Re: [CR] re: painting a second color on a frame.

Date: Tue, 22 Nov 2005 12:43:46 -0500
From: James Swan <>
Subject: Re: [CR] re: painting a second color on a frame.
In-reply-to: <>
To: Doug Fattic <>

Hi Doug,

First off, thanks for complimenting the cleanliness of my lug edges. It is disheartening to hear that doing them that way makes it harder to paint the edges the way I prefer.

I understand the various issues that you have to contend with; and why they are factors, beyond the aesthetics, that influence your decision to paint the lug edges the color of the tube and not the lug. But are those problems insurmountable? I think that there are other painters who seem to be successful at doing it "my way". Perhaps they choose their paints and make other compromises with these considerations in mind.

For my money I would be happy to make compromises in the interest of having the lug edges the same color as the lug. I suspect that you would too if you thought it looked better.

This really is a big issue with me. I've had frames painted "your way" and I just can't get used to the look of it. I feel like I have to stand by my own sense of aesthetics and make my bikes look as good as I can to my eye.

I also agree with the point that Roman brought up about frames with stainless steel lugs. I'm working on my first one now and I've been thinking the same thing. I might have have no choice but to do it "your way" this time.

Regards, Jamie Swan - Northport, N.Y. (mapped)

On Nov 22, 2005, at 11:38 AM, Doug Fattic wrote:
> Hi Jamie, Bob and Roman,
> My desire to allow the opinion that it is not an inferior method to
> have a
> second frame color come up the edge of the lug is not just a stand
> alone
> aesthetic question but is really an aesthetic question related to
> technical
> possibilities. In other words, some types of paint and some ways of
> filing
> lugs prevents a good way of having a clean color change at the bottom
> of the
> lug edge. Roman hit on one of these challenges when he mentioned that
> it
> would be difficult - if not impossible - to polish the side of a
> stainless
> steel lug. The result would be a duller and rougher side than the top
> so
> that difference would have an aesthetic impact beyond just where the
> color
> line is drawn. The types of paints I use have varying degrees of
> thickness
> that would also bring real challenges to making a smooth color
> transition.
> The thin base coat/clear coat types of paint would allow for painting
> the
> whole lug including it's edge without problems. However, if I used a
> candy
> color that might have a dozen layers of paint, I've got to balance out
> that
> thickness layer with the other color where they meet. If the lugs are
> really thinned, like I love to do them, the paint thickness will take
> away
> from that effect. In addition, I paint bicycle frames made from
> around the
> world where the quality of the lug edge is less than perfect (by
> contrast,
> Jamie, in your pictures of your frames, your brazing around the lug
> edges
> looked great!). This makes a smooth transition even more difficult.
> So to sum it up, it isn't just a question of where to draw the line
> but will
> where the line be drawn make the whole affect look worse because of
> technical difficulties like the thickness of the paint choice, etc. I
> didn't want the judgment of the quality of a multi color paint job to
> be
> decided only by it's transition point. Besides I really like the lug
> edges
> to be painted the same color as the head tube because that is how they
> did
> it in England on my old Hetchins, Hurlow and Ellis Briggs. Hmmm,
> maybe I'm
> more conservative than I thought.
> Doug Fattic
> Niles, Michigan