Working in a detached garage during a Chicago winter is not ideal. A space heater can only do so much in an exposed un-insulated garage, leaving me taking breaks every 10 minute to sit in front of the open blow-torch-of-life until I can feel my fingers again.
There is however another heat generator that I'm falling for...the powder oven. It warms the shop and takes what looks like a layer of dust and bakes it into durable colored metal, it is my muse.
"Always run a test of your new powder on a shit-piece of metal before you do something important", was advice that was given to me by nobody. I didn't think about this until the first piece of my bike was in the oven, and it was my frame, possibly the single most important structure to the bike's color scheme. I had to wait over an hour, nervous that I might have made a gigantic mistake, "even if it sucks I'm not stripping that whole god-damn thing again, you'll have to live with it" I thought in my head. The hour passed, the oven door opened and I got to see my black powder "Burnt Toast" for the first time in the flesh. I really lucked out.
The texture is tight and consistent. The subtle sheen will give it some reflectivity in the summer sunlight. It's also tough as a few dropped wrenches have left it unscathed. I was contemplating a two-tone matte and gloss black color scheme but after seeing the results, I'm going to stick with Burnt Toast for the large majority. I'm starting to see glimpses of what the Bandit might look like and its getting me excited.
There have been ups and plenty of downs so far and a lot of time and energy spent away from the people I care about. Every time I go into that dark and cold garage I tell myself if it was easy then everybody would be building these things...it's nice to get a small win.