1945 Elgin

Oct 20, 2012
Chicopee , Ma

1945 ELGIN......

This is my 2nd Build - Off :thumbsup:
I had such a blast joining in last year , it was a no- brainer that I had to have another go .

Much like last year ( it is New England :confused: ) it was pouring rain all morning ..... Pacing and pacing , waiting for it to stop long enough to take some inspirational " before " pics......

I had to surround myself with some patina

SO without further adieu......

My starting point is a 1945 Elgin that I picked up on a local Craigslist ad last September......

..... too soon to see where this build will take me :39:

.....I have to work today , so no tinkering just yet :whistle:

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Oct 20, 2012
Chicopee , Ma

I got a few hours of tinkering in today before I have to leave for work. :)

Stripped down to the bare frame to see what I had to work with.....

I was pretty happy to see the slack adjusters loosen up and not break...

I'm liking the Morrow Hub :cool2:

Looked like nobody's been here in a while...

I love these Pre-War drop outs!

OK SO..... 1st thing I want to address on this frame, among many...
The seat clamp part is cool....BUT I see it as limiting my future seat post options....
Hard to see in the pics , but the seat that came with the bike has a real dinky seat post ( almost like a tricycle . ITS TINY! )

My solution ?
( brief tangent :rofl: )
I have a scrap bike that was totally trashed . My buddy and I saved it a huge barn estate sale http://www.ratrodbikes.com/forum/in...ale-with-a-huge-barn-finds.71121/#post-688096 I dissected out the salvageable parts of the bike and trashed the rest a long time ago. The junk bike was bent nearly in half ( at LEAST a 45 degree angle )

I like the cleaner lines of the columbia section too :thumbsup:

Drilled out the spot welds and further dissected the scrap section.....

Looks better to me AND I can use any seat post I wish ....

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Mar 5, 2014
Yea, 5/8" seat posts are not tall enough!!! I have run into this before,
and it is hard to find tall ones.....I must say that for so much hard work in
changing the frame to accept a 7/8" seat tube, you are a hero....
My solution(in the future perhaps) to the tiny seat tube problem is to
buy a 18" long straight piece of 4130 chromolyor steel raw rod stock, cut it to the length you want, and use that for proper ride height and connection to the seat frame assembly. next time...:headbang:
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Oct 20, 2012
Chicopee , Ma
Just for fun ....
Here is a glimpse at the backbone donor bike when I got it.
Check out how bent in half it was! :eek:
The seat post was leaning straight up and down against the bird bath in the pic. The front half is EASILY bent over a foot to the right. I diced it up and saved the good sections and some parts. :)

Oct 20, 2012
Chicopee , Ma

Sparks were flying today ! :41:

Had the day off today, so I got right to work ......

Point of no return!!

3 slices ...

Drilled out the factory spot welds....

Real quick mock up to get a feel for it. Everything is just balancing like a house of cards to see what it might look like. :bigboss:

OK, enough mock up.... now more clean up of the frame :cool:

Some exploratory cuts to see what was inside. The seatpost was heavily anchored and thing-a-ma-bobed so I was just hoping the head tube wasn't the same ......

Thankfully it wasn't :thumbsup:

All cleaned up and ground down .....

originally I wasn't too keen on the shape of the bottom bar , ( kinda looked kinked with the 2 bars close together and with the little intersecting bar thingy ) .... once you get rid of all the clutter , it doesn't look bad at all :crazy:

so far so good....

Then , in typical New England fashion... dark storm clouds rolled in.
Enough for one day :banana:
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Oct 20, 2012
Chicopee , Ma

Didn't have to work today.......So I dragged out my jig ....and by " jig "... I mean 2 scrap pieces of a metal display rack I salvaged from work :confused:

I needed to find something to use as an internal brace piece .... Looked high and low....closest I found was a spare seat post I had lying around. Ground off just enough to fit snugly inside. A 2 pound sledge for some guidance. Lopped off about 2 inches above the joint , ground off the shine too.

test fit....

I had to add this filler piece to make up the difference....keep in mind I am making a men's bike from 2 women's bikes with a total investment , so far , of 15 dollars :13: ( 1 totaled beyond repair , and the Elgin lower half I'm trying to retain the pre-war drop outs )

The top junction had a different inside diameter , so once again I had to rummage through my scrap pile to find another internal brace. I chopped off a section of some handle bars.... Fit the bill perfectly ;)

Drilled a hole to spot weld the spacer in place first.... figured I'd need the " spare hands" later on. While hammering with a 2 pound hammer, and lining the seat post tube up, at the same time as the rear dropouts.... Turns out I was right :dance2:

... Threw some rims and tires , & a few seat options for a quick mock up ( not sure which ones I will use yet , just needed to put something for starters )

..... I've still got plenty of staring , head scratching , pondering , & mock up to do in regards to the top tube :39:

...enough playing for 1 day .

Stay tuned .....
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Oct 20, 2012
Chicopee , Ma

Perfect weather today to play outside :dance2:

..... After MUCH head scratching and staring at the frame , it was time to get down to business.....

This is the single piece that inspired this entire build in the first place.... As mentioned prior , the bend in the tube was from who knows what..... Someone ran over the donor bike with the family station wagon? Hit by a car ? WHO KNOWS?..... The section was the top tube on this bent up bike. I just crudely chopped it up last fall and kept the piece for a later gender swap project ( among other salvageable parts )

.....Ok ... Enough back pedaling ( pun intended :confused: )

I had to square up the ends.... It wasn't long enough to span the full length so I had to add some tubing. The black angled thingy is another section of the floor mat store display I salvaged from work ( the main parts are what I use as my " jig" )

The tubing is a perfect match. Thickness and all :rockout:

I chopped off another piece of the junk handle bars as a internal brace. Shaved down and hammered into place. Works great!

Weld er up! :crazy:

Ground down the weld , can't even tell it was added on to..... Then came the very tedious & time consuming process of trimming & " fish mouthing " the tube to fit the contour. I first did a rough draft with the angle grinder. Finished it off by hand with a curved file.....

Next step was to finish cleaning up the head tube of the old braze and remnants of the original girls top tube ......

To the jig :grin:.....
( note, minimal disturbance of patina wherever possible )

It was time to play around with the lower top tube. I don't have any way to bend pipe , let alone a work bench ;)

SO.... harvested another bend that I could put to better use .....

Quick visual mock up.....

...Chopped off the little tube, ground it flat . I had to add some more tubing to both ends this time.

another quick test fit & mock up
I began to trim & fish mouth a little too..... Then I decided to wrap it up for the day.....

It's just like piecing together a Jigsaw Puzzle. AND I'm still only into the project for 15 bucks ( true story )

Stay tuned :thumbsup:
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