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Father/Daughter Project - Part 21

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Father/Daughter Project - Part 21

Friday, April 17, 2020   |   Chris Blandford

Here’s how I finished the adult-sized bike.

I’ve received quite a few emails about this finish… Keep in mind, this bike is going to see very few, sunshine-only miles per week. I’m not worried at all about durability or rust. I wanted something that looked ok and that I could remove/touch up easily down the road.

After looking into it, I learned that there are a few ways to do this. As I understand it, the professional version is something like a true black oxide coating plus a wet clear coat. What I went with was:

1. Cold gun blue (for the color)
2. A hardening oil (for sealing)
3. Metal wax (for protection of the underlying oil)

I used Birchwood Casey Permablue, boiled linseed oil, and Sculpt Nouveau black metal wax. Those could be swapped out for any similar products. Followed the instructions for each--very straightforward.

Couple notes: I basically gave the whole frame a half-assed polish (down to 800 grit, more or less) before blueing. That’s where the shine comes from… The frame was shiny the whole way through the process, not just post-wax. Took two rounds of blueing to get the color where I wanted it. Steel wool during application helped get everything even.

Oil was applied immediately after the blueing was done. A couple coats of wax were applied once the oil was hard.

The finish looks nice, but we’ll have to see how it holds up. I don’t think I’d do this for a bike that would see any real use. And be warned... This finish leaves NOWHERE to hide. The blue doesn't oxidize the silver and bronze (obviously). I'm already embarrassed enough by my brazing... Doing this certainly didn't help my self-confidence. Ha!

Anyway, there you go.

Bikes are both built. Just waiting on a saddle (en route) for Mathilda’s bike. Then it’s photos and pedal bike lessons.