Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Hercules 3 Speed: Bicycle Fender Repair

 Front Fender Repairs:

Today was chilly, so I got some work in the shed done on the Model G. This past weekend, as you may recall, I stripped the front fender down to the original black paint only to find it had been scored to allow a home spray paint job to take place. I worked the fender back into better shape here and there by hand, then set about the cosmetics.

Today I set about cleaning up, at least mitigating the scratches. My goal is make the part more presentable while also preventing any sort of rust build up in the scratches.  Here you can see the part in daylight as it will naturally appear on the road.

My method was not particularly high tech. I thinned some black oil-based paint, then used a rag to rub the thinned mixture onto the fender. I continued to buff until the paint accumulated in the scratches and rubbed off the intact paint.  On a closer look, you can see the texture of those small but present scratches.

The results are ok, nothing spectacular, but then I've got some pretty serious scratches on the part. That said, it came out in, what I think is, a presentable manner. It will never be perfect, but perhaps the repair/restoration of this bike will be as a cleaned up relic and not a totally redone item. The color matches reasonably well, and I've gotten sort of used to dealing with black paint over the years.

My philosophy with vintage bikes is to go with what you've been given and to keep it as original as possible while still being practical. I'm not in it for a dead-on total restoration, and then I'm also not waiting around for mint, 'NOS' originals. I think you have to play the hand your dealt and adjust where you're headed with the project based on what turns up. In this case I'm headed back down the "presentable, used/antique" type route. I usually end up there anyway.

Raleigh Dawn Tourist Ride, and Dating Danish Market Bicycle

While letting the fender dry, I took a half hour ride on the Raleigh Dawn. It's the same as it was before. I still need warm weather to finish and install the chain case. It's a nice looking bike and I really like the green color.

The paint cleaned up pretty well, and the Brooks saddle looks nice on there.

 Here is the give away that the bicycle was exported to Denmark. That country had a special system of marking bicycles being brought to market. This number on the side of the seat tube indicates the bicycle was imported in 1965, which jives with the hubs being December 1964 production. The bicycle was a Nottingham Raleigh produced for the Danish market specifically.

For more on it: Dating Danish Market Bicycles

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