(WBO) Steadfast Tin Roller; Unleaded '49 Mercury. FINISHED!!!

Jul 26, 2011
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San Antonio, TX
So the weather has been great the last two days, I've been playing around with some ideas, not sure if this is the direction I'm going or not as of yet. I found a seat for the time being, and slapped a stem and bars on, I also added some 50's Higgins fenders and a Colorflow rack and mocked up a mudflap in cardboard;

Like I said, not sure this is the direction I want to go, but we'll see. It's a three day weekend.
 
Jul 26, 2011
742
2,024
San Antonio, TX
So, after standing around and looking the fenders, the rack, the whole picture, I decided I like the look, but it needs to be a bit more ratty. I first thought about stripping and painting the parts, but in the end decided that stripping most of the paint off and then rusting it all up like I did on "Pepperbox" would look cooler, so I started that fun process.


A lot of Klean Strip and wire brushing and...I've made a dent. The baby blue respray on the fenders came off easily, beneath, was the original burgundy and gold paint which is putting up a bit more fight, nothing a wire wheel can't handle though.


The rack lost it's sea foam green top coat easily, the forest green was a bit more reticent to give up the ghost, so some of it will likely stick around in the end, which is fine, this is a rat build I want to leave some bits of paint here and there to pay homage to the multiple bikes that gave up parts to make this build possible.
 
Jul 26, 2011
742
2,024
San Antonio, TX
So I was digging through my literal scrap pile, and came across half of a prewar Murray front fender;

It got me thinking. The fenders I'm using originally had those cool chrome end caps you see on late 40's/ early 50's J.C. Higgins bikes, I do not have these pieces, and would probably pay more for them than I have in this project all together, also I'm unhappy with the length of the rear fender, it's in my eyes too short. The remedy, is to take said fender fragment and use it to extend the rear fender, add a little flair, and keep it ratty.

The fender rusted in half at the fork mounting hole, I kind of like the way the rusty, uneven edges look, so, I'll try to keep that, I may make bands using some of the thinner strapping I have leftover from BO9 and join the two fenders where the brace mounts and just below the edge of the rusted out portion with either rivets or screws.
 
Mar 5, 2014
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Utah
Cool rat ML. Do all Mercs have that top/seat/chainstay connection design? I have a similar reverse-dropout frame which has been a mystery to me for a very long time.
 
Jul 26, 2011
742
2,024
San Antonio, TX
Cool rat ML. Do all Mercs have that top/seat/chainstay connection design? I have a similar reverse-dropout frame which has been a mystery to me for a very long time.
I know most post war Murray built bikes are similar, J.C. Higgins, Mercury, Murray, etc. you may have one of those, post a picture, I'm sure someone out there knows exactly what it is, the reverse dropout thing makes me think CWC over Murray, more than likely, I've never seen a Murray with reverse dropouts. But who knows I'm a novice, definitely not an expert, some of these guys really know their stuff, ask around.
 
Jul 26, 2011
742
2,024
San Antonio, TX
So, not much progress, got hit with a cold snap that brought a lot of rain with it, as a 12 month bicycle commuter, I really hate those 34 degree rainy days, drop already, I could ride all day in the snow. Unfortunately my work space is a carport so the rain and cold made it hard to turn a wrench.
Right now I'm playing with ideas on the rear fender, whether to shape the extension and mount it more like a cap, or just embrace the rusty broken end and mount it like I previously had planned, or cut and weld it in place, I haven't welded that thin of metal with much success so I'm pretty sure that's a no go, even though I do have some scrap fender bits I could practice with and get my settings right. Any input would be appreciated, which route should I go folks?
 
Jul 26, 2011
742
2,024
San Antonio, TX
Oh, I did get a cardboard template made for a tank plate, which I'll be cutting from more of the steel shelving I used for "The Pepperbox Special". I'll more than likely be drilling out "speed holes" to match the rear rack, I may also do the same on the chainguard if time and weather allow. I thinking I'll use more of that old steel strapping to mount it as well, we'll see.
 

The Renaissance Man

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Nov 24, 2012
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Right now I'm playing with ideas on the rear fender, whether to shape the extension and mount it more like a cap, or just embrace the rusty broken end and mount it like I previously had planned, or cut and weld it in place... Any input would be appreciated, which route should I go folks?
From what I can tell from the pictures, it looks like the original fender is peaked and the other is not. So, I'm thinking that it might look good to tuck it under the full fender and connects under the rear brace. Think of it as a mud flap like the cardboard mock up. However, if you're going for full tilt rat, leave it rough and bolt it up just like the last picture!
 
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Jul 26, 2011
742
2,024
San Antonio, TX
From what I can tell from the pictures, it looks like the original fender is peaked and the other is not. So, I'm thinking that it might look good to tuck it under the full fender and connects under the rear brace. Think of it as a mud flap like the cardboard mock up. However, if you're going for full tilt rat, leave it rough and bolt it up just like the last picture!
So I took your advice and did a mock up with the front half of the fender I plan to use for the extension, I played with a couple different ideas, including adding a peak to the fender piece, of course this half of the fender is smaller than the one I'll ultimately use so the end result will hang down a bit more but you get the idea...thoughts?
A: outside, with added peak.
B: inside, added peak not visible.
 
Jul 26, 2011
742
2,024
San Antonio, TX
Also, for kingfish254, because Brian always wants to know who's drinking what during the big build off, here's a bit of beer based fun just for you:

My day's real accomplishment,
Zuppa Tuscana , made using Session Black Lager, Italian sausage, potatos, cream and kale. Two maybe three beers went in the pot the rest...I'm working on.
 
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LukeTheJoker

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Nov 17, 2012
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So I took your advice and did a mock up with the front half of the fender I plan to use for the extension, I played with a couple different ideas, including adding a peak to the fender piece, of course this half of the fender is smaller than the one I'll ultimately use so the end result will hang down a bit more but you get the idea...thoughts?
A: outside, with added peak.
B: inside, added peak not visible.
I like it outside, you have done a cool job matching the peak, may as well show it off!

Luke.