Secret weapon

Bicycle frame in vice with paint largely stripped off
Roloc easy strip disc in a power drill
Secret weapon

Last weekend I got back in the workshop with Ol’ Paint. After a couple of months of wearing myself thin (not really — but I may have given myself a case of pitcher’s elbow) trying to sand the paint off, I decided it was time to break out the secret weapon. The Duropeak Roloc Easy Strip Discs made a tough job quite a bit easier.

It wasn’t all touch-a-button-and-done, even with the power drill. It required a bit of force, so I mounted first the fork and then the frame in a vise for the work. (For the frame I clamped a wooden dowel in the vise and then mounted the seat tube over that.) Even so, I think that an extra pair of hands would have made the job easier. It needed two hands on the drill, and at times I was using one hand to hold the fork or frame in place. I ended up wedging the frame against a conveniently located drill press. (If this were the sort of thing I’d be doing on a regular basis, I’d have a proper frame stand with clamp set up for it. As it is, I need my frame stand at home for Kuroko’s drivetrain upgrade.)

Bicycle frame in vise with paint partially stripped
As far as I’d got by hand

Other things I lack at the workshop are a proper video camera and tripod (as well as lights and an assistant), so what follows are just a bunch of before-and-after shots.

Bicycle fork mounted in vise before drill stripper
Fork before
Bicycle fork mounted in vise after drill stripper
Fork after

I spent a good long while on the fork, with its crannies and curves, and am pretty pleased with the results: not 100% paint-free, but much closer than before.

Bicycle frame in vise with paint stripped from top tube
Cleaning up the top tube

Seat post and top tube juncture before stripping
Seat post and top tube juncture before

Seat post and top tube juncture after stripping
Seat post and top tube juncture after

Detail of down tube showing swirl marks from paint stripper
Detail showing swirl marks

Detail of chainstay stripped of paint
That’s a clean chainstay

Bicycle frame in vise with most paint stripped off
Two secret weapons later

Creating false expectations

Rebuilding Ol’ Paint is inspired by watching the work of countless restorers, most recently the paintwork of Velove Bicycles.

Having said that, Ol’ Paint’s new paintwork is going to be very simple: a single coat of semi-matte. No primer, no filler, no stencils … and certainly no fade.

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