Shoestring

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Joined
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Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Finally, I've got my Shoestring all tied up and ready to go!
BftD_Shoestring_FINAL_main_SCALED.jpg


At first I was going to forgo this year's Build Off, but once I found this twin-tube 1961 Murray Meteor Flite at a local swap meet for $40, and the perfectly-seasoned seat at another swap meet for $2, I just knew I had to toss my hat in the ring and get to building! And for the FIRST TIME EVER, I actually finished my Build Off entry just how I wanted, while still beating the deadline, and even sticking within my $50 budget! I've had a number of bikes now that either didn't get finished the way I wanted, or weren't finished on time, or weren't finished at all, but this time, I actually accomplished what I set out to do! I took this $40 ant-infested "garden bike" and brought it back from the dead using mostly just what parts I had available to me.

I've had a lot of fun (and a lot of stress) participating in these Build Offs since my first one in 2020, but this was hands-down my favorite Build Off to date! It was a real treat to finally build a bike with some patina, as I didn't have to worry about painting, powder coating or clear coating what I built. I especially enjoyed the challenge of making all my modifications look like they had been on the bike for the past 50 years! I had never messed with aging stickers, fabric and even whitewall tires with coffee and paint before, and now that I have, I can't wait to do it again! That was a ton of fun learning how to do all that! I'm also really glad that I finally got to use one of my fence post toppers as a "headlight" for one of my bikes. I'd been itching to do that for a few years now, and to combine it with a bent spoon and a VW emblem I'd been saving for a bike build at some point makes it even sweeter! This may be my new favorite bike, as it became more of an arts-and-crafts project than my previous builds. I got to do some painting, fabric staining, woodworking, and even some graphic design and illustration all on this one bike! Shoestring is by all means a keeper!

To show just how far this bike has come, here's how it looked when I acquired it back in April:
BftD_Rusty_Murray11.jpg


Some additional full-frame glamour shots:
BftD_Shoestring_FINAL_detail1_SCALED.jpg
BftD_Shoestring_FINAL_detail2_SCALED.jpg
BftD_Shoestring_FINAL_detail3_SCALED.jpg
BftD_Shoestring_FINAL_detail4_SCALED.jpg
BftD_Shoestring_FINAL_detail5_SCALED.jpg
BftD_Shoestring_FINAL_detail6_SCALED.jpg
BftD_Shoestring_FINAL_detail7_SCALED.jpg
BftD_Shoestring_FINAL_detail8_SCALED.jpg
BftD_Shoestring_FINAL_detail9_SCALED.jpg
BftD_Shoestring_FINAL_detail35_SCALED.jpg


And now, the moment of truth: how much did I actually spend on this bike?
Admittedly, it's kind of tricky to give the most accurate tally for the budget, since I sold $265-worth of bikes and parts during the Build Off. By that metric, the amount I spent is in the negative! But, for transparency-sake, I'll list everything I purchased/traded for during the process of bringing this bike back from the dead. As for the parts I already had before I got the bike and tools that I intend to use on multiple bikes besides this one, I'll leave the prices out, either because I chose not to factor them into the final cost, or because I forgot.

1961 Murray Meteor Flite bike - $40
Seat - $2
Handlebars - traded for it at the Springfield bicycle swap meet
Front tire - This is the tricky one. I pulled it from another bike in my stable, but only after I bought a replacement tire for $27.12 after selling $40 worth of forks.
Stickers - $1.50 to print 6 pages-worth of stickers at my local library
Paint for fabric and tire staining - $2.25
Hardware for headlight - $3.49
Frame repair and welded layback seat post - free, courtesy of the welding students of Sapulpa's Central Tech

As for the other parts and materials used to bring this bike to life, here's a list of what I already had on hand:
Wheels, tubes and tires
Pedals
Handlebar grips
Shoestring streamers
Chain
Khaki fabric
Plywood
Fence post topper
VW emblem
Spoon
Neodymium ring magnet
Seat post
Bearings, races and bearing cups
Misc. bolts

Overall, I spent $76.36, $36.36, or -$228.64 on this bike, depending on how you factor in the bikes and parts I sold in the process of building Shoestring. Personally, I'd say I spent $36.36 on the bike, since the forks I sold for $40 allowed me to get a 26" x 1.75" tire for the bike I pulled a tire off of to complete this bike. Everything else I sold since then didn't really play a part in the process of building this bike.

I'd also like to give a special thanks to everyone who helped me along the way:
My family for their support,
@billn for helping me true my wheels, and for teaching me about the process too,
My friend Chad who helped straighten the frame dropouts,
My good friend Allan for helping me at the last minute to get my Komet Super coaster brake hub working again, and for helping with final assembly,
Everyone on both here and The C.A.B.E. who helped me with any questions or concerns I had, and provided positive reinforcement for what I did,
The people of Sapulpa Central Tech who helped repair the frame and modify my layback seat post at no cost to me,
And a big thanks to the folks who keep this fine forum running so us bikeaholics have a place to enjoy this hobby together!

If you feel like checking out the whole build process for this bike, you can read the whole story here.
 
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Dude, epic cool build.

so much class and patina in that thing…… tons of creativity

your decals and head badge look awesome

can’t believe you built that thing for $50!!!
Thanks Jude! That's why I had so much fun building it; it was a full-on creative exercise!

I'm surprised I even kept within my budget this time! I usually have a bad habit of spending way too much on my builds. It's nice to build something that looks cool but doesn't break the bank for a change!
 
Thanks Jude! That's why I had so much fun building it; it was a full-on creative exercise!

I'm surprised I even kept within my budget this time! I usually have a bad habit of spending way too much on my builds. It's nice to build something that looks cool but doesn't break the bank for a change!
Those tires came out great. So cool to have the different tread patterns, but matching patina on the white walls.
 
Those tires came out great. So cool to have the different tread patterns, but matching patina on the white walls.
Thanks! I think part of the reason for the different tread patterns is the rear is 2.125" wide, but the front's 1.75" wide. Glad to hear I succeeded on matching the patina on the rear tire with the fauxtina I painted on the front!
 
I liked your line about it being your 'arts and crafts bike'. I feel like you really found out how much fun it is to not fret over 'perfection'; paint, the proper part to fit the era, etc this time around. You finished you build off bike, on time and in really cool fashion! :113:

You know I love me some RaT-ina, and you used some really creative ways to achieve that on this build. The fabric, the old labels, whitewall aging; they all worked together with the natural rust-ina the bike already came with at the start. Well done!
 
I liked your line about it being your 'arts and crafts bike'. I feel like you really found out how much fun it is to not fret over 'perfection'; paint, the proper part to fit the era, etc this time around. You finished you build off bike, on time and in really cool fashion! :113:

You know I love me some RaT-ina, and you used some really creative ways to achieve that on this build. The fabric, the old labels, whitewall aging; they all worked together with the natural rust-ina the bike already came with at the start. Well done!
Thank you OddJob! Oh, I was stilling fretting over "perfection." It's just that I was fretting over making all the imperfections on my modifications look perfect, especially on the fabric, stickers and whitewall tire! That's probably why I didn't finish this bike in a month or two like I thought I would; I kept getting hung up on making the fauxtina match the patina! I did eventually learn to just roll with it though, and once I did that, it was a lot easier to relax and have fun with it.

Thanks!
 

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