Thursday, February 21, 2013

Raleigh Dawn Tourist Progress- Painting in Cold Weather

The weather this week has been chilly, so I broke out the space heater and did a little work on the Raleigh Dawn each evening. Painting in cold weather can be a challenge, even if it's just fill-in and touch-up. I do not do major spraying or painting in cold conditions because the drying is erratic.

I use a decent Stanley space heater and a generic halogen work lamp, along with the usual overhead lamps and whatever sunlight is coming through the window. The days are getting somewhat longer, which can be helpful. I did a bunch of weather stripping and insulation work on the shed last fall, and it's really paying off now. The garage gets nice and toasty with that space heater.

I touch up the bicycle by taking my matching paint (from the earlier entry), thinning it a bit with paint thinner (I work by feel, but if I had to guess, probably about 20% thinning), then apply to a brush or toothpick point (depending on the size of the pit), and fill. I fill until the paint levels off. Usually it shrinks back a little when it dries, so I may repeat later until it's level. The result is a relatively smooth finish, though I'll admit it's not always perfect. Then again, it looks presentable and prevents rust.

Always use oil paint, never latex for this work. Good oil paint helps prevent rust, but latex doesn't inhibit rust as well. I learned this the hard way. Years ago, I experimented on a Raleigh DL-1 with filling using latex paints. That bike now has rust in the fill spots again, and will need to be cleaned carefully and re-done with oil. Anyway, the Dawn is starting to shape up nicely. The frame has undergone the basic clean up and filling with matching paint. As you can see the progress isn't bad:

The saddle is the original Brooks mattress copy of the B66. It is actually relatively comfortable, but the underlying structure is pretty beaten up. I plan on using a nice, heavy-duty Brooks leather saddle once the bike is complete.

Also, the tires, tubes, and rim strips for this project arrived today. The Raleigh catalog describes the 1960s Dawn as using "Dunlop White Sprite" tires, which my research showed to be white walls with black treads. The catalog images look somewhat like grey-colored tires, but the period catalogs and tire literature pictures show the tires to be black tread with white walls, at least from what my research has turned up.

I located a set of "Duro" brand tires. Duro appears to be a budget tire, but comes in a ton of different colors in the 37-590 26 x 1 3/8 English size. The quality on examination seems to be on a par with the usual common Chinese tires. The tread is similar to the common Kenda type. I will admit the white walls look nice. I am looking forward to getting these onto the bike.

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