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Shining a chrome fork...

Old 09-14-21, 06:02 PM
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52telecaster
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Shining a chrome fork...

I just picked up a 73 Raleigh competition in pretty original if kind of rough shape. I was worried about the rusty forks and used what I learned here at bike forums. Aluminum foil and wd40. Holy crap did that work good.

As picked up, and the brooks is in excellent shape.

Nearer fork leg treated with wd40 and scrubbed with aluminum foil then wiped down with a rag.

Both legs treated.
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Old 09-14-21, 06:07 PM
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Is that the one that was posted in the eBay/Craigslist finds thread? Nice!
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Old 09-14-21, 06:09 PM
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Yeah, when I got my Circuit with chrome stays and fork, I wondered how I'd ever get them looking decent. I read about aluminum foil and I thought, "That'll never work!"

But it did!
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Old 09-14-21, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by BFisher View Post
Is that the one that was posted in the eBay/Craigslist finds thread? Nice!
that's the one. The saddle is great. B17 narrow. I love the huret derailleurs too but the front one wants bigger chainrings than I do.
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Old 09-14-21, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
Yeah, when I got my Circuit with chrome stays and fork, I wondered how I'd ever get them looking decent. I read about aluminum foil and I thought, "That'll never work!"

But it did!
unbelievably quick results!
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Old 09-14-21, 07:12 PM
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Beautiful! I should get busy on my chrome bits with that.

Question, for OP and all: Afterwards, should one car-wax or otherwise treat the chrome bits? Or just rely on the WDisplacement effect?

Thanks.
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Old 09-14-21, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by tgot View Post
Beautiful! I should get busy on my chrome bits with that.

Question, for OP and all: Afterwards, should one car-wax or otherwise treat the chrome bits? Or just rely on the WDisplacement effect?

Thanks.
I have no idea. I would guess the wd40 would inhibit rust for a while.
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Old 09-14-21, 07:18 PM
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Nice looking Raleigh.
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Old 09-14-21, 08:23 PM
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52telecaster Congrats on your good fortune with that bike. Especially since you had a bit of a drive to rescue it.
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Old 09-14-21, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by tgot View Post
Beautiful! I should get busy on my chrome bits with that.

Question, for OP and all: Afterwards, should one car-wax or otherwise treat the chrome bits? Or just rely on the WDisplacement effect?

Thanks.
I've been using Turtle Wax brand chrome polish for years and it does a nice job.
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Old 09-15-21, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by daverup View Post
52telecaster Congrats on your good fortune with that bike. Especially since you had a bit of a drive to rescue it.
thank you. Trying not to do anything dumb with it. I will definitely ride it.
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Old 09-15-21, 08:59 AM
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I use an automotive wax to protect the chrome after cleaning/de-rusting. While WD-40 provides some protection, it doesn't seem to last more than a few weeks. Automotive wax will also need to be reapplied. My opinion is that the wax lasts longer than WD-40.

I am also waxing many of my tools now, rather than oiling. How long the wax last depends upon conditions of storage and use. I figure that in my garage, maybe a year?
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Old 09-15-21, 09:31 AM
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52,
Now that you have it cleaned up a bit, get a tub of Quick Glow chrome cleaner and go over it. it leaves a light coat of protectant on the chrome and removes the light pitting of the steel underneath the chrome. Smiles, MH
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Old 09-15-21, 03:22 PM
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I have been using the aluminum foil chrome cleaning procedure for many years and am usually totally impressed with the result...



Same fork cleaned up...


The only thing that I do to help preserve the shine is keep the chrome dry and waxed (I use Mother's Cleaning Wax cause that's all I have). So far, so good and the cleaned chrome on my Legnano has been like this for ten years or more...



However, if you want to be extra sure about oxidation prevention, coat the chrome with some clear lacquer as I did on my late fifties Rabeneick...
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Old 09-15-21, 03:54 PM
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Wow you guys are awesome. I typically enjoy riding my bikes looking a little rough but I might try to be nicer to this one. I changed cranks and now have a rear wheel with a 6 speed 14-28 freewheel on it. My derailleurs are happier. It's ridable now but I will continue improving.

Btw, 700x38 paselas fit in back with a bunch of clearance. I love this bike!
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Old 09-15-21, 04:29 PM
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I remember reading about this trick a few years ago when I was working on an old Nishiki, and there were some people saying that it's just an illusion because the aluminum foil flakes off onto the metal and gives the appearance of chrome but will soon fall away. But I figured the total investment in finding out (including the initial cost of the Nishiki) was about $25, so why not try it?





As you can see, I was left with some pitting. I'm not sure if you avoided that on the Raleigh or the photo just doesn't show it. I don't really notice it on the Nishiki looking directly at it. I didn't do anything to it afterwards and three years later (including a couple of rides in the rain), it still looks good.
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Old 09-15-21, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
I remember reading about this trick a few years ago when I was working on an old Nishiki, and there were some people saying that it's just an illusion because the aluminum foil flakes off onto the metal and gives the appearance of chrome but will soon fall away. But I figured the total investment in finding out (including the initial cost of the Nishiki) was about $25, so why not try it?





As you can see, I was left with some pitting. I'm not sure if you avoided that on the Raleigh or the photo just doesn't show it. I don't really notice it on the Nishiki looking directly at it. I didn't do anything to it afterwards and three years later (including a couple of rides in the rain), it still looks good.
I have little or no pitting. It looks pretty darn good.
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Old 09-15-21, 05:08 PM
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There was a super simple (MS Paint level) graphic I saw once, probably on this forum, which made the process very clear. Basically, when a small hole occurs, for whatever reason, in the chrome, the steel below oxidizes. This results in the rust blooming up through the hole in the chrome. When you use the aluminum foil on the chrome, the foil is harder than the rust but softer than the chrome. The rust is removed while the chrome is unaffected.
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