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I took the frame. It was from a donor bike I picked up from a guy locally for £35 all in. After spending a couple of hours stripping it back, fighting seized parts and cleaning it I ended up with the raw bad boy below.
The frame is made from cast Magnesium so it will not rust like iron does. However, the frame really reminds me of cast iron sections of the bridge at Ironbridge here in the UK (look at the image below for my friends that aren't from the UK). I'm really inspired by Industrial Revolution engineering - and in my own insignificant way this is a tip of the hat to that era.
So..I have a black painted Magnesium frame. How do I make it look old? I didn't want to go to the effort of getting is shot blasted (and a lot of places will not touch Magnesium) so a heavy session of flattening the paint back by hand gave me a clean canvas. I really like the ratty look - and I wanted to make this frame look like it was found behind a shed where it had sat rusting for decades. Having searched the internet for ageing techniques I came across a method often used on TV props and thought i'd give it a try.
The first step was to paint a very liberal coat of a grey Hammerite type outdoor paint all over the frame. I used a cut down paint brush and used a stipling action to give it a rough surface. It took a good couple of coats to cover the entire frame properly but once dried it looked ....well, grey! Next up was another good stippled coat of paint but this time with a difference. I bought a kilo of iron filings - and as I painted sections of the frame I very liberally shook the filings onto the sticky paint, taking care to leave the filings exposed as much as possible. After letting the paint dry I repeated the process, this time with a lot less less paint and a heavier application of iron filings in order toleave more of the iron exposed. Clumping and roughness wasn't an issue. I want it to look cast.
The next step needs to be done outside in a well ventilated area and with a lot of care. Use eye protection and a face mask. I bought a bottle of 6% Hydrogen Peroxide (which is very cheaply and readily available from chemists as a surgical spirit). I also bought a small bottle of white vinegar and a spray bottle. I mixed the solution in the ratio of 4:1 H2O2 to White Vinegar and added a teaspoon of salt, shaking vigorously. The paint on the frame had dried overnight leaving a rough, cast iron look of exposed iron filings on a grey paint base. Spraying the mixture over the frame produced an immediate rusting effect. Decades were added to the frame in mere seconds. The rusting is absolutely immediate! I carried on like this (and nearly choked myself to death after forgetting to put my mask back on) until the frame looked like it was 100 years old. I let it dry outside, tocuhed up a couple of areas, and let it dry over night. The next day I applied six or seven coats of matt lacquer and again let it dry. The result is exactly how I wanted it to look. I'm really please with how this came out!
After re-tapping all of the threads and facing and rethreading the bottom bracket shell I have a fantastic starting point. The frame looks like it needs a good sandblasting and restoration job which is exactly what I wanted. However - the look i've got here is deliberate. If I take off the seat collar the original black paint is still very visible underneath!
So...I have couple more ideas for the next step. That old Girvin Flexstem is calling me...
that is an awesome bridge , i work in bridge structures testing and design , and that is a cool bridge , love your bike the frame never seen one like it , will look forward to your build very cool
you can reach me at email@example.com
Marc, the frame looks great. You managed to take the lightest frame of the build off, and make it look like the heaviest (and one of the most COOL, and ratty). NICE!
MY INTRO/BIKES ... WHEEL WE EVER BE SATISFIED?
Very neat frame for a build. Reminds me of a freebie Mongoose MTB frame I've got in the basement.
Anxious to see where you head with this.
In Maine, rust is original equipment.
Great start, make sure you keep all your updates on this thread, don't keep starting new ones, it's hard to keep up with this way.
Check out my Build-Off bike: ☆ 1936 Off-Roadmaster Klunker ☆
Yeah, sorry for the gap in the updates. I've had so many projects on the go (including a full stripdown and rebuild of my car's rear suspension, the build up of my new carbon fibre Trek Madone and a lot of foreign travel with my job) that i've fallen a little behind schedule with this project. Thankfully I've had a great weekend of clearing the decks so i'm hoping I can get some more hours in and some more photos loaded this week. I've got some chrome forks, chrome bars, polished silver brakes and leather grips assembled. I've hit a bit of a bit of a snag with Shimano Dynamo Hub that I stripped down and rebuilt and i've had to try and source some spares for it. I don't want to give up on the dynamo hub because i'm hoping to use it to power a kick-butt headlight that will be mounted beneath my Girvin Flexstem! I'll post more pics this week! Actually, tuning into the new YouTube channel fired up my creative juices again
By the way - anybody know of anywhere where I can get a bike mounted hip flask? I'm looking for a chromed one.
15 posts • Page 1 of 1
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