Sunday, February 1, 2015

Varsity Restoration Continues

It's kind of hard to keep track of how long I've been working on my friend's Schwinn because it's been so on-and-off between school work and the other bikes.  Because of this, I'm going to stop counting it in days. I guess this is the third significant chunk of time, say about three hours, that I've sat down (stood up, rather) to get a visible amount of work done.

Way back before winter break, I cleaned up and de-rusted the shifters and head set.  

Maybe a week ago, I sort of wanted to see this resemble a bike again so I mocked it up with the new wheels to see how beautiful they were and hopefully motivate myself a little more.  I see why people have converted these to fixed gear as they look so awesome without all the extra sprockets, but I believe converting a bike this heavy into a fixed gear is not very wise.  

Okay, so the fork is now ready for paint.  Two days ago, I brought it down to the metal shop at the architecture school in hopes that I could use the buffing/sanding machine (depending on what wheels they had on it) but somebody was in the shop every time I went.  When the shop was finally empty, I found that the machine was not hooked up and the wheels were brand new, so I didn't touch it thinking that somebody was in the middle of doing something with it.  I just brought it back and hand-sanded it as I did with my '58 Sports.  I now remember how I got such a good arm workout last summer.  

It took me maybe two hours of cleaning, scrubbing, and degreasing to finally get the chain rings and crank like this.  It turns out the rings themselves weren't all that bad before, there were only lightly rusted and encrusted in a thick layer of oil and dirt.  They looked almost new after I was done with them.  The same can't be said about the crank, however, because it seems the bike sat leaning against a house for a long time with the left side facing the weather.  The left sides of both sides of the crank (uhh I don't know how to describe it but I think you can see from the photos) have severe surface rust but it doesn't actually weaken the metal.  I'll have to decide what to do for the finish of the crank.  

The photos above are just for comparison to see how the chain rings looked before I touched them.  Also, regarding crank, I can't seem to get the right pedal off for the life of me no matter how much Liquid Wrench and WD40 I use.  This is a problem because I was planning to give the bike new pedals.  

The end is near! I think most of the dirty work is done.  All that is left as far as I can tell is sanding down the frame and then priming and painting it.  Final assembly should be a breeze.