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While I'm on a parts hunt for my next build, I figured I'd do some 'restore' projects to either use on the bike or sell to fund it.
Here's my 'restore' of a pre-war long spring saddle.
I purchased this carriage from forum member 'tulsacruiser'. He wasn't sure what brand the saddle was, just that it was from an old Elgin. From the research I've done, it may be a 1930's/40's Troxel. If anyone has an idea of the make and/or vintage, please let me know.
I started by soaking the carriage in white vinegar for 3 days. The results were great, here's an example 'after' shot to compare with where it started.
I slowly dissambled the unit, being sure to take pics of how everything went together.
Once disassembled, I wire brushed/wire wheeled/sanded all the components as best I could, being sure to protect any bolt threads.
Next, I purchased a donor seat for pans and a pattern for the cover.
The pans received the same vinegar bath and prep as the carriage.
I gave everything a coat of Rustoleum Rust Reformer to prevent any additional corrosion and a coat of black automotive primer.
Next, I applied two coats of Rustoleum Appliance Epoxy spray. This has a high gloss finish to it and is pretty scratch resistant.
Here's where it stands today. The top pan is pitted, but still in good shape structurally.
During reassembly, I'm using new hardware (either stainless or galvanized), this will all be painted black eventually.
My next steps are to find a piece of black leather and padding. The pan, as you can see, is a bit shorter than I'd hoped, so I may use a motorcycle pan that's roughly 2" longer and the same width (assuming I win the auction).
I'll post some pics of the upholstery process as I go along.
Thanks for posting this Doc! I'll be watching this for sure I have a rusty seat pan and springs to work on myself I never thought of using vinegar...thanks for the tip
Just finished my first attempt at "restoring" an old saddle. I used the vinager, steel wool and spray can method as well. Everything was easy except getting the fabric tight and wrinkle free where it wraps around underneath. Note the high tech paint booths.
Welcome to Nerdville...
That second red seat is a nice try, I think the foam you use underneath has a lot to do with the shape of the seat.
Yo have to glue down the foam good then shape the foam with a electric knife, I used a right angle die grinder with an 80grit pad, then you have to use the correct glue and spray, let kick and start stretching.
I used some black natural sponge foam, I got 3/4" it was pricey about 30.00 a foot, but it's 60" wide so you can actually do about 6 saddles, which comes to about 5 bucks a saddle.
Also the glue is very important, I used Dan Tack, its contact cement for headliners- I got it from an upholstery shop supply store. It allows you to pull and re stick as need for about 45 mins.
I know there is another member on here that did the extensive leather soak and stretch method, I just couldn't wait..
Also this was a real crusty pan I sand blasted and painted like Dr. Tankenstein did.
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7010/6609 ... 0544_b.jpg
Last edited by abe lugo on Sat Dec 31, 2011 7:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The red looks great! Perfect on your bike. I haven't done anything else to my saddle, working on getting a longer set of pans. I 'may' take mine to a little upholstery shop near me. I want this one to be good enough to sell if I don't use it.
A good paint to use on seats is Krylon semi-flat black. It is one of their "Industrial" paints and is a lacquer so real quick drying. Super easy to use and hides everything. Just the right amount of gloss. Krylon # is 1613. Gary
Dripping with Sarcasm...
Not much progress to report, just a change in parts.
The old pans were to small, roughly 9" x 9", they left the front spring completely uncovered.
Got the pans off the seat on the left from MarksA-C:
After a week on some white vinegar and a few minutes with the brass wheel:
These are much better, they're 9 1/2" x 10 1/2" they fit much better and look closer in length to the ones in the old Troxel ad.
So, I'm right back where I left off
Looks great Doc!
Thanks for the advice on the padding, I wasn't sure how thick to go. Definitely going with leather on this one, I was originally thinking a nice smooth black, but I know me and I'd end up obsessing over it being paranoid that I'd mark or scratch it
So, I'm leaning toward a black pebble grain or maybe a diamond or tuck-n-roll pleat.
I know the easy part is behind me, but this is kinda fun so far. Maybe I've found ANOTHER new hobby, my wife will be THRILLED!
Well, there's been a change in plan.
Got an great deal on a practically NOS Schwinn Approved Excercycle saddle from heyslugger. Thanks again dude!
It's HUGE and it will fit the springs once I fab up a "T" bracket to bolt the two together.
The plan is to put this saddle on my 'Phantom of the OCC' build. Since I'm trying to use as many Schwinn parts as I can, (trying to build the bike they should have IMHO ) this saves me the trouble of upholstering the pans + you gotta love that Schwinn Approved tag on the rear!
How comfortable are those seats with the solid metal pans?
I've thought of getting one to restore for my 28" wheel Elgin,
but the Elgin is being built for taking longer (10+ mile) rides
and I don't want to smoosh my prostate, if you know what I
mean, and I don't want to be caught dead in a pair of those padded
spandex cycle shorts
I still have painful memories of the horribly uncomfortable
seat on my Schwinn Collegiate which I rode to work one time
and decided to sell when I got home. The Elgin will be it's
nice score on this seat- just a note to other that find this thread, use between .25" and .625" foam, I used .75" it's comfy but thick.
Also find the natural black sponge rubber, it's pricey like 30.00 a foot 1' x 60" , but you can do like 6 seats with it.
Is the black foam you're referring to also called neoprene foam? Do you know what the Duro/hardness is?
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