Shoestring (DONE!)

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Ok, good news: I did find a few free fonts that are fairly close to the kind used on that Murray head badge/sticker.
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Now I just have to figure out which one(s) will work best for this new head badge sticker I'm working on...
 

kingfish254

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Great job cleaning away all of that rusty bearing lube. :D
The light and mount are coming along nicely!
 
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The temperature dropped down to comfortably tolerable levels earlier this week, so I took full advantage of it yesterday. Most of yesterday was spent cleaning up my workspace. I picked things up, vacuumed the floor, and I'm about to move some parts I don't need back into the out-of-town storage building. It still looks a little chaotic, but the difference is that it's all organized chaos.
BftD_rusty_murray_rrbbo_2022_121.jpg
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Now, on to the good stuff! First thing I did after cleanup is that I took the seasoned 26"x1.75" tire off of Maximum Blue, so I could use it on Shoestring. Since Maximum Blue is one of my few rideable projects, I replaced the good used tire with a good new tire. Here's the used tire on the wheel before I took it off:
BftD_rusty_murray_rrbbo_2022_124.jpg


While it doesn't look that used compared to some of my other tires, when I put the new tire (left) next to the used tire (right), it's clear which tire is the older one.
BftD_rusty_murray_rrbbo_2022_125.jpg


Here's Maximum Blue with the new front tire. It's subtle, but it's pretty clear that the back tire is slightly older than the front tire. That's all well and good to me; I just want to keep riding this bike!
BftD_rusty_murray_rrbbo_2022_126.jpg
BftD_rusty_murray_rrbbo_2022_127.jpg


Next, I had started disassembling my donor bike, mostly for the bearings and bearing cups, only to realize I wouldn't use any of that. All I ended up pulling off this bike yesterday were the wheels and tires, and odds are I won't even use those. Still, I am using the pedals and the handlebar grips off this bike, at least for this build. There's plenty of good parts on this bike, just not for this project. I just slapped some other wheels on the bike just so I could store it more easily.
BftD_rusty_murray_rrbbo_2022_128.jpg
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One more thing I did yesterday was make a different set of shoestring streamers, using the shoelaces from a pair of shoes that my brother had. I wanted these white laces because they're a little dirtier, but also because they should be easier to stain brown than those newer black laces I had mocked up earlier.
BftD_rusty_murray_rrbbo_2022_130.jpg
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I'm liking this a lot better. The shoestring streamers and the front whitewall tire are a little too nice-looking right now, but I have some ideas on how to dirty them up. The important thing is that I now have 2 good used tires on this bike. Before, that other front tire was so cracked and dry-rotted that it would have been a disaster just waiting to happen. Now I can cruise with confidence!
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Last thing I did yesterday was toy around with a couple more ideas.
First, while I can't use that piece of car trim I wanted to put on top of the frame, I still like the idea of putting something between the top bars. I have a few of these thin strips of wood that could possibly work with some modification, but I'm also thinking of using either the same khaki pants material as what I plan to use on the tank insert, or maybe the perforated sheet aluminum I've been itching to use on something for a while now. I'll worry about all that later. There's another element that I need to focus on first...
BftD_rusty_murray_rrbbo_2022_134.jpg


I had an idea of how to dress up that headlight while filling in a sore spot as well. I had this... I'm guessing it was part of a lamp or some other fixture... in my junk pile, and it has this cool cutout detail on the side. Add the mix of rust and brass, and the thinness of the metal, and this could be just what I needed to finesse this headlight idea.
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But there's another issue: I'm not so sure I want to go through all the effort to make this headlight actually light up now. Realistically, this headlight's not really going to be bright enough for nighttime riding, I'd have to buy more supplies to put it all together, and I'd most likely go over my $50 budget for this bike just to do make it all happen. Sure, it'd be cool to make a functional headlight out of a fence post topper, but it just wouldn't be a practical headlight. I still want to put this fence post topper on this bike, but it might be better to just make it a suggestion of a headlight, rather than an actual headlight. It will be easier and less expensive to build, and it will still allow me to use up some parts and pieces I've been holding onto for a while now. I might even be able to build it in such a way that I can come back and make it light up later when I can afford to.

Here are a couple ideas of what I could put behind that VW emblem instead of plexiglass. First, some perforated aluminum. I could either leave it raw and shiny, or I could hit it with some rust-colored paint to add some color contrast.
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Next, the khaki pants I plan to use for the tank insert. I'd stain it to match the seat, like I plan to do with the tank insert.
BftD_rusty_murray_rrbbo_2022_140.jpg


Now I'm thinking... if I use the khaki pants on the tank insert, I should use the same material on the headlight and the top tube insert. If I use the perforated aluminum sheet, I should do the same thing. And yet, I can't help but wonder... what if I use both? Food for thought.
 

kingfish254

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I like those ideas. The frame trim should look cool. The headlight surround looks nice. I think the VW looks best with the holey metal behind it, but you could put khaki behind the holey panel.
 
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I like those ideas. The frame trim should look cool. The headlight surround looks nice. I think the VW looks best with the holey metal behind it, but you could put khaki behind the holey panel.
Thanks! I'm kind of leaning towards the perforated aluminum myself, but that all depends on the rest of the design elements. I want there to be a continuity, so having either all khaki or all aluminum (or even both khaki and aluminum for all decor pieces) would be the best way to go about it, I think. I might sketch up a few ideas later today to see what might work best.
 
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That is the inner "designer" speaking. Good results are easier to achieve with a limited palette
Definitely. Helps that I'm an illustrator/graphic designer by trade. Odds are I'll go with the stained khaki material all around, so it ties in with the seat, but it's oh so tempting to use that aluminum sheet metal... Sometimes it's hard to stick to a limited palette, but I enjoy creative challenges like this.
 
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Made a small bit of progress yesterday. I removed the bearings and bearing cups on everything except the coaster brake hub, which I'm soaking in some PB Blaster to help loosen up. I noticed that a good deal of rust and sediment had found its way inside the bearings and cups, especially in the bottom bracket. These bearing cups were clean when I first installed them. So that means I'm going to need to clean out the inside of the frame before I put everything back together.
BftD_rusty_murray_rrbbo_2022_142.jpg


I did a quick wipe with a cloth, and most of the gunk came off just fine. I'm counting on my ultrasonic cleaner to handle the rest.
BftD_rusty_murray_rrbbo_2022_143.jpg


Here are all the parts besides the coaster brake I took apart yesterday. I took apart a front hub on a spare wheel just in case, but the bearings seem to be slightly larger than the ones from the wheel I plan to use.
BftD_rusty_murray_rrbbo_2022_144.jpg


Had another idea that would be fun to try down the road: using the cargo pockets on my old work pants as saddle bags over the rear rack. I like the idea, but I think it'll look too busy for what I'm trying to achieve. Maybe another time.
BftD_rusty_murray_rrbbo_2022_145.jpg


One other thing I did yesterday was experiment with dirtying up the front tire to match the rear tire. I wanted to try something I saw Ian Roussel do on Full Custom Garage. He had this Great Depression-era car he was building for a client, and to make it look like it had driven through The Dust Bowl, he mixed some fine silt and water into a texture gun, and basically sprayed mud on the car! I didn't have a texture gun, but I did have a cheap spray bottle and some imagination. Now all I needed was some dirt. There's not a lot of dirt where I live, but it's not uncommon for me to find a mole hill in the yard!
BftD_rusty_murray_rrbbo_2022_146.jpg
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I scooped up a small sample, and used a strainer from the kitchen to sift the dirt and filter out all the large dirt clods. Once I accomplished that, I mixed a little silt with water and filled up my spray bottle with the solution.
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Here's the tire before I started spraying.
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And here's what it looked like after I gave up and just started dumping the solution out of the spray bottle and onto the tire. Turns out all the spray bottle was good for was making the tire wet and slightly dirty. I needed a different approach...
BftD_rusty_murray_rrbbo_2022_153.jpg


I decided to just mix a minimal amount of water with all the silt I made, and basically make some fine mud. I dipped a dirty sock in the mix, and just wiped that on the sidewalls of the tire.
BftD_rusty_murray_rrbbo_2022_154.jpg


Much better.
BftD_rusty_murray_rrbbo_2022_155.jpg
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The front tire still outshines the rear tire, especially out in the sun, but it looks much better now.
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There's still an issue though. While the front tire looks nice and dirty now, all it'd take to clean up is a quick dusting or a splash of water. Whatever's on the back tire won't come off as easily. It could be a mix of age, grease, oil, and/or being sandwiched between other tires while in storage. Whatever it is, it'd take a bit more than some water to clean those sidewalls. The dirt on the front tire also got clumped inside the treads and the bead, which I don't want at all. So while the front tire looks "better" than before, it's not as good of a solution as I'd like. Fortunately, I still have a few more ideas on how to dirty it up!
 
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I didn't just partially disassemble my bike and dirty up a tire yesterday, though. I also got to work on one of my stickers for the bike!
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My first version of my "Shoestring" sticker turned out great, until I scaled it down to the size it would actually be printed: 1 inch by 5 inches. While I could still read the word "Shoestring," I couldn't see the design elements as well as I wanted. Worse, at this scale, I don't know if the additional text I planned to add to the sticker would even be readable/legible. So I need to make a few adjustments...
Screen Shot 2022-07-07 at 12.53.07 AM.png


A couple more hours in Photoshop later, and I got my "Shoestring" script looking about the way I want it! There's still room for a little fine-tuning, but for the most part, it looks about right.
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I'm still going to try adding some additional text so the sticker reads "I got my Shoestring at Pay Nothing Shoe Source" or something, but at this scale, that may not work. I'm also going to start work on the other 2 stickers I have planned, so I might be able to start printing everything soon.

Stay tuned! More updates to come!
 

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Made a small bit of progress yesterday. I removed the bearings and bearing cups on everything except the coaster brake hub, which I'm soaking in some PB Blaster to help loosen up. I noticed that a good deal of rust and sediment had found its way inside the bearings and cups, especially in the bottom bracket. These bearing cups were clean when I first installed them. So that means I'm going to need to clean out the inside of the frame before I put everything back together.
View attachment 199390

I did a quick wipe with a cloth, and most of the gunk came off just fine. I'm counting on my ultrasonic cleaner to handle the rest.
View attachment 199391

Here are all the parts besides the coaster brake I took apart yesterday. I took apart a front hub on a spare wheel just in case, but the bearings seem to be slightly larger than the ones from the wheel I plan to use.
View attachment 199392

Had another idea that would be fun to try down the road: using the cargo pockets on my old work pants as saddle bags over the rear rack. I like the idea, but I think it'll look too busy for what I'm trying to achieve. Maybe another time.
View attachment 199393

One other thing I did yesterday was experiment with dirtying up the front tire to match the rear tire. I wanted to try something I saw Ian Roussel do on Full Custom Garage. He had this Great Depression-era car he was building for a client, and to make it look like it had driven through The Dust Bowl, he mixed some fine silt and water into a texture gun, and basically sprayed mud on the car! I didn't have a texture gun, but I did have a cheap spray bottle and some imagination. Now all I needed was some dirt. There's not a lot of dirt where I live, but it's not uncommon for me to find a mole hill in the yard!
View attachment 199394 View attachment 199395

I scooped up a small sample, and used a strainer from the kitchen to sift the dirt and filter out all the large dirt clods. Once I accomplished that, I mixed a little silt with water and filled up my spray bottle with the solution.
View attachment 199396 View attachment 199397 View attachment 199398 View attachment 199399

Here's the tire before I started spraying.
View attachment 199400

And here's what it looked like after I gave up and just started dumping the solution out of the spray bottle and onto the tire. Turns out all the spray bottle was good for was making the tire wet and slightly dirty. I needed a different approach...
View attachment 199401

I decided to just mix a minimal amount of water with all the silt I made, and basically make some fine mud. I dipped a dirty sock in the mix, and just wiped that on the sidewalls of the tire.
View attachment 199402

Much better.
View attachment 199403 View attachment 199404

The front tire still outshines the rear tire, especially out in the sun, but it looks much better now.
View attachment 199405 View attachment 199406

There's still an issue though. While the front tire looks nice and dirty now, all it'd take to clean up is a quick dusting or a splash of water. Whatever's on the back tire won't come off as easily. It could be a mix of age, grease, oil, and/or being sandwiched between other tires while in storage. Whatever it is, it'd take a bit more than some water to clean those sidewalls. The dirt on the front tire also got clumped inside the treads and the bead, which I don't want at all. So while the front tire looks "better" than before, it's not as good of a solution as I'd like. Fortunately, I still have a few more ideas on how to dirty it up!
Try using a scotch Brite pad to scuff those sidewalls first to break the surface and possibly add a few drops of brown/red/black (whatever "dirty" is 🤷‍♂️) acrylic paint to your water solution

I have a friend that used to work in prop making and is a big cosplay guy now. He uses basically the water, dirt, paint combo on all of his clothes and props for Wasteland Weekend. Along with rub n buff
 
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Try using a scotch Brite pad to scuff those sidewalls first to break the surface and possibly add a few drops of brown/red/black (whatever "dirty" is 🤷‍♂️) acrylic paint to your water solution

I have a friend that used to work in prop making and is a big cosplay guy now. He uses basically the water, dirt, paint combo on all of his clothes and props for Wasteland Weekend. Along with rub n buff
I like that idea! I want to try something else first, but that's definitely an idea to keep in mind. Oddly enough, that idea's similar to how I plan to dirty up the khaki fabric I plan to use elsewhere on my bike.
 
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Try using a scotch Brite pad to scuff those sidewalls first to break the surface and possibly add a few drops of brown/red/black (whatever "dirty" is 🤷‍♂️) acrylic paint to your water solution

I have a friend that used to work in prop making and is a big cosplay guy now. He uses basically the water, dirt, paint combo on all of his clothes and props for Wasteland Weekend. Along with rub n buff
As a former propsmaster myself I would say this sounds very promising to achieve the desired outcome of a worn and aged tyre!
 
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Made a little more progress this past week.

I finally got the coaster brake apart this morning, and while the internal bits seem mostly okay, the hub itself is not.
BftD_rusty_murray_rrbbo_2022_159.jpg


These little chrome plating flakes fell out of the drive-side of the hub. From the looks of it, there's more that's about to flake out.
BftD_rusty_murray_rrbbo_2022_160.jpg
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The other side doesn't look as bad, but it looks like this hub isn't usable as it is right now. And since I don't want to spent time or money lacing in a new hub and truing the wheel, that means I need to use a different rear wheel. Fortunately, I have a couple to choose from!
BftD_rusty_murray_rrbbo_2022_162.jpg


Backup option #1 looks alright. It's got good patina, it has a Bendix hub, odds are it might work as long as the hub's not messed up.
BftD_rusty_murray_rrbbo_2022_163.jpg


Backup option #2 would be another good option, especially with the chrome that's flaking off the wheel itself. Even better, this wheel came off the same bike that I got the front wheel from, so it's a good match. The only issue is that it has a Komet Super coaster brake hub, and so far, I have not been able to take one of these hubs apart, despite my best efforts. I need a good tutorial on how to service these to really know what I'm doing.
BftD_rusty_murray_rrbbo_2022_164.jpg
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I also have these two loose Bendix coaster brake hubs, which if I wanted to, might be good for lacing into the current wheel I've been using. For now though, both are probably best for spare parts, especially since the one on the right is coming apart.
BftD_rusty_murray_rrbbo_2022_166.jpg
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I also have a 3rd wheel I could use, but I don't the patina (or lack thereof) it has. For now, I'm soaking the hubs in some PB Blaster to help loosen up everything.

I also made some more progress on my stickers last week. I was able to add some additional text to my Shoestring sticker to make it feel more like an authentic souvenir sticker. Instead of saying "I got my SHOESTRING at Pay Nothing Shoesource" like I had originally planned, I instead put "I got my SHOESTRING on Route 66." I feel this still works, since I technically bought this bike at a swap meet in Kellyville, Oklahoma, right off Route 66. It also would fit in with my "Dust Bowl" sticker I'm working on, since a lot of people travelled from places like Oklahoma to California on Route 66 during the Great Depression/Dust Bowl. I also changed the color of the sticker to brown, to simulate the black ink fading on the sticker, and a light gradient to simulate even more time baking in the sun. I even added a texture overlay from one of my photographs to simulate dirt and debris, in case my tea leaves/coffee grounds trick doesn't work like I want it to.
Screen Shot 2022-07-07 at 3.42.03 PM.png
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Screen Shot 2022-07-07 at 3.49.53 PM.png


I also worked on the custom head badge sticker, which I feel turned out very nicely.
I still haven't aged it, as I don't quite know how I want to go about it just yet.
Screen Shot 2022-07-08 at 9.03.57 PM.png


I'm hoping I can take these coaster brake hubs apart soon, so I can start cleaning up all the parts in my ultrasonic cleaner. In the meantime, I'm going to try and tackle the remaining work on the stickers, and all the other cosmetic stuff, like the tank insert and the headlight. I should also rinse out the frame, as there's a ton of rust dust built up inside of it. If I stuck the frame inside a kiddy pool full of water and just rinsed and dried it out to the best of my ability, do you think that'd work? I'm not planning on removing the exterior rust, but I wouldn't mind spraying the inside of the frame with a little rust preventative before reassembling everything.
 
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