I found a can of spray-on rust protector last time I was at Canadian Tire. I wanted to apply it inside the head and seat tubes of my steel bikes, but I couldn't figure out how to ensure a thorough application. What I needed was a long broomstick with a sponge-like attachment at the end. And then it dawned on me, the perfect tool: my gun cleaning kit!
I just screwed together two of the three rods, threaded on the biggest plastic end, and cut an extra large patch from my roll of patching cloth. After removing the seat post and stem, I just sprayed inside the tube, then spread the fluid with the cloth attached to the rod.
Ever'thang was fine until I was tightening the seat post bolts on my tandem. While tightening the front, I felt something give. One of the binder tabs had broken off (the frame is 25+ years old). I didn't want to send in the frame to get this part rebrazed, and fortunately, the frame is welded together without lugs (not sure if it's TIG-welded or fillet-brazed, but who really cares?) and the front seat tube rises a couple of inches above the top tube. So I took a hacksaw and sawed off the other tab, then filed down the area where the tabs used to be. I measured the OD of the tube (29mm), and the inside diameter of a spare seat post collar I happened to have (28.6mm). Hmmm, I wondered if it would work.
During the week, while at work, I walked over to the nearest bike shop during lunch to discuss seat post collars and tube diameters. This is a shop that does a lot of business with people who work in downtown Vancouver, but I won't mention its name since a brief conversation with the counter guy proved to me that he was totally clueless and equally arrogant. And did I mention patronizing?. Why is it that most bike mechanics assume that anyone who walks in wearing a suit must know nothing about bikes? I didn't mention that I had been working on my own bikes and building my own wheels for around 35 years and that I had spent a significant amount of time while unemployed working as a wrench at a bike shop as a survival job.
Anyway, I ended up gently hammering the seat collar into place (it works, but it's a bit tight) and ordering a 29.6mm collar from Bike Tools Etc. in Oregon.
Next project is getting the stem out of my winter bike. It's frozen solid. I managed to find a container of ammonia (Sheldon Brown says it does to aluminum what penetrating oil does to steel) and I've got my CO2 cartridge ready to freeze the inside of the stem. More later...