Blog 18-07-23

A week has passed by, apparently in the blink of an eye, which is ever so slightly worrying. And in that time project single speed Surly Pugsley has moved one step forward and two steps backwards. The problem started with the pattern of colours on the wheel rims. What I’ve been doing on the two previous builds was add a black or white border between blocks of colour. However, when I painted the wheel rims on Pugsley, I placed black and white adjacent to each other, which means I cannot do the same.

So, what I decided to do was use and different colour entirely, bright red, for the separating border. However, not only did I not like the finished colour or effect, the paint ran underneath the masking tape resulting in a proper mess. Which means back to square one for the wheel rims. The paint was a different brand to the usual paint I use and very runny. But on the plus side, the Pugsley frame and forks are now at the sandblasters for stripping. Initially, it looked they would be ready this Thursday but a phone call a few minutes ago informed me they are now ready for collection. Same day service, how good it that?

So, what to do with the wheel rims? Well, no choice but start again. This time making sure that black and white are not together, then I can do the black or white border as before. The white border would go with the black colour blocks and the black border with everything else.

Preparing the painted wheel rims for re-painting needs some work. One option was to rub down the existing paint for priming again. But that’s a slow, tedious, messy and boring task. Next option was to strip the wheel rims back to bare metal. This can either be done by chemicals, sand blasting as with the frame and also with a hot air stripper. Chemicals is messy, sand blasting I’m not happy with as the rims are thin aluminium, but I do have a hot air stripper, so opted for that. Took me about 90 minutes overall to strip and prep both wheel rims. The hot air stripper softens the paint which can then be removed with a scraper. No need to remove every little bit of paint, you can do that later with the scraper before a final light sanding. To finish, wash down, dry and we’re ready for primer.

The freshly stripped frame and forks also needs some preparation before priming. First task is the give both parts a good shake to remove any residual particles from the sandblasting process that are inside the hollow tubes. You can hear the particles rattling about inside the tubes. I would suggest doing this a few times before priming and final painting. The last thing you want is particle emerging onto your fresh paint. Next, the stripping process leaves a rough texture to the metal, so rubbing down with 240 grit emery cloth is required. Take your time here as it will determine how good your final paint finish will be. Last task before priming is wash and allow to dry. Hopefully, if weather permits, I’ll get everything primed tomorrow. Back soon.

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