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SBDU Paint Preservation – SB9 1974 Cleaning the Original Paint

SBDU Paint Preservation SB9 My TI-Raleigh SBDU

SBDU Paint Preservation is step one of the work I need to do following the earlier stripdown of SB9. I don’t know if SB9 has ever had a clean since it was built in 1974. Every surface, every scratch and every lug line seems to be ingrained with 46 years of dirt and dust.

I’ve been asked many times about how I clean my frames, so to answer all those questions, I’ve included a couple of videos in this blog post to demonstrate how simple the process is. If like me, you watch hours of television, you might have seen something like an Art restorer cleaning a painting; something that was once dull and faded is brought back to vibrant life just by cleaning the surface of the canvas. The dirt accumulated over years creates a mask, covering the true colours hidden underneath.

I see frames in the same way. A simple clean with soapy water just doesn’t do it. Water alone doesn’t provide the level of cleaning that is often required.

SBDU Paint Preservation SB9 My TI-Raleigh SBDU (Before)
SBDU Paint Preservation SB9 My TI-Raleigh SBDU (Before)

My Paint Cleaning Process

Step One – Water

I still use water to clean away any dust and anything else sitting on the surface of the tubes. Small dabs with a sponge are the best way to do this rather than wiping over the tubes. Let the frame dry naturally.

Step Two – Acetone

This step isn’t always required. Occasionally, frames have sticky residue on the tube surface, maybe from old transfers. In the case of SB9, it was from the cloth tape that had been used to line the frame before fastening the gear lever band and top tube cable clips. Small nail varnish removal pads work great.

SBDU Paint Preservation SB9 My TI-Raleigh Cloth Tape
SBDU Paint Preservation SB9 My TI-Raleigh Cloth Tape

WARNING… acetone is strong stuff. Keep it well away from frame transfers – it will remove them. It was the same type of pad I used to remove the transfers on SB4409.

SBDU Ilkeston 753 Dynaflite 1981 SB4409 753 Aero Tubing Acetone Wipes
SBDU Ilkeston 753 Dynaflite 1981 SB4409 753 Ovoid Tubing Acetone Wipes

Step Three – Paint Renovator

sb6398-sbdu-ilkeston-reynolds-753r-campagnolo-super-record-50th-anniversary-polish
Paint Renovator and Polish

Rub the paint renovator over the surface of the paint. It doesn’t remove paint to reveal better paint, it removes dirt. It removes dirt really well. I use a soft polishing cloth to work the fluid into any areas such as lug lines and lug sockets, especially around the bottom bracket, seat stays and seat lug. Work it into scratches, paint chips and frame ends.

Over the years, even the cleanest bikes will still accumulate dirt around the edges. So make sure you work the renovator into these areas.

Once every inch of the frame has been treated, use a fresh clean polishing cloth of buff off the renovator.

SBDU Paint Preservation SB9 My TI-Raleigh SBDU Applying Paint Renovator
SBDU Paint Preservation SB9 My TI-Raleigh SBDU Applying Paint Renovator

Demonstration…

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Step Four – Polishing

Super Resin Polish from the same product range is used to lift the appearance of the cleaned tubes. It isn’t super glossy, it just helps to enhance the shine that the renovator produced.

SBDU Paint Preservation SB9 My TI-Raleigh Polish
SBDU Paint Preservation SB9 My TI-Raleigh Polish

Again, rub the polish in with one cloth and buff it off with another clean cloth.

Results

SBDU Paint Preservation SB9 My TI-Raleigh Bottom Bracket Before and After
Paint Preservation SB9 My TI-Raleigh Bottom Bracket Before and After
SBDU Paint Preservation SB9 My TI-Raleigh Seat Stays Before and After
SBDU Paint Preservation SB9 My TI-Raleigh Seat Stays Before and After
SBDU Paint Preservation SB9 My TI-Raleigh Down Tube Before and After
SBDU Paint Preservation SB9 My TI-Raleigh Down Tube Before and After
SBDU Paint Preservation SB9 My TI-Raleigh Seat Tube Before and After
Paint Preservation SB9 My TI-Raleigh Seat Tube Before and After

Chrome Cleaning

Step One – Wire Wool and Oil

I normally have great results with just a small piece of wire wool and a light cycle oil. Lubricate the chrome with the oil and gently rub the wire wool over the surface of the chrome.

SBDU Paint Preservation SB9 My TI-Raleigh Wire Wool and Oil
SBDU Paint Preservation SB9 My TI-Raleigh Wire Wool and Oil

Chrome can sometimes feel a little ‘rough’. If you pull a finger nail over the surface you can feel your nail catching on tiny marks on the surface. Chrome also loses its shine and can appear dull, just like paint. Even if you place dirty chrome into sunlight you don’t get much reflection on the surface.

SBDU Paint Preservation SB9 My TI-Raleigh Fork Before Cleaning
SBDU Paint Preservation SB9 My TI-Raleigh Fork Before Cleaning

Step Two – Metal Polish

This is very similar to the polish applied to paint and has the same two step process. Rub the metal polish in with one cloth and buff off with another clean cloth. It leaves a smooth, clean and reflective surface.

Demonstration…

Results

The surface of the chrome feels smooth like glass, it has lost it’s milky dullness and shines bright in sunlight.

SBDU Paint Preservation SB9 My TI-Raleigh Fork After Cleaning
SBDU Paint Preservation SB9 My TI-Raleigh Fork After Cleaning

Ready to Rebuild

With the frame and fork cleaned and finished, the next part of the preservation process is to clean every piece of the Campagnolo Super Record 1st Generation groupset. SB9 has paint chips, scratches and a couple of marks on the transfers, but they are staying.

To finish this blog post, I’m just going to share more images of this amazing 46 year old SBDU frame.

SB9 1974 SBDU Head Lugs
SB9 1974 SBDU Head Lugs
SB9 1974 SBDU Seat Tube
1974 SBDU Seat Tube
SB9 1974 SBDU Yellow Head Tube
SB9 1974 SBDU Yellow Head Tube
SB9 1974 SBDU Frame
SB9 1974 SBDU Frame
SB9 1974 SBDU Reynolds 531 Frame
1974 SBDU Reynolds 531 Frame

2 Comments

  1. donald gillies

    You should not use wire wool on chrome because it is essentially the same hardness as the chrome and can scratch it. Use something softer, like brass wool, which is not capable of scratching polished steel. a brass wool dremel wire brush can get into the bottom of pitting.

    • Neil McGowran

      Thanks for your comment and concerns Don.

      I’ve seen and tried lots of different methods from others for cleaning chrome. All of these methods use some form of chemistry or materials which they have claimed to work wonders, and each one has had poor results following a lot of effort.

      I’ve used my method of wire wool lubricated with oil for a long time. Each time with great results and none of the scratching that you mention.

      This is why I created 2 videos to show my methods, 1 for paint and 1 for chrome, showing my approach, what I use, how I use it and the results – no scratching involved.

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