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  1. #1
    Mallard44 Mallard44's Avatar
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    My 1955 Schwinn American

    Here are pics of my winter project:

    http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/mallar.../ph//my_photos

    I welcome any comments, suggestions, details you wish to discuss.

    These are true "before" pictures. I hadn't even washed it yet.

  2. #2
    Senior Member caotropheus's Avatar
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    I would start by taking the bicycle apart and cleaning the paint with soap(?) or any special product to clean paint. After that you can consider if you want to repaint the bicycle or not, depending on the condition of the paint. To restore the chrome is easy, just rub it with steel wool + car paint polish or paint wax. Replace the spokes of the wheels by stainless steel spokes and the bicycle is ready.

  3. #3
    Mallard44 Mallard44's Avatar
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    Thanks, caotropheus.

    What about the handlebars. Is there possibly chrome there, or is the finish completely gone? There also is white paint dripped on the seat and painted surfaces. Does anyone have any idea how I might remove that without damaging the original paint on the fenders, etc?

    Thanks,
    Peg

  4. #4
    Senior Member caotropheus's Avatar
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    The handlebar is most probably chromed as well. Try the steel wool trick and see if the chrome is still there under all the dust. The saddle can be washed and painted white over the original white color.
    You have also the possibility to give the bicycle to a professial for restoring
    Last edited by caotropheus; 09-18-06 at 08:26 AM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member bigwoo's Avatar
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    What a beauty! That rear rack is conjuring up images of a passenger (the little red-headed girl who got away) standing on it and holding onto the drivers' shoulders. Good times......
    Does it have the "Made in Austria" hub?? I'll bet it will be a great coasting bike

    Do the crank/pedals still feel pretty good??
    Last edited by bigwoo; 09-18-06 at 09:15 AM.

  6. #6
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    Whatever you do.... Keep steel wool off of the chrome. Instead, use a copper pot scrubber available at the grocery and some WD-40. Follow it up with a bath and some chrome polish. Sparkely fresh and won't scratch your chrome. I've learned this lesson first hand.

    If you can't find a copper scrubber localy, PM me. I have a box full, I'll send you one.

  7. #7
    Mallard44 Mallard44's Avatar
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    Hi, bigwoo Is that what the rack on the back was for? Some people call them crash bars. I had never seen one before. Whereabouts on the hub should I look for "Made in Austria"? I am reluctant to remove the rear wheel. This is my first bike project, and I am afraid to take that apart. I have been told the hub is a cable activated 2 speed, and there aren't too many of them around.

    Until I can find more info on that, I am planning on removing and cleaning the following:
    Basket, handlebars, grips, rear rack,chain guard, peddles,and the front fender. These will keep me busy for while I continue learning about bikes.

    I haven't put air in the tires yet, so don't know how the crank and peddles feel yet. I don't expect the tires to hold air, because I bought the bike from the original owner, so it has set for a long time.

    Thanks Stacey! I will see what I can find here. What should I use to remove rust on the painted fenders and the frame?

  8. #8
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    You're welcome Mallard44,

    I'd start with soap & water. Then follow it up with some kind of polish/cleaner, preferably without wax. That will come later after the paint is clean.

  9. #9
    \,,/(^_^)\,,/ new_dharma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stacey
    Whatever you do.... Keep steel wool off of the chrome. Instead, use a copper pot scrubber available at the grocery and some WD-40. Follow it up with a bath and some chrome polish. Sparkely fresh and won't scratch your chrome. I've learned this lesson first hand.
    what's wrong with steel wool (00 or 000) and a good metal polish (Eagle One nano-polish or Blue Magic Metal Polish)?
    You know you're getting old when you look at a beautiful 19-year-old girl and you find yourself thinking, "Gee, I wonder what her mother looks like?"

  10. #10
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by new_dharma
    what's wrong with steel wool (00 or 000) and a good metal polish (Eagle One nano-polish or Blue Magic Metal Polish)?
    Steel wool will a) scratch chrome. Had it happen. b) leave little shards of the wool on the chrome and cause rust.

    I've done countless chrome bits... bike, moto & car with the copper pad & WD-40 followed by polish on a cloth method and have yet to scratch a piece of chrome. I'm only saying what works for me. You want to use steel wool, hey it's your stuff, but you have been warned.

  11. #11
    \,,/(^_^)\,,/ new_dharma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stacey
    Steel wool will a) scratch chrome. Had it happen. b) leave little shards of the wool on the chrome and cause rust.

    I've done countless chrome bits... bike, moto & car with the copper pad & WD-40 followed by polish on a cloth method and have yet to scratch a piece of chrome. I'm only saying what works for me. You want to use steel wool, hey it's your stuff, but you have been warned.
    i'm in the same boat with the 000 steel-wool...
    it's almost like putting sandpaper to new paint...if you do it wrong, you get bad results
    You know you're getting old when you look at a beautiful 19-year-old girl and you find yourself thinking, "Gee, I wonder what her mother looks like?"

  12. #12
    Glutton for Punishment
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    There's a world of difference between 000 and 0000 steel wool, even though it may feel the same in your hand. I use 0000 on chrome and haven't scratched anything yet. Another thing to keep in mind is that you can modulate the amount of hand pressure you're putting on the steel wool.

  13. #13
    J B
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    Hey! Give Bar Keepers Friend a try. It says right on it for chrome. It comes in the same kind of container as Comet. DON'T USE COMET!!!

    Directions say mix some Bar Keepers Friend with some water to make a paste. Use a soft cloth. Give it a try. I used it on my 1980 Soma. Worked real well.

    J B

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  14. #14
    Senior Member
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    000 wool hasn't scratched anything noticably for me. The copper pads are just copper wool which I would think would be more abrasive than steel.

    Bar Keeper's Friend is great stuff.

    Afterwards I polish it with SIMICHROME, a german metal polish. It's kinda hard to find. I buy it at a jeweler's tool shop downtown.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Bikedued's Avatar
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    And the chrome doesn't rust again because of little pieces of steel wool. It rusts again, because it was already rusted. It doesn't stop rusting just because you cleaned the chunky stuff off. #0000 steel wool is the sh!te!!! I even use it on car windows. No, it doesn't scratch them either.,,,,BD
    The one good thing about black cork wrap is that it's better than nothing.

  16. #16
    J B
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    jordanb "SIMICHROME"

    jordanb,
    I always thought simichrome was only for aluminum. Could you check a tube if you have one and confirm this?

    Thanks,
    J B

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  17. #17
    Senior Member
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    Well, when I went into the jeweler's tool store to buy it the guy got very excited (I guess he could tell I wasn't a jeweler) and started asking me how I heard about it. I told him a friend. He said that all the jewelers use it for polishing everything, including silver, brass, platnum, etc. He asked me what I wanted it for and I said chrome. He said it was great for that.

    I had an old multimeter with a clouded up clear plastic viewpiece on it. I put some simichrome on it and let it dry. When I buffed it off the clouding was completly gone.

    But anyway, the tube says "a soft paste polish for chrome, silver, aluminum, virtually any metal!"

    EDIT: Also found this on the internet:

    http://www.rods.com/p/882,304_Simich...er-Polish.html
    Simichrome metal polish brings any metal to a high shine and ******* tarnishing by leaving a thin protective coating. It removes heavy tarnish and polishes silver, chrome, gold, aluminum, stainless steel, pewter, and magnesium. Many antique dealers use it on silverware to remove even black tarnish quickly. Simichrome removes medium to light tarnish on brass and copper.
    Got any magnesium that needs polished?
    Last edited by jordanb; 09-18-06 at 11:07 PM.

  18. #18
    J B
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    Quote Originally Posted by jordanb
    "a soft paste polish for chrome, silver, aluminum, virtually any metal!"
    jordanb,
    Thanks for that info. I would only use it on aluminum. Thought it worked real well. Good to know it will work on all metal. Got to get some of this again.

    Thanks again,

    J B

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  19. #19
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jordanb
    000 wool hasn't scratched anything noticably for me. The copper pads are just copper wool which I would think would be more abrasive than steel.

    Bar Keeper's Friend is great stuff.

    Afterwards I polish it with SIMICHROME, a german metal polish. It's kinda hard to find. I buy it at a jeweler's tool shop downtown.
    Copper is a softer metal than steel, it won't scratch.

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