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us56456712

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I’ll toss my hat in the ring. I have an 1890s King brand fixed gear race bike. All the parts are super stuck with rust so right now I’m trying to take it apart. Most of it is in my daughters, basement 70 miles away, soaking in penetrant. I’ll bring it home next week and post photos. It’s been crashed so the grips are dented and the crank arm is bent. There is a large dent in the right chain stay. Yesterday I worked on my wheels.
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Today I made an imitation turn of the century mounting peg. I used a two dollar ReStore knurled wrench that was un hardened by tossing it in my fire pit fire. Tool steel is hard but the fire made it easy to drill, cut and file. I put it in my vice and bounced on it and it didn’t break.
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I have been able to take a few parts off the frame. I made the hubs from my junk, 4 to make two. All 4 were missing something but there was enough to cobble together two vintage hubs, vintage, not antique.

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The grips are cork and the brass ends are all dented. They used hide glue and a screw into a dowel that’s pounded into the bar end to put these grips on the bars. Hide glue is reversible, a hot water soak turns the glue to liquid. Unfortunately the cork was rotted and broke when I melted the glue.
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The seat is also rotted.
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OddJob

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Welcome aboard our Northern friend! Was the King brand an English built or other Euro country product? Swedish?

I like those brass grip caps. Maybe you could leather wrap a grip with lacing and then cap them with these originals.

Looks like the sun is out in your part of the boreal forest. Bring on Spring!
 

us56456712

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Welcome aboard our Northern friend! Was the King brand an English built or other Euro country product? Swedish?

I like those brass grip caps. Maybe you could leather wrap a grip with lacing and then cap them with these originals.

Looks like the sun is out in your part of the boreal forest. Bring on Spring!
It’s an early American brand, it could be made by a parent company and been one of their brands. Sort of like Westfield’s Columbia brand. I’m not sure. I can’t find anything out about it. It’s nice today, going to be nice all weekend. Maybe the scant remaining snow banks will melt away. I might replace the cork, or use wood for the grips. I’d like to keep it as original as possible. The original wheels look good but are dry rotted. I’ve had bad luck with 125 year old rifles where the stock looked good, until it fractured. No integrity left in wood this old that has not been stored in a home. So, new wheels, seat, tires and grips. I’d like to be able to save the pedals. They seem fine, just frozen stuck.
 
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kingfish254

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Probably the oldest build off bike ever.
 

Couch tater

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Great idea for the mounting peg! That looks like a block chain, if I recall correctly they stopped using them in about 1896.
 

us56456712

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New Mexico Brant on the CABE gave me a lot of good information. The head badge says “King” under King it says “MC manufacturing Co, Chicago“. MC stood for Monarch Cycle Company. No relation to all the other Monark or Monarch brands. Chicago Monarch’s slogan was king of bicycles and they used a lion in their advertisements, thus the King head badge. They were in business from 1892 until 1899. They were one of the largest manufacturers of bicycles in the world and exported them just about everywhere. They made half a million a year. No one really knows why they went bust, several theories but the fact is lost to history. They were a sewing machine company before they went into the bike business. The original owner sold it and it almost immediately went out of the bike business. Some think they went back to making sewing machines, others think the rise of the automobile made them uncompetitive and some think it was bad management.
 
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us56456712

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I used a two foot piece of well pipe for a wrench extension and a sludge hammer to try and bust the pedal and headset nuts and bolts apart. Nothing budged. It’s been soaking in PD Blaster for 21 days. I switched to Gibbs and will next try heat, freezing, pounding and more penetrant. this is the most stuck steel bike I have ever dealt with. Hoya cowya, it’s stuck bad, holy wah, eh. Really impressed wid da century of neglect on tis one. Couldn’t have messed it up better myself and I got a lotta practice at that sorta ting.
 

us56456712

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Ok, the black flies are out with a vengeance. I tried a torch then a starting fluid freeze. Either in the starting fluid has a very high latent heat of evaporation and rapidly cools the torch heated metal a few degrees. I tried the pedal, no budge. The headset pinch bolt came loose though. I’ll bravely run out into the black fly blizzard to continue dousing with Gibbs penentrant.
 

us56456712

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Here are the original wheels. The tires were white. Cheap tires back then were black, white ones were tougher and more expensive and had zinc oxide in them, which caused them to be white. My research on old tires indicated that the zinc oxide made more cross chemical bonds between the parallel rubber molecule bands. Vulcanizing using sulphur did the same thing but zinc oxide added more bonds. Today’s tires use other metal oxides that work better to do the same. M.C Manufacturing, who built this bike, made their own hubs. I’m not going to rebuild the wheels. I have an extra set of original 1900 wood ones that are already rebuilt. Some folks think if you have an antique wood wheeled bicycle you should keep the wheels wood. My problem with this is that once the originals have been warped for decades they won’t stay true over time once you rebuild them. New wood rims, even the ones with carbon inserts, easily got soft spoke tension when the nipple head washer compresses the wood seat.
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us56456712

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I’m waiting on the delivery of white tires, grips, seat, pedals and bars. I may only use the tires and seat. I’ll have to think about the grips, pedals and bars. The new pedals are 1/2 inch and look like the originals, but they are new and shine. They will probably be out of place. Backup units in case I can’t dismantle and rebuild the originals.
 

us56456712

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Some more bad news. Rear frame spacing is 117 mm. My hub is 110, which which came from a very old bike so I thought it might fit. I think I’ll have a chain line problem if I squeeze the rear fork to 110, it’s closer to 120. I’m going to have to mount the hub and see how the chain line looks with 110. I will probably have to use a 120 mm 36 hole low flange track hub, if I can find one. The front spacing is 96 mm and the axle size of the hub fits the fork.
 

us56456712

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I tried more heat, rapidly cooling with either and pounding on the non drive side pedal. Then I clamped the drive side crank arm to the frame and used a sludge hammer on the wrench to try to get the pedal loose. No budge. All I accomplished is gouging the chain stay. Dang, this thing is stubborn. Any ideas? I tried heat, freezing, pounding and 20 days soaking in PB Blaster. I’ve switched to Gibbs penetrating oil for 3 days. Gibbs is basically tranny fluid and acetone with gas pressure so it fizzes and works into the spaces. I leave the pedal down and put the Gibbs in the slight pedal bolt depression so there is a small puddle. As far as I can see gravity is not helping anything penetrate. It’s the same puddle 24 hours later. I might try dry ice? I hope it isn’t one of those jobs that requires 3 months of soaking in penetrant. I’m trying to hurry up the process so I can finish this build off. I really want to try and avoid very tight clamping with a vice grip and using a long lever. It’s so tight that it will probably round the pedal. So far it’s looking grim.

Here is the puddle of Gibbs I’m talking about.
image.jpg
 

Couch tater

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My technique for penetrating oil is to sweat it in. I use a propane torch to get the parts just hot enough to draw the penetrant in, you will see tiny bubbles at the joint when it is working. If it is warm enough to smoke or boil, it is too hot. If all else fails, an alternator / power steering pump sheave puller might fit to press it off. A pitman arm puller might fit too. Some parts stores will loan or rent the tools. Good luck with it!
 
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I tried more heat, rapidly cooling with either and pounding on the non drive side pedal. Then I clamped the drive side crank arm to the frame and used a sludge hammer on the wrench to try to get the pedal loose. No budge. All I accomplished is gouging the chain stay. Dang, this thing is stubborn. Any ideas? I tried heat, freezing, pounding and 20 days soaking in PB Blaster. I’ve switched to Gibbs penetrating oil for 3 days. Gibbs is basically tranny fluid and acetone with gas pressure so it fizzes and works into the spaces. I leave the pedal down and put the Gibbs in the slight pedal bolt depression so there is a small puddle. As far as I can see gravity is not helping anything penetrate. It’s the same puddle 24 hours later. I might try dry ice? I hope it isn’t one of those jobs that requires 3 months of soaking in penetrant. I’m trying to hurry up the process so I can finish this build off. I really want to try and avoid very tight clamping with a vice grip and using a long lever. It’s so tight that it will probably round the pedal. So far it’s looking grim.

Here is the puddle of Gibbs I’m talking about.View attachment 193009
I guess a 100 years of corrosion isn't going to give up easily.
 

us56456712

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My technique for penetrating oil is to sweat it in. I use a propane torch to get the parts just hot enough to draw the penetrant in, you will see tiny bubbles at the joint when it is working. If it is warm enough to smoke or boil, it is too hot. If all else fails, an alternator / power steering pump sheave puller might fit to press it off. A pitman arm puller might fit too. Some parts stores will loan or rent the tools. Good luck with it!
I tried the gentle heat, the puller is a good idea for the crank arm, if I ever get there.
 

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