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  1. #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?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Steev's Avatar
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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.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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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
    Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike

  4. #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.

  5. #5
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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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 10:38 AM.
    Model airplanes are cool too!.....

  6. #6
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    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....
    Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike

  7. #7
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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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.

  8. #8
    Gear Combo Guru Chris_W's Avatar
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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.

  9. #9
    Gammal cyklist Reynolds's Avatar
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    Chain wear gauge.
    Crank nut holder.
    Tire levers.

  10. #10
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    I'd love to see pictures or procedures for making some of these!
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
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  11. #11
    headtube. zzyzx_xyzzy's Avatar
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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)

  12. #12
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
    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.

  13. #13
    Elite Fred mollusk's Avatar
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    Homemade rivnut setting tool
    I'm the world's forgotten boy. The one who's searchin', searchin' to destroy.

  14. #14
    cab horn
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    Ok, wth is a rocket tool.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    Ok, wth is a rocket tool.
    Headset cup remover. Kinda looks like a rocket, see?

  16. #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

  17. #17
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silver_ghost View Post
    Headset cup remover. Kinda looks like a rocket, see?
    Depends on your imagination
    Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike

  18. #18
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
    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?

  19. #19
    Map maker cbchess's Avatar
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    lets see some pictures!

  20. #20
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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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:


  21. #21
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbchess View Post
    lets see some pictures!
    Of the aforementioned "rocket tool? Ok, here it is, ready for lift-off:


  22. #22
    Senior Member
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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

  23. #23
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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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
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

  24. #24
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
    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.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  25. #25
    Old Fogy
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    Headset press, chain whip, derailleur hanger alignment tool, bottom bracket pin wrench.

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