Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Molly Hatchet buildup, days 1 & 2: Jesse James I ain't

So I've been obsessed the last litle while with building a gazelle-fork bicycle chopper. Yesterday I decided, what the hell, I'm gonna go for it.

So I decided on a name, first of all. (This probably isn't the way Real Hot Rodders do it, but so what.) I'm callin' 'er Molly Hatchet. You know, as in "Flirtin' With Disaster."

Firstly: Damn, running around to thrift stores buying donor bikes is time consuming. Yeesh. Hours later, though, I wound up with two of 'em: A smallish ladies' Unidal cruiser as the main donor (Made in Canada!) and a men's Raleigh mountain bike for the extra forks and random additional parts.

Getting the forks apart was tedious but simple. Hammering 'em together--well, when is hitting stuff with a big, bounce-resistant "El Kabong!" rubber mallet not fun? Unfortunately, that's where it stopped being easy.

I dunno if my drill is lacking in cojones, battery power or if I'm just lacking in patience, but God Damn does drilling boltholes to bolt the fork legs back together take for-effin-ever. I still haven't drilled the final 3/8" holes to fit the heavy-duty Grade 5 bolts I bought for it, as my drill gives up at the mere thought of opening a chasm that vast. (Torque Torque, the beast needs more torque...) Just as well though, as after bolting 'em together with el cheapo loonie store bolts, putting the front wheel on and taking 'er for a test ride, I decided the fork legs weren't aligned quite right. (El Kabong!) The rubber BFH wacked 'em into place all right, but the bolt holes aren't quite perfectly aligned anymore...

Also, it took way more hassle than should have been necessary, but I've jury-rigged a brake system. V-brakes from the mountain bike in the front (memo to self: if the return spring appears bent, don't bother trying to fix it, it's not gonna happen), centrepull types in the back. Not exactly the kinda high-performance stopping system a modern bike comes with, but it works eventually.

To do still: Seat--I tried sitting on the back fender cargo rack, and once you get used to it, it feels so cool. Low and back is definitely the way to go. "Hood Ornament"--I bought a "Winged Victory" trophy from Value Village, and intend to mount it on top of my handlebars or something. (Sorry, W.P. Wagner 1985-86 Girls' Intramural Badminton winner.) Paint--flat black rat rod stylee, and like you even need to ask if I'm gonna pinstripe it. Oh, and I wanna hit some of the parts with CLR to try and nuke the surface rust--I wonder if you can mask it? I love the idea of rust flames on the fenders...

Pics probably tommorrow or something.

1 comment:

Elf Gurl said...

Do you have any information at all about Unidal brand bikes? I have a teal single speed kids cruiser (20" tires) that I am restoring.

Google comes up pretty empty. I tried quite a few search terms in both French and English.

Thanks,

Elf