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  1. #1
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    Idea! "Leafed" Rotors - A Photo Essay

    The two threads; "Useless Bling" and "Painting Rotors" gave me an idea. And since it was raining I thought I'd put some 'useless' bling on my rotor. So....
    Using some left-over gold leaf flakes from a previous project and some 'bronzing powder' ( a VERY fine metallic powder that has a color somewhere in between copper and brass, I would 'leaf' my rotors.

    I would've put this in either of the two aforementioned threads, but I had so many pictures and I didn't want to bog those threads down.
    So here it is...a step-by-step on how to leaf your rotors and get a nice warm and metallic effect.

    Step 1: Get the necessary tools / equipment


    - Clockwise from top-left: Paper towels/coffee filters,Paper, Beer, Bronzing Powder, Super 77, Gold-Leaf flakes, Rubbing Alcohol, Goof-Off, Spoon, Magic Tape and/or Painters tape, Burnisher, Round Stickers, Crank Bros. 17, Sizing ( for gold Leaf), Scissors, X-acto Knife, Various clean brushes Paper and Transparent Acrylic ( actually vacu-form material I had left over.) and Teflon(?) cutting board.
    Step 2: Prep
    Use goof-off (if necessary) then alcohol to thoroughly clean the rotor. Mask off the braking track - I like to bend an edge over itself for easy removal.

    I found these cool little smiley stickers at dollar tree with 3 sheets to a pack...they're the perfect size for the rotor bolt contact area. It's easy to apply them with a tip of an x-acto.

    Burnish the tape edges and circle stickers down tight. ( do this to both sides)

    There are a couple methods you can use to get the leaf to adhere to the rotor ; super 77...

    -or Sizing ( i found it difficult to apply to the stainless w/ out it beading)

    Step 3: Ready For Leafing
    After the adhesive is dry, remove tape and stickers. I found it handy to float the rotor by using the original bolts to prevent the backside of the rotor from sticking to the paper (not a good thing)
    Notice the 'greyed' area on the rotor arms - this is the cured adhesive.

    Using a spoon, evenly coat the rotor leaving no bare spots and lightly even out with a soft brush.

    Place a sheet of paper over the coated rotor and 'paint' it using firm pressure. This ensures good adhesion.
    Brush away loose and excess flakes.

    Save leftovers for later use.


    Start removing 'leaf' gently by first a soft brush (watercolor), then coffee filter wrapped around a finger to gently rub/press, then a coarser brush; lifting un-adhered leaf (it is VERY thin and will break off leaving only the adhered leaf, then use a long/flat brush to smooth and remove the tiny remaining bits.




    *save remaining leaf as before and repeat for the other side*
    Now the leafing looks fairly decent right now - but we're going to just a bit more to add some more dimension.

    Step 4: 'Bronzing' powder
    This is bronzing powder - a VERY fine metallic powder that has a range of colors from brass to copper. This stuff is finer than graphite powder. Do not even breathe towards it as it will go EVERYWHERE.

    Tap a small amount out of a spoon using a handle of a brush or something similar over the rotor.

    Again, with a soft brush,followed by a smoothing, flat brush, brush away the excess. The bronzing powder will not stick to the leaf, just areas that adjoin individual flakes.


    Repeat for the other side and Save the excess for reuse.

    I like to use some Dust-off just to make sure I get every thing that may have been held on by static.

    Step 5: Final Smoothing
    Place the rotor between two sheets of some smooth and semi-flexible material. I used some 'Vacu-form' I had laying around, but acetate or something similar will work too; just as long as it does not have a texture - even paper is not completely smooth.
    Use a brayer (used in ink printing - basically a hard rubber roller) and roll out in the directions of the 'arms' with moderate to firm pressure. Flip rotor and repeat.


    Step 6: Taping and Clear Coat
    Mask off brake track and bolt surfaces with those cool smiley guys again. The 'clear-coat' I'm using is actually a triple-thick glaze. It really smooths out any irregularities and adds a lot of depth. (Since it is so thick... it does take quite a while to dry.
    Here it is drying after the first coat (notice that I used an old brake cable to hang it by - keeping it all in the family )

    Close-up after coat two - those smileys make me feel like I'm doin' A-OK !

    Tape removed - the Crank Bros. Multi-tool make for a perfect display stand

    Since I was all set up, I might as well do a christmas/ disc golf shot as well as an 'artistic one.


    Here it is mounted on the wheel and fork.

    Some outside sunny shots in the lawn *note* the rear rotor was not clear-coated...I'm waiting to try another step as an experiment ( I'll let y'all know later)




    On the test ride :
    waitin' for the train

    no trolls here

    junk yard dog


    *most of the products i used can be purchased at any decent art/hobby/craft store*
    feel free to ask questions
    Last edited by highdelll; 12-25-2008 at 03:20 AM. Reason: clarification
    Honestly, you just take a deep breath and say Fuck it.

  2. #2
    ~Disc~Golf~
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    btw...this is an example of the whole variegated gold-leaf that i used for the original project (from where i got the multi colored flakes from) as you can see, a whole sheet (usually 6"-8") would make a really nice effect with it's radial pattern. the color in this pic does not do it justice - in reality it is much more vibrant.

    i am going to use full sheets on my next project
    Honestly, you just take a deep breath and say Fuck it.

  3. #3
    A wheelist
    Reputation: Mike T.'s Avatar
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    You've got waaaaay too much time on your hands. I want my click back!
    Mike The Bike's home wheelbuilding info - dedicated to providing Newby wheelbuilder information and motivation.

  4. #4
    ~Disc~Golf~
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike T.
    You've got waaaaay too much time on your hands. I want my click back!
    yeah.. thanks man...sorry to waste YOUR time
    maybe I should disregard the 'home-made truing stand'
    Last edited by highdelll; 12-25-2008 at 05:02 AM.
    Honestly, you just take a deep breath and say Fuck it.

  5. #5
    A wheelist
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll
    maybe I should disregard the 'home-made truing stand'
    Don't do that as you'd be biting your nose off to spite your face
    Mike The Bike's home wheelbuilding info - dedicated to providing Newby wheelbuilder information and motivation.

  6. #6
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    Damn that Jerk Chicken for linking to this....

  7. #7
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    Love the Dakine branding on the frame and the fork. Anyone else catch the wirenut on the brake cable?

  8. #8
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    highdelll that is a really sweet job and a different approach. Something you have just high lighted to me should I ever paint rotors again is to cover the bolt holes from being painted to avoid any potential damage of flaking paint. So far this hasn't happened but I can only place that down too my own prep work but thanks for the tip I have taken that on board.

  9. #9
    ~Disc~Golf~
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike T.
    Don't do that as you'd be biting your nose off to spite your face
    I wouldn't really, I was making a dumb comment just to mirror yours. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery right?
    Honestly, you just take a deep breath and say Fuck it.

  10. #10
    ~Disc~Golf~
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    Quote Originally Posted by }SkOrPn--7
    highdelll that is a really sweet job and a different approach. Something you have just high lighted to me should I ever paint rotors again is to cover the bolt holes from being painted to avoid any potential damage of flaking paint. So far this hasn't happened but I can only place that down too my own prep work but thanks for the tip I have taken that on board.
    Thanks man As far as masking the holes go, my rotors didn't howl before, so I didn't want to chance something by fowling the mating surfaces. Plus it gave me a nice use for those smileys
    Honestly, you just take a deep breath and say Fuck it.

  11. #11
    A wheelist
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll
    I was making a dumb comment just to mirror yours. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery right?
    I dunno. You tell me as you were, admittedly, the one doing the imitating. I was the dumb comment originator.
    Mike The Bike's home wheelbuilding info - dedicated to providing Newby wheelbuilder information and motivation.

  12. #12
    ~Disc~Golf~
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike T.
    I dunno. You tell me as you were, admittedly, the one doing the imitating. I was the dumb comment originator.
    You don't know. I told you as I was, admittedly, the one doing the imitating. You were the dumb comment originator.
    Honestly, you just take a deep breath and say Fuck it.

  13. #13
    Blue Pig
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    I was browsing the "Rotor Paint" thread and came across Highdelll's link to his DIY design rotor. Not too many props to the guy!

    /claps
    I give positive rep all around but then I get negative rep from all the clowns.

  14. #14
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    WOW....nice project !

  15. #15
    MTB skillz = NADA
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    Wow, looks like a lot of work. I'm way too lazy for that.
    Since I don't like writing, I don't have a blog to pimp. This space for rent.

  16. #16
    ~Disc~Golf~
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrayBeard Pirate
    Wow, looks like a lot of work. I'm way too lazy for that.
    haha, I think most of the 'work' was in the photography and write-up
    Honestly, you just take a deep breath and say Fuck it.

  17. #17
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    Do your whole frame in silver leaf! At least paint your frame!
    Is titanium leaf available? Stainless steel, cooper, chrome?

  18. #18
    locked - time out
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    Pathetic.

  19. #19
    ~Disc~Golf~
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    Quote Originally Posted by glitz
    Pathetic.
    That's what SHE said
    Honestly, you just take a deep breath and say Fuck it.

  20. #20
    Blue Pig
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    Quote Originally Posted by glitz
    Pathetic.
    Would you say that to someone who did some stupid design to their shitty import? No... you would drool and try to see if you can do the same. Perfectly fine doing something different to your bike that you ride everyday.
    I give positive rep all around but then I get negative rep from all the clowns.

  21. #21
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    I like it, but the blue fork sticks out like a sore thumb in the bad way.
    ***

  22. #22
    ~Disc~Golf~
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle2834
    I like it, but the blue fork sticks out like a sore thumb in the bad way.
    fork is gone,
    and so is the leafing - they're red now
    kinda hard to see
    Honestly, you just take a deep breath and say Fuck it.

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