/selling bike parts on-line. I learned the hard way. :(

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  4. #4
    Dr.Deltron
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nessism
    Painting a frame is just like painting a car.



    !

    Quote Originally Posted by Nessism
    Follow the basic process as detailed by the automotive paint manufactuers like PPG and Dupont.
    And that's where the similarities end!

    ever wonder why car painters hate to paint bikes?

    If I wear the same kit and ride the same bike as Lance Armstrong, will I win the Tour?

    NO! Because Lance and I are different "animals"!

    OK, I apologize!
    being a bit harsh,

    but,... there is nothing the same about painting cars and bikes, except the materials and the trick of trying to get all the paint wet at the same time.

  5. #5
    Spelling Snob Hobartlemagne's Avatar
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    The guy who painted my bike told me that a lot of people have problems with overspray when
    painting a bike. I think he covers sectons with plastic or paper and paints different areas of
    the bike seperately.

    The first rule of flats is You don't talk about flats!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Nessism's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.Deltron



    !


    And that's where the similarities end!

    ever wonder why car painters hate to paint bikes?

    If I wear the same kit and ride the same bike as Lance Armstrong, will I win the Tour?

    NO! Because Lance and I are different "animals"!

    OK, I apologize!
    being a bit harsh,

    but,... there is nothing the same about painting cars and bikes, except the materials and the trick of trying to get all the paint wet at the same time.
    Funny post!

    Painting a bike frame is not rocket science. From my experience, painting a car is WAY more work...and takes more skill. The difficulty in painting a frame is taking care to keep from cutting through on the edges when sanding between coats and managing the different colors - cars are typically one color.

    For more info on painting check the following link.
    http://www.campyonly.com/joebell/painting_steps.html
    Becareful buying/selling bike parts on-line. I learned the hard way. :(

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  7. #7
    Junk Collector
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nessism
    Funny post!

    Painting a bike frame is not rocket science. From my experience, painting a car is WAY more work...and takes more skill. The difficulty in painting a frame is taking care to keep from cutting through on the edges when sanding between coats and managing the different colors - cars are typically one color.

    For more info on painting check the following link.
    http://www.campyonly.com/joebell/painting_steps.html
    Having done both, I'd have to agree, to a point. The Dr. is correct when he says that most guys that paint cras don't want to be bothered with painting what is predominantly tubing. A car is much easier to shoot (less the prep work). You don't have to turn the car over to paint the bottom, you don't have to wonder what the other side of what you just painted looks like (the wraparound overspray you get during bike painting is very tricky), and you don't have to figure out a way to be able to flip the car over to paint the bottom. And believe me, taping and painting lugwork is more difficult than shooting a car.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Nessism's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by duane041
    And believe me, taping and painting lugwork is more difficult than shooting a car.
    I can confirm how difficult it is to mask lug work. After trying and failing with this I setteled on just painting panels in the center of the seat and down tubes. The painting process is not all that hard though. The paint kind of flows around the tubes and surface tension hold it there...until you get a run if you lay it on too heavy. That's the key for me: get enough paint on the tubes to get good flow out without adding too much which will run.

    Oh, and to hold the frame I use my Park bike stand - has a number of different colors painted on it now as a badge of honor! Spinning the frame is no problem but getting good light on it is!
    Last edited by Nessism; 01-05-07 at 11:26 AM.
    Becareful buying/selling bike parts on-line. I learned the hard way. :(

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  9. #9
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    I just say throw yourself into it and start making some custom parts, gradually build up your skills and equipment. Bike building is pretty easy really. It's hard to become an acknowledged master, but to make some frames that are better than you can buy shouldn't take you more than a few tries. I would go over to atomiczombie.com. and do some of those cheap projects. You need to learn how to joint and work metal, but it is cheaper to start with some pojects that use donor bikes. Then maybe move onto racks and bars, or bikes that use straight tubing. There are some pretty serious options there. And then move up to the more expensive materials if your projects require them. You can start with all nice tube sets too, as long as you are minimally supplied with approapriate tools you could start with a lugged bike.

  10. #10
    Junk Collector
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nessism
    I can confirm how difficult it is to mask lug work. After trying and failing with this I setteled on just painting panels in the center of the seat and down tubes. The painting process is not all that hard though. The paint kind of flows around the tubes and surface tension hold it to the tubes. The key for me is to get enough paint on the tubes to get good flow out without adding too much or it will run.
    .....and then I had to paint a cruiser frame. All those curved tubes coming together at the seat cluster-Eeeeeeeek! The road frames are pretty easy when you egt the hang of it, but these cantilever cruiser frames are a drag

  11. #11
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nessism
    You also should read though the archive at the framebuilders list
    http://www.phred.org/mailman/listinfo/framebuilders

    Painting a frame is just like painting a car. Follow the basic process as detailed by the automotive paint manufactuers like PPG and Dupont.
    Painting motorcycles is a better analogy ....Cars have a lot of flat surface area, bikes don't have any

  12. #12
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theril
    OK - for someone interested in learning to build frames, and eventually paint them, what would be the best way for someone to learn how, given the following pre-existing conditions:

    1) No prior (related) experience - never welded, or done any automobile work. Never done any detail paint work either.

    2) Not in a position (either geographically, financially, or by credentials) to attend any of the clinics like Burnetts, etc.

    3) Do not have a custom shop (for bike frames) close enough to try to apprentice with (although there IS a motorcycle shop that might have some information on paints...)...

    Any references either for the building, or the painting operations..
    Suggestions on setting up a home shop/workspace to do the above?
    Thanks!
    This is an old thread, but are you still interested ?? I have some old tubing sets & lugs that could be used for practicing. They're a bit rusty so not much use for a real frame.

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