50 years, 2 wheels, 1 goal

Discussion in 'The Rockies – It's all downhill from here...' started by TheDudeAbides, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. TheDudeAbides

    TheDudeAbides Sarcasm free11/11/10

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    A few weeks ago I turned 50. I had been looking for a project I could do to commemorate this occasion and I wanted it to be transportaion oriented. Ideally I was looking for something that came along the same year I did (1962). Originally I wanted to do another VW beetle. I've owned tons of bugs ranging from '58 to '68, but I'd never owned a '62. After searching locally and The Samba for awhile, I decided the VW market is still too rich for my blood right now. So I looked into motorcycles. I couldn't find a '62 or older I wanted, and I did settle on a '68 (more on that in a different thread sometime perhaps). So I was getting frustrated at finding a project that was 50 years old or older.

    Then 2 things happened. First I found out that my g/f's daughter really wants a cruiser bike for her upcoming birthday. Secondly, I stumbled upon a garage/estate sale and found this 1957 Hawthorne (Montgomery Wards) ladies cruiser. Best part: It was "all there" and was only $20. So I purchased this rolling pile of rusted bolts, hauled it home and began the project.

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    #1
  2. TheDudeAbides

    TheDudeAbides Sarcasm free11/11/10

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    Upon closer inspection, I realized this bike (which had been stored outdoors for years) was rougher than I thought.
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  3. TheDudeAbides

    TheDudeAbides Sarcasm free11/11/10

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    So I began the tear down.

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    Next it was off to the sandblaster....
    #3
  4. Blakebird

    Blakebird r-u-n-n-o-f-t

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    great idea.... it's getting harder and harder to find stuff my age that's restorable :lol3

    and I damn sure can't afford a '55 Chevy
    #4
  5. Lomax

    Lomax Nanu-Nanu Adventurer

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    Very Cool Ben and Happy 50.

    Damned kids anyway. :lol3 Imagine what it takes to find something older than me. :D

    I can't wait to see the outcome of the project.

    Marc
    #5
  6. kbob999

    kbob999 Red Rider

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    Agree Blake...half our age is closer to it...which is why the '90 KDX was so attractive, and all the older bikes I've gone through. BTW - the KDX is really nice - nothing is worn in the parts department. Almost ready to plate after tearing through it.

    Dude - great project! Are you going 'all-in' with a powdercoat? I'm subscribing.
    #6
  7. TheDudeAbides

    TheDudeAbides Sarcasm free11/11/10

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    Well...instead of investing an entire weekend sanding and stripping off the old paint and rust and 50+ years of gunk and grime, I took all the pieces to sand blasting guru, fellow ADVer, and all around good guy Colorado_CJ (Andy) at Advanced Applications here in Loveland. He had in done in 2 hours! http://www.sandblast.net/He was great! The work was timely, affordable and it came out looking amazing:deal

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    If you've never had anything sandblasted before, this is the way to go! Saved myself hours and hours of elbow grease and ended up with a far superior result compared to sanding. The frame looked like it came out of a factory a week ago, not 55 years ago.
    #7
  8. TheDudeAbides

    TheDudeAbides Sarcasm free11/11/10

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    I didn't go with a powder coat finish, and instead relied on my years and years of rattle can skills (well, ability more than skill). Like many of you, I've been rattle canning different projects since I was 8 years old (back when they'd let you buy the stuff without showing an ID!).

    As fate and timing would have it, I am also remodling a bathroom at my house at the same time and have the floor torn out of it, and all the dry wall removed. When cleaned up, that bathroom made for the perfect paint booth! I didn't have to worry about over spray getting on anything, because I didn't care. It was a warm, ventilated (with the ceileing fan on), dust free room to paint all the surfaces except the wheels (more on those later). I used my garage for all the priming and my bathroom/paint booth for all the painting.

    First up was to true the rims then mask them off for painitng.

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    #8
  9. TheDudeAbides

    TheDudeAbides Sarcasm free11/11/10

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    I trued the wheels using a truing stand, but I didn't want to use that as my painting jig because I'd get paint all over it. So I found and old bed frame rail, stuck it in a vice that was attached to the old vanity I pulled out of the remodel bathroom and had myself an instant wheel painting station in my garage.

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    #9
  10. Blakebird

    Blakebird r-u-n-n-o-f-t

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    ....once a tagger :lol3


    last thing I had media blasted was my '77 XS 650 frame. The bike was stolen from my g/f's apt on the eve of my birthday in '78, and recovered in a creekbed - stripped and set on fire. :bluduh

    I had the motor sandblasted as well as the frame, except the side cases (hand polished) due to the fire. I had a friend whose family had a cemetery monument business - they sandblasted marble headstones - and did my frame/motor for free.

    I repainted the frame in my garage, then moved to Texas - taking the basket case with me.
    Completely rebuilt it from scratch (a zillion $ in rubber grommets alone) and rode it for 8 years.

    /hijack

    Looking forward to the rattlecan job!
    #10
  11. TheDudeAbides

    TheDudeAbides Sarcasm free11/11/10

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    I primed the bike frame and all tins in my garage and did the final sanding there. Nice calm day, no wind to blow contaminants around and into the finish. The primer coats came out very nice.

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    #11
  12. TheDudeAbides

    TheDudeAbides Sarcasm free11/11/10

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    You caught me dawg. You've probably seen some of my other works, yo.

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    #12
  13. NMTrailboss

    NMTrailboss Team Dead End

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    :lurk
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  14. TooFast

    TooFast Long timer

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    I still have one of those genererators and tail lights in my junk box!
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  15. TheDudeAbides

    TheDudeAbides Sarcasm free11/11/10

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    Ok, here's a teaser of the semi-finished rattle can. Taken with a cell phone.
    I let the young lady pick out whatever color she wanted for the bike and she went with a kind of a sunflower yellow. It looks very nice "in person" but doesn't photograph well. Flash on the camera makes it pop too much and it comes out much brighter than it is, but with the flash off it washes out and looks duller and more pail than it really is. This shot (taken after two coats, but before final coat and color sanding) came out about as close to real as any of them.

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    #15
  16. DADODIRT

    DADODIRT Long timer

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    :ear
    Cool. I wish I had a picture of the bike my dad and I refurbished when I was a kid. Early 80's - I used it daily to deliver the Reading Eagle on the 'route'.
    #16
  17. TheDudeAbides

    TheDudeAbides Sarcasm free11/11/10

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    Ok, one last update and pic for today.
    This is from the "trial fit" stage that we all go through prior to final assembly.

    I've got the bottom bracket rebuilt and ready to go back in. Same with the headset. The rear coaster hub is also rebuilt now. The one problem I am encountering is that I went with a bigger, balloon style cruiser tire and I'm having some fit problems with fender clearance. Ugh. I made the classic mistake of not doing a trial fit after priming, but before paint. I really don't want to have to hammer and tweak those fenders now. But I may have to or else get some smaller tires. Anyway, here's about how she sits right now.

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    #17
  18. Oldwin1

    Oldwin1 Long timer

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    Looks nice dude
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  19. atokad

    atokad wan⋅der⋅lust

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    Thankfully you didn't paint it blue, red or purple because that would've derailed this whole thread! :wink:

    Nice job. Welcome to the second half of your century. :freaky
    #19
  20. TheDudeAbides

    TheDudeAbides Sarcasm free11/11/10

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    Funny you should say that because the only Hawthornes I've been able to find online are blue or a pale yellow. I couldn't stomach blue, so I'm glad the young lady went with yellow :D

    Here's one model I found online.
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    Different than mine in many ways, but a '50s Hawthorne just the same.
    #20