Welcome back folks,
Ok I’ll admit it, I got greedy. the escapades with the oven last week gave me some confidence. Having survived the backlash from surprisingly still my girlfriend, I decided to push the envelope…hello mr dishwasher…More on that later.
In a similar theme to last week, 30 years of grime and road rash had made the bike look a little tired. Add to the mix a whole host of different engine parts sourced from all over Europe and my engine looked something like a Frankenstein machine.
Similarly a lot of the other metal bike components looked pretty tired (shitty). Not all parts of the bike were going to be powder coated so they need to be cleaned. I have had good results in the past using a sandblaster. The problem with this is that it can be quite aggressive on the parts. With the parts below, this was ok as they were due to be painted but had I been leaving them unpainted it would have looked pretty bad.
Cue alternative ways of cleaning these parts up. I have successfully used an ultrasound bath in the past to good success, but these always left some kind of dirt on the surface. I had heard of vapour blasting already but there was nowhere local until last year some time.
Vapour blasting is a process where a slurry (glass beads and water) is fired at the components using a hand held gun to clean the surface. This is all done in the confines of a vapour blasting machine which recycles the slurry. This process leaves the parts very clean and with a matt layer on the surface (due to the impact of the glass beads on the metal). Jon at Vapour Blast Solutions performed all the parts for me Check out his website for some cool videos and before & afters.
See below video shamelessly stolen from Jons page :
The key benefit is that this is not a harsh process and can be used on a multitude of materials without too much concern (so long as the Vapour blaster knows what he is doing, thankfully in my case, he does!).
The engine parts that I sent him were a mix and match of different colours and conditions, also some smaller parts that I had off the bike were given (gear lever, fuel cap etc) as a tester to see how they came up.
The results were fantastic, all the parts came up amazingly well considering the initial condition.
I was particularly impressed with the rocker cover, as this was properly manky (technical term) and a different colour from the cylinder block. Now it looks like it is fresh off the production line.
So these parts are to go back together as the top end of the engine. Before I started the assembly process, I wanted to be sure they were squeaky clean. There was very small remnants of the glass beads left over on the surface of the block, so I thought instead of removing by hand, lets simplify this and use the dishwasher…
Dishwasher retard should be my new name…whatever happened, whether it was the cleaning tab or my girlfriend simply having enough and sabotaging my parts, the parts came out looking like tarnished crap. Remember in Indiana Jones, when he picks that scabby cup out of all the shiny ones as is has the elixir of life or something, well my parts looked like that and they provided me with the elixir of disappointment:
With my tail between my legs I quickly got in touch with Jon again to say….um I messed up. Not to worry, he had them picked up the next day and turned around pronto. He redid the engine parts chucked them through the ultrasound bath to remove any small residual beads that may have been trapped. Thanks a million!
On a side note…good lord this build has become stressful. I think the time constraint is a good thing as it focuses the mind, but it also adds pressure to get things done and force decisions, which can suck the enjoyment out of the build a bit. I quite like to take my time and figure out how stuff works but instead I am spending quite a bit of time scrambling (no pun intended) to find the answers. Every decision I make at the moment has an impact on the rest of the build. i.e. I need to decide where this mount goes because the frame needs to be powder coated, but this impacts how I mount my arches (which i haven’t finished yet)…
Current headaches include wheel selection for the scrambler….I mean the originals are OK but they don’t look the best and are a tad tired. After picking myself back up off my seat reading the quote for new wheels in the smaller wider gold style I want (£973!) it has left me in a bit of a head scratching situation asking questions which I cannot seem to get a straight answer to. i.e. ARE THESE THINGS MADE OUT OF REAL GOLD?
There are cheaper alternatives and I think ultimately I need to bite the bullet if I want different wheels, or get the polish out and clean my own to show standard (gross). I have sourced second hand wheels also for around half the price but these have flaws in that these would need rebuilt. There are similar associated headaches with the suspension and wheel arches…I am learning so much which is brilliant (stressful) and it’s really cool (stressful) to see the bike start to take shape.