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Triumph paint thread #752995
10/16/18 8:20 am
10/16/18 8:20 am
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,112
Christchurch NZ
R Moulding Offline OP
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A long time interest of mine so I though I would share so pictures I've acquired from the likes of eBay and on here. My intent is to show some of the subtle differences between years and give an idea of how the colours were applied. My interest tends to be 63-70 650's but I have a few later and some 500's. Please feel free to add anything extra.

Triumph used both solid, metallic and candy finishes. The candy finishes were supposed to have a metallic (silver or gold) base coat. Quite often it seems this may have been omitted from production machines.

First a 64 Bonnie tank, pinched from TR6Ray. Gold and Alaskan White.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Points worth noting, the tank was painted all gold before the white was applied. The separating line does not run straight along the bottom inside edge but curves inward before turning in before the fuel tap bosses.


65 Bonnie tank. I've seen this pic on a few sites. Pacific Blue and Silver Sheen. Pacific blue is a candy applied over silver sheen.

[Linked Image]

Again the entire tank was first painted Blue, the scratches seem to show a silver base coat for the blue (it could be grey primer but my 66 TR6 had a green primer/ filler under the original paint) before the silver was added.

Take a look at the separating line under the tank. Instead of curving inward it follows the underside edge of the tank before turning in before the fuel tap bosses.

66 Home market TR6. Pacific Blue and Alaskan White. First year of the eyebrow badge, we now require a pinstripe to hide the separating line at the from of the tank.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Big UK tank, the separating line drops from the badge but continues the curve of the badges back edge. It then disappears under the tank. The front separating line comes straight forward from below the main eyebrow of the badge. The decals appear to be water slides, hard to tell if they were once seperate. The finish appears to have the candy "look" achieved when using a silver base.

My 66 TR6. Painted before I had ever seen an original so layout is a little off. Paint is cellulose supplied by John Critchlow, Pacific blue over Silver Sheen then 2K clear.

[Linked Image]

A touch darker than the reference pic.

66 TR6R. Pacific Blue and Alaskan White.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Shows the separating line follows the badge curve and emulates the 65 Bonnie tank on the underside. Safe to assume Home Market tank would be the same. Finish appears to be more solid blue than the Home Market machine, most likely due to neglect.

66 T120R Grenadier Red and Alaskan White.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Black decal used instead of gold, also placed further outward then usual so as not to over lap stripe. Made in England looks to be gold in first pic, black in second. Two separate decals both decals appear to be water slide?

67 T120R early Aubergine and gold. Later Aubergine and Alaskan White. Some different opinions on the base for Aubergine but officially Gold was used.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

I've found three layouts for 67 T120R's. This is the only pic I have. It does appear to show what could be a silver base below the top colour, certainly not gold. Separating line goes over top of knee pads and roughly follows it's curve. At the front the separating line goes up and backwards. Also the pinstripe is wider than on the earlier bikes.

Thats it for today, more later if anyone is interested.

Rod

Last edited by R Moulding; 10/24/18 7:54 am.

So remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure,
How amazingly unlikely is your birth;
And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere out in space,
'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth!
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Re: Triumph paint thread [Re: R Moulding] #753005
10/16/18 1:28 pm
10/16/18 1:28 pm
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Here’s under the badge on my 67 tr6c.
[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]


Re: Triumph paint thread [Re: R Moulding] #753034
10/16/18 6:50 pm
10/16/18 6:50 pm
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Kent, UK
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Nick_Smith Online content
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Great stuff Rod - thanks for compiling this information.

I've seen the aubergine and gold scheme in both the TR6R and TR6C arrangements (the 6R is my fave).
On the '6C' version, was there a variation in the way the boundary between the colours was arranged in front of the tank badge (horizontal, or dipping down)?

Nick


"1967 TR6R"
Re: Triumph paint thread [Re: R Moulding] #753038
10/16/18 7:52 pm
10/16/18 7:52 pm
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Nice. These details make or break a paint job. j

Thanks,

Bill


Bikes
1974 Commando
1985 Honda Nighthawk 650
1957 Thunderbird/T110 "Flying Tiger"
Antique Fans: Loads of Emersons (Two six wingers) plus gyros and orbiters.
Re: Triumph paint thread [Re: R Moulding] #753247
10/18/18 9:23 am
10/18/18 9:23 am
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,112
Christchurch NZ
R Moulding Offline OP
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Nick, I've not seen a horizontal line on any 67 tanks. Will keep an eye open though.

Some more

67 TR6R. Pinched from Dave Jones. Mist Green and Alaskan White. Mist green is a metallic.

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

Pretty much the same layout as above but on the bigger tank. A few things to note. The separating line at the front is a straight line from a point on the centre seam opposite the middle of the cap to the tip of the badge. Some painters curve this line which is not correct. At the back edge of the badge the line follows the knee pad crease up, over and back enough to form a curve before turning back just below the edge of the tank and then around the rear of the fuel tap boss. The slimline tank does the same but the line appears flatter from the badge since the knee pad crease is lower on the slimline tank. Once again the stripe looks to be closer to 1/4 inch than the normal 1/8th.

67 TR6C. New old stock tank from one of Ton up Classics restorations.

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

This is the most common layout to see on 67 bikes with slimline tanks. This time the front line comes from a point below the eyebrow of the badge. I believe the curve once again is an optical illusion and the line is straight. When the painter curves this line it looks all kin of wrong. Unlike the 66 TR6R tank this time the line from the rear of the badge follows the knee pad crease. This sets where the line meets the badge. Looking from beneath you can see the stripe should be visible along the bottom edge of the tank and again wraps around above the fuel tap boss.

Rod

Last edited by R Moulding; 10/24/18 7:57 am.

So remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure,
How amazingly unlikely is your birth;
And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere out in space,
'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth!
Re: Triumph paint thread [Re: R Moulding] #753254
10/18/18 11:19 am
10/18/18 11:19 am
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Nick_Smith Online content
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Thanks again, Rod.

I tend to think that tanks done with lining tape, which have straight lines look 'wrong' - the top view of the TR6R tank showing the white coming to a point shows (to me at least) the border line to be curved slightly over the tank surface (and none-too-symmetrical).
Rather like the way a classical stone column was actually a slight barrel shape, in order to look 'correct' to the eye.

That said, I think we can accept variations in hand-done work.

A one-family from new UK TR6 (large tank) which I see occasionally has the green come down the back of the tank, but rather than going round the back of the knee pads and under the tap bosses, it simply grinds to a halt about an inch up from the bottom of the tank, and is squared-off from the knee pads back.
It looks very odd if you're expecting the layout shown above - but is unquestionably original (Concentric carb, so presumably a later 67 bike).
This bike also confirms that the TR6 and 6R had plain green guards with no centre stripe.

Nick


"1967 TR6R"
Re: Triumph paint thread [Re: R Moulding] #753256
10/18/18 12:06 pm
10/18/18 12:06 pm
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Mori55 Offline
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How did the factory get the pattern on the tank ?
Did they have templates?

Re: Triumph paint thread [Re: R Moulding] #753258
10/18/18 12:20 pm
10/18/18 12:20 pm
Joined: Oct 2006
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Elburn, Ill. USA
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Irish Swede Offline
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This is why it's important for us to photograph original tanks wherever we find them. There are variations in paint schemes model-to-model, and tank size-to-tank size, even in the same model and same year.

Sometimes, on "export" bikes, there are even variations in the paint scheme depending on the country where the bikes were sent.
Rod's photo of the aubergine and gold '67 Bonneville tank reminded me that in 1996 I saw slimline '67 Bonnie tanks in Canada with the aubergine and ivory (white) paint, but with a different two-tone paint layout that I never saw in the USA.

Re: Triumph paint thread [Re: R Moulding] #753263
10/18/18 1:55 pm
10/18/18 1:55 pm
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I think a previous thread mentioned some sort of fibreglass covers, to give the broad shape of the sections, but I can't recall any clear details.

Conversely, I recall seeing a picture of a BSA tank being painted at the factory in the 50s - single colour (dark plum red I think), the painter was holding it by the filler neck over a tank of paint, and using an aluminium saucepan to apply the colour to the tank!

US posters - was the aubergine and gold scheme ditched for being too gaudy, or because the gold faded to that odd 'French Mustard' colour seen above?
I think it's an excellent scheme - much nicer than the aubergine/white which replaced it.

Nick


"1967 TR6R"
Re: Triumph paint thread [Re: R Moulding] #753284
10/18/18 6:35 pm
10/18/18 6:35 pm
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Nick, many American dealers took one look at the aubergine and gold paint job and almost gagged.

The common opinion was "It looks like an Easter egg!"

The general reaction of the buyers was about the same, so some dealers had to repaint the tanks in more
'"user friendly" colors, or the new owners immediately repainted the tanks themselves (I did my own).

This is why Triumph changed the gold to white on all later '67 T120 tanks.

Re: Triumph paint thread [Re: R Moulding] #753285
10/18/18 6:40 pm
10/18/18 6:40 pm
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HawaiianTiger Offline
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The factory probably used a variety of ways to accomplish the two tone paint schemes. One tidbit I got second hand, reliable nonetheless, is that Triumph cut up tanks to use as masks.
Just drop on the mask, spray and you are done. The mask was held off the tank a millimeter or so, so the paint line would not be sharp, and wouldn't show under the pin striping.

Cheers,
Bill


Bikes
1974 Commando
1985 Honda Nighthawk 650
1957 Thunderbird/T110 "Flying Tiger"
Antique Fans: Loads of Emersons (Two six wingers) plus gyros and orbiters.
Re: Triumph paint thread [Re: R Moulding] #753305
10/18/18 10:20 pm
10/18/18 10:20 pm
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Bill, That makes sense.

The factory had tanks to spare, and maybe some defective or dented ones were re-used in that way.
Also, if there was too much paint accumulation on those "masks," being metal the paint layers could be 'stripped" and the
"masks" re-used again and again.

Also, the tanks used as "masks" were already the proper size and shape, so were already "form-fitting" to the tanks being sprayed.

Re: Triumph paint thread [Re: R Moulding] #753405
10/20/18 2:40 am
10/20/18 2:40 am
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Christchurch NZ
R Moulding Offline OP
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I remember John Healey mentioning that the tanks were hand masked until the mid seventies when fibreglass masks were introduced. I would be dubious of the idea of using cut up tanks, they would be the same size as the tank being painted so would not just slip over the top especially when you consider the centre seam on most 60's tanks. Using a steel mask on soft fresh paint would also greatly increase the risk of damaging the paint. Back when cellulose was almost universal it was not common practise to aim for a gun finish, this took to much and ran the risk of causing extra issues such as runs and paint blistering. Far more simple was to apply the paint then cut and polish. In this case that gave the painters the chance to loose the sharp edge and would give the slightly ragged appearance we now see under the pin stripes. Just my opinion though.

Mr Swede and Nick. That alternative 67 layout looked some thing like this maybe?

[Linked Image]

It's obviously a re paint and not the same tank as the bike Nick is talking about. By the way, please take some pictures next time you see the bike! This layout appears in one of the factory brochures on an early Aubergine and Gold bike. I'm sure I've seen original tanks done the same in white as well.

I'll add this pic just because it's cool. Early 67 Home Market T120

[Linked Image]

Rod


So remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure,
How amazingly unlikely is your birth;
And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere out in space,
'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth!
Re: Triumph paint thread [Re: R Moulding] #753407
10/20/18 3:07 am
10/20/18 3:07 am
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,112
Christchurch NZ
R Moulding Offline OP
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Onto 68 and the export T120R. HiFi Scarlet and Silver Sheen. Hi Fi Scarlet is a candy officially applied over gold, many I have seen have had a silver base.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

I've always found the central stripe on these tanks to be a little under whelming. Unlike others it does not conform to the shape of the tank and being a straight line roughly an inch wide either side of the centre seam looks a little awkward to me.

68 T120, big Home Market tank

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Once again shows the silver added as the second colour. The workshop manual and Don Hutchison both agree the base coat for HiFi Scarlet was Gold. John Critchlow claims it was Silver Sheen. This tank does not appear to have either but in places a pinkish base can be seen. Could this be the painter tinting a silver base with a little red to give a more uniform finish to the candy? Whilst the stripe at the back of the tank ends in the same manner as the 67 TR6R tank along with the strip from the front edge of the badge. The stripe from the back edge of the badge lays flatter to meet the crease along the top of these tanks.

This is my first Triumph paint job. Again I got it wrong, but the paint is cellulose supplied by John Critchlow. Applied over Silver Sheen.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Going off on a tangent. Close up of the front mount configuration for Home Market tanks. Like the export versions these seldom survive unmolested and a proper tank restoration should allow for fixing this. As has been stated many times, the problems start by some one winding in a set screw instead of the correct shouldered bolt. This then punctures the tank. Next thing some monkey with a torch is brazing a piece of threaded bar in the hole and then brazing around the mounting plates. You end up with something like this.

[Linked Image]

It looks bloody horrible and even worse when painted the repair also will usually fail and leak several times once done initially. The fix is to cut it all out and fabricate repair sections with the correct shape recess.

[Linked Image]

Then replace the threaded mounting plates using 3mm steel.

[Linked Image]

Much more respectable.

Rod

Last edited by R Moulding; 10/24/18 8:01 am.

So remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure,
How amazingly unlikely is your birth;
And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere out in space,
'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth!
Re: Triumph paint thread [Re: R Moulding] #753409
10/20/18 4:11 am
10/20/18 4:11 am
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 6,091
Maui Hawaii
HawaiianTiger Offline
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The factory certainly did not hand mask each and every tank with tape in order to obtain a two tone paint scheme, so some sort of mask was obviously used. making them from existing stock laying around is easy to accomplish and the method used to hold the mask away from the surface accomplished two things. Using tape near the inside edge of the mask protected the paint while preventing the mask from touching the surface which provided the blended line saving a lot of time in labor. I'm sure these workers were talented guys and were quite capable of laying on nitrocellulose with a finish gloss that needed no polishing. From what I've seen of original paint, there was the usual production light orange peel which would have disappeared with any post painting attention. By the late 60's acrylic lacquers were being used which made the job even easier. Undoubtedly, climate controlled paint booths were utilized which guaranteed consistent results day after day.

This is info I received by talking with people who dealt with the factory workers regularly. There are stories.......trading fish for parts at the factory back door, very interesting stuff that doesn't make it into the official accounts.

These are the techniques we would use today if we were putting out that type of quantity.

Spraying lacquers is a learned skill. The candies are probably the most difficult to master. Modern paints make this a breeze by comparison. We've come a long way.

Cheers,
Bill


Bikes
1974 Commando
1985 Honda Nighthawk 650
1957 Thunderbird/T110 "Flying Tiger"
Antique Fans: Loads of Emersons (Two six wingers) plus gyros and orbiters.
Re: Triumph paint thread [Re: R Moulding] #753415
10/20/18 7:35 am
10/20/18 7:35 am
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R Moulding Offline OP
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I agree Bill, this was production painting and some sort of re useable mask would make sense, however I am struggling to see how the top half or side of one tank could slip over the top or side of the same tank when they are the same size. Steel does not stretch that easy. Also looking at the 67 TR6R tank, as Nick pointed out the lines to the fuel cap are not symmetrical. Why go to the trouble of making a paint mask and not make it right? It also does not fit with the three stripe design used in 66, the donor tank would be in shreds. However if you consider a fibreglass mask, you would have to lay it up on to a steel tank making it just fat and wide enough to slip over the original.

I'm not questioning your sources, just struggling to see it in my head.

Rod


So remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure,
How amazingly unlikely is your birth;
And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere out in space,
'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth!
Re: Triumph paint thread [Re: R Moulding] #753429
10/20/18 12:57 pm
10/20/18 12:57 pm
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Posts: 2,904
Elburn, Ill. USA
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Irish Swede Offline
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Rod, the Aubergine and white tank you pictured IS the style I saw in Canada.

Re: Triumph paint thread [Re: R Moulding] #753430
10/20/18 1:02 pm
10/20/18 1:02 pm
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Rod, the Aubergine and white tank you pictured IS the style I saw in Canada.

And how I LOVE those big, "Home market" tanks!
i keep hoping to find a '66 - 67 one with rack mounts for my TR6R.

Re: Triumph paint thread [Re: R Moulding] #753440
10/20/18 5:45 pm
10/20/18 5:45 pm
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Posts: 2,112
Christchurch NZ
R Moulding Offline OP
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Currently for sale here in N/Z Mr Swede.

https://www.trademe.co.nz/motors/mo...m?rsqid=a27f444759e14c318bcb4600c23c28ee

They seldom come up and this one is relatively cheap. Last good Slimline I saw sold for $700 N/Z!

Rod


So remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure,
How amazingly unlikely is your birth;
And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere out in space,
'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth!
Re: Triumph paint thread [Re: R Moulding] #753442
10/20/18 6:35 pm
10/20/18 6:35 pm
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Posts: 439
Kent, UK
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Nick_Smith Online content
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I thought I'd grabbed a pic of the TR6 with the squared-off green at the back of the tank - but I can't find it. I only see it in August, at a particular event.

I'd agree with Rod's thoughts, that a fibreglass mould would be easy to make from a tank, rather than stretching a cut-up original in three dimensions to fit over a complete one - but happy to defer to an original source.

I find the full-size home-market tanks too big and podgy, on pretty much any year - different strokes for different folks, I suppose.


"1967 TR6R"
Re: Triumph paint thread [Re: R Moulding] #753443
10/20/18 6:50 pm
10/20/18 6:50 pm
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My area of special interest is pre units. Once the bikes went to unit construction, my depth of knowledge gets a little shallow.

In the industries I worked in, we had production engineers. Their job was to make the design engineers ideas work, which could be a real challenge. So, they had to come up with clever ways to make things in the most economical way with the highest quality. They would use anything to accomplish this and I suspect that once fiberglass was available, that's exactly what they did.

I still wonder how they managed to pin stripe the '66 tanks. If you've ever tried to hand line parallel lines, you know how difficult it is to make them look good. However, the original tanks above look great, as if they managed to make a tool to do it with, like three brushes on one handle. That's not likely, but maybe they had a stencil or a special guide made up to accomplish this.

This thread is worth a million bucks, no kidding.

Cheers,
Bill


Bikes
1974 Commando
1985 Honda Nighthawk 650
1957 Thunderbird/T110 "Flying Tiger"
Antique Fans: Loads of Emersons (Two six wingers) plus gyros and orbiters.
Re: Triumph paint thread [Re: R Moulding] #753444
10/20/18 6:59 pm
10/20/18 6:59 pm
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Christchurch NZ
R Moulding Offline OP
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Here you go Bill, from the Howard Grey collection. Tank appears to be a 66 T100C?

[Linked Image]

Rod


So remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure,
How amazingly unlikely is your birth;
And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere out in space,
'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth!
Re: Triumph paint thread [Re: R Moulding] #753445
10/20/18 7:08 pm
10/20/18 7:08 pm
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Coach lining (pinstriping) was one of the original 'specialist' craftsman jobs - lots of early veteran motorcycles had box lining on frame tubes and panels, as a hang-over from cycles and the like.

I suspect it's one of those things you can either do or you can't. Here's someone who can (Enfield India factory):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UsTIMxeO_ng

Nick


"1967 TR6R"
Re: Triumph paint thread [Re: R Moulding] #753455
10/20/18 9:29 pm
10/20/18 9:29 pm
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Maui Hawaii
HawaiianTiger Offline
BritBike Forum member
HawaiianTiger  Offline
BritBike Forum member

Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 6,091
Maui Hawaii
That guy is a legend by now. But, I suppose after several thousand tanks lined by hand, you get the knack of it.

I've been hand lining for 30 years. I don't really have the major skills of some guys though. There was a guy in SoCal named Shakey Jake. Hands trembling all the time until the brush hit the line, then dead smooth.

We you do it day in and day out, the very critical details become second hand. Like preparing your brush. It's done with a razor blade. Thinning the paint. Some guys use a viscosity meter.
Others, the drip test.

Palleting the brush. You have to load the brush properly and brush back and forth on the pallet to shape it. The way you hold the brush is critical. It's not like holding a pencil. You hold it in the tips of the index finger and thumb so the brush can be twirled to make curves. The angle of the brush against the surface has to be constant or the line width begins to vary.

I'm sure you get the picture. It's practice, practice, practice. And you have to keep doing it or you lose your skills. I don't do it enough anymore, so it takes me a long time to do a couple of lines.

Very satisfying work, though, when you get it right.

I did this Harley tank for a friend this year. I cheated by laying a separating tape between the lines so that I got them perfectly parallel.

[Linked Image]004
Cheers,
Bill


Bikes
1974 Commando
1985 Honda Nighthawk 650
1957 Thunderbird/T110 "Flying Tiger"
Antique Fans: Loads of Emersons (Two six wingers) plus gyros and orbiters.
Re: Triumph paint thread [Re: R Moulding] #753456
10/20/18 9:44 pm
10/20/18 9:44 pm
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,112
Christchurch NZ
R Moulding Offline OP
BritBike Forum member
R Moulding  Offline OP
BritBike Forum member

Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,112
Christchurch NZ

Cant argue with that Bill. I've done very few and each time I pick up a brush thinking "last time I had the hang of it, should be fine" then I realise I'm useless again. You mentioned those parallel lines. I can honestly say I wiped both side of at least half dozen times before I was happy enough to tidy them up and clear coat.

[Linked Image]

Then I had to do the other one!

Rod


So remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure,
How amazingly unlikely is your birth;
And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere out in space,
'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth!
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