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Shellac & cloth bar tape experience

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Shellac & cloth bar tape experience

Old 01-10-21, 09:29 AM
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KenNC
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Shellac & cloth bar tape experience

For some time I have wanted to try this for a more classic look. I've liked what I've seen on threads here The Retrogrouch: Give 'Em a Good Shellacking here https://vintagebicycle.wordpress.com...itive-version/ and here https://velo-orange.com/pages/shella...r-tape-a-guide but did not want to start an expensive trial-and-error process with various cloth tapes and different shellacs. Finally gave it a try on a Peugeot PX80, tying to end up with something on the bars that would match or complement the orange highlights in the decals. A couple of pictures, including a sample of the tape before being shellacked, are below, and am happy with the results. This is orange Newbaum's tape, with two coats of Zinsser Bulls Eye amber shellac. The pre-mixed shellac dried just fine, and as it did not darken as much as I expected (a relief!) I may add a third coat.

Am interested in other folks experiences and what combinations of tape and shellac gave you a particular color result, as I'd like to try this again!

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Old 01-10-21, 09:42 AM
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I use cloth tape almost exclusively. If I finish it off with twine I'll shellac the twine but I prefer the tape uncoated. To me it feels better without shellac.
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Old 01-10-21, 10:31 AM
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OP, that looks very good as you have it. Before going to a third coat, I would do three coats on a piece of your scrap to make sure you don't lose too much of the orange. You might retain more of the original tape color if you switch to clear shellac rather than amber.
I have a slight preference for the feel of natural tape, but there is no denying that it lasts much longer with shellac. It also helps to prevent lifting of the tape edges if you tape your bars from the top down.
The trick is to hit the sweet spot of enough coats to do the job, without losing the tape color, and without getting too glossy. IMO anyway; I don't like it when the tape looks like it's been dunked in plastic.
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Old 01-10-21, 10:48 AM
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Looks like nice job, it should serve you well. I usually use just a single coat and then reapply as hands/gloves wear down the shellac after cleaning with soft toothbrush, mild soap and good rinse. I believe it was this stuff I have used for many years: https://www.twilltape.com/heavyweight-cotton-tapes/. Can't beat $12 for 200+ feet. Also pretty sure I have always used clear shellac which give the just off white tape and cotton string a nice amber color.


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Old 01-10-21, 12:48 PM
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Light gray tape and amber shellac will give you a good color match to a honey colored Brooks Saddle (at least for the first ten years of the saddle.)

I find the shellac helps keeping the tape clean. From time to time you can wash with soap and water. About every two years I might clean the tape and add a coat of shellac.
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Old 01-10-21, 08:45 PM
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Another thumbs up for cotton, twine and shellac. You can go multiple coats and get it as slick as Benotto, or just a few and keep it tacky. Shellac "glues" the tape together and makes it nearly indestrutable. I used to redo my tape every year, now it just gets cleaned and re-shellaced.

One thing I'd like to try is dying white twill with coffee (I've heard it's been done), and shellac with amber colored.

White with amber


Orange and amber (this one looks a bit like plastic, but "broke in" nicely)

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Old 01-11-21, 08:55 AM
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Careful to keep the shellac off the rest of the bike. It is somewhat permanent.



Newbaums red w/3 coats amber.
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Old 01-11-21, 08:59 AM
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This was my first time using the shellac method. I used 3 coats of amber over bright red tape to get this darker red shade. It gave me the look I was shooting for on an old English bike.
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Old 01-11-21, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
Careful to keep the shellac off the rest of the bike. It is somewhat permanent.
A q-tip dipped in high proof alcohol will dissolve the shellac on the stem, frame, and rims. I just left the drips on the tires.
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Old 01-11-21, 10:16 AM
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Question - how is shellac'd bar tape on hot days with sweaty hands? I have used cloth tape forever, love it and just figure it is a consumable. (And always go black to hide the dirt.)
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Old 01-11-21, 10:33 AM
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I think the shelac makes the tape edges sharp and kind of raspy and doesn't feel as "nice" as naked tape. It is not slippery in so cal and I ride gloveless mostly.
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Old 01-11-21, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by 76SLT View Post
This was my first time using the shellac method. I used 3 coats of amber over bright red tape to get this darker red shade. It gave me the look I was shooting for on an old English bike.
Love the end plugs!
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Old 01-11-21, 10:58 AM
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Width

Originally Posted by easyupbug View Post
Looks like nice job, it should serve you well. I usually use just a single coat and then reapply as hands/gloves wear down the shellac after cleaning with soft toothbrush, mild soap and good rinse. I believe it was this stuff I have used for many years: https://www.twilltape.com/heavyweight-cotton-tapes/. Can't beat $12 for 200+ feet. Also pretty sure I have always used clear shellac which give the just off white tape and cotton string a nice amber color.


3/4" width, right? Similar to newbaums? Price looks like an excellent value.
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Old 01-11-21, 12:10 PM
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Only had a couple with shellac on cotton: Super Course with 2 coats clear on black.+ my 2019 Cino PX10 with multiple coats on white. Liked them both, prefer the smoothness from many coats, but as you can see, clear shellac on white tape yields off-white. Can also recommend shellac on cork tape. It looks good, extends the life greatly and amber can give a pleasing color change. Cinelli yellow cork with amber goes will with Brooks Honey or Brown leather.. The Zeus has yellow + multiple coats of clear shellac, is still in place, looking good today, although additional coats were added a few times. I once got a buy on some hot pink cork tape that was too hideous to use. . Some amber shellac gave a pleasing red The group shot shows yellow cork + amber shellac and hot pink + amber on the AD. Expedition has hot pink + amber.. Don



Super Course

PX10

Motobecane Pleather vs Varnished Cork tape

84 Expedition, Varnished hot pink cork tape.
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Old 01-11-21, 12:52 PM
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I used Newbaum's maroon and twine then finished it with three coats of amber shellac on my '78 Newest.
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Old 01-11-21, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Senrab62 View Post
3/4" width, right? Similar to newbaums? Price looks like an excellent value.
It has been a long long time since I used any newbaums tape but at the time I found this stuff it looked the same to me and certainly works the same.
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Old 01-11-21, 01:12 PM
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Not a fan of shellacked cloth here. Its a little too permanent for me. I consider bar tape, like brake pads, to be an expendable/consumable item. Hey, I just had a thought... why not wrap the bars with bacon? EVERYTHING is better with bacon wrapped around it, right? Sorry, I just channeled Ron Swanson there for a moment.
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Old 01-11-21, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by J.Higgins View Post
Not a fan of shellacked cloth here. Its a little too permanent for me. I consider bar tape, like brake pads, to be an expendable/consumable item. Hey, I just had a thought... why not wrap the bars with bacon? EVERYTHING is better with bacon wrapped around it, right? Sorry, I just channeled Ron Swanson there for a moment.
Shellacked cloth tape is a lot of work to put on and also to to remove. I've only removed it once, ended up just taking a razor knife to split it from top to bottom. Some would consider the permanence of shellacked cloth a good thing. Reminds me of someone here once saying that a big negative of powder coating is that it's hard to remove it. I thought that was a positive?

As for bacon...
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Old 01-11-21, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by easyupbug View Post
It has been a long long time since I used any newbaums tape but at the time I found this stuff it looked the same to me and certainly works the same.
There's no "stickum" on the back of standard twill tape that you can get at a fabric store. You have to make sure you keep it tight while wrapping. I've tried spraying the bars with photo mount spray, if you let it tack up it kinda works. Now I just make sure it stays tight. Once you shellac, it's locked together.

Can't tell the difference between twill and Newbaum's, especially after shellacing.
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Old 01-11-21, 04:55 PM
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I can not be the only member here who hates stickum on tape, any tape.
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Old 01-11-21, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by easyupbug View Post
I can not be the only member here who hates stickum on tape, any tape.
Backside, so the bar tape sticks to the bars while you roll it on.

But yeah, I don't want my hands sticking to the handlebars.
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Old 01-11-21, 07:47 PM
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I've done it a couple of times, and didn't like it at all. To me, it just makes the tape feel crusty. If I use cotton tape I prefer it bare.
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Old 01-11-21, 08:54 PM
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Tressostar and three coats of clear shellac. I tape the tops down to the brake lever and the drops from the bottom up and skip the twine.
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Old 01-11-21, 11:25 PM
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I wrap Tressostar or Newbaums cloth tape top to bottom and use enough coats of shellac so the tape feels smooth. I donít use twine for finishing,,,

White cotton tape with multiple (5) coats of shellac. I use Zinssers Clear mixed 4 parts to 1 with Zinssers Pigmented white. Iíd wash it with soap and water occasionally when it got dirty.
After a year of use, I applied another 2 coats this past summer and it looks good as new.

For a decorative touch I used short pieces of Red and White patterned bar tape was silicone glued into place and coated with clear polyurethane. Itís held up really well.
ThatsBetter by Matthew Pendergast, on Flickr

This wrap was a done with Off White colored ďVivaĒ tape. The shellac coatings give it a nice light honey color.

https://www.jitensha.com/eng/tape_e.html

This is my favorite tape because it has a much softer feel to it. Coated with Zinssers Clear, maybe 6 coats originally, Ive given it an additional 2 coats to refresh it up this past summer after 8 years of solid use. Still looks and feels great.
Handlebar detail shot. Taken at Rattlesnake Lake, just up the Snoqualmie Valley Trail from my house by Matthew Pendergast, on Flickr

This wrap, done with Light Pink colored tape with 5 or 6 coats of Zinssers Clear, turned out to appear a slightly darker honey color than the example above.
Apr21 Skagit Tulip Ride by Matthew Pendergast, on Flickr

This wrap was done with Light Blue cotton tape. 5 Coats with Zinssers Clear, darkened it up a little and gave it bit of a green tint - almost Celeste to my eye.
Bike refresh by Matthew Pendergast, on Flickr
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Old 01-12-21, 08:49 AM
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Is it just me or do a lot of us who like shellac also live in the PNW?

Maybe it's something in the water.....
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