Mid 20's Hawthorne Rust Project!


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Lraybike

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jan 2, 2011
212
16
Glendale California
#1
So I've been lazy about getting an update on the progress of my rusty purchase, but here it is! I've actually been done for two months now. First are some pics of what was delivered to me and I scratched my head and thought
of aborting the project. Was it too far gone??? So I put it together to have a look and clean a bit of dirt off. Cool looking but DAM! I looked at it for a couple days and thought... should I let it beat me or should I save her? I'm a big fan of challenges so the answer ended up being YES, I'll do it! When I cleaned back some rust I saw a great color combination (Med. sea grey/ Black with lighter grey pins) and a crazy serial # "0" ? no other stampings. The center of the crank also had a "0" stamped in the center? Whatever, I became determined to see what I could do using all the rusty parts that were delivered to my door. End Of Part 1
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Lraybike

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jan 2, 2011
212
16
Glendale California
#5
Well, Here it is!

Unfortunately I'm pretty lame about progress photos along the way. I just can't be bothered sometime, I'd rather just keep working and in my mind I think..."I know what the process is, what do I want to look at those pics for!"
Anyway, I was able to use every part it came with except I did need one wood clad rim (rotten) and the pedals. Oh, I was able to track down some NOS 12 1/16" torrington double-butted spokes.

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Likes: jimbo53

Larmo63

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Aug 17, 2010
4,356
457
San Clemente, Ca
#7
Wowzers!!!!!!! Love it Lawrence....you've been a busy beaver there...

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Lraybike

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jan 2, 2011
212
16
Glendale California
#12
Tire Question!

I feel like keeping my solution to the "how do I get ridable tires for wood rims" question for just a bit longer! I wasn't going to say anything until enough people noticed and the curiosity bubbled! I will say this for now, they are original wood clad rims and Yes, those are 28" x 1 5/8" clincher tires with intertubes. Did I mention how nice the ride is? I just want to stir some &#!^ and get some head scratching going! Lawrence
 

Monarky

Finally riding a big boys bike
Oct 29, 2012
461
70
Ontario, California
#13
I feel like keeping my solution to the "how do I get ridable tires for wood rims" question for just a bit longer! I wasn't going to say anything until enough people noticed and the curiosity bubbled! I will say this for now, they are original wood clad rims and Yes, those are 28" x 1 5/8" clincher tires with intertubes. Did I mention how nice the ride is? I just want to stir some &#!^ and get some head scratching going! Lawrence
Hi Lawrence, outstanding job on your Hawthorne restoration. I also have a Hawthorne flyer in similar conditions in my garage with many challenges ahead. So did you do the paint job yourself and did you chrome or nickel plate the parts? Let me know I'm also in So. Cal and can use any tips before I start my project. Thanks, Monarky
 

Lraybike

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jan 2, 2011
212
16
Glendale California
#14
Paint

First... Thank you all for the good words! Yes, I do all my own paint work the comes from years of restoring classic cars, and to me it's all about the prep (wet sanding) and having all of the pitting filled and level. As you can see
on my latest, I had my work cut out for me. After media blasting the very best in my opinion is a catalyzed poly primer or auto primer with high build. Even though you'll wet sand 80% of this off it gets things strait. You can't really use a block but instead I like as much as six layers of 220 folded over itself to create a curved block. A guide coat in black is a must! This will show all imperfections and tell you when to stop. It does get tricky at the joints
and is something you perfect over the years, I think of it as a sculpture. Unfortunately you won't know how well you've done until the clear is laid on. Then you make adjustments on the next project, the years tick by and eventually you'll get good at it. As far as the actual painting goes, it also has it's challenges on these complex tubes and directions you have to hit for good coverage. Not enough (too dry) too much (runs!), the trick is to get a full wet coat or two and walk away! Easier said then done maybe and it's definitely a case of practice makes perfect. As for the paint itself... I use quite often spray cans for my base coat. Higher end art stores stock a great selection
of colors to choose from (pictured here). I came up with a way to have my top coat (clear) and over all paint job not look too glossy and too new looking! It's a catalyzed auto clear that I mix with a new FLAT clear of the same type. (2 parts flat w/ 1 part gloss) Not cheap, it'll set you back $125. in materials alone but it give the apparence of a well cared for older original paint. I do other crazy things to my clear like transparent toners in the to push the base color to exactly where I want it to be (making the color look older). I'd like to say "That's all it takes!" but really this is mostly a jump off point, the rest just takes time/ trial & error! Maybe I've gotten too in depth but I hope this helps some of you out there. As for the plating, Yes, it's Nickel plating. I do this for all my bike projects, it's warmer and just looks better!

P.S. I live in Glendale

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Sped Man

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Dec 5, 2012
2,375
1,660
Planet Gallifrey
#16
Wow, I was about to warn you about avoiding pot holes given all the rust on that bike but wow you nailed that bike. It looks awesome. One question did it come in gray originally?
 

Lraybike

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jan 2, 2011
212
16
Glendale California
#17
Color Question?

Yes, I surely couldn't tell at first but after rubbing it down with some steel wool it showed up. If you look closely at some of the before pics, you can make it out. I was also surprised to see that the fender brackets were originally black (also pictured), after drilling out the rivets and removing them the two factory colors were right there! Maybe some Fall catalog special model??? I don't know but when I saw the color it made me want to see it in it's glory days!
 

rustyspoke66

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 2, 2010
3,457
603
Spokane, WA
#19
I'm going to go ahead and try turning a set into clinchers because if your making a bike into a rider it needs to have good tires. Also for me I like my bikes ridable and this seems to be a good solution. I guess if a guy had to you could reinforce the inside of the rim with some carbon fiber tape or something. Also I would not try this on a standard wood rim but I think the wood clad rims should be fine. So off to the router table!
 

Lraybike

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jan 2, 2011
212
16
Glendale California
#20
Ok, I'm not alone in thinking... That is very much what I did; however, I didn't feel the need to take out the center. This keeps the nipples still buried, all but the very edge and this transitions nicely inline with the center strip as well as keeping the wooden core as thick as possible. After the (26" fat) rubber spoke protector goes on it looks very safe for the intertube to press against. As far as the rim strength goes... there is still nearly 3/16" thickness of Rock Maple holding back the beads. Let's say the metal clad (all be it thin) doesn't hurt either. I have mine up to nearly 50 PSI and road the hell out of it (even small curbs) just to see what would happen but they held up fine! I WANTED TO KNOW!! I do have a trick for mounting the tires though.... I put the intertube in the tire and just slightly inflate (just enough to hold it's shape). Then put the rim inside the tire, meaning both beads are on the outsides of the rim. Then... bring each side on one at a time. This way you won't have to sweep across the rubber spoke protector and get it out of alinement.
Yeah, for the purist... please look away, but to me I think it's a shame to see all these great bikes just sitting around collecting dust! I'm very much a visual guy and and looks are important. I like knowing that the original rims are still being used with the bike they came with or are era correct. I'm trying to imagine if I bought a bike way in the future and saw that this mod had been done, would I be upset? Hell No!, Sweet, I get to buy tires for it and go for a ride! Don't get me wrong, if someone steps up and decides to make good looking (tread design), inflatable and ridable single tubes in red, white and black I'd be happy to spend $300. for some. But for now,... this is my solution anyway!
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