"It's easier on a Grubb" (tandem)

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  • This is a fascinating project.

  • Here are some pics of the worst of the headclips in terms of cracking. Think it could be welded...? Won’t look pretty but will be safer than it is now

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  • De-rusting the brakes using electrolysis. I know how to spend a Friday night

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  • This thread is going from strength to strength. Easily one of the forums best build threads of all time!

  • Ha thanks, the encouragement helps when spending mindless hours with wire wool.

    Here’s a before and after pic from the electrolysis and then cleaning. Chemistry’s great, huh.

    Also a bonus pic of the frame with the wheels on. The seat posts and bars are just there as a mock up, haven’t finished restoring them yet. I rebuilt the front wheel with a fresh NOS 590 chrome rim. The rear rim was fine after a bit of gentle oily wire wool- as all 3 speed aficionados will know, the constant oil dripping out of a sturmey hub means you rarely get much rust on the rear wheel...
    The cranks will be a little while before going on yet, because the chainring bolt hole threads are full of fresh chrome after they were rechromed, so I’ll have to get that removed, d’oh! Rooky error that I should have warned the rechromers about.

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  • Love this project. Keep the updates coming.

    And how does home electrolysis work? Looks fun.

  • You need a bucket of water with washing soda in it, and a car battery charger. You set up the rusty parts as the cathode (-) and an old steel can or similar as the anode (+). Then something magic with the rust electrons(?) being attracted to the positive side happens. I’m no chemist (sorry dad!)

    At the end of it there is some blackness on the formerly rusty part but this comes off with a bit of a scrub. The main advantage of using this method is that no real abrasion takes place.

  • Basically witchcraft then. Probably works best when there's a full moon.

  • Dad brought his set of old imperial sized taps and dies down to the family camping trip to Cornwall so we were able to clean out the threads on the cranks

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  • So so good.

  • Well I’m pleased to report that it’s now built- albeit with a few temporary fixes, that gross rear saddle for example, and I’ve had to reuse the old worn out chainrings for now in the absence of suitable others- and I’ve taken it for a test ride. A few teething problems related to the gears but generally all good. Feels very smooth and responsive. My dad informs me that the last time it was used was 1980 when he and grandpa took it up to the Wayfarer memorial in the Berwyns. Grandpa had a stroke six months later and died in October 1981. Dad - himself now 74- is coming to stay in a week or so so I shall make sure we take it out for a quick spin.

    Guess I can add it to the ‘tandems of the forum’ thread now!

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  • Badass. Would stoker.

  • I love the triple brake lever setup.

    Looks terrific fun in general.

  • Yeah it took me a while to figure out how best to set them up. Think I’ve cracked it though. The drum brake on the rear feels like it would stop a train so probably won’t need the two fingered approach too often.

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  • Thought I should just update with one final completion pic or two now that mudguards and saddles are all fitted. A rainy trip to Epping Forest the other day, and a few stonking blasts around the velopark road circuit during lockdown have ironed out teething problems. Eagle eyed viewers will notice the stoker’s cranks are not quite in line- I’m working on sorting that (long story related to too much chrome on the rechromed cranks and the delights of cotter pin filing).
    I also managed to source some smarter brakes with all the chrome still on them quite cheap off eBay, so my electrolysis above was not needed in the end. Still, was fun...

    Have also ordered some new handlebars as the existing ones are rather too deeply scored in places for my liking.

    Chuffed to bits it’s all back together anyway and having lots of fun using it.

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  • this is so amazing. i'm well inspired!

  • Bravo for reviving this machine, and for all the hard work it required.

  • Really really good

  • Ah thanks for kind words guys! Your support kept me going ;)

  • That's' really nice. Looks great

  • Fantastic. Seriously good effort getting that from it's starting point to such a fantastic finish. Absolutely quality.

  • I've heard that the cranks should be slightly out. I'm pretty far from being an expert.

    An excellent project, I'll keep an eye out for you and it, I live in E10

  • Looks like great fun!

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"It's easier on a Grubb" (tandem)

Posted by Avatar for BobbyBriggs @BobbyBriggs