Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    Stand & Jump!
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    78
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Lug Polishing Query...

    This seemed best to ask here, as it involves the frame finish, not a mechanical aspect of it.

    I have an old Nishiki International, all steel, but it is not chromed. I have seen cycles here and there with "polished" lugs and dropouts. I have also seen a cycle or two which a friend filed off the derailleur clamp (for those E-type derailleurs), and left it polished and shiny silver. Is it possible for me to file and wet sand like crazy with finer and finer grits until my lugs are polished and shiny? The rest of the bike will be painted (fire truck red) I can't afford chroming, but I do like shiny stuff. My biggest concern that after all that work, they will just rust over after a few months. Will I have to get clear powdercoat over the whole thing to protect from rust? Any help is much appreciated!

  2. #2
    I ride my bike Revtor's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    418
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Yes its definitely possible.. Id strip the whole frame, polish the lugs, mask them off, paint it red, unmask the lugs, touch them up if needed, clean them real well, then clear the whole thing. They will surface rust in a few days if you don't seal the steel. No need for powdercoat, clear paint will work just fine and protect the red a bit too. Powdercoat is tougher, but wont stick to the paint, and besides the paint wont last in the 400 degree plus oven used to powdercoat. You can get thin stickers to go under the clear if you want at that stage.

    depending on the roughness of the metal you could probably start with 320 or 400 grit, then 600, then 1000, 1500, 2000, then its time for a polishing wheel of some sort. Do this before you paint so you don't run the risk of messing up the new paint. Also, polished steel will look different than actual chrome too.

    sounds like it will look hot.. post pics if/when you finish!

    ~Stv

  3. #3
    Dr.Deltron
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Revtor
    start with 320 or 400 grit, then 600, then 1000, 1500, 2000, then its time for a polishing wheel of some sort. Do this before you paint so you don't run the risk of messing up the new paint. Also, polished steel will look different than actual chrome too.
    MY 2 cents . . .
    If you are going to all that trouble, go ahead and get it chromed!
    You're in SoCal. Their should be a number of places that will do the chroming.
    And it shouldn't cost too much if YOU do all the polishing first.

    Otherwise . . .

    Polish the lugs, get clear powdercoat, mask lugs, spray red, unmask lugs, add decals if desired, clear the whole frame with paint.

  4. #4
    Stand & Jump!
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    78
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.Deltron
    MY 2 cents . . .
    If you are going to all that trouble, go ahead and get it chromed!
    You're in SoCal. Their should be a number of places that will do the chroming.
    And it shouldn't cost too much if YOU do all the polishing first.

    Otherwise . . .

    Polish the lugs, get clear powdercoat, mask lugs, spray red, unmask lugs, add decals if desired, clear the whole frame with paint.
    I don't understand what you mean by if I do all the polishing first. If I polish the lugs before getting it chromed, then I won't need to get it chromed. I only want the lugs shiny, not the whole bike. I should polish up the entire bike before getting it chromed? THAT is more work than I want to do, for sure!

  5. #5
    Dr.Deltron
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by jmraspa
    I don't understand what you mean by if I do all the polishing first. If I polish the lugs before getting it chromed, then I won't need to get it chromed.
    Sure you will, if you want the lugs to STAY shiny!
    Chrome is only as good as the polishing done before chroming. That's where all the labor is, in polishing FIRST!
    So if YOU do most of the polishing first, then the chromer will finish it up and chrome the parts of the frame (or all of it, at their discretion) that you want to be exposed. The chrome will be shiny on the polished lugs and dull everywhere else. So then, mask the chromed lugs and PAINT the rest. Add decals and clear paint. Remove mask.

    TA-DA! Red frame with chromed lugs!

  6. #6
    I ride my bike Revtor's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    418
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Chroming will look more mirror then plain steel polished. And it will not corrode like raw steel does. Deltron is saying that if you're going to go to the trouble of polishing your lugs, then why not get them chromed while you're at it to really get the project to 100% It is a great suggestion.. call around and see what places will charge and then make the call. Polish the lugs as best you can, and see if you want to go for chrome, the steel might be fine for you... but seal it quickly after!

    have fun

  7. #7
    barnfullagts
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    WI
    My Bikes
    GT BI Ti/BI Steel - Edge Ti and Steel Xizang Ti and Psyclone Steel
    Posts
    620
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I just went through this on a restore I'm doing on a particular road frame. Unless your loaded with spare cash, Dr. Deltrons recommendations, to have the whole frame chromed will get very expensive especially if you plant to do the fork also. If the dropouts are stainless steel I'd go with the polishing route. Finding a good chrome plater these days is getting tougher and tougher with all the enviro regulations they've been slammed with the past 10 yrs. Those that can do it aren't afraid to charge because of this and they know it. Classic car owners with pot metal parts usually have the jingle to get work done. If your frame and fork need polishing it will get mighty expensive. On my current restore I chemically stripped the frame before some repair work was done and I'm working on polishing the dropouts, seat lug and head tube rings on my own and it takes a while. Most platers have a hourly charge for doing all the stripping, grinding and polishing that needs to be done to prepare a frame for plating and the rates are usually over $50 per hour for this work. Many of the people doing it have been doing it for years and are truly artists at doing this type of work. I got quotes from some of the best platers in the country. People that are very good at restore work and the frame quotes were 350-400 and the fork quotes ranged from 85-180 and my frame and fork needed little if any polishing. Just so you know there is a big difference in plating/platers. Some copper plate first as a filler then repolish before the chrome/nickel plating is actually done and platers that do this usually turn out the best finish..
    GT's in the barn: 67 and counting.

  8. #8
    Dr.Deltron
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by gm1230126 View Post
    the frame quotes were 350-400 and the fork quotes ranged from 85-180
    Thanks for that. It's good to have some numbers to go by.

    So, a chrome frame/fork about $600. Maybe $700+ if you have to ship or there are cosmetic issues.

    For me to mask that chrome and paint the rest a single color is another $600,... on up.

    Hence, the very idea of chroming and painting a frame, starts at well North of a Grand!

    So you either A) have a lot of "jingle", or B) You love the frame sooo much, you'd skip a mortgage payment to make it beautiful & pristine!

    Original chrome? . . . priceless!

    2 cents for the OP, polish as best you can. Have clear powdercoat applied. Off you go...about $150

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Portland
    My Bikes
    Fuji Grand SE; '73 Nishiki Pro
    Posts
    37
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Just wondering if anyone has any photos of lugs that were once painted that they stripped and polished themselves. I've been keeping an eye out for a lugged frame with crappy paint so that I could strip it and attempt to polish the lugs and then give the frame a nice coat of paint. Just wondering if it'll be worth all the trouble of polishing the lugs, or whether I should instead paint the lugs in a contrasting color.

  10. #10
    Randomhead
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Happy Valley, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    12,590
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    the lugs will rust. Paint a contrasting color. When you see polished lugs, they are either chromed or stainless

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Portland
    My Bikes
    Fuji Grand SE; '73 Nishiki Pro
    Posts
    37
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for the advice! That'd be a real shame to put in all that elbow grease and not have my vision realized. But I'm sure I can have just as much fun dreaming up two-tone paint applications!

  12. #12
    Senior Member pyeyo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    dead center of Washington State
    My Bikes
    how big is this cell anyway?
    Posts
    88
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Here is a photo of a single speed messenger bike I built, the customer asked for a polished steel clear coated frame but I refused to not primer and paint the bottom bracket nor the rear lugs because I felt this was still a problem corrosion area. The seat tube-top tube and head tube jucntions I left polished and clear coated with DU1000.
    I do not think clear coating unfinshed steel is a grand idea but it is and can be done.single speed messenger.jpg

  13. #13
    Randomhead
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Happy Valley, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    12,590
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    is painting over bare metal an approved application for that clear? I have heard of clear powder coats, but they don't rely as strongly on metal adhesion to stick. And reports with those is that they eventually develop rust.

  14. #14
    Senior Member pyeyo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    dead center of Washington State
    My Bikes
    how big is this cell anyway?
    Posts
    88
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I agree even though I have done it a couple of times, clear is not a proper bonding agent. If you search the word primer you will get hits reflecting the product being highly corrosion resistant because of the ability to etch to bare metal.There are some companies that sell clear sealer and etch primers. They need the acronym DTM [direct to metal] in the description to be usable. Eastwood sold a product called Diamond Clear that was DTM. The sign industry has some DTM clears that might be applicable too but automotive clear coats are not DTM.
    It may sound weird but you would probably be better off oiling your frame or using Gibbs than clear over bare, http://www.roadsters.com/gibbs/.
    When I did this I first polish the frame, wipe it with lacquer thinner, than bare metal prep, than a lintless cloth, tack, and coat with epoxy clear.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •