I picked up the buried decals thing from Jim Allen back in the early eighties. It's all probably about the same. There are a number of ways to approach it. I think I do it about like Jim does. I put a full coat of clear over the color coat of most of my jobs before there are any decals on the frame. Decals are applied, then baked at temp. in the oven. Then Clear coats are applied just over the decals, as many as neccessary. I generally do about 6 or so unreduced coats; although most of the restoration work I do I leave some texture over the decals because that's how they were then and it actually looks more authentic. That's what most restoration customers want from me. Buried decals are for "modern" bikes.
Anyway, after applying the clear over the decals it is again bakes at 150 degrees for 30 minutes. Then the entire frame is wet sanded with 600 grit sandpaper. After rinsing off with water and a wipe down, the final clear coats with reducer are applied, generally 2 and sometimes 3. Done, except for all the detail work.
Jim's system is close to this I'm sure.
Brian Baylis La Mesa, CA Speaking of clearing decals, have 2 to do today; a Masi and a Hetchins.
I'd be interested to know how Jim Allen clearcoated his frames, and whether his process was as time consuming as that which Doug describes. I've got a Gran Crit he painted and there is not the slightest trace of a ridge where the decal edges are.
Bob Hovey Columbus, GA
In a message dated 29/08/2005 21:49:48 GMT Standard Time, Doug Fattic writes:
Victor, burying decals in clear is a labor intense practice that custom painters use and not likely to be found on OEM bikes of any year or of any kind. After the decals are applied, Multiple coats of clear have to go over just the decal area, lengthening the "wet out" area on each pass so their is a layer transition.
Is the word "Burying" open to different interpretations. My thought was that it just referred to the common practice of applying clear coat after the decals were applied, to give protection, whereas the process described is that of beautifully finishing the frame so that the surface is absolutely smooth. With the regular clear coat over decals, you can feel and see the ridge around the decals. It seems like there are two questions: When did people start putting a regular clear coat over decals to make them last longer? and When did the top class frame finishers start the process of building up the clear coat to get a super smooth finish?