1945 Huffman "Colt 45"

May 18, 2020
340
953
59
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
So, now that I've been a part of the Rat Rod Bike family for awhile it becomes clear that most builders that have cranked out a few builds develop a certain style. That's what this one is all about, fine tuning of my own style. I've always owned and been drawn to beater cars and trucks, six in a row & three on the tree kind of stuff. The stripper stuff, no options, basic transportation - beaters with a heater. For me, old patina with an interesting drive line rules. Most of the bike projects I drag home are in pretty rough condition and also pretty old. Patina is my thing and moving forward I want to learn how to bring it out and exploit it to its full potential. So this build is kind of a mid-term project, trying a few new techniques and building my own style.

The star of this build is a 1945 Huffman frame & fork acquired for $35 bucks. It has a crude repaint and a self tapping screw in one of the dropouts. I've got a collection of odd & end parts that will go on to it.

20200928_060523.jpg
 
May 18, 2020
340
953
59
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
The first task is getting rid of the repaint, it isn't speaking my language. I started at the head tube with abrasives and carb cleaner and stopped when it became too nice. That will be fixed. Next try was a propane torch and coarse wire brush. Now we're getting somewhere.

20201001_215224.jpg
20201001_215214.jpg
20201001_215207.jpg
 
May 18, 2020
340
953
59
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Looking good already!
You should post pictures of you vehicles too... Sounds like my kind of stuff!
Sadly, they are all gone. Living in the rust belt comes with a price. My present beater with a heater is a Nissan Versa base model (crank windows, manual locks, no A.C., manual trans, radio delete) but it just ain't the same. The only old motorized iron I have now is a '71 HD shovelhead.
 
May 18, 2020
340
953
59
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Tonights progress was on the fenders and one set of handlebars that might get used. The fenders came off a 1939 CWC ladies bike and the braces were all kinds of bent, dog legged, and one end eyelet was missing. I chopped the end off a modern brace and spliced it into the damaged end which also required opening and elongating the mounting hole. Touched up with a Sharpie to get the shine off it. The straightening was done with a section of steel rod cut from a Ford truck jack handle. I placed the bar inside the grooved side and pressed them straight in a bench vise. Followed that up with brushing the heaviest rust off with a steel brush and a coating of boiled linseed oil.

20201002_205020.jpg


20201002_221510.jpg


The fenders were heavily rusted with no paint visible. They got cleaned up in an industrial parts washer with a Brillo pad. Had to go gently to keep them crusty. The bottom mounting tang for the rear fender had rusted off so I spliced a section of a scrap fender in. I'll flat black the repair in the morning. The fenders also got treated to boiled linseed oil.

20201002_221544.jpg


20201002_221618.jpg


These bars had been painted with that crap aluminum looking paint that rusty chrome got hit with back in the day. I do not like that stuff. I used a twist wire brush in a die grinder to knock the paint off and burnish the rust underneath. They also got the BLO treatment. They aren't as shiny as the photo seems, the fluorescent shop lighting makes getting good photos difficult sometimes.

20201002_221832.jpg
 
Apr 1, 2014
3,814
4,933
66
Wisconsin
Rating - 100%
11   0   0
Sadly, they are all gone. Living in the rust belt comes with a price. My present beater with a heater is a Nissan Versa base model (crank windows, manual locks, no A.C., manual trans, radio delete) but it just ain't the same. The only old motorized iron I have now is a '71 HD shovelhead.
Yup the "tin worm" gets everything around here, (Wisconsin.)
 
May 18, 2020
340
953
59
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Quick little morning project. I came across this sprocket from a Schwinn XS BMX bike and it reminds me of the hubcaps from the 50s and early 60s. The mounting hole in the center required some hogging out with a burr bit. Mounted up to a dogleg crank from the 1938 parts bike and it spins true.

20201003_084620.jpg
 
May 18, 2020
340
953
59
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Bolted up the fenders which involved cutting eight 10-24 screws. Good times! I've become a fan of acorn nuts in a build so that's what the fenders got. Then I did a loose mock up to see where it is going. I might make a lay back seat post, not sure yet. So far, parts from seven different bikes are being used and more are going to be added.

20201003_144327.jpg


Acorn nuts are your friend

20201003_144352.jpg


A better shot of the handlebars

20201003_144421.jpg
 
May 18, 2020
340
953
59
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I'm in the "let it all soak in" period of the mock up where you let the bike dictate how it wants to come together. The red Schwinn sprocket might not stay with the build. That will depend on the rim choice, I have a set of crusty drop centers or a set of new powder coated red A7X rims, both need to be built. So if the A7X rims get used it stays, otherwise it will get the Wald sprocket that I have squirreled away. I have a set of crusty red grips and pedals that could round out the red & crust look. The truss rods aren't doing it for me so they will get removed for now. The bike has a swept back kind of thing going so I'll probably make a mildly laid back seat post after setting my riding position. The chain guard has excellent patina and looks good so it stays. It will be riding on 26 x 2.3 knob pattern blackwalls because I have a set

Opinions are welcome.



20201003_144327.jpg
20201004_070446.jpg
 
Last edited:
May 18, 2020
340
953
59
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
So it's been busy doing the background work on this bike. I welded the small screw hole in the RH dropout closed, and welded all the dropouts from the inside because I don't trust crimped dropouts. Also rounding up some small parts that are needed, more on that later.

There was one major problem encountered. I have a Morrow hub that I was going to use from a 1936 parts bike. It was a skiptooth that I wanted to convert to 1/2" pitch. Located an 18 tooth threaded Bendix cog to install. I managed to get the very stubborn skiptooth cog off with a couple of taps from an air chisel. Good so far. After opening it up for cleaning and inspection I found the lube had aged into a substance kind of like hard candy. Several hours in a hot tank softened it up and I began digging and scraping the gunk out. Ok, off to the ultrasonic tank to get it proper clean. Now with everything sparkly clean it was time for the visual inspection. Rats and curses! The brake side bearing cone and the housing bearing surfaces are fretted rendering the hub junk.

I have a Shimano CB E-110 ready to fly but it just wouldn't be right on this build. All my other hubs are for specific builds so it was off to the 'Bay. That's where I found the Aero-Glide, a mystery hub that Google searches only had one mention of at the Cabe and they weren't sure who made it. Oddly perfect for this build, dirt cheap, I bought it. The best guess was that it is a Perry hub and I have pretty much confirmed that after examining its' guts. It takes 3/8 - 26 nuts so they are ordered and on their way. Clean up was a breeze and after spinning it, this is the smoothest hub I have ever monkied with. Perry hubs get bad marks for brake failures in hilly areas but in pancake flat Illinois, no worries. Gonna get it laced up here pretty quick, have to see if I have the right spokes in my stash.


20201008_224808.jpg
20201008_224825.jpg
 
May 18, 2020
340
953
59
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
The bottom bracket is installed with fresh new bearings and grease. I decided to keep the Schwinn XS sprocket on it. It will have a 44t sprocket and 20t cog for a comfortable riding 57.2 gear inches. The pedals are from a 1950s Western Flyer Christmas bike. They were filthy and had mold stains on them. I tossed them into the hot tank to prep them for a re-grease and a couple of minutes later they came out too clean. The ridges on the blocks will act like heat sinks for really vigorous pedaling.

20201009_110708.jpg



I had an old lucky 7 seatpost laying around not earning its keep. The original bend was around 75 degrees and I changed it up to about 95 degrees to work with the seat. A shim is in the capable hands of the USPS.

20201009_102547.jpg
 
Last edited: