Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Black Magic II

This has zero to do with Black Magic I, but I think bloggers aren't supposed to name two posts the same. I mean, that seems like common sense. Maybe that only applies to good bloggers and I coulda gotten away with it. But it seems stupid to take chances when all you have to do is add a "II". So I did.

Last night I executed a project that was over a year in the hopper. That kind of tells you how important it was.

Deal is, I wanted the decals gone from my karate monkey. I don't hate 'em or anything. Don't exactly love 'em either. They're just kinda loud on a bike that's supposed to be sorta stealthy and mainly, they needed to go away to make room for something else.

So yeah. Just take the decals off. Piece-a cake. And then I wore a coupla fingernails down to nothing and the decals still looked like the day they were put on. So how do you actually do that?

In moments of crisis like this, I always go straight to the internet, which for a topic like this, is a great place to find boatloads of people that don't know anything but aren't afraid to speak with great authority. After sifting through all the great advice and testing various theories, what worked for me was a heat gun and a credit card. Well, a club card, actually. And let me just say that nothing about this whole project was more satisfying than destroying this dumbass "membership" card that I am required to sign up for and use, and in the process surrender certain personal information, in order to avoid getting reamed every time this giant corporation benefits from my patronage. Which is why this giant corporation hardly ever benefits from my patronage. Wow, thanks for letting me get away with that mini rant. Anyway . . .





If you get things up to the right temperature, you can scrape the decals off fairly easily. Leaves quite a mess, but if you hit it with some tape while things are still warm, you can pull a lot of junk off.







Then you're left with this "shadowey" look from where the decal was, but that was cured with some lacquer thinner, which is a lovely and highly useful chemical. I did find out that it will soften and mess up powder coating, so I learned to be careful.



With the decals finally gone, I could move forward with the application of the 'something else'. Which would be black reflective tape. Yeah, I know!!! Crazy talk! That's like, an oxymoron. But the science is here, sure as shootin'. That's a roll of 1/10th inch wide pinstripe and a sheet of some shorter, wider stips.



Laying pinstripe onto the seat stay (camera flash turned on):





Wider strip on the rear fender, camera flash on . . .



Same view, camera flash off . . .



whole bike with shop lights on, flash off . . .



Shop lights off, flash on . . .



Okay. I think I'm ready to go ride my black bike in the dark.

16 comments:

Jason Gilman said...

Looks great Pat! I like how that reflective tape blends in to the frame under regular lighting and then POW! it's there plain as day under night conditions when light is directed its way.

Jacque Hendrix said...

I've discovered that the black FBC decals glow during the day *and* night as well as improve your bicycling ability, general intelligence, looks and digestive system.

Mike Sirott said...

The reflective pin striping looks awsome! I wonder how the reflectivity would survive an application of clear coat for longterm protection.

Jim G said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim G said...

Hmmm. I had a similar thought...

Eric said...

Nice job Pat! Are you going to dress up Patty's Mt. Tour with some Pink reflective pinstripe?

Pat S said...

Jason, any suggestions on what to do about Jacque? I think he's exceeded his caffeine quota again.

Mike, optics is your business, but I would think clearcoat would be fine. Maybe this stuff holds up pretty well on its own, though. I'll let you know.

Jim, great minds think alike!

Eric, you're not gonna believe this. I was reading your comment and just then Patty walked up and looked over my shoulder. I closed the window as fast as I could, but it was too late. "I just saw my name!" "No you didn't." "Yeah, I'm sure of it. What did it say?" Long story short, Patty wants pink reflective pinstripe tape on her bike now. Which happens to be available. Oy, another project. Thanks a lot, Eric! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. S:

I should feel reassured by your removal of the agressive "SURLY" on your so-called niner. It speaks to the deepest peaceful wells of fellowship within my soul.

Yet, the "stealth" aspect of your new design, the confusingly aggressive "black reflectors," the desire to hide, yet boast, give me pause. What next? Glow-in-the-dark condoms?

Please, don't answer that. Thank you.

Warily yours,
Mark "Sal" Lot, RADM (Ret.), SpoPoPaPaCaCa

Pat S said...

Dear Mr Lot:

Your cries for help have not fallen on deaf ears . . . I can sense that you are horribly conflicted. A brief moment of analysis explains everything:

The contradiction between dark and light parallels your own stuggle between your anonymity and the boldness with which your brand is so readily identified.

While I cherish our discourse and had even begun to develop the faintest glimmer of respect, alarms are now sounding in my head. My suggestion is to seek professional help. As an alternative, I would like to offer you access to my extensive collection of 1980's self-help books. Or, as an alternative to the alternative, you may find some of what you are searching for in selected re-runs of Oprah and/or The Dr Phil Show. I hope this helps.

Concernedly Yours,

Mr S.

Tom said...

I like your "black magic," Pat. Subtle. It's a sleeper. Where are you getting your reflective tape?

Pat S said...

Tom, I used an e-tailer called Streetglo:

http://www.streetglo.net/

Pretty amazing, the array of reflective products.

I've actually ordered some 1/4" wide pinstripe to replace the 1/10" shown. After seeing it on the bike and how it works, I wanna bump it up a notch.

Bill Foss said...
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EvilElf said...

I like it Pat! You have upped your ninja quotient yet given a nod to safety.

In regard to the comment about glow in the dark condoms, I am reminded of a condom that came out about the same time as the stealth bomber - the B2. It was a so-called "stealth condom." Apparently, when it was worn, they couldn't see you coming.

baddum bump.

Pat S said...

EvilElf, we were just discussing your incredible inventory of historical anectdotes the other day. The B2's right up there with the best.

On another subject, I've noticed that you and Bill think a lot alike.

EvilElf said...

Pat, you never see Bill and me at the same time in the same place! Strange that.

Anonymous said...

Military-issue condoms are in fact conveniently labeled by size.

While some may enjoy the extremely stealthy aspect of the B2, others may find things to like about the more-noticable F16.

It of course takes many types of tools to protect America, as this comments thread proves.

Ride on, Spokane!