Painted Clarke tank today
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  1. #1
    Senior Member biglefti's Avatar
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    At the risk of embarassing myself if this doesn't last, I painted my Clarke tank today. I have a 1989 TW that is blue, so I bought a blue Clarke tank for it. However, a few months ago I bought an 03 TW so I decided to put the Clarke tank on the newer one since that will be the one I ride the most. I know they say you can't paint the Clarke tank and I have heard several reasons why. However, thermoplastics was my trade for 35+ years and decorating them was part of the experience. For the Clarke tank, I did a thourough job of flame treating it using a very hard flame from a MAPP torch. After that I shot it white using some Acrylic enamel that I had left over from painting an old pick up. The decoration was shot with Urethane. Now the waiting begins.



    http://tw200topbox.blogspot.com/2011...ank-today.html



    Click on the link if you want to see a picture of it.

  2. #2
    Senior Member RodneyReed's Avatar
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    Nice job. Hopefully it will hold up.

  3. #3
    Senior Member biglefti's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure that the first ride will tell whether she will or won't. It seems like it has pretty good adhesion so far.

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    Senior Member peruano's Avatar
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    I'm anxious to see the stripes installed on the bike. Definitely an iconoclastic design (no skulls, naked babes, or flames). I'm with you. Tom
    Tom - TW200 2002, Kawasaki VN 500 2006

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  6. #5
    Senior Member admiral's Avatar
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    Super job. I hope it works out. At the very least, you tried it. Experience vs. theory!
    Hidden Content A ride in the woods helps me relax and release tension. The fact I'm dragging a body should be entirely irrelevant?

  7. #6
    Banned qwerty's Avatar
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    Clarke tanks are mildly porous. Heating the tank will remove some of the plastisols that cause paint to fall off, but eventually gasoline will soak through the plastic and affect the paint. Might take a while, but newer paint formulas might stick better. But what do I know, I still yearn for acrylic lacquers.




  8. #7
    Senior Member biglefti's Avatar
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    I put it on the bike today. I think it fits with the rest of the bike pretty well. Just simple and clean. I guess it is good that I am easily pleased It does look like I need to adjust the fit of the front of the seat.



    http://tw200topbox.blogspot.com/2011...k-on-bike.html

  9. #8
    Senior Member biglefti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qwerty View Post
    Clarke tanks are mildly porous. Heating the tank will remove some of the plastisols that cause paint to fall off, but eventually gasoline will soak through the plastic and affect the paint. Might take a while, but newer paint formulas might stick better. But what do I know, I still yearn for acrylic lacquers.


    While all items of mass have some porosity to them, HDPE is not generally considered to be porous in nature and is certainly capable of blocking the flow of gasoline molecules. Plastisol is a powdered PVC (poly vinyl chloride), that can be used in a variety of compounds usually in conjunction with a plasticizer such as DOP (dioctyl phthalate), and as such does not exist in HDPE compounds. My purpose in flaming the surface of the tank was to change the molecular structure (oxidize) of the surface so that it would be more receptive to adhesion. Now, about the acrylic lacquers. I think I saw some at O'reilys Auto Parts while I was looking for acrylic enamel reducer. It was stocked in only a few basic colors and I didn't see any color matching equipment.

  10. #9
    Banned qwerty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by biglefti View Post
    While all items of mass have some porosity to them, HDPE is not generally considered to be porous in nature and is certainly capable of blocking the flow of gasoline molecules. Plastisol is a powdered PVC (poly vinyl chloride), that can be used in a variety of compounds usually in conjunction with a plasticizer such as DOP (dioctyl phthalate), and as such does not exist in HDPE compounds. My purpose in flaming the surface of the tank was to change the molecular structure (oxidize) of the surface so that it would be more receptive to adhesion. Now, about the acrylic lacquers. I think I saw some at O'reilys Auto Parts while I was looking for acrylic enamel reducer. It was stocked in only a few basic colors and I didn't see any color matching equipment.
    My plastisol inks aren't powdered, but I definately could have screwed the vocabulary pooch. Keep us posted on how the paint holds up--I'd love to paint mine so vinyl would stick to it.



    I don't need color matching equipment, I learned the old school methods of creating just about anything from 8 basic colors and work with Pantone matches on a regular basis.




  11. #10
    Senior Member biglefti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qwerty View Post
    My plastisol inks aren't powdered, but I definately could have screwed the vocabulary pooch. Keep us posted on how the paint holds up--I'd love to paint mine so vinyl would stick to it.



    I don't need color matching equipment, I learned the old school methods of creating just about anything from 8 basic colors and work with Pantone matches on a regular basis.


    If your plastisol inks require a heat cure, they are probably PVC based but are probably in a high viscosity form from the addition of plastisizers and color pigments. They are commonly used in the screen printing process, but are rapidly being replaced by water based inks because of emissions issues. I did the same thing as you for color matching using PMS color charts. I printed frisbees (non Whamo) for years and that is where I learned how to make things stick to PE. I did have a few unhappy customers during my learning curve where the inks were flaking off. We survived that and sold millions after that with no issues.



    I took the bike out for a little ride this morning and so far it looks like it might work out. The temps here in AZ are finally stablizing below a 100, so I'll start riding the backroads again. That will be the real test.

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