I'd been wanting to shoot a "fancy" paint job on my gas tank for awhile now. I'd shot it in red primer just to get it on the road and it'd remained that way for some time. With the date for the Hunnert Car Pile Up approaching, I found some motivation to get busy. I purchased some choice colors of DupliColor's rattle cans: Orange and Purple Metal Cast, Green and Silver Metal Specks, and Standard gloss black. I also bought some painter's fine line tape and some lace. I prepped the tank first, and in hindsight I wish I'd have stripped the tank to bare metal as I'd done every other time in the past. But, since it already had primer on it, I chose to just fill in a dent and fix some nicks in the primer here and there. Prior to doing so, I did a light sanding to rough the surface and remove any blemishes in the primer.
Once I had the surface how I wanted it, I shot the entire tank in Metal Specks Silver. I let that coat set up overnight before I taped off my panels/designs (planning for my fineline tape lines to remain silver). I used 1/4" and 1/16" tape to do this. After the design was laid out and I was happy with it, it was time to start with the lace. I began by doing one panel at a time, masking the entire rest of the tank from overspray. I laid my lace down, which proved to be an art in itself, and once I had it flat against all surfaces, I lightly misted the area with Gloss Black, building up to a darker black as I laid each coat down. You don't want to get too heavy or the black with saturate the surface and the lace and you will lose some detail of the pattern.
I then let the black coat sit for about a half hour before spraying my Metal Cast color of choice over the top of the silver and black. Once I acheived a nice even coat of color, I let that finished panel dry before masking over it. I then uncovered the next panel to be done.
Once all panels were shot I masked off the entire tank except for the negative space between my 1/4" & 1/16" fine line tape. This left fine lines of silver between all of the panels that I then shot with Metal Specks Green. Keep in mind that the fine line tape is still in place and when it is finally removed, those lines will remain silver.
After allowing the final spray of green to dry, I removed all tape and masking paper. Remember when pulling tape to do so at an angle. I did have a few blemishes, as would be expected, none of them catastrophic and I touched them up as best as I could before clear coating.
Originally I had planned to use Engine Enamel Clear that Dupli Color offers, but after spending many hours on this, and it coming out better then I had expected, I thought better of it.
I took the tank to my friends Dad down the road who is a professional painter/body man. It didn't hurt that he is also into old cars and bikes. After explaining how there would be no UV protection to my paint job and some other characteristics and chemistry of PPG paint versus rattle cans, he agreed to lend me a hand.
He shot some nice coats of clear on it, wet sanded it and buffed it. Here is the finished result as it now sits on my chop.
Decatur, IL is the new home for the Hunnert Car Pile Up that was formerly held in Morris, IL for the past eight years. This past friday Oct. 8 a group of us from the Honda Chopper and Chopper Underground online forums met at Friends Creek Campground between Argenta & Cisco, IL to camp for the weekend, do some riding & partying, and to attend the Pile Up! We arrived friday evening to a warm welcome from the attendees that were already on site. That evening we saddled up and rode to the square in Clinton, IL for dinner, where the Pile Up organizers arranged for a pre-party that included cars, bikes and live music.
Saturday morning found us a bit groggy from our late evening at the camp ground after returning from Clinton. Once we all had our morning coffee, soda or beer, and got around, we once again straddled our scooters this time heading for Decatur, stopping off for gas and a bit of grub before rolling on to the show.
Once at Progress City on the east side of town, where the event was being held, we were coralled into the bike parking lot. Acres upon acres of old hot rods littered the grounds, with a two wheeled machine scattered in here and there for good measure. There was a great mix of cars, trucks and vans. Everything from "rusty & crusty" to "the nines & shiny" were well represented. The vendors and swap meet areas had a lot of decent vendors too, hocking everything from shifter knobs & paintings, to tee shirts and old vintage steel for your project. Some overpriced, and some a helluva deal!
Our group of 12-15 got split up almost immediately after entering the grounds. It seemed I couldn't go twenty feet without running into someone I knew, so the rest of the group kept moving while I chatted away. After walking in circles for a few hours and sweating out the few cans of beer we each drank, we sorta lingered around the Lucky 13 booth and the bathrooms as our group reassembled.
Around 3 p.m. everyone decided we'd pretty much seen what we wanted to see and needed some rest from the unseasonably warm sun beating down on us, so we gathered up the remainder of our crew, picking up a few more peeps throughout the day, and headed back to the shady confines of camp.
After scarfing down some pizzas and washing them down with a few cold beverages, we once again manned our machines and headed out to local hot rod aficianado, Aaron Grote's house for his after-party. Upon pulling up to the property we were flagged as where to park by some fellas at the entrance. The place was packed with more of the same old rides that had been at the Pile Up hours prior.
We stuck around for a few hours chatting with other like minded folks and mingling a bit while listening the garage styled punk bands he had lined up. Later in the evening we deciding to head back to the campground where we could celebrate Chris' birthday party in true fashion....and that we did! Hijinx & Shenanigans abound once back at Friends Creek Park, where we were up until the wee hours of Sunday morning before deciding we'd better rest up for our varying return trips home later that day.
It was a great weekend with unseasonably high temps in the mid 80's. We couldn't have asked for better weather. The riding was great and the company was even better. I can't wait for next year when the Pile Up returns to Decatur, IL!!!