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
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Thread: "Leafed" Rotors - A Photo Essay