Custom rat bike for Maloney’s Barber Shop: stage 2.. hand-lettered sign: completion

Side 1 of the panel
Side 2 of the panel

Every now and then stuff falls into place and I end up building something particularly rad for a special person or business. In this case the person was the all round extremely nice dude/ business manager Julian Maloney and the business is Auckland’s well respected Maloney’s Barber Shop.

The shop was in need of a bit more street presence, so Jules commissioned me to do up this old bike which I blogged about previously here.

I’m quite proud of this result, and really enjoyed the process, as I got to draw on several skill sets: my many years of experience fixing old bikes, woodwork skills and my relatively new-found passion for handpainted signs.

As the bike is being used and parked outside the barber shop, the sign itself for this needed to be light and durable in the outdoors; so I used a bit of 4mm meranti BS1088 grade marine plywood (offcut from my boatbuilding). I treated it with a few wipe-finish coats of spar varnish to seal the grain and allow the lettering paint to flow onto a smooth surface.  Then some careful sketching, transferral of the layout with dressmakers carbon paper. Following that some happy hours were spent with some careful brushwork, using One Shot lettering enamel, and sable hair lettering brushes.

Then whole thing had to be painted again on the other side, to look the same, with the proportions adjusted to fit the opposite triangle.

All turned out satisfactory and it was bolted in like a glove using some NOS ’60s chainguard brackets.



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