BLACKBIRD (Skylark Convertible)

The Renaissance Man

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In the world of vintage bike collectors, there are a hand full of standout bikes that rise to the top of desirability. The Elgin Skylark is one of those bikes! So, it has been on my mind for a long time to take one and dare to do a gender change with it. :)

When this 'Rare Bird' surfaced last year, it changed hands a couple of times and ultimately landed in my shop.

Now the time has come to build a restomod TRM Convertible out of it!

Here we go!!!
 
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The Renaissance Man

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Sometimes damaged frames are not worth the effort to repair them. This is not one of those times.

I have had this bike in my shop for months and even while using it to fit my 'Mullet Fenders' I didn't initially notice that the frame has a twist and turn from front to rear. Look closely from end to end and you will see the problem.
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So I have been devising a jig and a plan to try to straighten it back up.

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jig.jpg



More on how this is supposed to work tomorrow.
 

The Renaissance Man

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Looks like the BB is the fixed point, and then you can crank on the nuts on the head tube and seat tube jigs to 'twist' it back into shape.
You are right about the BB. Everything else has to line up in relation to it.
The studs and nuts on the head tube and seat tube fixtures are not for bending anything, but instead are for holding the points steady in the correct location while I use a lever and fulcrum to bent the tubes in between back into alignment.

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Because I can only pry 'up', I made the jig pieces work for either left or right side down.

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This all started with a video that I found while researching how to straighten a frame. Of course the professional set up in the video makes the work a lot more efficient (the guy does a frame in about 2 minutes). Mine is a simple version using some of the same principles, just much more troublesome to use. Two afternoons of fooling with it and it's better but not done! lol
 

The Renaissance Man

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Im using a combination square to measure from the table to the top of which ever tube is in question and then prying up to the target location.

Before.
guage 1.jpg

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After. (Pay no attention to the bubble, the table is not level.)
guage 2.jpg


I'm having to use whatever is necessary to pry specific spots. It's definately not an exact science.
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Apr 28, 2019
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Mine is a simple version using some of the same principles, just much more troublesome to use. Two afternoons of fooling with it and it's better but not done! lol
I remember reading about a similar method of straightening a bent car floor in one of my cars DIY repair books. The method is really simple just requires a lot of measuring and brutal force.

Very nice to see that your jig works