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Old 12-29-07, 03:06 AM   #1
Kommisar89
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How do they get the gold color on vintage freewheels?

I used to think it was anodizing but then I started reading about how anodizing is some process that uses electric currect to oxidized aluminum and freewheels cogs (at least any that I can aford) are steel. So how do they get the gold color on vintage freewheel cogs? I susposed the main reason I'm asking is in case I ever get around to building a modern-retro bike with a 10-speed cassette. I'll need to know how to get the cassette cogs gold.
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Old 12-29-07, 04:58 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Kommisar89 View Post
I used to think it was anodizing but then I started reading about how anodizing is some process that uses electric currect to oxidized aluminum and freewheels cogs (at least any that I can aford) are steel. So how do they get the gold color on vintage freewheel cogs? I susposed the main reason I'm asking is in case I ever get around to building a modern-retro bike with a 10-speed cassette. I'll need to know how to get the cassette cogs gold.
I can't tell you for sure, but I suspect plain paint. I say this because I dissolved it with brake parts spray cleaner when degreasing. doh. For nasty hubs freewheels etc its my last resort degreaser of choice.

OTH, White Lightening spray degreaser leaves the gold 'paint?' totally intact. Even though the WL is wicked strong stuff.

Just my .02
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Old 12-29-07, 05:11 AM   #3
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I can't tell you for sure, but I suspect plain paint. I say this because I dissolved it with brake parts spray cleaner when degreasing. doh. For nasty hubs freewheels etc its my last resort degreaser of choice.

OTH, White Lightening spray degreaser leaves the gold 'paint?' totally intact. Even though the WL is wicked strong stuff.

Just my .02
Hmmm...sceptical of that though - wouldn't paint wear off pretty quick? The stuff seams pretty durable. I don't generally see it wear until the teeth themselves wear.
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Old 12-29-07, 06:54 AM   #4
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Good question.
When I had my last one apart I could see that it was colored inside the threads that held the last cog.
I would also suspect it was plated or anodized.
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Old 12-29-07, 06:58 AM   #5
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Shimano Uniglide were painted. I dipped it in my carb cleaner dip, which I usually do, and the paint was gone in a minute or less. I use a Spray N Wash or Shout to clean those type now. Or, you can break down the cassette and repaint after cleaning.,,,,,BD
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Old 12-29-07, 08:30 AM   #6
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Good question.

I'd like to know as I've got a couple I'd like to "freshen up" for future projects...
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Old 12-29-07, 09:54 AM   #7
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Regina brass plated their ORO cogs.

Suntour (Meada) were also plated, as to what... we guessed back then too. We liked the idea of pyrite, aka fools gold.

Modern possiblities, Brass, electroless nickel, Titanium Oxide (those gold twist drill bits at the home centers are done that way)

All cogs will need to be removed before plating.
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Old 12-29-07, 10:01 AM   #8
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All of my Regina Oro chains and freewheels turned brown eventually. That's consistant with brass plating.
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Old 12-29-07, 10:27 AM   #9
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Could also be gold cadmium. (steel only)

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Old 12-29-07, 10:30 AM   #10
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Most of the gold cogs I have seen (SunTour, Regina) were not painted. They were plated (cadmium?).
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Old 12-29-07, 10:40 AM   #11
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Gold (silver is also available) cad plating would be the best way to go in my opinion. Problem with cad is that there are few places that do it these days as it is not environmentally friendly - assuming you wanted to duplicate the finish that is.
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Old 12-29-07, 11:33 AM   #12
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I always thought that they were yellow chromate cadmium plated. That is the same finish that you find on fasteners and fittings in the engine compartment of your car. I know from experience that Simple Green will strip the plating from those so I am sure that carb cleaner would do the same.
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Old 12-29-07, 01:26 PM   #13
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JT and vip have it. Today it would be zinc plating with a chromate or dichromate conversion coating because cadmium is environmentally incorrect. Cadmium offers much better corrosion resistance, but it's now taboo except where mandated by military standards. The chromate/dichromate coating can vary from clear with a slight iridescence through gold, all the way to an olive colour, each giving higher salt spray resistance.
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Old 12-29-07, 04:49 PM   #14
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I used thousands of cad plated nuts & bolts that were basically the same color.
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