Head Tube Badge
I’ve had some copper sheet laying around the garage for a few years, and decided to take a crack at a head tube badge. A bike always looks incomplete to me without a little something on the head tube. I drilled and cut out the shape of a cog, and stamped 004 in it (for frame number 4). I was going to stamp 003 and put it on my road bike, but it turns out that the set of punches I bought is missing the “3”.
After I got it cut out, I filed and sanded off the sharp
edges, and sanded the front smooth to remove any marks. I bought some acid for applying a patina to copper years ago, and decided to use that to add some color. I heated up the copper with my oxy-acetalyne torch, squirted some acid on, and ran the flame over it again. Then I used some Maguire’s wax to give it a little shine.
It all seemed to be going well until I went to glue the badge onto the head tube. I bought some adhesive at the local auto parts store that only needed to be applied to one of the surfaces being glued. My first mistake was putting on too much adhesive. When I pressed the badge onto the head tube, adhesive oozed out the sides. I removed the badge hoping to clear the excess adhesive from the frame. That proved to be nearly impossible. That stuff dried fast and hard. I tried a variety of solvents, fingernails, and 1500 grit wet sand paper, and couldn’t get it off. It appeared I was starting to damage the powder coat, so I cut my losses and just stuck the badge on. It takes very little adhesive to make the badge stick. Just a thin film will do.
The first time doing anything rarely goes as expected. I’ll glue the next head tube badge on like a pro. I would like to make some fancier badges, maybe do some acid-etching, but this was a good place to start.