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Classic Lightweights UK
Restoration  
 

Hints and Tips - 3

Author: Peter Underwood

My friend Geoff Adams tell me that when he is building up a machine for the first time he has four plastic washers cut from plastic sheet.  There are two to go under the front track or wing nuts plus two for the rear.  When you are building up a frame fresh back from the restorers this stops the nuts from chipping off paint from the front or rear ends as you have the wheels in and out time and time again trying to get everything to gel together.

I have started coating the curved washers on the brake bolts (to line up the bolts with fork crown or seat stay bridge) with what we in the UK call Evostick, a contact adhesive.  This stops the washers scraunching into the new paint when you tighten the bolts to secure the brakes.  David Palk told me about using this method on cable/gear clips etc and I realised it would work on the brakes as well.

One of my favourite occupations is assembling, dis-assembling and re-assembling bottom brackets so as finally to get the correct length of axle (only joking - I hate it).   From time to time you may come across a set of caged bottom bracket bearings, usually in a more modern set-up.   Keep a set of these for this tiring job and it makes it much easier as you don't end up with balls rolling about in the shell in spite of your efforts to secure them with grease.  When you finally come up with the correct axle length, whip out the caged bearings and replace with the correct balls (11 in total each side). Why take out the cages you may ask?  If you live in the UK and present your pride and joy to the style police (you know who you are) it is just conceivable they could take out the bracket to check the correct balls are in there!

Nick Hando says:
At the weekend I was told a tip for cleaning and polishing chrome. It's so good (miles better that Autosol) that I just can't keep it to myself, so here it is...
Use ordinary kitchen foil, scrunched up and wetted (very important), and rub the area to be polished. Magic! Try it, you'll see....

From Peter Brown:
I have just been browsing your website hints and tips section and noticed there was a small piece on cotter pin removal.  I know there are (rather expensive) specialised tools for this but a Machine Mart car ball joint splitter at just over £8 works reliably with little effort and no damage. 
 See
http://www.machinemart.co.uk/shop/product/details/cht222-ball-joint-remover/path/automotive-hand-tools/brand/clarke

The best cleaners I have found are Carplan Tetroclean engine degreaser for removing oil and grease – I have various size containers for soaking parts in, and after a few days the oil and grease comes off easily with the aid of an old tooth brush.  Rustins Rust Remover deals with rust easily, does not harm chrome, leaves no visible residue, and requires nothing abrasive.  Just soak for up to half an hour and wipe with an old rag.

One of the most useful tools I have, which cost me £1-50 from a local shop, is a ½” diameter magnet on a telescopic rod.  It pulls bearings out of bottom brackets and hubs without losing them, and retrieves those small parts which always seem to fall and bounce into the most inaccessible places.

The manufacturers mentioned by Peter Brown are UK companies but I'm sure that similar products are available world-wide.

And now a tip from Flash (Webmaster of Hetchins site):
Use white Teflon plumber's tape to wrap the threads on pedals; this keeps the axles from siezing in the crank arms and, being a dry lubricant, does not attract grit. This can also be used for wrapping the threads on the rear hub to ease removal of the cog block, and bottom bracket cups.

Roger Langworth sends in two hints:
1. Before you cut a brake cable wrap a piece of Teflon tape around the bare cable before you cut it. This stops the likelihood of the cable fraying. It also works if you have a frayed cable that you have to re-use. Make sure you wrap the tape in the direction of the cable twist and it neatly pulls the cable together. Leave the tape in place until you have threaded it through.

 2. If like me when you have the bike on a workstand the handlebars always twist at the wrong moment and slam into the frame. Take an old inner tube, take a piece with the valve still on it at one end and cut a length about a foot long. Then with a Stanley knife cut through the tube a slit about 1/2” long a couple of inches from the end. You are then able to loop the tube around the front wheel and the frame to keep it in place, by hooking the slit over the valve.

Geoff Mace offers some tips
A tip for fitting rubber brake lever hoods:
Apply petrol with a brush on the inside of the rubber hood and on the lever.  The hood will then slip on easily and the petrol will evaporate leaving a tight fitting hood. Using petrol will help removing hoods for subsequent re-fitting. This can also be used for fitting golf club handles where spped and accuracy is the essence before the grip grips!

Where bare gear control wires pass through steel eyelets that are welded to the top of the bottom bracket or steel guides welded to the underside of the bottom bracket corrosion and frictional wear will occur. To obviate this I slip the greased control wire at this point through 3mm OD nylon semi flexible pneumatic tube for a short distance past the eyelet or guide. It is held in place by the bend in the wire and does not look unobtrusive at all.
 
When putting on BLACK  handlebar tape you always have the trouble when it comes to covering the brake securing clip. I have found that instead of covering the clip with the handle bar tape I put 3 layers of plastic self adhesive electrical tape 75mm long one on top of one another and set at the required angle across the bars and adjacent to the hood.
I repeat the same on the other side of the same hood and then wind on the handlebar tape.
This leaves just a small triangle of insulation tape either side of the hood which is almost invisible to see.
This proceedure could be used on other handlebar tape proving you could find a suitable colour match of electrical tape.

Chris Harrington offers advice on preventing scars to newly repainted frames being rebuilt , I have found that a complete build up to the frame of all those components sourced from the jumbles and swaps before repainting removes most of the need to adapt bits to fit snugly after painting. A complete build and ride for few miles pre paint establishes what is needed and once rectified enables the excited enthusiast to quickly and confidently put together the latest pride and joy .

More hints invited.