While reorganising, cleaning and maintaining my tools and supplies, I decided to put some broken stuff into good use.
You don’t need to buy all the stuff you need, especially the ones you use less often. I built few wheelsets so far, and been too lazy to buy a spoke nipple driver. “Proper” spoke nipple drivers have rotating, offset shaft – I don’t need that. I just need something to firmly hold nipples, so they don’t drop into the rims. When I found a small, flat tip screwdriver with a broken nose, I got my angle grinder and shaved the nose to make it flat (as I can). Then, carefully grinding the edges, I made it fit to a nipple firmly. Mission accomplished! No dropping nipples anymore! It took less then 10 minutes, most time spent on getting the angle grinder ready, and cleaning the screwdriver. It was infested with silicone and paint, so I fit it to a drill chuck, and used a fine sanding paper to clean the handle. Drills can serve as hyper-primitive lathes…
Pleased by my accomplishment, I reached out for empty toothpaste tubes I’ve been collecting them for a while. I don’t have a super fancy grease gun, which is really something I desperately need sometimes. I use a plastic, syringe-like pump, which causes mess sometimes. It’s also handy to keep some grease whereever you go, so I decided to fill the tubes with grease. These are perfectly sealed, unlike my plastic syringe, so I can keep one in my toolbox, instead of bringing out the grease syringe everytime. And, maybe keep a small tube on my bike. Or my car.
Easy. Cut the bottom parts of the tubes, wash and dry them, then stuff the grease into the tubes. I used a wooden stick. There are various ways to seal the ends. What I found most useful is to use hot glue: I hot glued inner lips, joined them, and used a bit of thick plastic bag to seal it further. This is odd: I may have used like more than 30-40 kgs of grease so far, but never used a grease in a tube. I found it very comfortable!
Same day, I also make some leather conditioner for my leather seats in car and for my leather shoes, and also waterproofing compound.
diy waterproofing creme beeswax
Admittedly, I don’t have sniper-level steady hands anymore, also my precise vision deteriorated. So I thought, maybe making a simple but effective headset press would be useful. I have a few threaded rods and supersized washers. Since the angle grinder is already out, why not cut more…
This is as precise as a shop level, fancy headset press. It’s nowhere neat, or fast, or comfortable, but I will probably use it once or twice in a year, or even less. Obviously, you can use it for pressfit bearings, too.
A few DIY fork tools
I have a 2004 Rock Shock SID World Cup to fix and service. Must admit it won’t worth the effort, but became somewhat a challenge for me. I’m not a huge fan of suspension forks, and coil forks suits me better.
The bushings in legs are shot, so I need to remove them first. I looked at the genuine tool, and decided to -somewhat- replicate it. I don’t know how much the original item costs; but it’s very obvious that it would cost me more then more forks’ worth.
This is basically a puller: there is a thick plate attacted to a rod, which can slide on rod, so you can drive it past the bushing, pull, and the steel plate locks under the bushing. Then you drive it out.
I cut a piece of threaded rod again, over 20cm long. When cutting threaded rods, drive a nut beforehand, cut the rod, and drive the nut out the end where you cut the rod: this will fix damaged threads, so you can drive the nuts when needed easily. Also, file the ends a bit, carefully, to a slightly tapered shape.
Then, I get a 5cm washer, enlarged the hole ends in the same axis, cut washer to size almost to a rectangular shape with the angle grinder. Slowly and gradually shaped ends with an angle grinder, then used a file for more precise work, frequently testing how it fits. Half an hour later, I have a really precise tool working real good to both pull and push the bushings. To push the bushings, you have to measure how deep they fit first, then fix your plate made out of washer with a nut so it won’t slide on rod. Then, place the bushing with your hand first: legs are tapered, so bushing will move easily to some depth. Get your tool, mark the depth, and with a hammer, drive it in. That’s it.
I made this tool to remove bushings first, but then I realised the legs were corroded badly. Before pushing new ones in, I decided to remove corrosion, so guess what? I cut another piece of threaded rod 🙂
With a nut and washer, some zipties and a piece of steel wool is whats needed. Roughen up the top end with angle grinder, and use a drill to brush away dust, corrosion leftovers, and mud leftovers. It works perfect.