Monday, September 24, 2007
I decided to add some vintage looking pinstripes to the frame. I started to pinstripes some years ago but I was never good enough to lay some stripes on a real expensive paint job for money. However, I like my lines enough to put on my stuff. If you think there is an easy short cut the pinstriping perfect lines, you are wrong. The only way is to practice , practice and more practice. But there are some basic things you need to know before you start.
First off you need the right paint. One Shot enamel is the only way to go. This is the only paint still made with lead in it, so be careful using it. You also need to thin it just right. What you are looking for is the consistency of cream so that it can flow easily on the surface. You also need some good brushes. The real ones are made by Mack Brush. They are pricey, but they should last you a long time if properly taken care of.
Pinstriping is basically laying curved lines that intersect or connect with each other in a number of possibilities. Do a search on Flickr for pinstriping and you will find all kinds of inspiration. There are also a number of sites that can help you out. Check out the video in this post, it will give you a good idea of what it takes.
Rust was a very happy dweller on all the chromed parts of this bike. I had no intention of having anything re-chromed since it's very expensive. So I took everything apart first and then went to work.
In the pictures you'll see the front hub being rebuilt and cleaned, but this applies to all the chrome parts on the bike. If you want to find out how to take these things apart, just go to bikeoverhaul1 site for all the details with pictures.
The outside of the hub was pretty bad with some pitting on the chrome. However, it didn't mean that it couldn't come out decent and it did. First off I used a steel brush for the first step of removing the big stuff. I then went and did the whole thing over again with steel wool. Lastly, I used a polishing rag to finish off the parts and give them that nice shiny look. The trick here is to use a polishing compound in every step. This lubricates the part while scrubbing and it will help out a lot. I use Mother's polishing compound, but anything else can do the job as well.
As for the internal parts of the hub, they got the same treatment. But before I went ahead and scrubbed like mad, I sprayed everything with some lemon Pledge furniture polish. You let it sit for a while and that grease will come out real easy. The lemon even dissolves that old caked on grease. Once your done, repack everything with grease and re-assemble. After the hub was done, I laced it to a new rim. I went with a 26 inch MTB steel rim that I painted the same color as the frame. I got a pair of Tioga City Slickers tires and it's looking real good.
I will post on the building of the rear wheel with some pics later so you can all see how it is done.
When I first laid eyes on that bike I fell in love with that finish. The deep burgundy red, the scratches and even the rust told an untold story. I wanted to just clean it and that was it. But a lot of surface rust didn't look that cool and I wanted to have a smooth finish. So out came the 600 grit sandpaper and water.
Now before you think that I went ahead and scrubbed this thing mad, I didn't. I made sure that my sandpaper was VERY wet and I literally caressed that frame. All I wanted to do was to make the surface rust vanish and have a smooth surface without removing the original paint. You always remove some paint when you wet sand, so that's why I was real careful.
I used a clear lacquer because it was lying around my shop and it was already paid for. The result was pretty good, just click on the images to have a better look and you'll see what I mean. This was the fastest paint job on a bike I have ever made. The rust shouldn't come out, but this thing will be sleeping indoors and will not see rain. I'm not sure it would remain rust free otherwise.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
I took the time today to dismantle Victoria and she didn't give me too much of a hard time. That's good considering she was put together over 57 years ago and I found no evidence that she was ever overhauled. When you take a bike apart for a full rebuild, that's when you find out what you have to work with and whatever good original parts you have left.
In this case I realized that both wheels were completely shot. Too many broken spokes and too much corrosion on the rims to recover them. Thankfully, those wheels have 36 spokes, like a modern wheel, so I can reuse the hubs. I am trying to keep as many original parts as I can so the bike doesn't loose too much of it's original character. Besides, that CCM coaster hub is built as if it had to be bullet proof. I was surprised to find a slot in the gear cog to facilitate the addition or removal of the spokes, where in modern hubs, you have to remove the gear. All the chrome is rusted but seems all there. I will build new wheels with the original hubs on 26 inch mountain bike rims. This way I will have a bigger selection of tires. However, space between the fork legs and frame will limit how wide I can go. I will not use the fenders since the smaller wheels will make it look kinda goofy. It will also showcase that beautiful frame better without the fenders.
I have also decided to keep the original finish, scratches and all. I love the color and I figure it would be hard to reproduce that finish. I will stick with shooting it all with a coat of clear. It's now time to get out the brass brush, rags and Mother's polish and clean all the chrome.
To see how to dismantle a bike, check out bike overhaul 1.
So the build off is now officially on. You can check out the other bikes on the thread here. The bike is a 1950 ladies CCM that a friend gave me a little while back, It has the classic Victorian era step through frame design from the late 19th century. I just love that swooping top tube and that very long head tube. These design features will be the focus of the build and I will try to showcase them.
I intend to keep the original finish since I love the color and it will be hard to match. I also love the fact that the finish tells a story of the bike's life and after all I want to go for a rat bike look. Next step will be to take the bike apart and see what we have to work with. I will try to save as much as I can of the original parts but so far it doesn't look good for the wheels!
I will not go in detail for the deconstruction of this bike since I already did it during the first bike overhaul. So if you want to know how to take a bike apart, go to the Great Canadian Bike Overhaul 1 site.
So keep posted for what's to come.
Monday, September 10, 2007
Well life is sometimes funny and plans change. I got nowhere fast with this project since the right parts never showed up and we had a great season to ride. So a lot of time was spent on the saddle and out of the shop. It was a perfect riding season with, wouldn't you no it, the perfect bike. After building hundreds of bikes in the past years, I finally slapped one together that was perfect. Well mechanically anyways, it still looks like crap. :)
So this blog is staying, but the bike is changing. I'll leave the existing previous post since the information is good to have around. But get ready for a different and better build subject this time around. The second ratrodbike build-off is set to start on September 15th and my entry build will be showcased on this site. I can't tell you what it is yet, but you can expect a post on September 16th to find out.
Until then, hang tight and get ready for a ride!