Sunday, January 21, 2007

Back in the kitchen.

Back in the kitchen.Bare metal is beautiful thing. I took the tank and girder arms to the place where I am keeping my project at and began to sand. The belt sander was a stupid idea. Totally worthless.

But luckily I got access to another sander. I only had a couple sheets of sandpaper, so I was only able to finish up one girder. If I can get this girder pieced together, I think that I am goint to go with maybe a flat black with red or silver accents.

I also found a body file while I was over there and began to make very quick work of the tank. There was quite a bit of bondo on that old tank. So here is the way it went.

Top layer - Nasty ass red, sun faded and cracked.
Second layer - I originally thought it was a faded gold. But now I think it was silver-ish color. Not really positive.
Third layer - Bondo, cracked and generally nasty.
Fourth layer - Now here is where it gets interesting.

I found black underneath all the bondo and just kept scraping away at it. Then I realized there was a painting of some sort. Kept at it and the image began to appear. Someone had hand painted a naked angel on the tank. I sorta wished I didn't gouge up the paint so bad with the body file, it would have been cool to get a good pic of the work. I did take a couple with my camera-phone, to at least keep around for the digital project book I am making here. Now the crappy thing about that is Sprint wants me to pay 5 dollars extra a month to even send a single pic. I would have done a one-time charge easily, but not add an extra service I would hardly use. So if I ever find a data cable for my phone I will upload them.

I feel like I made some real progress. I am hopefully going to do some more sanding to get the tank smooth so I can begin the filler and primer process again. This time it won't be quite as thick.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Ummm... Shocks?

One of the more liberating things about having a place all to yourself, is the fact you can tear apart shit in the kitchen and no one will bitch at you.

I tried to pull the shocks off the top tree again today. But it still ain't happening. Damn things are pretty well stuck.

But I did pull the coils off and got a better look at how they are constructed. The shocks are so worn out that really they are there to hold the springs in place. There is zero tension to them and the seals are pretty well eaten away.

The only markings I have found so far are the tension settings for the coils and a "Made In The U.S.A." marking. I am wondering if it would have been better to have never pulled the front off and run it as it was. You know ignorance is bliss and all that.

I didn't get a chance to pull out my belt sander today and try knocking the chrome down yet. But tomorrow is looking pretty quiet so I think I will go for it then.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Too damn cold.

It is very hard to get motivated when you are working on a bike on the back patio during a cold snap. This is just wrong, I live in California. It is supposed to never rain and all the women are beautiful and in skimpy outfits.

But since I should at least keep up with this blog or I will slack off and forget about it.

I was driving in from work last night and noticed how many lights there are out here. Houses to the horizon. My favorite roads have been straightened and stoplights have been added. I didn't really notice how much has changed until I really looked at it. I wonder how much longer will all the good roads be here.

Nothing like suburban sprawl.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Update: Nothing happened.

That's right, I accomplished pretty much nothing.

I did take some time on Saturday to sand the girder some more, but to get past the top layer of chrome is a lot of work. Mind-numbing slow work. But there is no way I am going to have the extra dosh to get the forks sandblasted.

But it wasn't a total bust. I did get a couple of milk crates for the back patio. I now have a white-trash work bench. Next weekend, I am gonna try and bring out my belt sander to see if I have better luck with the on the forks.

I also grabbed a copy of The Horse and browsed through it. There were a couple of decent personal built bikes, but I know I am not alone in liking the rat look. So where do people like me go? It seems like those of us that really enjoy a classic home built bike are left out in the cold as far as media goes. Is it because we are cheap-ass bastards and they figure we wouldn't care about publications and programs about what we find fun?

On second thought, that may be true. How many rat bike builders give a damn about the new gas tanks from West Coast Choppers? It is more likely we are scouring an Ace Hardware for bits and pices to put on bars. Or stomping around swap meets for some old treasure.