Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sanding, Priming, and Sanding: Restoration Days 8, 9, and 10

Alright, it's been a few days since I've posted about my 1958 Raleigh Sports restoration project.  As expected, it's been really time-intensive trying to smooth out the parts.  The whole thing is covered with rust pits and lines where paint was scratched and chipped off long ago.  Also, I only worked three out of five days last week because I've been fixing a few breaks in the house's sprinkler system.

The often-used outdoor spray booth, aka the backyard.  
I stuck a chopstick through the brake bolt hole and hung the fork on a dead branch that I'll get rid of once this project is over.  I couldn't find any disposable string in the house for some reason. Of course, I had to move to the cardboard afterward to get paint into the brake bolt hole.  

The nice thing about primer is that it's hard to mess up.  As long as you give it several layers (three in my case) to produce a good, thick coating without the runs, it evens itself out.  Metallic or candy paint, on the other hand ... 

I finally tried to start buffing the headlight lens.  The t-shirt was too soft but denim seems just about right.  I haven't finished yet: I might still have to go over it again with fine sandpaper to get rid of some deeper scratches.  

It took all day to sand down the front fender, priming the fork during breaks.   I was also able to get the chrome tip off and give it the penny treatment.  

I drilled holes in both fenders to mount the new mud flaps which are more to protect the fender tips than to block water.
They will be mounted later at school because reasons.  

Used a chopstick again to hang the fender from the same tree for painting.  Fun fact: it's a type of basswood tree, the same kind that produces wood that model builders and architecture students like me use.  

When loosening the top rear fender mount, I slid it aside to discover the last remnant of the original pinstriping.  I noticed that my bike didn't have the pinstriping that most other Sports had but I didn't think much of it.  I guess the pinstriping was made of a weaker material than the paint and decals.  

The rear fender, finally completely smoothed out by the end of day 10 which was Friday.  
It took the better part of two days.  

I was trying to loosen the gear cable connector but due to the rust, it didn't turn and snapped instead with very little effort.  I was about to just rig it up with household parts like I'm used to doing but I guess it would better to order a new one to go with the new indicator chain.