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Now it was time to put the top coat on, in classic satin black. Most of the bicycles and motorbikes I have built since the 1980s have used satin black extensively. Originally it was just a convenient choice after I welded motorcycle frames, but it has kind of grown to be a way of marking out that my bikes are different. Whatever, it certainly keeps my parts universal and my paint tin collection simple. Eventually it goes a matt black, unless I polish it.

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Now the mudguards. I could have polished them, but since most of the chrome was not the highest quality and most of the parts were at least 30 years old, from a time when life in Poland was difficult, I decided to maintain the worn look with just a clear coat.

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The underside, as mottled as they were, is semi-gloss black. This is much shinier than I usually do because I applied the clear coat all over.

Clear coat is fine, except that it is hard to see the areas that you might have missed. If the weather is right the paint goes a little unclear when you apply it, which then disappears as it dries, but allows you to see where it is going on.

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Once all the painting of the minor parts is finished, I can move onto painting the main frame. I might paint the front fork black, but I want to check how it looks when I do a test build first. Or maybe I will just paint it black anyway.
The top photo is giving me anxiety. Sooooo many small parts!
 

Ulu

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I think that bike would fit in around here, because almost every kid will get a can of black spray paint and paint their BMX bike black.

It’s a sort of urban camouflage tactic.

You can’t easily tell one from another from 3 meters away.
 
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I know that feeling. I have an entire 1947 Plymouth in pieces. They’re not all gonna go back in the same place they came off.

Yes, I find that the trick is in a) deciding where you want them to go, and b) ignoring the ones left over :bigsmile:
 
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The weather is meltingly hot here in eastern Poland at the moment, which means that I am getting very little done. Since we also live in a small village at the end of a meandering country lane, nipping into town to buy things kind of has to wait.

So do I have any paint stripper? No.

This will take a bit of time because the forks I have chosen have a fair amount of chipping and scratches.

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I've used a propane torch and scraper to remove paint. Get it just hot enough to discolor the the paint and scrape it off, followed by sanding after it cools.
 
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I've used a propane torch and scraper to remove paint. Get it just hot enough to discolor the the paint and scrape it off, followed by sanding after it cools.

That is a good idea, but I have only got one small can to do it and I keep wondering whether I will need it for something else... I will wait for the weather to cool down a bit.
 

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Maybe lots of stray dry twigs there?

Toast it over the open BBQ on a spit. Rotate as required to prevent a paint fire.

Swab it off with a stick and rag as it melts or chars. Then Wash it with any kind of scouring powder and dry thoroughly.

Don’t breathe the fumes of cooking paint though. Some is noxious.
 

Ulu

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You know, thinking about it, I would just turn on the news and sit down with a hook blade, and scrape the paint off of it.

By the time the news was over it would be done.
 
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After an hour or so sanding down the fork I decided it was time to paint it, and in this way discover where I still need to do some work on them.

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These are actually off the bike I did my winter build on, an old Kross. Now Kross is also a Polish bike manufacturer, but this one from the post-1989 period and sometime owner of some elements of the decaying Romet company.

In fact, if you look closely you can see that I am reusing several parts off this frame, such as the pedals and cranks, on this build as well. The Kross frame is not a folder, and so it now sits bare in my stock room in the wooden barn - it is in the middle of those frames in the photo I showed here while I was sorting out the new stock room in another part of another barn. I only have two bikes built up that are not old Romet folders, and that is a Romet Turing 2 and my Kross general riding bike; the rest lurk partless.

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In fact, now I look more closely at the picture, I am reusing a lot of the parts from my winter build - including the tyres, levers, grips and derailleur. That, really, is part of what my builds are about, the evolution of several concepts rather than creating an ever-increasing stock of bikes. I do have more than enough room to keep everything, given that we have three barns and several sheds here, but if I am not riding them then I would have to sell them and buy new parts for the next build.

No, something in life has to be about evolution.

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Anyway, I decided to paint the slightly mismatched coloured forks black, but this was not the final stage as I then could see which paint faults were still visible. I rubbed those areas down and repainted them with primer, a process I had to repeat several times, until I could refinish in the black. Tomorrow I will inspect them again.
 

kingfish254

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Great barn and paint details. Your builds are always cool to follow because they include a slice of life and history too.
 
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Thanks, I am really glad that you enjoy it all!

Here in a small village at the end of a road in eastern Poland, gaining access to interesting bicycle components is always a challenge. When I moved here some 25 years ago bikes were almost non-existent in the city where we lived and everyone told me that it was too dangerous to ride them, and out in the country it was mostly older people still riding their old bikes, generally folders. Since then there has been a massive upsurge in bikes, home produced and imported, and now they are everywhere, but finding interesting old bikes and parts like you have in the States is almost impossible.

Now I know that there are a ton of old bike parts in the thousands of small farm barns here because everyone has trollies using old bike wheels, and while people keep telling me that they have old bikes, which I know are old Romet and Ukraine bikes, but anyway they are farmers and like to keep everything. Instead I spend a lot of my time sorting out our own barns and chopping vast quantities of wood to keep us warm during the winter, while fixing up my workshop as I go.

Here is my workshop a year ago, with the brick floor only visible in photos and my prototype bench made out of a bed and an old table top.

HaxrtqKm7P0NEMzkRzxxVi7vbs2grBw_NySJ5nG3xovGGomWNQpDYDEgniBZVfUp2u-FLHNd7pWvmG4OsUG38Aody7I2mLk1qNmoEpSxJSo9XWaYYqn_OfkSnM8xHbzy6Di9of0YyqzvjSCZ45mmK3LujJzL83U38_0MJOiycRj8V3WZZtJhjghGTeu3QMe5nfDyBeZ81Rb-zxNHkhNA6PMRUwroHC3IKNOSIu7cP5pkaUNq9Gxm-A-5FS7aFoWgUmE6y1z_2yP_3e0P0RBnp2X_z-4nTAHMnFIg3GdAS0FBjkk9LbbVD69UjglpO1j5j6LL8Y-_XSCGUh9iF31ZxeHrDuicQNg7sKwqIgKhwQvllMYJYlyYTsQOuqhfbmi2-JRyIvaU9UdXHR0ngfjMMf6mCqZ-ohP40C0ij6Tmic7XnRzqlCGy49dllT-2rrqMBbGC0qcr-80OKu5IHo1tIkPsQ9W9JXKs1TaODrc_cNPCo_vQhyUdlf-6xSR0i6dj3wCrVKe-38ZFnS942Lmy8xtzkeW9eoSQfRCN9nqWHet66Kd91HW35vUyY5JwtsbJFun9LBkwsXdNyjdLifOo-5wk6G0RoysKLyZm-irQ9JMkpJ-3vNSLrIfDzZNoJj2iZYuFYm8ICsco0edZV8L1T6dOwt9agZPJ9DBsSPRRhy-1BqSDXt4_frTjUjhkxnFyhMpEg2koMz1_1j7qyK3LespiBiyvKP6B8FGWCsZCzar7U3m5g_e-gWUIcG0v=w1274-h956-no


The entrance hall in our farmhouse, with the original electrical system, steps/ladder to the attic on the right and the leather pull strap in the corner to open the attic roof entrance.

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Here is our kitchen, with hot water tank, stove/heater and our impressive plumbing system in the background - with wifie on the right and our niece on the left.

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This is the separate heater in our bedroom, and our guests desperately trying to get warm...

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I have no welding gear, just a powered drill and a jig saw, and limited access to interesting parts, so everything has to grow out of what I can do with that, which as an engineer is an interesting challenge. Every build I do here means fixing a lot of other things along the way, so it got my workshop built last year and my parts storage area this year.

Next year I have no idea what I will do, yet, but I hope that the Russians do not come and I get to build something else from my stock of bits. I suppose what I do is more like dealing with Lego sets than actual bikes.
 

Ulu

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@GeePig
The best (and often worst) part of the internet is seeing lives of the people, half a world away. Life in a much older part of civilization. I think you are the first correspondent from Poland I have ever met.

I believe this is what we really are. We are the real correspondents and the real reporters, telling each other what is going on in the world.

Those people that you see on the television are only telling what wealthy influential powerful people want to tell. They don’t care if it’s not the truth.

But this is a place where people can’t easily be like that. Science and mechanics do not run on lies and misdirection. One is not going to post a picture of a flat tire and convince everyone that it is full.

That only happens in the world of TV politics. (May it die a speedy and quiet death.)


I have not lived in a house that predated built-in plumbing for over 50 years. And that was in a much older part of the country, back in Kentucky. Even then it was nothing so rural.

It is difficult to imagine a life one cannot see, And I have not seen what goes on in Eastern Europe. My father was in the military 30 years, and we lived in many different houses in the USofA. The age and quality varied widely, so I am fortunate to have some small insight into what it’s like to live under different circumstances.

Our circumstances right now seemingly could not be better. While many people here do not live well for a variety of reasons, I am afraid that mental illness ranks higher than poverty in the list.
 

kingfish254

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Thanks, I am really glad that you enjoy it all!

Here in a small village at the end of a road in eastern Poland, gaining access to interesting bicycle components is always a challenge. When I moved here some 25 years ago bikes were almost non-existent in the city where we lived and everyone told me that it was too dangerous to ride them, and out in the country it was mostly older people still riding their old bikes, generally folders. Since then there has been a massive upsurge in bikes, home produced and imported, and now they are everywhere, but finding interesting old bikes and parts like you have in the States is almost impossible.

Now I know that there are a ton of old bike parts in the thousands of small farm barns here because everyone has trollies using old bike wheels, and while people keep telling me that they have old bikes, which I know are old Romet and Ukraine bikes, but anyway they are farmers and like to keep everything. Instead I spend a lot of my time sorting out our own barns and chopping vast quantities of wood to keep us warm during the winter, while fixing up my workshop as I go.

Here is my workshop a year ago, with the brick floor only visible in photos and my prototype bench made out of a bed and an old table top.

HaxrtqKm7P0NEMzkRzxxVi7vbs2grBw_NySJ5nG3xovGGomWNQpDYDEgniBZVfUp2u-FLHNd7pWvmG4OsUG38Aody7I2mLk1qNmoEpSxJSo9XWaYYqn_OfkSnM8xHbzy6Di9of0YyqzvjSCZ45mmK3LujJzL83U38_0MJOiycRj8V3WZZtJhjghGTeu3QMe5nfDyBeZ81Rb-zxNHkhNA6PMRUwroHC3IKNOSIu7cP5pkaUNq9Gxm-A-5FS7aFoWgUmE6y1z_2yP_3e0P0RBnp2X_z-4nTAHMnFIg3GdAS0FBjkk9LbbVD69UjglpO1j5j6LL8Y-_XSCGUh9iF31ZxeHrDuicQNg7sKwqIgKhwQvllMYJYlyYTsQOuqhfbmi2-JRyIvaU9UdXHR0ngfjMMf6mCqZ-ohP40C0ij6Tmic7XnRzqlCGy49dllT-2rrqMBbGC0qcr-80OKu5IHo1tIkPsQ9W9JXKs1TaODrc_cNPCo_vQhyUdlf-6xSR0i6dj3wCrVKe-38ZFnS942Lmy8xtzkeW9eoSQfRCN9nqWHet66Kd91HW35vUyY5JwtsbJFun9LBkwsXdNyjdLifOo-5wk6G0RoysKLyZm-irQ9JMkpJ-3vNSLrIfDzZNoJj2iZYuFYm8ICsco0edZV8L1T6dOwt9agZPJ9DBsSPRRhy-1BqSDXt4_frTjUjhkxnFyhMpEg2koMz1_1j7qyK3LespiBiyvKP6B8FGWCsZCzar7U3m5g_e-gWUIcG0v=w1274-h956-no


The entrance hall in our farmhouse, with the original electrical system, steps/ladder to the attic on the right and the leather pull strap in the corner to open the attic roof entrance.

AM-JKLWv3OYdClxD2RDCmeritp3FFUdZrtphT64Jj3ASIo4yhVsvAGSUGoLBH3XnID6re95miH59Quc87XsQu2kT3FYux5KgeUwsC5-oufQ5NAsDRx_6oe89ovgGD5qG1Mtjsu2P4z4gAxUeQkcQPaf_ymJFFg=w897-h955-no


Here is our kitchen, with hot water tank, stove/heater and our impressive plumbing system in the background - with wifie on the right and our niece on the left.

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This is the separate heater in our bedroom, and our guests desperately trying to get warm...

AM-JKLWdauHBAf-bK8_k2sxDuw8CZMg3xz-zJuTYM3UugsPT-hvysc12evwUPPNlbTI4r4gYtCLMsc9SXEhbAKgUEwEGESM_SxAx9_7H1Q543tSKK_IBBLTndbbooLRx9d_vYGk1gwJ_bIp83JZtsd8yY71p0A=w856-h955-no


I have no welding gear, just a powered drill and a jig saw, and limited access to interesting parts, so everything has to grow out of what I can do with that, which as an engineer is an interesting challenge. Every build I do here means fixing a lot of other things along the way, so it got my workshop built last year and my parts storage area this year.

Next year I have no idea what I will do, yet, but I hope that the Russians do not come and I get to build something else from my stock of bits. I suppose what I do is more like dealing with Lego sets than actual bikes.


In a sane world, you wouldn't have to worry about the Russians, but I know in Eastern Poland, it is something that has to be in the back of your mind. We all pray the madness doesn't continue.

Thanks for another glimpse into Poland. My wife and I have been there 3 times now and have always enjoyed it. It was a blast to meet up and ride with @Starnger last year. Sorry, we didn't make it over your way. We haven't been East of Warsaw yet. I've also seen the big corner room heaters in different museum houses and palaces all over Europe.

In regards to Polish produced bikes, there is some exceptional talented designers and builders in the custom stretch and chopper bike world right there in Poland. I actually got to meet up with two of them last December (Kahaki Bikes from Krakow and MAD Bicycles from Bialystok). One of my favorite designers is Adran Lucejko from Bialystok as well. But from a Rat Rod point of view, I really dig following along with your creations.
 
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I agree and feel the same way @Ulu And @kingfish254 . I have been to Poland quite a few times. Also Russia, France, Scandinavia and Venezuela. Everywhere people are nice. And the greatest enjoy building stuff from scrap, mainly bicycles :grin:

Thanks for the shares @GeePig if the need rises, you are welcome to "continue your build" in the Netherlands.
 
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Thanks for all that, It is kind of nice to know that other people understand the things that you worry about. We have a small bag that we take with us that contains all our essential items like passports and things like that. Unless we are just going shopping it stays with one of us, and it is just across the room as I type this. It is all a kind of worry that you try not to think about, even when there are so many Ukrainian cars around.

Anyway, after further rubbing down and repainting I believe that results are up to spec. It is important that all the control parts are in good condition, while the frame and chrome parts are more like original. In the future I might eventually repaint everything like new, but not for now, because in general I want to make it more visible what are original parts and what are replacements.

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The saddle is certainly not original, but I am not sure what I should do with it. I need to make a cover that fits well, does not slide around, covers the large rectangular gaps on either side and has no visible fixing.

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My stock of finished parts are building up, and now I am getting closer to the actual build.

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In my barns I have some steel and plastic pipes of various sizes, and I am thinking of using one of them to create a fake fuel tank, I am just not sure at the moment which one to use.
 
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