Monday, September 6, 2010

40 Spokes

The Barber Vintage Motorcycle Festival is fast approaching and that has really got me motivated to get some work done on Nixon (and the fact that I'm back working 40s again for awhile). Since I got my wheel stand put together last time, I figured I'd start in on the wheels. I got the front wheel trued on the stand and then started cleaning it. The spokes were pretty cruddy and a little rusty so I took some sandpaper to them. After working for about 2 hours and only getting 5 spokes done, I decided I needed some power tools. I set to work on it with the pneumatic die grinder with an assortment of sanding pads and wire wheels and in no time she was clean as a whistle. I then spent a couple hours applying the brushed metal finish to the hub and spokes with some sandpaper. I taped up the inside of the hub and the rim. I found if I used a hole punch in the middle of a piece of tape and then cut a slit to the hole, the tape would fit perfectly around the spoke nipples where they meet the rim. I clearcoated the hub and spokes to keep the brushed metal finish looking pretty with the high heat engine enamel I've been using on everything else.

After that cured for a few days, I taped those up but left the center of the hub and rim exposed. It took awhile to tape all of those spokes and get the edge at the center of the hub trimmed right with my exacto knife. That was seriously the longest taping job I've ever done.

I painted the hub center and the rim with satin black epoxy paint. The epoxy paint is supposed to hold up better than regular enamel paint so I figured I'd give it a go. I must not have gotten the chrome on the rim scuffed up enough in some places because the paint did this weird thing where it would get anti-bubbles. Little spots where the paint wouldn't stick. I did three coats within about 10 minutes of each other and that seemed to cover up most of those spots. You can still kind of see it if you look close, but who's going to be looking that close at my wheels as I speed by them at 100 mph?

Now I just have to do the back wheel. :/

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