Northern Sun

I saw this bike two weeks ago hanging from the ceiling of an antique shop. I broke down and bought it last Saturday. The bike appeared to be reasonably complete so it wasn't going to break the bank getting parts to get it running.


The bike was made by Sunshine Waterloo Company in Waterloo, Ontario. They built about 40,000 bicycles between the end of the war and 1954 when they stopped making bicycles. Their serial numbers were apparently sequential so based on that and the serial number being 031808 the bike was probably made around 1952-1953.


Saturday I took off the chain and soaked it in oil for a few days and made sure the other moving bits moved like they should. Today I put it all together again with tires and tubes I had laying around and it's a rider. It goes and it sort of stops.

This is my second attempt at a Build-Off and this time I figure I will finish one way or another.
Nice find. Looks like it's finished already.
That's sort of my strategy on this one. Anywhere I decide to stop I should be able to call it done.

Don't do too much to it, the bike looks great right now.

That double kickstand is cool. What tires are those? Super beefy and knobby....just the way I like em!

RaT oN~!
The plan is to clean it up, refine it a little, maybe clean up the chrome, and add any parts I need to make it street legal here (lights, reflectors, horn or bell). I'm torn between trying BLO or just using paste wax to add a little protection, luster and depth without permanently altering the the patina.
Mar 26, 2012
Maplewood, MN
One of the coolest patina treatments I saw this past year, was a guy using Amber varnish as a top coat over the whole bike.

It popped the faded colors a bit, and brought out the rust and wear spots as well.

I think it was Zinssor brand, I remember it being the same stuff I use for violin repair and finishing.

I think it works best for brown, red, and orange tones. Might try it under a chain stay for a test spot.
Mar 26, 2012
Maplewood, MN
I just cleaned this 'barn find' '77 Sting Ray (my '77 Sunset Strip build from MBBO 2018) with a light white vinegar wiping, and then applied Turtle Wax and buffed. Two coats, and then new decals were added.


I finally got a chance to get back to the bike this weekend so I thought I would tear down the headset and clean up the chrome on the struts, but alas there was no progress to be made. The stem won't budge. I have pulled the stem bolt and shot WD40 down the hole. I will see if it moves tonight.

The Renaissance Man

__CERTIFIED DIVER__ (Open Water & Open Dumpster)
Pro Member
Nov 24, 2012
The Tropics of Alabama
That chrome cleaned up nicely!
I like your philosophy about the car wax. Maybe start with some mild rubbing compound first.

I most definitely would NOT put any varnish or any type of clear coat over that paint!!! That's just me though.:)
I took her all the way apart tonight.

Given the age it really is in pretty good shape, I had to cut or break two screws to get the rear fender off and the bottom bracket bearing cages are wrecked. So far the parts I have had to add to this project are pretty minimal.

I degreased and washed the painted parts down and applied Mothers California Gold Cleaner Wax Paste. The difference is pretty subtle but it takes away some of the chalkiness and gives it a very low gloss shine on the oxidized paint. I figure it will protect the paint from further deterioration and does the least harm to the finish.