Sunday, January 26, 2014

Polishing and Cleaning Bicycle Paint, etc.: 1958 Raleigh

I had a chance to work on the 1958 Raleigh Sports project a bit this afternoon. I fired up the space heater and got to work. My task for today was to further disassemble the bicycle, remove the old headbadge rivets, and generally clean up the bicycle in preparation for rebuilding. 

The first order of business was to remove the headbadge rivets. Someone in the past ground down the original headbadge rivets, removed the heron headbadge, drilled new holes, and placed a new, larger badge on the head tube. The original rivets were quite soft and ground down pretty far.

I removed them by pulled the fork, then driving the original rivets into the head tube using a 1/16 inch punch. The punch size was perfect for the holes. The rivets drove in and fell out quite easily.

I followed that by moving on to cleaning up the finish. As I posted earlier, it's best to polish and get your paint ready before touching it up. This gives you a chance to see exactly what you need to match. Raleigh black paint is very durable and polishes up nicely. The decals remain in excellent condition as well.

After working the frame, I moved onto the fork and chainguard.

Even the small, brightwork clips that hold the cables and chainguard in place were polished.

I also paid attention to the lamp bracket and headset parts. Attention to detail pays off: having nice paint with shiny bright work will set this bike apart from refurbishments that cut corners.

I used Simichrome on the brightwork and NuFinish Scratch Doctor on the paint.

At this point, the bicycle is pretty well broken down. I still need to clean and lubricate the bottom bracket parts. This is very likely going to be an attractive bicycle.

Compared to the first picture in this post, you can see how the polish blended away the rather obvious paint fading outline. The badge that was on this bicycle appears to have been a large, oval badge. I will fill in the oval scratches where the badge was and then place a vintage, Raleigh heron badge back on the bike using the original rivet holes.

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