Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sargent Carter Paints His Bike

Ol’ Sgt. Carter learned how to paint last week. Other than a rattle can, he had not laid a single coat of paint with a paint gun. Little did he know, this was all about to change. His side covers came off without a hitch, no problems from primer to finish clears. The fuel tank was another matter altogether. Other than fixing the few dents, there was a substance on the left front of the tank that kept wrinkling the paint. I took it down to the metal and carefully cleaned and repainted the area three times and whatever it was kept bleeding through. It covered an area about the size of a quarter and did not seem to want to go away. I suspected a small pin hole in the tank, but we pressure tested it and it held air overnight. So the Sgt. decided to media blast it back to bare metal and start all over again.
Well in the time we got it stripped and primed, I went and had myself a myocardial infarction. Clearly he would not be getting any painting out of me for a while. Luckily for me, it was a mild one and my hospital stay was just three days. Last week the weather was cooperating and I was moving around pretty good so we decided to get the tank finished. I really was not keen to be in such a chemically rich environment so soon after my episode, so I asked the old Sgt. how he felt about trying his hand at painting. He really wanted to get his bike back on the road so he agreed with my proposal.
As students go, the Sgt. is a quick study, he took to painting like a Labrador Retriever to a duck pond. As teachers go, I am less than an ideal one. But I guess I must have made the right noises and pointed at the right things because the paint job turned out like he had been painting for years. The Sgt. added another skill to his well stocked inventory and I got the satisfaction of watching a new painter blossom right before my eyes. His bike is back together and he is out riding it as I write this. By the By, his ride is a 1982 XS650 Heritage Special.

Till Next Time................

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