When you have a get a good look at the paint on SB7393 you can see that it isn’t the best. Although it is all there and from a distance it looks ok, there are one or two areas of rust, the paint is dirty, flat and covered in previous brushed on rust treatments with other paint drips and garage related debris including several cobwebs. I was sure when I bought this bike that I could breathe some new life into it. This is the first step…
In this first part of a series of posts I want to get to grips with the rear brake bridge and fork crown, the two areas of significant rust. I also want to try and lift some of the dirt and rubbish off the RALEIGH frame transfers and get the front triangle looking good again. The next posts will look at the rear stays and the forks, I’m splitting it like this as there is quite a bit of work involved in each step.
However, before I can deal with the paint, I still had a snapped frame end adjuster to remove. When the adjuster won’t turn in the frame I always use the same method…
My method is…
- Snap the ends off
- Use a sharp chisel to remove the excess thread from the outside of the frame end
- If needed, file it flat against the frame end so you have a flat surface
- Use a punch to mark the centre of the adjuster screw
- Start with a 1.5 mm drill bit and drill through the centre of the adjuster
- Enlarge the hole slightly with a 2.0 mm drill bit
- Finish with a 2.5mm drill bit
This job isn’t something you want to have lots of practice with, you don’t want every frame you work on to have this problem, but the more you do it the easier it becomes. If you use sharp drill bits you should be ok. Don’t put too much pressure on the drill because a 1.5 mm bit can easily snap, and once you start snapping drill bits into the end adjuster the job takes on an entirely new set of issues!
A good quality 3mm tap finishes the job.
Now I can start on the paint. The fork crown and brake bridge need some work, they are both showing some bad rust and flaking paint and the crown also has lots of old rust treatment painted over it.
Unfortunately, there isn’t another way of tackling a job like this, the flaking paint needs to come off and the rust needs to be treated. You can’t put new paint on top of loose paint or rust. Once you start removing flaking paint you don’t really know where it is going to stop. Before I started removing paint, I found a suitable colour touch up, you can see the new colour on the crown race seat in the left hand image above – it seems to be a good match.
Next up is the rust treatment; I normally use Kurust and paint it carefully onto the rusted area, it goes on as a runny white liquid and will start to react with the rust – the end result is that it will quickly turn black – the ‘black’ colour is an indicator that the reaction has worked and the rust has gone. Just be careful where you paint this stuff as it can form a sticky mess on top of paint, that is why I have the fork upside down so the liquid runs in the opposite direction to the blades.
Sometimes this type or work will uncover more work. The corrosion on the fork crown was creeping down the fork blades, so it seemed pointless to paint the crown but leave the tops of the blades, I should do those too.
I also noticed some bubbles under the right hand side Reynolds fork blade transfer. I’ve had this problem before with fork blade transfers. The hidden bubbles under the transfer gradually eat away at the metal of the blade and form pin holes. So the transfers came off and there was the start of some corrosion in a small patch in the centre of where the transfer was positioned.
The left hand side of the fork also had some corrosion where the crown meets the top of the blade. All that extra corrosion means I’ve had to take the work I’m doing a bit further, maybe a couple of inches, down the fork blade.
The rust has gone and the fork crown needs a bit more work to get it ready for some paint. I also need to order some new fork blade transfers so this task will need to wait meaning that I can do some work on the frame.
This frame has so much dirt and dried on crud all over what were once the lovely original white block RALEIGH transfers. The rest of the paint on the main tubes is grubby as well as dull and flat.
The dirt and previous painted on rust treatment is quite thick and I had to use a sharp blade to scrape most of it off, while trying not to damage the original transfers.
It would be a bit pointless using paint renovator fluid until all the thick crusted rubbish had been scraped off.
I always use the same renovator and cloths – I find them a good combination for getting into areas such as the lug lines and awkward areas around the BB. Apply it generously and rub it in well, pushing it into the areas where dirt can accumulate. Let it dry and then use a different cloth to rub it off.
It is a very mild cutting compound but I find it ok to rub over transfers, just be careful with edges that are lifting up. It doesn’t lift any paint in the same way as stronger cutting compounds, but it is great for digging dirt out of fine scratches in the paint surface. Even after one attempt with the paint renovator I could see a big difference.
I repeated the process on the main triangle of the frame and the paint is starting to look much better, it is much brighter and even has some shine. The white RALEIGH transfers are looking so much cleaner and brighter too.
All that remains to do with the front triangle is polish it.
I’ll move on in the next part and look at the rear stays so that I can complete the frame. The seat stays and chain stays are just as bad as each other, they are dirty with lots of old brushed on rust treatment. There are a few paint chips and small areas of rust that will need to be dealt with where the paint has chipped away. I’ll also look to repaint the brake bridge at the same time.
So far I’m happy with how this 33 year old frame is looking.