Friday, May 4, 2007
From rags to riches!
As I have said this bike is my wife's scoot. It is a semi-custom bike and it being restored to her liking. We have no intention of ever selling this bike and it would be ideal if our son (or any future child we have) loves scoots and can inherit this bike. Lisa chose to have the bike painted Jaguar British Racing Green.
When you pick up your bike from the painter, as I learned from Stuart Werner, there are five things you should look for:
1) Is the color uneven any where? (maybe the paint was not spread evenly)
2) Is there any fogging? (this would be a problem with the clear coat)
3) Are there any bubbles?
4) Are there any drips? (easy fix if it's on the clear coat)
5) Are there any dust nibs? (an easy fix your paint guy)
Look at the scooter under florescent lights (worst possible conditions you can create) as they will make it harder to "hide" flaws in painter's work and then take the pieces out into the sun to see the "true" color and "depth" of the paint.
For anyone who has ever worked with or met my mentor restorer, Christopher Markley, you know they guy knows his shit and his anal retentive / detail oriented. When ever I ask him a simple question, I get a thorough response with several options for my problem solving. At times, I feel like an expert on specific topics he talks to me about. I asked Christopher a question about paint prep and a bondo-like substance used on the VSC (see previous post), because some people wrote in with a concern that my shop used too much. Christopher wrote such an awesome response, that I am stealing his words to share with all of you on the topic "prepping and painting" (beware it's a long educating response). . .
"It's likely that they sprayed it with a spray-on filler, which is an ultra thick variety of primer/filler -- sort of a super-thin Bondo that you can spray on as if it were a very thick paint. It flows a tiny bit and spreads out and fills in small imperfections in the metal. It is a very standard product for metal that has been hammer/dolly corrected and if applied well and if it is a good quality and designed as a system with the epoxy primer/sealer coat, the primer coat, the base coat, and the clear, you have a perfected surface that should like fantastic for many, many years...
Unless you are laying out an enormous amount of money on this paint job, they are likely to not hand color-sand the paint when done...
Show cars get a hand sanding when finished, then polishing. This removes any orange peel and imperfections in the clear coat. No matter how good the paint and painter, you get some peel and imperfections...(Note: the louvres on the engine-side cowl have been replaced -- see previous cowl repair post below)
Look at brand-new car paint. Lots of peel. My brand-new BMW has quite a bit of orange peel. Shame on them for not doing better...
You can color sand the paint after getting the bike back from the shop, but it is best to do it with 24 hours of the application of the clear coat... (Note: color sanding was included in our price! We have NO orange peel at all)
Tell the shop you intend to do so and ask them to hit it with plenty of clear, since you'll be removing clear as you sand it. You'll work through several grits of wet paper, or you can use 3m Finishing Film on a random orbital sander. Then you use successively finer polishes until you have a mirror surface with no peel or imperfections...
You can find plenty of good advice on how to do this on Len Stuart's paint BBS . . .
As you work with your painter, make sure you don't suggest that they use products they normally don't use. Painters get used to the characteristics of the particular brand that they like to work with. Don't make them learn to work new materials...
Trust their experience and reputation, and realize that spray-on filler isn't a ghetto technique. It's legit stuff and you'll be happy it's there to hide the metal imperfections," wrote Christopher Markley.
Price: $1,060 grand total (for paint, body work, engine cowl louvre work)
Shop: K&K Auto Body / 620 S. Enola Rd. / Enola, PA 17205 / (717) 732-2173 / ask for Karl.
Recommended by: Stuart Werner & Roland Henry
Karl has painted close to 30 (thirty) scoots, many of them for Stuart Werner and a few for J. Roth (I've heard). He is VERY easy to work with. I left a few items with him to be touched up or cleaned up and I know Stuart once sent a bike back and they repainted the entire bike at no charge to Stu. They are perfectionist and want to get it right. They take scooters SERIOUSLY when painting and they are reasonably priced.
Posted by Scooter Couple at 3:35 PM