Rat Rod Bikes Bicycle Forum

Help Support Rat Rod Bikes Bicycle Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.
Smoothing out the welds takes a lot of time but the finished results are amazing. :113:
Thanks everyone for the comments and encouragement. Greatly appreciated!

Big Ape said:
Hey Tom.........is this your first rodeo?? I think not! Everything about this build is sweet. I would personally add some curve to the new rear extension supports, but that is just my preference. Can't wait to see the finished bike!

deven_science said:
Great build you've got unfolding! I would agree with Big Ape that curves in the braces might flow better, but either way, good job, man.

Curving the braces was something I never even considered. Your comments made me curious and had to try it out in Photoshop. Tried both convex and concave. Not sure which I like best now. Any thoughts?


ChimeraCycle said:
Great build thread. Love the putty work. Looks very schwinny that way. The rear drop out work & extension is boss.

Bike Bum said:
Smoothing out the welds takes a lot of time but the finished results are amazing.

I'm pretty happy with the way that the smoothing is working out. The factory welds were kinda wormy looking. As for my welds, they're not quite ready to be left as is and highlighted. Had to do something!
Got the frame painted this weekend.

I had a color in my head, kind of a french vanilla with some metallic to it, if I could find it in a rattle can. I must have seen, and forgotten I had seen, Rustoleum's "Pearl Mist" because it matched exactly what I was thinking. The cap color anyway. The coverage was really translucent. I sprayed multiple layers until it became a perfect... silver. Didn't care for it at all. Gambled that I could make it to the store and back within the working window between spray layers. Picked up a nice warm off-white for base color and more "Pearl Mist". Tentatively sprayed some of the base coat. Went down perfectly over the previous layers. Covered that with some "Pearl Mist". Now it matched the cap color, everything looked great.

On to a couple layers of clear coat. You can guess and you'd be right. I knew better but... instead of letting it dry a little longer first or, even wait a couple days, I started spraying the clear coat. Of course the paint started to sag. Luckily I caught it right away and stopped. Actually, if not for the metallic running I think I could get away with just a wet sand. Anyway, I know exactly how to get the color I want! Just need to practice a bit more patience on the next attempt.

Here's where the sagging occurred, on the down tube just in front of the left cantilever tube:

Left strut mount tab:

Left side near seat tube / bottom bracket:
Paint flubs notwithstanding, that's an excellent color. As far as the struts go, if you don't leave them straight, I think just a slight convex arc is probably the best line.

EDIT: Before you repaint, you might consider a few pinstriping scrolls/darts to cover up the messy bits.
The paint job will look great when you get it done. I think I'd like to see how it looks with the braces convex, looking at the extension as a clock face, with the brace mounted past the 12 o'clock to around 11 o'clock. I do like both convex and concave! Again, great work!
Thanks for the feedback.

Worked up a modified convex brace with Big Ape's suggestions. I like it much better than the original convex mock-up. Also Photoshopped in the final color and finish options I'm thinking. Included a straight brace mock-up just because. I keep flipping between the three for the final direction.

I like the middle convex curve the best. I think it balances the curved space at the front of the frame where a tank would go. For some reason kinda reminds me of the chain beam lever at the top of an early steam engine...

I'm weird.:giggle:
I really thought that the top two pictures were a toss up, But, I noticed that the forks will have a chrome/silver tip and now the top pic is my pick!! It does have a cool symmetry that I hadn't noticed until horsefarmer pointed it out.
No images but, after sanding out the sags, the base and "Pearl Mist" coats went on the frame without incident. Clear coat will wait till that's had time to thoroughly dry. Also polished, smoothed, primed and painted the front forks. Here's the forks in-process:


I guess I was confused, because I like concave better. Right? Or am I still confused? I liked the photoshop pic of the stays with the curve towards the ground.


Nice to have choices... may have to just go out and find a couple more cantilever frames!

Because these rear braces are bolt-ons I have the luxury of putting off a final decision until the bike is reassembled and I can walk around it. That's also part of the internal struggle I'm having in making a final choice. To me some of the options suggest that the rear braces should be integral to the frame. Welded and smoothed into place rather than bolt-on. Little too far into the project to realistically consider doing that.

What I liked about the inspiration bikes are some of the mechanical or implied mechanical elements. I thought that contributed to a hot rod / drag bike / purpose built aggressive feel as well as an aesthetically appealing edge. That was what drove the idea of having the rear braces bolt-on. And I really like the way that the MONO-SHOCK-KUSTOM and ScHnOt-Rod kinda, to me anyway, hit that sweet spot between being really refined and keeping that edge. That's the bar I'm trying to shoot for. I think some of the curve options might loose that edge a bit? Anyway, I've got options and time to weight them. And options are good.
Glamour shots of pieces and parts prepped to date.

So while waiting for paint to dry... I've been working on perfecting polishing. The new rear drop-outs and chain guard are looking much better. Some spider web scratches remain in areas but they match the character lines on the older parts.


This shot highlights the worst of the scratches on the chain guard. Under most lighting they're pretty hard to see.


Rear drop-outs ended up with very few scratches.


Crank, sprocket, pedals, etc.


Seat post.


Fork assembly.


Flask and holder... because on a ride sometimes you get thirsty.

Had some issues with the clear coat crazing and wrinkling the metallic layer underneath. Even after allowing the metallic a week to dry. I confirmed with Rust-oleum customer service that I was using the recommended clear coat (Crystal Clear Enamel) over the Universal Metallic. The temperature, humidity and application thickness must be such a tight tolerance of conditions that I keep missing it. Re-sprayed the metallic and clear coat layers. To prevent the same running / crazing / wrinkling issues, this time I applied the clear coat in *very* thin layers. Too thin to end up with a glossy finish but enough layers and thickness to wet sand. More wet sanding to remove orange peel in areas and final polishing are needed. I've read the warnings on the site about spray can paint finishes but insisted on learning the hard way. Still love the color though.




Latest posts