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.