Refinishing some old shifters and cranks.
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  1. #1
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    Refinishing some old shifters and cranks.

    Any one ever refinish shifters and a crankset? I just scored a frame from a velo swap for $75 and i have some old parts i want to put on it for now. I have some old 9sp ultegra shifters and a crankset i want to use but there kind of a mess. I was thinking about just sanding them down and panting them black. Whats the best thing to use sand paper or steel wool?

  2. #2
    Darling of The Lounge
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    Regardless of the prep involved, paint won't be durable enough to hold up for long. Powdercoating the crank would be a better option, but it would be too pricey given what your stuff is really worth. Painting the shifters would result in scratches on the levers where they pivot.

    IMHO...the time and labor involved to restore the parts isn't worth the effort. Just find some replacement parts in better shape on eBay and call it good.
    Last edited by Retro Grouch; 10-17-2009 at 09:25 PM.

  3. #3
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    Yea thats what I'm starting to think too. The velo swap in Denver is next weak I'm going to see what i can find there.

  4. #4
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    Sand, glass or some other fine media blast. Probably not good for the shifters but with very careful masking, might be possible. The cranks can be tumbled for a stonewashed look, depending on the media, it could be satin polished too.

  5. #5
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    Easy to polish the crankset. Get some buffing supplies and go at it. Won't take long and will look great.

  6. #6
    Old and Fixed, Moderator
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    I do it all the time

    You need to buy some Easyoff oven cleaner to remove the anodizing.

    Spray on the Easyoff and let it set for about 10 minutes... The crankset will turn black

    Rinse off with water a scrub down with an old toothbrush

    Polish out with MAAS metal creme or other metal polish..

    Avoid sandpaper and other abrasives...it's not needed

    Finish with a good coat of wax....

    The key is removing the anodizing.....Easyoff does it without leaving scratches

    Here are a couple of my latest projects..
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    Dave Hickey/ Fort Worth

    My 3Rensho Blog: http://vintage3rensholove.blogspot.com/

  7. #7
    E Plurbus Elvis
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    Dave,

    A few years ago you had a much more detailed post about refinishing retro components, but I can't find it by searching RBR. Can we still access that?

    So many questions ... what wax, for example?

    I need to know because I'm dusting off my old bins of C-Record parts to build a pair of neo-retros for myself & the wife.

  8. #8
    Old and Fixed, Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElvisMerckx
    Dave,

    A few years ago you had a much more detailed post about refinishing retro components, but I can't find it by searching RBR. Can we still access that?

    So many questions ... what wax, for example?

    I need to know because I'm dusting off my old bins of C-Record parts to build a pair of neo-retros for myself & the wife.

    For wax I just use a good quality paste automotive wax...I've never had a problem with the finish. Once it's stripped and polished, I might have to repolish every 6 months or so...

    I couldn't get the search to work this morning but search " Polishing old parts"...it will show up..

    I go back and forth over using Easy Off vs Lye.....Easy Off is safer for the parts but it might take a couple of applications... Lye is quicker but you need to be careful because it can pit the parts if left in too long or you use too much...... If you are trying for the first time, I suggest Easy Off... It's really quite easy to do....

    The Dura Ace track hub in the above pic took about an hour to strip/polish...I wish I had a before pic because it looked like $%^& before stripping
    Dave Hickey/ Fort Worth

    My 3Rensho Blog: http://vintage3rensholove.blogspot.com/

  9. #9
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    Vary cool i will have to give it a try. Going to the velo swap Saturday to see if i can find some parts. The crankset i have is a 175 and i need a 172.5.

  10. #10
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    I just tried the easy off oven cleaner on a crank, and left it for 10 minutes on each side, then rinsed it, and it looks just like it did when I started. It also did not turn black.

    What am I doing wrong?

  11. #11
    Old and Fixed, Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by e39540is
    I just tried the easy off oven cleaner on a crank, and left it for 10 minutes on each side, then rinsed it, and it looks just like it did when I started. It also did not turn black.

    What am I doing wrong?

    You probably didn't leave it on long enough....Easy Off can take up to 30-45 minutes
    Dave Hickey/ Fort Worth

    My 3Rensho Blog: http://vintage3rensholove.blogspot.com/

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by e39540is
    I just tried the easy off oven cleaner on a crank, and left it for 10 minutes on each side, then rinsed it, and it looks just like it did when I started. It also did not turn black.

    What am I doing wrong?

    Are you sure that the crank is anodized and not powdercoated? Easy off will not get powdercoat off.

  13. #13
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    If you want to do powder coating. Look for an industrial powder coater in your area. They are often much cheaper than automotive/bicycle powder coaters. They'll have more limited selection of colors and you have to specify UV safe coating, but the price can be great.

    Stuff will need to be completely disassembled, degreased thoroughly, and then the parts to be coated will need to be sand or bead blasted first to remove the old finish.

    A few years ago had a bunch of auto parts done by an industrial coater in the course of restoring an old Triumph. I'd guess it was a couple dozen bits ranging from small brackets to the complete frame for a convertible top. They were done in a batch with a friend who probably had twice as much as me being coated. It took a week or two until they could fit us in with another job that was being done in basic semi-gloss black like we wanted. Total cost was $300. My share of it was $100. Everything looks great and has held up well.

    Yeah, the Easy Off trick works pretty well... but only if the parts were anodized to begin with. It won't remove clear or tinted lacquer paint, which Japanes bicycle (and motorcycle) components are finished with. Use a mild paint remover that won't etch aluminum and test it on an inconspicuous spot before spraying or brushing it everywhere. There are aircraft paint removers that would probably be safe, since there's a lot of aluminum in airplane construction. If you have trouble finding it locally, check out www.eastwoodco.com. (They also sell DIY powdercoating supplies,,but it's pretty pricey to set up initially... certainly not cost effective unless you'll be refinishing quite a few more groups in the future.)

    There is also info online about DIY anodizing. Google for more info. It's surprisingly easy.

    Or read up on buffing and polishing, then simply top off with wax, as previously suggested... Or clearcoat with lacquer for a lower maintenance finish.
    Hey, I'm not going bald... I'm getting more aero.

    2007 Look 565 (Ultegra 6600, Ksyrium Elite); 2005 Felt B2 (2010 Rival/Red, Rolf Prima Vigor); 2009 Look 586 Pro Team (under constr. 2009 Force, Rolf Prima Elan); Trek 7200 (stock stuff); Yokota Yosemite (Deore LX, Wheelsmith, Rock Shox)

  14. #14
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    I think it light be powder coated. It is a Shimano 600 crank. I left the easy off on it for over an hour, and it did nothing.

    Looks like I will have to get some paint remover.

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