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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Shaving My Legs - Part 2

Cutting the fender mounts off my fork legs (aka "shaving my legs") is tough work.  On Sunday, I picked up where I left off the previous weekend (click here to read Part 1).  I had one fork pretty much done and the other one had been cut and ground down with a lot of filing and sanding left to do.

Here is the one leg with the tabs completely removed and sanded smooth:

I removed the front wheel again and got to work.  After a lot of filing and sanding, both legs were finally done.

I used zip ties to get the bottom of the fork boots out of the way and masked off the fork caps.

In spite of all the sanding, there was still a lot of old clear coat on the forks, particularly near the top and bottom.  I bought some Dupli-Color Paint Stripper to remove it.

I sprayed it on and waited 15-20 minutes for the clear coat to bubble up.  This stuff worked great!

With all the nooks and crannies around the brake mount, there's no way to properly do this by sanding alone.

The paint stripper didn't do anything to the masking tape, which was good.

I used a plastic scraper to remove the bulk of it followed by fine grade steel wool.  Then I did a second round of paint stripper followed by more scraping and more steel wool until I was satisfied the clear coat was gone. I then used some Dupli-Color Wax & Grease remover to ensure the forks were completely clean before painting them.

I chose this set of Dupli-Color paints to paint the forks black. I used Self-Etching Primer since that is supposed to provide good adhesion to bare metal, especially aluminum.  I used the same stuff on my tank and fender.  I chose High Performance Wheel Coat (black and clear) because I like the resistance to chemicals, brake dust, and chipping.  I also liked it that it didn't require heat to cure like brake caliper and other similar paints.

Here are the forks in the green primer. I did two coats, lightly sanding each coat.

Here they are in black.  I used the screwdriver to turn the forks 90 degrees at a time by inserting the screwdriver into the axle hole.  That way I was able to spray the forks evenly while leaving them on the bike.

Here is black and clear all done and the masking removed.  I did three coats of black and three coats of clear with no sanding in between. According to the instructions, all the coats had to be done within about an hour so the paint was too wet to sand.

I'm letting the paint on the forks fully cure (requires 7 days) before reinstalling the front wheel.  I'm just leaving the bike on the jack.  I'll probably buff the forks at that time.  I know it's a little tough to tell from these photos just how good the results are, but the forks turned out really well.  I am very happy with them!

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