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Bruce Gordon smoke effect...how?

Old 05-13-21, 12:38 PM
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thook
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Bruce Gordon smoke effect...how?


not sure if that link is viewable without signing in/up. sorry 'bout that. not sure of another way to get the example image up here. also, there's not hardly any examples elsewhere on the web

anyway, i'm sure some or more of BG fans are familiar with his "smoke" paint job. i'm wondering just how that effect might have been achieved. i know other companies have done it, though

anyone know and maybe even reproduced it with some success? it'd be cool to do this to one of my bikes needing some love. contemplating ways to do it

Last edited by thook; 05-13-21 at 01:46 PM.
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Old 05-13-21, 01:01 PM
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Some Centurions (IronMan models) as well as hundreds of Swiss bikes from early days featured "smoked" paint effects: Mondia, Allegro and possibly Cilo and Tigra come to mind. I think in the case of some early Swiss there was actual smoke (as in soot) involved, but will subscribe for some knowledgeable painters to chime in with the facts, jack!
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Old 05-13-21, 01:32 PM
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one way was to float paint on top of a tub of water, submerse the frame and the paint adhered to the surface as it was submersed.
Now, to get the type of paint to used today...
Clearcoat after of course.
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Old 05-13-21, 02:16 PM
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Light an oxyacetylene torch without the oxygen turned on. Keep the flame low and then pass the frame over the surface you want smoked. Practice on anything before hitting your painted surface. It is very easy to do, costs little but you must clear coat right after doing the smoke work. I have done this many times, when I used to chop (customize) old Harleys, Indians and different English bikes. Give it a try or Google it.
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Old 05-13-21, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
Light an oxyacetylene torch without the oxygen turned on. Keep the flame low and then pass the frame over the surface you want smoked. Practice on anything before hitting your painted surface. It is very easy to do, costs little but you must clear coat right after doing the smoke work. I have done this many times, when I used to chop (customize) old Harleys, Indians and different English bikes. Give it a try or Google it.
sounds like a plan. i'll have get a torch first, though ....

the water/paint dip approach would much more possible....hmmmm
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Old 05-14-21, 01:22 AM
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okay...this is interesting. when i'd looked at the close up photos of the RNR above, i'd considered using saran wrap to get the effect....'cause it kinda looks to me like maybe that's what was done. or some similar approach. well, then i was browsing youtube videos geeking out on frame building stuff, i happen to stumble on this man's video...


and, i swear...i had no idea people were actually using saran wrap to paint with...haha! looks pretty damn similar, though, don't you think?
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Old 05-14-21, 03:27 AM
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I painted a fork crown to try and match the smoked finish on a frame. I used the saran wrap method. But, I bunched it up and blotted a wet black top coat over a dry white base. It came more marble looking than smoke, but it was good enough for government work.
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Old 05-14-21, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by thook View Post
sounds like a plan. i'll have get a torch first, though ....

the water/paint dip approach would much more possible....hmmmm
When I was a teenager I did it lighting a Popsicle stick dipped in motor oil.

Water dipping usually gives more of a swirl than a smoke pattern. Before you go thinking it's easier visualize a- how big the tub has to be and b- what will the "back side" of the dip look like. Very hard to get a perfect "wrap" with that method.

A lot depends on just how perfect a finish you're looking for. If this is a prized bike the question isn't the same as a beater you're willing to practice on.
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Old 05-14-21, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
Light an oxyacetylene torch without the oxygen turned on. Keep the flame low and then pass the frame over the surface you want smoked. Practice on anything before hitting your painted surface. It is very easy to do, costs little but you must clear coat right after doing the smoke work. I have done this many times, when I used to chop (customize) old Harleys, Indians and different English bikes. Give it a try or Google it.
This.
Best, Ben
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Old 05-14-21, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
Light an oxyacetylene torch without the oxygen turned on. Keep the flame low and then pass the frame over the surface you want smoked. Practice on anything before hitting your painted surface. It is very easy to do, costs little but you must clear coat right after doing the smoke work. I have done this many times, when I used to chop (customize) old Harleys, Indians and different English bikes. Give it a try or Google it.
I'd bet plenty of money this is how Bruce (or whoever painted his frames) got that smoked look. An acetylene flame - before it gets turned up - is very sooty and can make a framebuilder look like coal miner if he is not fast fingered with the control knobs. One of the advantages of switching to propane instead of acetylene is avoiding the rain of soot that come floating down when one of my framebuilding class students is still in the learning how to operate a torch stage.
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Old 05-14-21, 11:10 AM
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Pardon the filthy bike, but here's a quick photo of the fork crown I mentioned in post #7.



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Old 05-14-21, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
Light an oxyacetylene torch without the oxygen turned on. Keep the flame low and then pass the frame over the surface you want smoked. Practice on anything before hitting your painted surface. It is very easy to do, costs little but you must clear coat right after doing the smoke work. I have done this many times, when I used to chop (customize) old Harleys, Indians and different English bikes. Give it a try or Google it.
We didn't want to waste acetylene so we used burning polystyrene, the "sprue" from plastic models worked great. BIG amen on clear coating immediately!

Hmmm, I'm paintng a single speed, mght be time to "burn one".......
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Old 05-14-21, 01:23 PM
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Bought this Titan frame cuz I liked the 'smoke' paint job on it. Plus, t was the size (57 cm) I was looking for . . .
A painter in Italy paints frames w/ fancy schemes for quite a few top-tiered frame builders in IT. (Dossena Carlo)

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Old 05-14-21, 02:54 PM
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I'm remembered Deepcherry has done some air-brush work on a Diamond Back frame to achieve the same smoke effect. Here's the thread; Diamond Back (Ascent 1990) refurb
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Old 05-14-21, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by 1 Lugnut View Post
Bought this Titan frame cuz I liked the 'smoke' paint job on it. Plus, t was the size (57 cm) I was looking for . . .
A painter in Italy paints frames w/ fancy schemes for quite a few top-tiered frame builders in IT. (Dossena Carlo)

The filthy frame with the Somec fork in post # 11 is a Titan also. Only it's a 55 cm. The Somec fork is the second fork I tried with that frame. I had a Cinelli unicrown on it and the bike handled like crap. I switched to the Somec fork, which has less rake, (giving it toe overlap) and now it rides great,
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Old 05-14-21, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by gearbasher View Post
The filthy frame with the Somec fork in post # 11 is a Titan also. Only it's a 55 cm. The Somec fork is the second fork I tried with that frame. I had a Cinelli unicrown on it and the bike handled like crap. I switched to the Somec fork, which has less rake, (giving it toe overlap) and now it rides great,
Fork on mine is off a Mondia frame I bought (58m), but it was cut a liitle short & didnít have enough threads for enough purchase on the headset nut,
On that Mondia frame, I found a better Mondia fork, had it cut shorter & used it.
On the Titan, it fit, but needed 2B chromed.
I have another Titan (56cm) that also came w/o a fork. I saved an Italvega that I had bought many years ago & supplied it after having it painted to match the frame...
Both Titans handle great w/o being squirrelly. I find the one like yoursí, a bit more skittish? Veloflex tubulars help smooth out the ride...

In case you didnít know, Titans were made in Italy by
Giovanni Losa who makes frames for lots of other companies. eg: Guerciotti, Cinelli & others...
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