Saturday, November 10, 2012

Making Your Own Bicycle Parts

The Raleigh Dawn Tourist project came missing a small brake retaining piece- the piece that holds the rod centered to the drum brake arms. I have one of these, but need another. They're not easy to find, so it's time to make one.

I took the original part and removed it from the bike. It is essentially just a piece of steel rod cut to size and with a hole drilled through it. It should not be too hard to make.

Step1- find a part that can be a suitable donor to create my brake part. I went to the hardware store and fount a smooth bolt used to hold a cotter or clevis pin. The secret here is to look for your part and shape, then find that shape and part in another object. Go to the hardware store and look around. You want to troll through the drawers of small parts until inspiration strikes and you see what you need inside another, potentially unrelated part. In this case I really do have just a piece of steel rod with a hole in it.

Step 2: measure the existing part and then cut a section off the pin holder to match. I took a Dremel cutting wheel to cut the pin.

Once cut off, I take the Dremel Grinding stone and gradually finer sand paper to shape the part.

Below is the nearly finished part- the only thing left is to bore out the hole to match. I could have made the hole larger before cutting it off too, but I wanted to get the general shape right first. I opened up the hole with my drill and sure enough, the part works. I can now connect both rod drum brakes when I'm ready.

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