… a paint stripper, specifically. The Dnepr project is picking up steam this week as I’ve taken some vacation time. Aside from some work in the garage and the house, I’ve largely focused on getting the paint off the Dnepr parts. Stripping the paint is no fun, but it’s an essential part of preparing the parts for priming and painting. This is critical work if I want the results to be good. It also gives me an opportunity to inspect the welds and joints more thoroughly.
The paint stripper is nasty stuff, but works very well, and is probably the fastest way to get to bare metal. It goes on thick, and starts working in seconds. You can actually hear the paint bubbling up and falling off. Sometimes a second application was necessary.
The leading link fork I bought from a seller in Poland was mostly “new”, but the fender that shipped with it had the same horrible quality black paint that the rest of the bike originally had. So, the paint was stripped from the new fork and fender. When the black paint was stripped away, the original “God-awful Orange” paint was revealed. What factory paints motorcycles this color? The original fender had the same terrible white pinstripes that appear to have been applied with a white magic marker.
A few weeks ago, while test-fitting the new fork to the frame, I noticed that the upper half of the fork yoke threads were stripped. I had no metric dies this large, but since this part had the critical job of keeping the front of the motorcycle connected to the rest of it, I decided to buy a replacement, along with a new nut, to ensure that all threads were good and strong. A seller in Kiev, Ukraine had one for $27, so I bought it. The new yoke had great threads, but was painted in “Gloomy Gray”, so it too was stripped of its paint. I would love to chat with the Ukrainian that selected the original factory paint colors.
The sidecar fender was almost perfect, but the original rear fender had some damage that Uncle Graham artfully bent back to shape nearly 2 years ago, before selling the bike to me. The fender still had some ripples in the steel, but I figured that I could further work the metal and apply a body filler to smooth the ripples. A few weeks ago I noticed a rear fender on eBay for a good price, located in Ohio, so I grabbed it. This rear fender has no damage, so that will save me some time and should look better.
I’m currently stripping the paint from the sidecar and sidecar frame, but once all the paint is removed, I’ll spend a few days fixing some dents and ripples in the sidecar and hand-sanding all the parts. I have a gallon of 2-part automotive primer waiting to be sprayed, but not until all the body work is completed.