Barn-Find 1952 Schwinn Hornet value?

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That’s what I would do and then add a sissy bar and a banana seat and Stingray type handle bars and ride the heck out of it. Then I’d have a 26” straight bar Stingray.
I have sketched ideas for a 26" straight bar Stingray before, but that's not what I have in mind for this bike, at least not at the moment.
 
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Okay, here are some ideas I have in mind to make it easier for me to love the original paint and patina on this Schwinn. First, I had initially thought about turning this bike into a "street bomber," but part of that look involves removing the chain guard, which is an element that's too cool to remove, at least in my opinion.
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What I'm currently thinking of going for is an "as found barn-find" board track racer-vibe, like someone turned their Schwinn Hornet into a board track bike back in the '50s or '60s, then hung it up in a barn only for it to be discovered 50 years later. This bike is in fact a real barn-find, as the guy I bought it from pulled it out of some guy's barn. I think if I build it up using almost nothing but old rusty parts, that would make for a neat appearance. This bike here is a great example of the look I have in mind:
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I'd also love to try stretching the wheelbase a few inches in the front and rear, using a rat trap springer and some extension plates bolted to the rear dropouts, kind of like this bike pictured below has. I think stretching the wheelbase would give it that much more of a motorcycle appearance than if I left the wheelbase stock.
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Once I can get all the nuts and bolts to break free (or just break,) I've got a few parts I'll want to mock up to help me decide whether or not I'll want to build this bike this way, and more importantly, whether or not I'll want to keep this bike.

What do you think? Does that sound like a good idea for this bike, or should I go for something else entirely?
 
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TWDay

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Never heard of that stuff before. Does it add rust, or remove it?
It actually does something to the rust and the metal and puts the rust back into the metal. I spoke with the guy who developed it but it was way over my head. The info I posted will allow you to get more info on it. I do know from first hand use that it works. It ain’t cheap, as a quart is 40 bucks. But it works.
 
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It actually does something to the rust and the metal and puts the rust back into the metal. I spoke with the guy who developed it but it was way over my head. The info I posted will allow you to get more info on it. I do know from first hand use that it works. It ain’t cheap, as a quart is 40 bucks. But it works.
I'll look into it. Sounds interesting.
 

TWDay

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It’s pretty neat. I’m in the process of stripping down a Stingray and a Cycle Truck for restoration and I’m using it to keep them from rusting until I paint them. It won’t allow the metal to rust again.
 

ingola

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Critric acid about two three pounds. Fill a baby pool with warm water pour the acid in let it sit for an hour then scrub with a toothbrush. It'll bubble. Take frame out the surface rust will whipe of. Empty the pool fill it with baking soda and water dip the frame in to stop the process. Spray frame saver inside. Most of that is surface. Paint and decals will be safe.
 

RustyGold

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Here's my $50 Straight bar...

IMG_20180426_124124007.jpg

... I've had it for a few years, and haven't done anything with it as I think it deserves an attempt at removing the house paint to see if the OG paint is salvageable. It's been a few years as that process doesn't sound any fun at all...a classic catch-22 :bigsmile: .
 
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Personally, I'd run it as is paint-wise. Those scallops are classic and unbeatably cool and what a great patina. Have fun with the bolt-ons but don't go changing an original paint bike. My $.02... Have fun!
 
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Here's my $50 Straight bar...

View attachment 183651
... I've had it for a few years, and haven't done anything with it as I think it deserves an attempt at removing the house paint to see if the OG paint is salvageable. It's been a few years as that process doesn't sound any fun at all...a classic catch-22 :bigsmile: .
Nice! Personally, I haven't tried removing house paint from a bike without removing the paint underneath, but I can't say I would enjoy the process either. That's why if it's been completely painted over, I just use that as an excuse to strip the whole bike down and build/paint it the way I really want.
 
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Okay, I've got a little progress to report on the Hornet. I tried using some rubbing compound on the front fender, and it really helps clean up the gunk and even a bit of the rust as well. So odds are if I want this bike to look a little nicer without ruining the patina, this'll be the way I go.
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Here's the reason why I tested the rubbing compound on the front fender: it's pretty mangled. I'd like to try and save the front fender if I can, but it's pretty banged up.
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I actually started taking this bike apart a few weeks ago, back when the weather was still relatively warm. Here's how it looked when I started. I had already removed the rear rack at this point, but I need to let some other parts soak in PB Blaster for a bit before I really began taking this bike apart.
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Turns out that rack preserved some of the original luster of the paint on the rear fender. I guess this was originally a darker red, like a crimson red. Pretty cool!
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This is as far as I've been able to get. I haven't attempted to remove the rear fender just yet, but that's the least of my concerns right now. I cannot for the life of me get the handlebar stem to break free of the fork, even though the bolt that holds the lock nut in place is already out. No matter how much I try to turn the handlebars in the opposite direction of the fork, no matter how much I've hit it with PB Blaster, a heat gun, and a propane torch, it just won't budge. I can't even get the front fender to come off, as the bolt that holds it in place has also become malleable, and I don't know how to remove it without the head snapping off. I really want to save the fork if I can, and I don't want to have to drill and tap that bolt out if I can help it. I did receive a tip earlier on how to use ATF and acetone to free up parts, but I've never tried it before, and I don't know if I might've already messed up by using a torch on the handlebar stem.
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Here are some parts I want to mockup on the Hornet. Since this is supposed to be a "barn find board tracker," I figured I could get away with using parts that are a little too far gone to shine back up. I have this rat trap springer fork and these handlebars I pulled off another bike, and I think I could make them work on this bike.
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I also have these rusty chrome wheels that I wasn't sure what to do with, as the chrome plating has flaked off substantially, especially on the rear wheel. I think they could work just fine on this bike.
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Here's my rough idea of what I want to do with this bike. Everything's liable to change, but I think this would be enough to help me fall in love with this bike without making too many changes. I also came up with a project name for this bike: The Ratical Rustin' Hornet!
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So, that's where I'm at on this Hornet. At this point, I think I'm going to keep it, but I'd really like to figure out how to disassemble the rest of the bike without damaging anything. Also, does anyone know how to remove those reflective stickers without removing the paint underneath? I tried removing one of the stickers on the rear fender with the heat gun, but that didn't go so well. I basically just melted the sticker, and what bits I could remove took some of the paint with it. Any advice on how to remove the stickers and disassemble the bike would be much appreciated!
 
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Critric acid about two three pounds. Fill a baby pool with warm water pour the acid in let it sit for an hour then scrub with a toothbrush. It'll bubble. Take frame out the surface rust will whipe of. Empty the pool fill it with baking soda and water dip the frame in to stop the process. Spray frame saver inside. Most of that is surface. Paint and decals will be safe.
That's worth a try, but wouldn't that mess with the red paint? Also, where do I get frame saver, and what does it look like?
 
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Been going back-and-forth on this Hornet for a while now. On one hand, I think this bike would make a good barn-find board track bike, but on the other hand, that's not really how I want to build this straight bar. It doesn't help that I recently bought another cheaper, rustier Schwinn straight bar that would look even better as a rat rod board track bike. Problem with that Schwinn is that the frame has been damaged and poorly repaired at some point, and I don't know if it's able to be saved in its current form.
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Here's how I was thinking of putting this Schwinn together. I'd want to add some dropout extensions to push the rear wheel out about as far as the front wheel, but this is the general vibe I'm going for. I like how this looks, as it'd allow me to use some parts that are a little too far gone for a clean, "proper" build. The only issue is that the frame is not as straight as I'd like.
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Here's where the issue really shows. The rear tire fits evenly between the chain stays, but it's off to one side on the seat stays. You can also see from this angle just how crooked the wheel is compared to the frame. I don't know if just the dropouts are bent, or if it's the whole rear triangle that's out of shape. Either way, it doesn't look good.
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There's also a lot more brazing/welding on the seat stays than normal, which leads me to believe the frame was hastily repaired after getting damaged. I could be wrong though.
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I'd really like to build this rusty blue Schwinn up the way I had initially planned for the rusty red Hornet, but I don't know if it can be repaired without altering the patina too much. It's worth noting that I had also bought this even rustier Schwinn (as in completely rusted stuck) at the same time and place as the blue one pictured above. It's pretty rough, but the frame at least looks straight. I figure if I can bust everything loose and power wash the crud that's covering the frame, this would make another great rat bike, especially with what's left of the original paint. It looks like it used to be a Black Phantom or one of Schwinn's other high-end models at one point, which is pretty cool.
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Why did I bring up these other 2 rustier Schwinns? Well, if I'm able to salvage the blue straight bar and Black Phantom and build them up as a pair of rusty Schwinns, it doesn't make sense to me to build the nicer, straighter Schwinn Hornet as a third rusty Schwinn, at least not in my opinion. I have neither enough space nor enough bikes in my collection for identical or identically-built bikes. So here's what I'm thinking: I'll hold onto the red Hornet until the next bicycle swap meet in Springfield, Missouri, which hopefully should be happening again this May. That's the one bicycle swap meet that's closest to my home, even though it's still a 3-hour drive away. I'll bring the Hornet with me, along with whatever else I have to sell/trade. If I don't see another Schwinn straight bar, or if no one is willing to trade another bike I'd want in exchange for the Hornet, then I'm just going to build the Hornet the way I really want. That means the paint's getting stripped and repainted however I see fit. So that's the plan for the Hornet right now.
 
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