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Thread: homemade tools

  1. #1
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    homemade tools

    I am building a bike-just bought the group 2 days ago!-and don't want to spend alot of money on tools. So does anyone know how to make or improvise on any of the following:
    1. crank puller
    2. bb tool
    3. cassette tool
    4. chain whip-do I need one for installing the cassette?
    Alternatively, if you could provide a website for getting these things really cheap, it would be helpful. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member JTGraphics's Avatar
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    For 1,2,3 your really better off just buying the proper tools life will be so much easer #4 can be made quite easily but when you consider you can by one for less than $10 its just as easy to pick one up than make one. Pick the tools up on sale and it won't cost very much.
    It may not be fancy but it gets me were I need to go.
    http://www.jtgraphics.net/cyclist_bicycles.htm

  3. #3
    Your mom
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    You already spent the money. Building is always more expensive. +1 to the above - unless you have unlimited free time and energy, there's no point in reinventing the wheel.

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    If you screw up even one part and have to replace it, you would likely have broken even on buying decent tools. The fact is that the job will be easier to do, come out looking better and not bugger up the fasteners. Buy the tools. Learn to use them properly.

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    I totally agree in regards to the crank puller, bottom bracket, and cassette lockring tool. These tools use threads or precise splines to interface with the parts they're used on. Threads and splines are easily damaged without the proper tool.

    If you have a six inch or so section of old chain lying around you can grab the end in a pair of vice grips and improvise a chain whip. You won't need a chain whip to install the cassette, but you will if you ever take it off.

  6. #6
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    One of the most effective and simplest of home-made tools is the $10 headset press.

    The tools you have listed are not expensive, even if you have to buy them piece by piece.
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  7. #7
    Your mom
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    +1 on the headset press. Also the chain whip. Actually, I think I probably spent $3 on the parts for my headset press.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silver_ghost View Post
    I totally agree in regards to the crank puller, bottom bracket, and cassette lockring tool. These tools use threads or precise splines to interface with the parts they're used on. Threads and splines are easily damaged without the proper tool.

    If you have a six inch or so section of old chain lying around you can grab the end in a pair of vice grips and improvise a chain whip. You won't need a chain whip to install the cassette, but you will if you ever take it off.
    I agree that you should buy the crank puller, lockring tool and BB tool. You can sometimes find good deals on used tools on eBay. I suggest Park, Var and Hozan.

    I have a fairly large collection of tools, but I don't own a chain whip. I've only had to resort to the vise grips and old chain once. The rest of the time I've just thrown a rag on the cassette and held it with my hand while I loosened the lockring.

  9. #9
    headtube. zzyzx_xyzzy's Avatar
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    You will not need a crank puller to install a crank or a chainwhip to install a cassette. They're only used for removal.

    You would need at minimum a lathe and a tap to make a usable crank puller, and a mill with an indexing head to make a splined bb or cassette tool. Chain whips are easy enough though--drill 3 holes in a bar and press on some chain. Not usually worth the trouble, but I've done it when I needed one sooner than the bike shop would be open.

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    ^^^^
    A rotary table on a mill would work as well. Also, you can manually broach splines on a lathe (turned off) if you are careful and have a threading rod, It's definitely easier and cheaper to buy the lock cassette lock ring tool and crank puller. Or, buy the metal thread in dust caps, use allen head bolts, and have a self extracting crank. For my chain whip I drilled three holes in a piece of spare steel flat stock and stuck the chain into that. 15 minutes and stuff I already had around. I agree however that a rag usually works just fine.

  11. #11
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    None of those tools are very expensive and you'll surely be using them again. Buy good quality tools made for the job. The frustration you save will be worth spending a few bucks for the tool.

  12. #12
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    If you are going to maintain the bike yourself, you'll reuse these tools again and again.

  13. #13
    747 Freight Pilot bicycleflyer's Avatar
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    Check out instructables.com for some tool ideas ...

    I must agree with the others. You are probably better off just investing in the tools. They will last you a lifetime. For a headset press I just use 3/4 inch threaded rod with two nuts and flat washers. Cost you about 5 dollars.
    Flying an airplane is really very simple...Push the stick forward, the house gets big. Pull the stick back, the house gets small. Keep holding the stick back, the house gets big again.

  14. #14
    Older I get, faster I was con's Avatar
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    Here is a nice catch 22 for you, if your have to ask the question about buying or making tools, chances are your inexperience would be best served by buying tools.

    I make, “Jury rig”, “penny tech” type tools but I have a decent amount of experience wrenching on quality things like motorcycle engines and I grew up in a prototype machine shop that made custom “one offs” out of titanium, magnesium and high grade aluminum for the aerospace industry. I was the grunt kid in that small 3 man shop of my dad’s so I just fly cut the raw material down to size on the large mills and then inspected and de-burred the finished products the machinists made, no computer controlled lathes or mills back then. Those experiences gave me a pretty good foundation to judge when I would be in over my head.

    I made a tool just last week, a “vise” to hold my Dura Ace pedal rather than buy the Park vice tool. I just took a piece of good hard wood and made the vise jaws out of that, worked perfect and only took about 15 minutes to make. BTW, those sure are itty bitty ball bearings in those pedals!

    Having said all that, my experience also taught me that there is not much that is more satisfying than the feel of a quality tool in your hand as you perform the operation it was designed for.

  15. #15
    surly old man jgedwa's Avatar
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    I share the spirit of the first question. Even if it does not make practical sense to re-invent the wheel, some of us like to do it anyway.

    However, the first three items on the OP's list are not good candidates for this. So go build yourself the perfect chainwhip and then start thinking about a headset press. And buy or borrow the other ones on your list.

    jim
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