Well, when we last left this project, I was at the stage of stripping the paint in order to sand down the welds and attach the gussets into a lean mean aero machine. Luckily I love the smell of nitromors in the morning:
however by the end of the day, I wasn't getting anywhere so I decided to buy the real deal: 5 litres of 99% pure dichloromethane. When it arrived, I realised:
- this chemical is incredibly toxic and can't be done anywhere near my baby girl (only a few months old at the time)
- it is way too thin (liquidy) and evaporates too quickly to actually stay on a surface of the bike long enough to react with the paint so it can be stripped off.
So my solution was to cover the bike in rags soaked in the dichloromethane, and then wrap that in cling-film to keep the chemical on the surface of the paint as long as possible:
finally after a while, I got most of it off, with the help of a wire brush:
Then the fun really began of removing the braze-ons and smoothing out the welds. @TM let me borrow his hacksaw:
the laborious process of sanding the welds down was just too boring, and things got bogged down, and I kind of gave up / decided I was done enough to cover everything else with bondo. So I finished cutting the gussets today:
If you remember the poll from a few pages back on the different gusset options, the collective wisdom pointed me towards one on the ST-DT junction, and one on the TT-DT junction. A further filler area between the seat stays, seat tube, and brake bridge has some insulation foam inserted here. The final step before it got too dark was fixing these in place with Sugru so that I can start filling in with bondo tomorrow:
I also did a bit of filling in on the dropouts with aluminium bar, but its still far from pretty, so I will withhold pictures of it until it is slightly more presentable. The dropouts/struts, and the foam insulation gusset will be fixed in place properly with this really, really ridiculously good looking product:
Then a bit more aero-ing with bondo, and bob's your uncle: we're ready for the paint!