Bicycle frame, sandpaper, and paint dust

One sheet of #120

Cheap sandpaper assortment
Cheap sandpaper assortment

Today I tried drilling out the second broken water bottle cage bolt on Ol’ Paint’s downtube, without success. I’m just going to fill in both bosses with putty or epoxy before painting, and use the bosses on the seat tube. Those are in fine shape, and I’ve chased out the threads using the tap set.

With that out of the way, it’s time to start the sanding. (Well, there’s still a bit of work to be done with a putty knife in scraping off decals and cement … ) I have a cheap sandpaper assortment because I wasn’t sure what grits were appropriate. Most YouTube videos for stripping a bike frame go in for chemical paint strippers, and I’m not going to use that. It’s manual labor if it kills me!

Bicycle tube showing rust spots
Rust and scratches on the top tube

I started with a sheet of #120 on the top tube, because it was free of decals and glue and it would give quick results. After only 10 or 15 minutes I’d sanded all the rusty areas down to the bare steel, smoothed out the scratches and scuffed / smoothed the remaining painted areas. I totally wasted the one sheet of #120 in the process. I quickly decided I needed more sandpaper, and in larger sheets.

Bicycle frame with partially sanded top tube
It’s a start

I’ve ordered masking tape and an X-Acto knife to prepare for the painting, but that’s getting ahead of the game. After work today I stopped in Tokyu Hands, which is a geek’s delight of a store, and got some larger sheets of sandpaper in various grades, a pair of work gloves, and a wooden dowel to use in sanding the inside of the seat tube where the seatpost had rusted in place. I also got a set of edging tools with sandpaper, to get into the nooks and crannies.

The paint I’ve selected can be used right over existing paint as is, or with preparation (as I’m doing), but I think I’m going to need some primer. It’s going to take me a while to finish the sanding, and the bare metal is likely to rust in the meantime. I may want to go one tube at a time, and shoot it with primer as I finish each section. Let’s see — there’s a shop in the neighborhood that handles the same brand as the paint I’ve bought, so they might have the primer.

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