Shoestring

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kingfish254

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Great ideas going on with this one. Love the car trims (especially the upside down VW (which looks like an M for Murray))
Cool rat!
 
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Great ideas going on with this one. Love the car trims (especially the upside down VW (which looks like an M for Murray))
Cool rat!
Thanks Kingfish! You read my mind on the M for Murray idea!

I'm hoping to post some updates here tomorrow. I had actually made some progress around the same time as my last post, but the past few weeks have been pretty busy.
 
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Sorry for the lack of updates, but these past few weeks have been a bit of a mess. I did make a fair bit of progress in the time I hadn't been posting though.

I've managed to make enough progress on Shoestring in the past few weeks that there isn't much left to do to make the bike rideable. I still have a ways to go before this bike is done, but I think I can manage it this time around.

First off, I decided not to use the piece of Ford brightwork on top of the bike. I mocked up the piece on a similar frame to see how it'd really fit, and unfortunately, it doesn't line up correctly with the curvature of the frame. And, since the trim piece is made of pot metal, odds are that I can't modify it to fit. No big deal, but it is kind of a bummer. In all fairness though, it wouldn't been just a little too flashy for this bike anyway.
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Next, I tried seeing if one of these Harbor Freight flashlights would work for my custom headlight idea. It didn't feel like it'd work, especially since the switch is on the same circuit board as the LEDs, but now I'm rethinking the whole idea...
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Next, I tackled the bearing cups and races.

The donor bike I bought just so I could use the rear fender on another project ended up being a prime candidate for donating the bearings, bearing cups, bearing races and even the chain to Shoestring.
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First though, I had to remove the fork and bearing cups from Shoestring. Boy, what a mess that was. This bike was full of rust flakes.
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Once I removed the fork from the frame, I had to remove the fork bearing race so I could replace it. I don't remember how long it took to get that off, but it felt like an hour, easily.
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Once that was out of the way, I had to find new bearings and bearing cups. The bottom bracket cups and bearings fit just fine, but the headsets on these newer bikes are much smaller than the one on this old Murray. Worse, I didn't have many bearings that were the same size as the originals, and the few I did have weren't in the best shape. So, I had to dip into my parts stash to see what I had available...
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I found these bearing cups wrapped in tape, which sounds like a bad idea worth exploring down the road. Maybe if I had no alternatives, this would be a decent low-buck solution to getting smaller bearing cups to fit into a wider headset.
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I found a matching pair of bearing cups that were painted gold at some point in my parts stash. I cleaned them up as best as I could with some steel wool. They're not perfect, but they seem good enough to use on this bike.
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BftD_rusty_murray_rrbbo_2022_86.jpg


While the bottom bracket bearing cups from the donor bike fit just fine, it was going to take some work to save the original crank and chainring. The crown race didn't have much for my pipe wrench to bite on, and the threads looked absolutely damaged beyond specification.
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Luckily, I have PB Blaster, propane torches, and a vice at my dad's shop that no rusty crank has been able to defeat so far. This one was no exception.
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Once I got the crown race removed, I cleaned up the crank threads with the wire brush wheel on my dad's grinder. With that taken car of, I could use the crown races and bearings from the donor bike to fix up the bottom bracket.
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While I was at my dad's shop a few weeks ago, I also smoothed out the dent in the spoon I want to use as a headlight mount using my dad's anvil. Not my best work, but it'll do fine for the application.
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I also dug through all my bikes and forks I had in storage to find a new bearing race to use on the fork. I needed something that would fit nice and snug without a shim, and as luck would have it, I had a good one in stock. I might need to primer the fork where I brushed the paint and rust off for the race to fit properly, but that's about it.
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I also sold $40 worth of Schwinn-style bladed forks to a very cool customer, which meant that I could justify getting a new tire to install on the front... of the bike that I'll now be robbing a good used tire from! I got a tire from one of my local bike shops for $27.12 after tax, so that means I have $20.88 left in my $50 budget for this bike.

Just to show how I got that number:
$50 total budget
-$40 for the bike
-$2 for the seat
+$40 from selling parts
-$27.12 for a new tire
$20.88 left in the budget for this bike.

There's still more progress to report though. We're getting close to being all caught up.
 
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In preparation for a VW car show in Catoosa that happened on June 4th, I quickly tied my Shoestring together to show to a friend of mine who was going to be there. I hadn't been to a local VW show in at least 6 years that I can recall, and I hadn't been to this specific show before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I figured there might be about 50 cars there at most, given how few VWs I see at the local cruise-in here in Tulsa. Turns out there were around 200, but that's not the crazy part; the crazy part was that there were dozens of vintage bicycles in attendance! So many bikes, in fact, that they had their own tent, and there were even more than what's in the photo below! They even had a few events for all the bike riders; a bicycle parade, a slow bicycle drag race, a regular bicycle drag race, and some kind of paperboy game. I participated in all but the last one on my 2021 MBBO entry, The Prowler, since Shoestring wasn't rideable yet. I had a blast getting to ride one of my bikes with a group of like-minded people so close to home, and it was cool getting to show my bikes and see what everyone else was riding. I practically came for a VW show, but stayed for all the bikes! It was a blast, and I'm definitely coming back again next year! I might have to start a separate thread for all the cars and bicycles I saw that day.
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Before the show, I wanted to try a little trick I had in mind for Shoestring. I wanted to add some shoelace streamers to the handlebar grips, so I pulled a pair of shoelaces off my previous pair of shoes to try it out. While I'm not a fan of the color or the relative newness of them, I like the end result. I'll want to use some laces off an older, dirtier pair of shoes, but for a rough mockup, I think this was a step in the right direction.
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On to the most recent developments. Just earlier this Tuesday, I took the frame to another friend of mine to straighten out the bends in the rear dropouts. I don't have any photos of that currently, but I do have photos of one other thing we worked on: the spoon! It's now bent to the right angles to mount the headlight correctly, and it's already mounted to the fork!
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That's all the progress that's happened in the past few weeks, so what's next? Well, I'd like to focus on making Shoestring rideable first, which thankfully shouldn't take much to accomplish. After that's out of the way, I'll work on the tank insert and headlight. Once that's done, (or while I'm cooling off indoors,) I'll finish the stickers for covering up the rough spots on the bike. I'll try not to put off updating the thread as long as I did this time, so hopefully I'll have more to share soon.
 
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In preparation for a VW car show in Catoosa that happened on June 4th, I quickly tied my Shoestring together to show to a friend of mine who was going to be there. I hadn't been to a local VW show in at least 6 years that I can recall, and I hadn't been to this specific show before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I figured there might be about 50 cars there at most, given how few VWs I see at the local cruise-in here in Tulsa. Turns out there were around 200, but that's not the crazy part; the crazy part was that there were dozens of vintage bicycles in attendance! So many bikes, in fact, that they had their own tent, and there were even more than what's in the photo below! They even had a few events for all the bike riders; a bicycle parade, a slow bicycle drag race, a regular bicycle drag race, and some kind of paperboy game. I participated in all but the last one on my 2021 MBBO entry, The Prowler, since Shoestring wasn't rideable yet. I had a blast getting to ride one of my bikes with a group of like-minded people so close to home, and it was cool getting to show my bikes and see what everyone else was riding. I practically came for a VW show, but stayed for all the bikes! It was a blast, and I'm definitely coming back again next year! I might have to start a separate thread for all the cars and bicycles I saw that day.
View attachment 197158 View attachment 197159 View attachment 197160

Before the show, I wanted to try a little trick I had in mind for Shoestring. I wanted to add some shoelace streamers to the handlebar grips, so I pulled a pair of shoelaces off my previous pair of shoes to try it out. While I'm not a fan of the color or the relative newness of them, I like the end result. I'll want to use some laces off an older, dirtier pair of shoes, but for a rough mockup, I think this was a step in the right direction.
View attachment 197157 View attachment 197161 View attachment 197162

On to the most recent developments. Just earlier this Tuesday, I took the frame to another friend of mine to straighten out the bends in the rear dropouts. I don't have any photos of that currently, but I do have photos of one other thing we worked on: the spoon! It's now bent to the right angles to mount the headlight correctly, and it's already mounted to the fork!
View attachment 197163 View attachment 197164 View attachment 197165 View attachment 197166 View attachment 197167 View attachment 197168

That's all the progress that's happened in the past few weeks, so what's next? Well, I'd like to focus on making Shoestring rideable first, which thankfully shouldn't take much to accomplish. After that's out of the way, I'll work on the tank insert and headlight. Once that's done, (or while I'm cooling off indoors,) I'll finish the stickers for covering up the rough spots on the bike. I'll try not to put off updating the thread as long as I did this time, so hopefully I'll have more to share soon.
Epic headlight mount!
 

Ulu

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This is a cool idea but a small single spoon will be too flimsy IMO.

Your headlight will bounce as you ride down the road. Also it will want to turn, and so you might bend up the tail of it and screw it the back of the forks or stick it in somehow that it does not twist and unscrew the single attachment screw.

An old Hungarian engineer taught me that a single screw is not an attachment. You need two screws or something more than just one. A heavy duty star washer might be enough depending on how the surfaces come together when you make the attachment.

I think bending it would be a better idea. It might not need the second screw if you get it nice and tight.

A really heavy duty chef’s spoon or serving spoon would be thicker but harder to work with as well.

If you can find two identical or nearly identical spoons (or crazy thought even a spoon and a fork) you could gang them together as the top and bottom cords of a special truss.

like this: (edit… I see I drew this upside down from your spoon. It works either way.)
57FB8970-A35A-495C-9210-1A49AF60270B.jpeg

Geez I don’t know how anybody could read my writing. I can’t even read it.

Here we have two identical or nearly identical spoons, attached together with screws and spacers. The spacers could be a little hex nuts or washers or anything substantial that will not crush under pressure. The little rings inside a bicycle chain will work

The spacers can be different sizes and different lengths and the spoons do not have to be parallel throughout the whole length. The idea is to keep it smooth.

This makes it into sort of a funny truss that has no diagonal webs. It was invented by an engineer named Art Vierendeel a hundred years ago.

His idea was that structures needed to be seen and they needed to be aesthetically pleasing.
BECFD612-BB5F-4B96-930C-2C5606C338C2.jpeg
 
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Ulu

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This is a little difficult to visualize but your bicycle already has a Vierendeel truss right here on the forks.

92E0D047-1729-449F-88B1-36FE6B443E0A.jpeg


It has a horizontal top cord & bottom cord, and three vertical posts: Two fork legs and the steering tube.
 
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This is a cool idea but a small single spoon will be too flimsy IMO.

Your headlight will bounce as you ride down the road. Also it will want to turn, and so you might bend up the tail of it and screw it the back of the forks or stick it in somehow that it does not twist and unscrew the single attachment screw.

An old Hungarian engineer taught me that a single screw is not an attachment. You need two screws or something more than just one. A heavy duty star washer might be enough depending on how the surfaces come together when you make the attachment.

I think bending it would be a better idea. It might not need the second screw if you get it nice and tight.

A really heavy duty chef’s spoon or serving spoon would be thicker but harder to work with as well.

If you can find two identical or nearly identical spoons (or crazy thought even a spoon and a fork) you could gang them together as the top and bottom cords of a special truss.

like this: (edit… I see I drew this upside down from your spoon. It works either way.)
View attachment 197267
Geez I don’t know how anybody could read my writing. I can’t even read it.

Here we have two identical or nearly identical spoons, attached together with screws and spacers. The spacers could be a little hex nuts or washers or anything substantial that will not crush under pressure. The little rings inside a bicycle chain will work

The spacers can be different sizes and different lengths and the spoons do not have to be parallel throughout the whole length. The idea is to keep it smooth.

This makes it into sort of a funny truss that has no diagonal webs. It was invented by an engineer named Art Vierendeel a hundred years ago.

His idea was that structures needed to be seen and they needed to be aesthetically pleasing.
View attachment 197268
I can see where you're going with this, but the whole idea with using this spoon for a headlight mount is to make do with what parts and pieces I already have. Plus, this headlight's really more of a decor piece. I doubt it'll be good enough to use at night. I still want it to light up, but I don't expect it to be completely practical. I could try using some star washers/lock washers to help tighten things down, though. It's just mocked up for now. The headlight shouldn't be too heavy, since it'll be mostly made of aluminum and plastic, but the 2 AAA batteries might affect that. I can worry about that down the road. Thanks for the advice, though.
 
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Okay, I just figured out a way to get this headlight to work without spending money on a new light bulb or socket!

Turns out, all I had to do was adjust the contact on the inside of the socket of this little e10 light bulb base I've had since... well, probably since I was a kid, and rob the one remaining original bulb off another one of my back-burner project bikes. So now, I have all the internal components needed to make this headlight work! I've got a 2x AAA battery tray that I've had about as long as the light bulb socket, the bulb and socket, and a little switch I got a few years ago from what is probably the last and only Radio Shack in all of northeastern Oklahoma. Fortunately, all the components fit inside the fence post topper quite nicely, but there's a catch...
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While there's plenty of room inside the fence post topper to fit everything from the battery tray to the thin sheet of plexiglass, there's only enough room to do just that. I had planned on trimming the fence post topper so the edge of the VW emblem would sit flush with the ridge of the topper, but since there's only just enough room to fit everything inside the fence post topper as it is, I need to leave the topper at it's full length.
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So that leaves me with a problem: I don't like how that gap between the ridge of the fence post topper and the edge of the VW emblem. I have a couple ideas of how to fix that, but I'm not sure what would look best. I could just grind that ridge off the fence post topper and smooth it out, but the VW emblem needs a little something behind it due to the edge being just slightly larger in diameter than the topper. I could add something between the topper ridge and the VW emblem, but I don't know what, or how to make it look good without modifying the topper ridge. I might have to dig through my stash of old junk to find a potential solution...
Screen Shot 2022-05-24 at 1.35.02 PM.png
 

Ulu

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What you could add is a short bit of fence post if you can snag one. Otherwise I would suggest a bit of whatever soup can could be made to fit.

If you really wanna be ratty you could just cut a strip of thin sheet metal and roll it into a tube. Put some sheet metal screws in it. If it has attractive printing on the outside, so much the better.

Of course all this stuff adds weight to the lamp.
 
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What you could add is a short bit of fence post if you can snag one. Otherwise I would suggest a bit of whatever soup can could be made to fit.

If you really wanna be ratty you could just cut a strip of thin sheet metal and roll it into a tube. Put some sheet metal screws in it. If it has attractive printing on the outside, so much the better.

Of course all this stuff adds weight to the lamp.
I never thought of the soup can idea for the outside of the headlight... I like that idea!

I actually found a piece of metal in my junk stash that could work like that. It even has a cool design cut out of it.

Another idea I have is to use the same khaki pants fabric I plan to use for the tank insert and wrap some of that around the headlight, maybe with a scallop design cut out.
 

Ulu

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Somewhere, I have a round VW belt buckle like that emblem, cast out of thick bronze

It’s a big heavy thing that is totally out of fashion for me nowadays, But I think it would make a cool car badge for my VW powered project car.

I probably wouldn’t remember that it still existed except for your thread.
 
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