How To Schwinn Lightweight Show Quality Paint Job Start To Finish

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WetDogGraphix

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Good job describing the process. A lot of people don't realize why people charge what they charge. Step 5 makes me realize why I don't use Urethane Enamels. 2 weeks to cure and you still might get paint balls when sanding. Good series.
 

momo608

I live for the CABE
Suspended
When you live in the frozen tundra you got to get creative. Thought I'd show my inside the house paint booth, the work never stops!

Simple kitchen exhaust fan, max cfm for its size, crudely but solidly mounted to the ceiling in a partitioned off 8.5' x 4.5' work space plastic lined with a card board floor. Lots of ceiling hooks too. In my early days I did the same thing with plastic sheet walls and a fan stuck in the window blowing out, worked pretty good. This is about the minimum size room to paint bike frames, the 4.5' is adequate but that's all I had to work with. The prehung 36" door has about a 1" space at the bottom which worked out perfect for air intake while painting. Just painted this frame today.

This set up keeps my house fume free and boy do I hear it if the house stinks like paint, although they do seem to like the smell of the clear I use on these bikes, good stuff until the headache comes into focus. I've done so many paint jobs in this room I have lost count. Every couple years I change out the plastic and cardboard and vacuum between paint jobs.

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momo608

I live for the CABE
Suspended
How to pin stripe lugs when you can't hand pin stripe worth a damn. Needed to get this done and had to come up with a way to do it myself. My ask for no outside help policy. It kills me to pay people to do stuff I should be able to do.

Offsetting the pin stripe about an 1/8" away from the lug was killer. If I could use the lug itself as guide and stripe along the braze shore line it would have been much easier. 1971, last year for this on factory frames as far as I know. This is a 71 paramount.

I made these different shaped guides out of bondo spreaders and used that measuring spoon. The neat thing about the bondo spreaders is you can heat them with a heat gun then hold the shaped curve while hot, run cold water on it and it keeps it shape, change the shape for approaching the lug from the other side or different location. Great for going around bike tubing. I did about 5 lines a day spread around so I would not mess up other lines I just finished, eventually as things progressed the lines came together. Some of these lines took about ten attempts before I could live with the results. If you don't like it, clean it off with wax grease remover and try again, mineral spirits works good to.
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Metacortex

Wore out three sets of tires already!
I wonder how they did it at the factory.

According to the 8th paragraph of this post on the Waterford site the pinstripes were done by Adam Smith and Joe Brilando (father of famed Schwinn engineer Frank Brilando:( http://waterfordbikes.com/w/culture/paramount/classic-era/

According to The 1972 News Flash #5 dated 2/22/72 the pinstripes were done by hand on bikes up through at least most of Feb. 1972 production:

PARAMOUNTS - Effective at once, the pin stripes on Paramount models are being eliminated. Elimination of these stripes (which is hand work) will expedite production and we do not feel that this will detract from the overall appearance of these models appreciably.
 

momo608

I live for the CABE
Suspended
Ebay nos half pint paint.

Had good luck with this. Regretfully I didn't take in process photos but I can tell you what worked. This bike started off as an OK original paint bike but it had some really bad scratches on the seat tube from loose water bottle brackets sliding up and down and minor chips and scratches everywhere else. The intent was spot repairs but it turned into so many I decided to do the whole bike. I did not strip the paint, sanded it down with 400 dry, filled chips with bondo, blocked those down with 400, spot primed with Kem Kromic red oxide thinned with xylene over the repair spots. Gave it a week for the primer to dry. Scuffed the whole frame and fork with gray scuff pads. Did the final painting. I used the same silver/aluminum base coat I used in the other paint jobs, any silver base should work as well. I'm not recommending spray can paint, recommending reduced base coat because of the ultra fast dry time. It becomes an inert surface fast that usually does not react badly to top coats. Since I have never heard of anyone using a translucent alkyd paint over modern reduced base coat, this might be a first.

For the final painting I sprayed the red oxide repairs only with the first coat of silver base. Let that dry for 15 minutes. Then sprayed the entire frame with silver base with a medium heavy coat. This was enough to blend the whole thing together but I still could see a hint of the old lime in spots, not a problem. Gave the silver base coat an hour to set up with a fan on it and then shot two coats of the NOS Schwinn lime paint. Very impressed how well the Schwinn paint brought up the desired final color. The half pint is more than enough to do a complete bike. I gave the frame a month of dry time before decaling but this paint following the instructions on the can 5 to 1 thinned with xylene dries fast. Make sure you strain the paint a couple times before it goes into the gun, there were some solid bits probably from sitting for 40 years. Hand buffed the frame, no wet sanding, then decaled. I give those a week to dry before assembling the bike as well. Better safe than sorry on dry/cure times.

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Schwinn499

I live for the CABE
Ebay nos half pint paint.

Had good luck with this. Regretfully I didn't take in process photos but I can tell you what worked. This bike started off as an OK original paint bike but it had some really bad scratches on the seat tube from loose water bottle brackets sliding up and down and minor chips and scratches everywhere else. The intent was spot repairs but it turned into so many I decided to do the whole bike. I did not strip the paint, sanded it down with 400 dry, filled chips with bondo, blocked those down with 400, spot primed with Kem Kromic red oxide thinned with xylene over the repair spots. Gave it a week for the primer to dry. Scuffed the whole frame and fork with gray scuff pads. Did the final painting. I used the same silver/aluminum base coat I used in the other paint jobs, any silver base should work as well. I'm not recommending spray can paint, recommending reduced base coat because of the ultra fast dry time. It becomes an inert surface fast that usually does not react badly to top coats. Since I have never heard of anyone using a translucent alkyd paint over modern reduced base coat, this might be a first.

For the final painting I sprayed the red oxide repairs only with the first coat of silver base. Let that dry for 15 minutes. Then sprayed the entire frame with silver base with a medium heavy coat. This was enough to blend the whole thing together but I still could see a hint of the old lime in spots, not a problem. Gave the silver base coat an hour to set up with a fan on it and then shot two coats of the NOS Schwinn lime paint. Very impressed how well the Schwinn paint brought up the desired final color. The half pint is more than enough to do a complete bike. I gave the frame a month of dry time before decaling but this paint following the instructions on the can 5 to 1 thinned with xylene dries fast. Make sure you strain the paint a couple times before it goes into the gun, there were some solid bits probably from sitting for 40 years. Hand buffed the frame, no wet sanding, then decaled. I give those a week to dry before assembling the bike as well. Better safe than sorry on dry/cure times.


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If I ever find a thrashed early superior frame, im gonna harass you to paint it flamboyant lime for me, just so you know .[emoji4] great work as usual.
 

momo608

I live for the CABE
Suspended
Waterslide decals, MOTHER F-CKING waterslide decals!

This is good because this is as close as it gets to total failure. I used to blame myself for waterslide decal installs that went south, no more. Many times the job turns into a rescue mission because the damn decals want to lift or "silver". Sorry but this is an adhesion problem WITH the decal, not my technique. I take all precautions as you will see. So got off to a good start, got both decals on the down tube nice and straight, left mirrored the right in location, perfect. About an hour into it I see the first side I did start to silver, this can be caused by two things, one my painted finish is orange peeled so the decal lifts as it dries and shrinks or the glue on the decal is sh-t. My paint finishes are near perfect, block sanded with 2000 and buffed to high gloss, it's the glue. Once I saw the problem I knew it was a matter of minutes before the other side would do the same, I quickly brushed on Micro Sol, not Micro Set, on the good side and saved it. This stuff softens the decal to the point were you think you're ruining it, edges wrinkle up and so forth. Let it dry, do not touch it with your fingers, it will tear. You can brush it but be careful, better to let dry and hit it again with more Micro Sol need be. I had to go over these several times with the MS.

I have lost count how many waterslides I have put on but I have been at it more than long enough to encounter all the problems associated with them. You can get good decals or bad decals from the same source. Nothing more frustrating than laying down perfectly located and sometimes expensive decals and watch them ruin themselves right before your eyes. I have more anxiety doing this part of bicycle restoration than any other. I have to believe lots of guys doing this have silvered reproduction decals on their bikes, maybe they don't know what they are looking at or have low standards, probably both. I always buy extra top tube and down tube decals for almost every waterslide decal job. Vinyls are way easier and usually much more expensive. The Raleigh Pro was about $80 and the Superior was about $70.

I use distilled water for the installation. Submerge the decal for 15 seconds. Lay the wet decal on the glass table for a minimum of 5 minutes but not more then ten. You can see I have the decal laying on the glass surrounded by water to absorb into the decal backing paper. You should see the decal break loose from the backing paper by gently touching it. If it does not do this trouble ahead is almost certain. Longer soaking time required tells me there is problems with the glue layer. I have seen videos of guys leaving decals completely submerged for several minutes and what looks like washing off much of the decal glue, makes no sense to me. You see I use locating tape lines for the decals. Doing it this way I can usually get the decals on with little to know adjustment required. Sliding the decal around after it's on cannot be helpful to the glue. I brush on Micro set just before a put on the decal, only enough that it separates like water and a waxed painted surface. Too wet I've noticed and it seems to effect adhesion in a negative way. Place the decal and then brush the top surface of the decal with the same micro set soaked brush to work out any bubbles and excessive water. After it becomes more attached I very gently wipe them down with paper towels. Always keep your finger tips wet touching the decal surface.
My opinion on micro set helping make the decals stick better is like having a rabbits foot in your pocket, not sure if it helps a damn thing, I'm sure the rabbits foot is useless. I keep using it for almost the same reasons.

All that is pretty much old hat, now for the trouble shooting. This is where Micro Sol comes in. I put these Paramount decals on almost perfectly right off the bat. Things could not have looked better, no bubbles, wrinkles or bad edges. It takes between 30 minutes to an hour to find out if your good feelings were justified. I suspect most just leave it be if there is lifting. This is also about the time to start using Micro Sol, letting the decal sit for at least 15 minutes after install I would say is minimum. Put this stuff on a fresh wet decal and the whole thing can get way out of hand fast and ruin the decal. If I see a few tiny air pockets form, or slight edge lifting, i'll poke them with a fresh exacto blade and lay a tiny drop of Micro Sol on the offending spot after a wait time. You can repeat this over and over with wait times in between. In this case I had major areas of silvering, i.e. lifting. One side got so bad it was a lost cause. The other side being about 30 minutes fresher just started. Taking a wet brush of micro Sol I covered the whole decal with a wet coat. Thankfully it saved the day. You might ask why don't you just do this step anyway. The answer is you have a good chance of causing permanent wrinkles in the decal. I replaced the other side installing it without micro set and headed off the problem at the pass with the Micro Sol. I really wonder how well these decals are stuck on, this is probably the last bike I do without a urethane clear coat over the decals. I'm not going to give them the finger nail test to find out. This is also why I used Microscale Liquid Decal Film over the cured finished exposed decal. I don't use this for clear coated decals.

more interesting decal info here

http://thecabe.com/forum/threads/sc...removal-installation-and-reproductions.85248/
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