Unrestoration

Discussion in 'Antique Bicycles Pre-1933' started by Brian R., Dec 18, 2017.

  1. #1 Posted Dec 18, 2017

    Finally riding a big boys bike

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    Who are these people who apply silver spray paint on nickel plated parts and think they've done a restoration? I spent an entire evening undoing what one such previous owner did to my left-hand drive 1896 Crawford. The handlebars had been sprayed with red oxide primer underneath the silver, so it took four, 20-minute soaks in oven cleaner plus extra-fine 0000 steel wool and hot soapy water to get it all off. I am pleased with the condition of the nickel, especially on the stem. It makes me wonder why they bothered to spray it. Would the pedals have been plated in nickel originally? Pedals always take such a beating over 100+ years it's hard to tell. I wasn't able to remove the crank arms so I will have to "unrestore" those plus the chainwheel while they're still on the bike without ruining the paint on the frame. Some before and after photos:

    Speedqueen1.jpg
    Speedqueen4.jpg Unrestoration.jpg
     
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  2. #2 Posted Dec 18, 2017

    Saint Lactose The Tolerant

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    Your parts look waaay better now, Brian !!

    A little tarnish -- a bit of neutered and stabilized
    rust here and there lends a bit of character to
    the wheel.

    But silver paint in small pits and fissures - gag !

    Good Form .....

    ....... patric
     
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  3. #3 Posted Dec 18, 2017

    Wore out three sets of tires already!

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    Silver paint or any color paint protects the underlying surface against rust or heavy scratches, etc., so long as the bike is not left out in the open for years afterwards.
    The guy that painted it silver really did you a favor, and your nickle finish should be real close to the condition it was when he painted it.
    A lot of work to undo maybe, but a preservative measure- maybe by accident. God Bless,---Cowboy
     
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  4. #4 Posted Dec 19, 2017

    Wore out three sets of tires already!

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    Yes Brian, the pedals would originally have been nickel plated.
     
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  5. #5 Posted Dec 19, 2017

    I live for the CABE

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    I had the same problem once where I went to see some bikes that a guy was going to sell. He took me down stairs to the basement where about 8 bikes were displayed.

    He took me over to this bike ( Racycle ) and said he "completely restored" it himself. Everything on the bike was spray painted silver! ( but to him it was completely restored ).

    Price was $600 ( this was 1989 in Canada )

    Racycle.jpg

    Racycle 003.jpg Racycle 004.jpg
     
  6. #6 Posted Dec 19, 2017

    Finally riding a big boys bike

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    Egads! That would take a whole lot of oven cleaner. It would be worth it in the end, though, nice bike (the Racycle).
     
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  7. #7 Posted Dec 19, 2017

    Moderator Staff Member

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    Nicely done! Spray paint can be a blessing in disguise protecting the plating and sometimes even the paint. But lots of work as you said - and a lot of times not so much a blessing, just a disappointment when you get down to the rust and or pitting lol
     
  8. #8 Posted Dec 19, 2017

    Wore out three sets of tires already!

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    That is true , also.----Cowboy
     
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  9. #9 Posted Dec 19, 2017

    Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe

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    One of my biggest pet peeves. People think they’re doing a bike justice by covering up rust, in return they’re just making it hard on the bikes future owner. I see lots of this. I figure that whatever chrome or nickle is left is far better than any coverup. Silver paint is gaudy on a bicycle!
     
  10. #10 Posted Dec 19, 2017

    Look Ma, No Hands!

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    I grew up with silver spray paint being called "Rhode Island nickel." My dad had a 1916 Columbia chainless that was completely silver painted. When he removed the silver, everything, including the plating and original decals, was pristinely preserved. It can indeed be a blessing. I have a 1936 Rollfast where the plated parts have all been painted over black. Not much plating to be found underneath unfortunately.
     
  11. #11 Posted Dec 19, 2017

    Riding an Alexander Rocket Bike

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    Nice job.
     
  12. #12 Posted Dec 26, 2017

    Finally riding a big boys bike

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    You said everything I wanted to say.
     
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