Monday, July 16, 2012

Tinkernation: In Pieces

My second Tinkernation installment was posted this morning.  Again, it's somewhat short.  The tandem came apart quite easily and it didn't take me long at all to rid the parts of rust and clean everything up.  For as daunting as the project seemed at first, it's been surprisingly straightforward.  The cleaning and rust removal took a little longer than it would have if this had been a single bicycle, but it wasn't overly tedious.  So I didn't really have much to say in my Tinkernation post, except to give a brief update on how things were coming along.

As I mentioned in the main post, I was really unhappy with how the wheels turned out after treating them with oxalic acid.  To remove the rust from the rim surface, I dropped them into a cooler full of oxalic acid solution.  I let them sit overnight and then turned the wheels the next day so that a fresh portion of rim was in the acid solution.  I did this until the entire wheel was rust-free.  Unfortunately, after each turn of the wheel, I didn't rinse off residual oxalic acid, instead leaving the rinse step for the very end.  And I think the exposure of the acid solution to air on the metal surface caused the steel to end up with a tarnished appearance.  There doesn't seem to be much I can do to fix this except replace the wheels, which is next to impossible since 26" fractional wheelsets with threads for a freewheel AND drum brake are exceedingly difficult to find.

My third Tinkernation post will likely be going live in a couple of months and will detail reassembly of the bike and showcase the finished machine.  As always, I'll be posting an addendum here with some additional pictures and information that didn't make it into the final draft of the main post.

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