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Old 08-31-11, 05:33 PM   #1
shipwreck
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Old things and thier storys

I just scored a box of things today, and in it was a repaired brake lever. It makes me wonder, who had this, why did they not replace it. Was it someone who could not get another, just a practical guy, some young aspiring racer who ate noodles and suffered for their passion, or a crusty guy with an aluminum welding rig...

I think about this stuff, when I find any old bike that was used hard, or even just a schwinn suburban with a changed out saddle.

And on another note, is this a death stem?


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Old 08-31-11, 06:01 PM   #2
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Found an old Nishiki hybrid in the alley once. Tore it down and discovered it was worn out beyond any other bike I've seen. It had been ridden long and hard with minimal maintenance. Always wondered who had owned it. The Fuji was in a poor neighborhood where a bike is often the only means of transport available. Hadn't seen a drop of new grease ever in it's life. What replaced it? Another bike to be ridden to death, or did the owner graduate to a car?
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Old 08-31-11, 06:55 PM   #3
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It's hard to imagine, but there was a time before "planned obsolescence" made it easy to simply "toss and replace." I don't think my dad ever threw anything away until he had soldered it, glued it, duct taped it, twisted it, recycled it into something new, and then retrofitted it back on to the original gadget.
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Old 08-31-11, 07:03 PM   #4
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It's hard to imagine, but there was a time before "planned obsolescence" made it easy to simply "toss and replace." I don't think my dad ever threw anything away until he had soldered it, glued it, duct taped it, twisted it, recycled it into something new, and then retrofitted it back on to the original gadget.
agreed, my old man would even stop to pick up semi truck innertubes to make rubberbands. he has several lifetime supplies
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Old 08-31-11, 09:30 PM   #5
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agreed, my old man would even stop to pick up semi truck innertubes to make rubberbands. he has several lifetime supplies
My Grandpa had a saying that went something like this.....Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do, Or do without.....

There was a lot of welding, fixing, repurposing, and recycling going on when I was a kid. Maybe that's why I'm so drawn to vintage bikes and parts. I love to see something old, and considered "junk" to many, get fixed and put back on the road to be enjoyed and appreciated.
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Old 08-31-11, 09:43 PM   #6
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My Grandpa had a saying that went something like this.....Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do, Or do without.....

There was a lot of welding, fixing, repurposing, and recycling going on when I was a kid.
Which is exactly why American Pickers is so great to watch.
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Old 08-31-11, 09:49 PM   #7
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While not quite to the level of welding a brake lever I have a soft spot for Suntour RD/FDs that I find in co-op and used bike shop bins/drawers/piles. I can't stand to see these little engineering jewels all dirty and grimy, getting beat up, etc. I've about raided all the places here for the low hanging fruit, I do however have a couple shops I haven't yet gotten to. My last big daily haul from a couple places a few months ago looked like this (below) after a marathon evening of disassembly, cleaning, lubing, etc. Most of these bits find homes with other BFers. Those who have gotten RDs from me know what they look like when I'm done.

I agree with CMC's Grandpa, "Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do, Or do without..... " Most of these bits though aren't close to their useful lifespan and simply need to be rescued and gotten into the hand of folks who will care for them.





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Old 08-31-11, 09:59 PM   #8
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Wow Khatfull, do you use a cleaning machine of some sort or is that all hand done?
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Old 08-31-11, 10:00 PM   #9
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Reminds me of another story.

In another life before I got married and found out about vintage bikes I used to design, build, and fly RC sailplanes.

One of the things I did for myself was cut foam cores for wings, which would then be laminated in a vacuum bag with a balsa or light plywood skin. The foam cores were cut with a hot wire, nichrome connected to a nice big variac with a contraption of my own design to pull the hot wire through the foam with the wire running on templates, made of oil-hardened hardboard, of the wing cross section pinned to the end of the foam block.

The one thing that was expensive was the nichrome wire. I was at a garage sale one day and by a table full of tools were three spools of wire. Turns out to be nichrome wire in three different gauges. Enough wire to last me and everyone I knew that cut cores about 500 lifetimes. I of course bought them and in the course of chatting with the older gentleman it turns out that back in the 50s and 60s he was a sort of professional handyman/repairman. I asked what he would have ever used the spools of nichrome for. The answer (paraphrased):

"Oh, when people's toasters would quit working we'd replace the heating wire with this stuff and they'd get another few years out of the toaster. Mostly toasters but anything that used a heated wire we'd replace with this stuff."

It wasn't until many years later until I understood exactly the implication of what he had said.

My only regret...he had SO many great tools for sale at that garage sale that I wish I could have now... If I had good foresight I would have cleaned him out.
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Old 08-31-11, 10:04 PM   #10
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Wow Khatfull, do you use a cleaning machine of some sort or is that all hand done?
Typical process:

1) Completely disassemble.
2) Small parts, jockey wheels, nuts, bolts, springs, etc. go in the little ultrasonic with some Dawn and water.
3) While they're buzzing around I take WD-40 and several different types of brushes to completely clean the RD body and cage plates. Sometimes I'll lightly polish with Mother's...lightly. Although it usually works out that the WD-40 and some rubbing really get them looking very nice.
4) By the time I'm done with the body and cage plates the small parts come out of the ultrasonic and are rinsed and dried.
5) RD reassembled lubing and greasing where appropriate.

I can do a whole RD in about 20 minutes if I'm lackadasical...if I really get going four an hour.

Of course there's a limited amount of disassembly you can do on a FD.

I honestly believe they're as good as new or better when I'm done with them.

EDIT: I also sometimes buy broken examples just for parts. I have a bag full of pivot springs, jockey wheels, cage plates, etc. When I can I replace more worn parts with less worn. Especially jockey wheels.

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Old 08-31-11, 10:07 PM   #11
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what brushes do you use? if you don't mind my asking
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Old 08-31-11, 10:21 PM   #12
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what brushes do you use? if you don't mind my asking
Toothbrushes of course, some that I have cut down in various ways to make them fit small areas better.
Chip brushes because the bristles are long and somewhat stiff, they're good for getting into the spaces behind parallelogram plates.
Test tube brushes sometimes.

It just depends on the dirt, how stuck it is, and where it is.
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