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  #1  
Old 08-14-2017, 01:17 PM
GunnarDude GunnarDude is offline
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Surly Crosscheck DIY Powder Coat

Long time listener, first time poster...

Finished a months-long build over the weekend. Huge shout out to icepick_trotsky and jtbadge.

Build:
-54cm Surly Crosscheck (mid 2000's)
-9 speed Ultegra (thanks eBAUMANN!)
-Open Pro/ Ultegra hubs/ 35c Panaracer T Serv tires
-Tektro CR270 canti brakes
-Soma highway one handlebars
-Shimano M324 pedals (cleats for longer rides, flat side for grocery runs)
-Ritchey seatpost +various saddle& stem (still dialing in the fit)

















This frame was acquired sometime in April, with the intention of the bike being painted for my partner in whatever color she desired. After a few weeks we settled on a color, ordered pigment from Eastman (total cost was about $9), with the intention of finishing it by the end of May as a birthday gift.

Didn't get around to sandblasting the frame until mid-June:





The sand in the sandblaster cabinet I was using was pretty worn out and needed to be replaced, so sandblasting took a solid 4 hours. The sandblasting cabinet is just big enough to fit a frame, but it's still hard to get to some of the areas within rear triangle.

After it was totally stripped it looked like this:



Waited a bit too long before I powder coated it, so I had to do some touch-up sandblasting before applying pigment to remove some oxidation on the frame.

After powder-coating:



Missed a few spots around the bottom bracket and a 2mm line around the head tube, but otherwise really pleased with how the paint came out.




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Last edited by GunnarDude; 08-14-2017 at 01:21 PM.
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  #2  
Old 08-14-2017, 01:47 PM
icepick_trotsky's Avatar
icepick_trotsky icepick_trotsky is offline
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This bike I like.

Would you DIY powdercoat again?
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  #3  
Old 08-14-2017, 02:03 PM
GunnarDude GunnarDude is offline
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Originally Posted by icepick_trotsky View Post
This bike I like.



Would you DIY powdercoat again?


I've since let my membership lapse at the maker space, but if the right project came up, I would probably do it again. Nothing too fancy though.

If there is a next time, I will definitely do it over a 3 day weekend. Not necessarily a type of project you want to fit in between Home Depot runs.


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Old 08-23-2017, 09:25 PM
LexG213 LexG213 is offline
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powder coat

Any big downsides from a self job vs. a pro job? Looks pretty passable to me!
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Old 08-26-2017, 01:34 PM
GunnarDude GunnarDude is offline
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Originally Posted by LexG213 View Post
Any big downsides from a self job vs. a pro job? Looks pretty passable to me!


Thanks! Not a whole lot of downside besides a slight learning curve. Sandblasting a frame was the most difficult part, the frame just barely fit in the cabinet. Applying pigment was easy, I just rushed a bit, and the booth I was working in was a little tight, causing me to inadvertently miss a few spots.

Even with the blemishes, the color really pops in a way that other bikes don't. I think it will be a while before I try another frame, but overall I'm really pleased with how it turned out.


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Old 08-27-2017, 07:23 AM
LexG213 LexG213 is offline
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Powder

I'll have to look into this. Could be quite fun and cost saving!
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Old 08-31-2017, 01:34 PM
GunnarDude GunnarDude is offline
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Originally Posted by LexG213 View Post
I'll have to look into this. Could be quite fun and cost saving!


The real challenge is finding an oven big enough to cure the pigment. I utilized a local maker-space for this. There are more and more spaces like that popping up around the country, great place to do some light machining or fabricating without having to buy all the tools.


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Old 08-31-2017, 02:13 PM
JAGI410 JAGI410 is offline
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So I'll ask. Why did you go through all that work just to give it a factory color? Robins Egg blue was used on Crosschecks (2011) and Wednesdays (2016).

It's a rad color though, nice job!
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Old 09-01-2017, 10:42 AM
GunnarDude GunnarDude is offline
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Originally Posted by JAGI410 View Post
So I'll ask. Why did you go through all that work just to give it a factory color? Robins Egg blue was used on Crosschecks (2011) and Wednesdays (2016).



It's a rad color though, nice job!


Thanks! The original frame was black, I think this is one of their early-mid 2000's frame. Girlfriend wanted a custom color and she chose this particular pigment, technically "seafoam green", which I thought would look a lot like the stock Bianchi Celeste color.

Pigment was purchased from Eastwood.com for a whopping $8 plus shipping.

It's a really weird color; not quite robins egg blue, not quite mint. In person it skews a little bit teal and the color is very saturated. Pigments look and act different depending on the type of tubing used for the frame so if you're looking to match a color exactly (I was not), run multiple tests before doing the frame and don't trust the stock images.


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  #10  
Old 09-01-2017, 03:51 PM
boomforeal boomforeal is offline
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nice work. my wife's been keen on a robin's egg blue bike ever since i got my wednesday. i've been keeping an eye open for a 2011 frame in her size - but maybe i just need to man up and diy?

https://us.spray.bike/collections/al...eladon-2-400ml
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Old 09-05-2017, 01:49 PM
GunnarDude GunnarDude is offline
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Originally Posted by boomforeal View Post
nice work. my wife's been keen on a robin's egg blue bike ever since i got my wednesday. i've been keeping an eye open for a 2011 frame in her size - but maybe i just need to man up and diy?



https://us.spray.bike/collections/al...eladon-2-400ml


Re-painting, DIY or through a shop, is a great way to rejuvenate a bike. As I've been known to spend way too long on DIY projects, effectively eliminating any cost savings through delays, consider taking it to a local shop. Usually costs around $200-300 for a sandblast and new coat.


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  #12  
Old 09-05-2017, 02:18 PM
xnetter xnetter is offline
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Looks nice! I like the DIY and skills acquisition aspect to this. It's always nice giving a gift you've had a hand in making too.

FYI - Quality powdercoaters like Groody Bros will strip and powder a frameset for around $150, although shipping costs add to that. Some of their work is pretty great.

KJ
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Old 09-05-2017, 03:44 PM
mattnes17 mattnes17 is offline
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I'm curious if any of the black stuff in the first blasted frame pic was the surly ED coating. Not sure when they started doing electrophoretic deposition coating, but I wonder if it makes a real difference in oxidation protection, any more than linseed oil or framesaver would do..

Looks like a bang-up DIY job! I like the color choice too.
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  #14  
Old 09-05-2017, 06:30 PM
GunnarDude GunnarDude is offline
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Originally Posted by mattnes17 View Post
I'm curious if any of the black stuff in the first blasted frame pic was the surly ED coating. Not sure when they started doing electrophoretic deposition coating, but I wonder if it makes a real difference in oxidation protection, any more than linseed oil or framesaver would do..



Looks like a bang-up DIY job! I like the color choice too.


I'm not sure if there was an ED coating on this bike. While sandblasting I only noticed one layer of finish between the raw steel and the black, so my guess is that it was just paint. Powder coating bakes the pigment into the paint, so it should last a while. I'm not sure if most production bikes do that or if they just spray on some type of enamel and a clear coat.

It was really satisfying to finish. There were lots of hiccups along the way, innumerable delays, but a lot of memorable nights drinking with my friends while we pieced it together. The bike rides great and my gf and I are already planning a few longer distance rides (just mastered clip-in pedals over the weekend w/o any falling!)

All in all, if you've got a frame you want to breathe new life into, try powder coating. I would say it's about as time intensive as learning how to build wheels, but slightly easier.



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