The bike when I got it compared to when I finished.
Disassembled the whole bike to start with. The basket was really bent and twisted and not salvageable. Everything else was fine, minus the chain and grips which I ordered off of Amazon for about $25 total.
WD-40 and 409 worked well to get all the grime and grease off the frame.
Some dirt and grime in hard to reach places.
Small brush and dish soap.
No more grime!
There were 9 decals on the bike and they were really glued on. I initially tried to remove them by hand, but they were really caked on there.
I then moved to a small hand sander to see if I could get the stickers off without going down to the paint. No luck though, they were fossilized.
Decided to pull out the Dremel (as if I needed an excuse) and that definitely took care of those pesky stickers.
The top of the picture you can see where I used the sander to get all the scratches off and down to metal. I didn't do the entire bike, just ran my fingers along the frame, felt for imperfections in the paint and sanded where needed.
Always wear proper PPE!
An hour later, I was done with the frame!
Rest of the frame sanded.
I used a universal spray primer since I had old paint, sanded paint and bare metal on the frame. It held really well.
Frame ready for primer.
You can see the primer I used in the photo.
I picked up 3 cans of paint from an arts n' crafts store near me. Initially, I thought Irish was going to be what I used on the frame, but I really liked the way Atlantis looked and Irish just felt too neon for my taste. I decided to use Copper for the tail fin since it is a bit of a darker green.
Tops of the wheel covers and chain guard painted.
Flipped over the frames to paint the bottoms.
Set some of the trim up to paint. Was on the fence whether I would go chrome or black for the trim.
I went with black. I wasn't sure if I would like it, but seeing the bike done I am really glad I didn't go with chrome.
Threw a little coat of black paint on the bottom of the seat since it was pretty nasty. I've found you can pretty much make any old rusted crap look like new with some black spray paint.
Everything painted! Was really nice getting to this point because I could start to see it coming together.
Now for the fin. I picked up a 3/4' peace of particle board in the crap bin at the hardware store. Only $2.99!
Using a small model I had (thanks LootCrate!) I decided to see how it would scale if I went with their dimensions.
Who says all those math classes in college were worthless!?
When it was all said and done I ended up being a little loose with the dimensions since the main "point" on the tail fin would have been WAY too big given the scale. I reigned it in a bit and got it to a point where I thought it looked pretty good.
Small scroll saw to cut out the fin.
I cut the fin out and the mock-up looked good. As I am sure you have noticed, I was working on the fin while doing a lot of the other stuff prior to painting, but for the purpose of this album, I am showing the fin and engine separately since they were essentially their own builds.
Of course, this project, like all other projects, was really just a thinly veiled excuse to but more power tools. I bought a $70 router from Home Depot for about 3ft of edges.
Hard to tell in the photo, but I measured the gap on the fin and lined it up to the frame to where I would drill holes for the screws to hold the fin on.
Ready for drilling!
Put holes in the frame and the fin. Ready for screws!
Mock-up of what it would look like done. Notice the frame is just sitting on wood. I didn't feel like hassling my girlfriend to take pictures while I held it, so sorry if it looks weird.
Ready for primer and paint! I forgot to take a primer picture, but just imagine it is white.
All painted. I used Copper green for the fin.
Tail detail paint. Actually the very last thing I did because it was just so minor and I didn't want to ding it up while working on it disassembled.
Minor detail work.
Went with black.
More detail work and just a bit of black on those rusted bars.
Much better looking.
If you've made it this far, I congratulate you. This picture of my bedroom wall is not just one I forgot to remove. I spent a long time trying to find something to make the engine out of and was stumped. I noticed the unused lower part on my desk lamp looked pretty close, so I cannibalized it for the sake of this project.
I picked up a 3'' PVC drain cap in the plumbing section of Home Depot for $1.50 to use at my mount. I traced around the outer part of the lamp shade and decided to use it as an inner sleeve.
Tracing around the mount.
Using a plastic bit for the Dremel I carved out what I didn't need.
Ahhh, nothing like the smell of burning plastic in the morning!
Drain cap inserted into the cutout lamp shade.
Put 2 holes in the drain cap for screws.
Did the same for the mounting area on the rear of the wheel covers.
With the engine mocked up, I pulled out some foam from an old video card box and used it as my inner stopper I could use to put the engine parts into.
This is essentially a stopper for the outer part of the engine so it does't slide in by accident. I used some super glue and hot glue to make it stick.
I punched holes for the cut up pieces of 1/2'' PVC I chopped up to make the "jets".
Mock-up of the engine with everything in place.
Painted it grey.
I used some royal blue paint on the PVC to give them a deeper blue look, similar to what I think it might look like.
Painted PVC parts super glued in place.
I bought a pair of blue LED light strips off Amazon for $8 after shipping. It just so happened there were exactly 20 lights on the string, perfect for what I had planned.
I used a hot glue gun to put a single LED in each "jet" of the rocket engine. It worked really well, minus only one burn I suffered using the glue gun.
Pretty much the opposite of /r/wiringporn .
Engine completed and mounted! I am really pleased on how this turned out considering I thought there was no way I would ever make an engine, let alone have it light up.
Picked up a couple new tires ($23), tubes ($12) and grips ($8) off of Amazon.
New tires on!
I spent a few hours on Photoshop making decals for the frame and ordered them through BuildASign.com. I could have gone a bit bigger on the windshield, but overall I was happy how they turned out. I got two of these sheets for $9 after shipping.
Everything all painted and starting to get assembled! I would have taken more photos of putting it all back together, but it was looking like it was going to rain and I was excited to finish it up and get it inside.
Everything all done and put back together!
Decals on the right side. I included all of the Planet Express crew and the rest are my favorite characters from the show. I used a 1/8'' vinyl pinstripe I got off Amazon for $4. I also suck at placing stickers so I got my girlfriend to do that part.
Decals on the left side. My camera sucks so you can't see them very well, but they are really clear vinyl prints and I think it adds a nice little touch to the bike.
These are all of the decals I used for the vinyl and wanted to leave them here in case anyone else wanted them for their own project. Hope you enjoyed!