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Old 11-04-09, 06:11 AM   #1
billyymc
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Shop made tools - what have you made?

With the price of good pro bike tools, the home wrencher can save a lot of $ or a trip to the LBS by improvising. What tools have you guys made / improvised for bike assembly / disassembly?

I'll start with the obvious that I have

Headset cup press -- four correctly sized flat washers (that fit into your headset cups), a length of threaded rod or a long bolt, and some nuts. Simple, cheap and effective.

Bearing Race setter - a 1 1/4 inch female threaded PVC coupling (the threaded part down against the bearing race rides on it perfectly), a piece of 1 1/4 inch pvc pipe. Put the coupling on, then the pipe, wack it once or twice with a rubber mallet and you're good to go (grease the crown first).

What else have you guys done?
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Old 11-04-09, 07:59 AM   #2
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Most tools I use are either general purpose tools like hex wrenches or very specific like lock ring tools, neither of which are worth trying to fabricate.
That said, I did make my chain whip after borrowing a friend's and seeing it was nothing but bar stock and a chain.
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Old 11-04-09, 09:49 AM   #3
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Frame building jig: Used thick aluminum plate, aluminum "angle iron", drill press, dowel pins, lathe turned steel locators for headtube & bb shell, fork bender, dropout holding fixture .....
Headset press
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Old 11-04-09, 11:01 AM   #4
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A headset press pretty much like the OP described. An adjustable pin spanner using some 1/4" steel square stock hinged together as the legs and 4-40 bolts as the pins. A clip bent out of clothes hanger wire to hold the loose ends of a chain together so the pin or master link can be inserted.

I attempted to make a headset cup remover ("Rocket Tool") out of 3/4" PVC pipe slit lengthwise and flaired out. It worked well removing one headset and died trying on another.
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Old 11-04-09, 11:35 AM   #5
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Headset press as well. But mine uses steel slugs I had laying around turned to size to fit road and MTB headsets. The slugs are about 3/4 thick and I used my lathe to turn steps to fit the cups on all four faces to fit the two different types.

Used two of the same steel slugs (they were parts for some old surplus equipment that were being thrown away so I grabbed a couple of dozen for raw material) to make my own slide hammers for installing the lower race on forks. Just had to bore open the existing hole in the middle of the slugs to fit the two sizes.

Made my own wheel truing stand too. Welded up from 1 inch square tubing with 1/4 inch V notches screwed on so they could be trued up.

Bent a V with hooks on the end as a chain holder for when I'm installing and riveting chains so the ends don't keep trying to snap away.

Did my own chainwhip as well. But in that case it was done because I needed it, it was late in an evening and it only took 15 minutes to make and let me carry on with the work.

Somewhere along the way I plan on making my own hanger testing and bending tool. In this case it'll be better than the Park one since I'm going to have the threaded part extend farther through the hanger and add a jam nut from behind that tightens securely. That way the hanger threads won't be forced to withstand the bending loads like with the Park version.

Did a few other little things too like modifying the tool tray on the bike stand to better hold my usual tools and other little things I don't remember at the moment

Last edited by BCRider; 11-04-09 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 11-04-09, 11:35 AM   #6
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A headset press pretty much like the OP described. An adjustable pin spanner using some 1/4" steel square stock hinged together as the legs and 4-40 bolts as the pins. A clip bent out of clothes hanger wire to hold the loose ends of a chain together so the pin or master link can be inserted.

I attempted to make a headset cup remover ("Rocket Tool") out of 3/4" PVC pipe slit lengthwise and flaired out. It worked well removing one headset and died trying on another.
Since I sold most of my frame tools years ago, I might need to make a rocket tool someday. I was thinking of using copper pipe....
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Old 11-04-09, 11:40 AM   #7
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The wrench I go to made all his own tools save for hex wrenches. He designed an incredible collapsing truing stand for taking to races. He also made a great tool for measuring the exact distance from a pedal to the seat in order to put your seat back in the exact position it was in if he has to remove it.
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Old 11-04-09, 12:08 PM   #8
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Homemade truing stand out of wood.

Improvised headset press from two large, thick, flat wrenches and a quick release skewer through the small hanging holes in them.

A bent spoke used to hold chain together when assembling.
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Old 11-04-09, 12:32 PM   #9
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Chain wear gauge.
Crank nut holder.
Tire levers.
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Old 11-04-09, 02:11 PM   #10
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I'd love to see pictures or procedures for making some of these!
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Old 11-04-09, 03:46 PM   #11
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chainwhip (a bar with chains attached)
truing stand (a fork with extra legs welded on to fit rear hubs, welded to a base with supports for dial indicators)
tensiometer (dial readout gauge + spring clip + a base to put it together)
headset press (aka. threaded rod, nuts and washers)
crown race setters (well, they're just pipe nipples.)
headset remover (the current one is electrical conduit with 3 slots. Don't bother with softer materials.)
spoke driver (swiveling offset screwdriver with the end ground)
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Old 11-04-09, 04:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Since I sold most of my frame tools years ago, I might need to make a rocket tool someday. I was thinking of using copper pipe....
That was going to be my next project except Nashbar had a sale on a real one for $14.
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Old 11-04-09, 04:02 PM   #13
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Homemade rivnut setting tool
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Old 11-04-09, 04:58 PM   #14
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Ok, wth is a rocket tool.
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Old 11-04-09, 05:27 PM   #15
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Ok, wth is a rocket tool.
Headset cup remover. Kinda looks like a rocket, see?
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Old 11-05-09, 02:52 PM   #16
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I made a chainwhip and a bottle opener from the legs of a fork I bent in a 30 mph crash. The chainwhip is too short. It works OK for removing cassettes, but it's not so good for disassembling freewheels.
I made several workstands. The best one is simply 2 hooks that catch the left side chain stay and seat stay. You can buy those for $15, but mine holds the bike higher, and stores in a smaller space, which is important to me.
I made several truing stands, including a horizontal one. The best one is just an old fork, with both dial indicators and straight edge indicators like the ones shown in Roger Musson's book.
I made a spoke tension gauge that's as accurate as any gauge you can buy.
I made a dish gauge with a fixed stop at the center and an adjustable gauge at one end. The center stop is offset so that I can use it without removing the wheel from my truing stand. Moving the adjustable stop to the rim made it easier to build, and it's easier to use as well. It's my favorite tool because I was able to improve the design of a simple tool that's been around a long time.

em
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Old 11-05-09, 02:53 PM   #17
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Headset cup remover. Kinda looks like a rocket, see?
Depends on your imagination
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Old 11-05-09, 03:00 PM   #18
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Depends on your imagination
If you've ever seen the commercial version of one of these, you wouldn't have to use much imagination to see a toy rocket.

What do you think it looks like?
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Old 11-05-09, 03:32 PM   #19
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lets see some pictures!
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Old 11-05-09, 04:59 PM   #20
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Cone tool for Bendix 2-speed hub, made from an old ATD peanut butter wrench (the socket cracked and it was headed for the trash anyway), a washer, and a piece of welding rod:

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Old 11-05-09, 05:08 PM   #21
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lets see some pictures!
Of the aforementioned "rocket tool? Ok, here it is, ready for lift-off:

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Old 11-05-09, 05:29 PM   #22
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I welded a piece of square onto a cassette remover tool. Don't have to mess with getting out the crescent wrench out to swap cassettes
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Old 11-06-09, 10:16 AM   #23
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Has anyone made a dropout straightening tool? I really need a pair and would rather not spend the $85!

Thanks.

Tom
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Old 11-06-09, 11:08 AM   #24
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Of the aforementioned "rocket tool? Ok, here it is, ready for lift-off:

First thing that comes to mind about that is not "rocket", well to me anyways.
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Old 11-06-09, 11:37 AM   #25
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Headset press, chain whip, derailleur hanger alignment tool, bottom bracket pin wrench.
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