Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Clean Up

I'm trying to get Sarah's bike cleaned up for shipping to the painter.

As a starting point, I tried Freddy's new product Altife. Altife is a cleaner and rust converter/preventitive. Altife Prep is applied sparingly to remove surface oxidation. It can be used as a brazing prep, but its also nice for cleaning up afterwards. Altife Pro goes on after the Prep which will prevent oxidation before and after brazing.

Anyhow, after multiple brazes and soaks, there was lots of rust and some spots had a build up of crud that just wasn't responding to efforts to clean it up. An example was on the dropouts. The edge/corner between the face and the body of the dropout had something black built up. I couldn't get this out with a file, sandpaper, or a burr.

I used a flux brush to apply the Altife Prep, although Freddy recommends a cotton ball and I may try this next time. Working a little area at a time, the Altife went on and then was attacked by a combination of a stainless steel brush and a stainless brush wheel in a drill. I'm going to order a small (little bigger than a toothbrush) stainless brush for hard to reach areas.

How does it work? Well, in cleaner sections of the tubing, it just cleaned things up by itself. Sort of an apply and wipe off drill. Dirtier spots required the brush, but not for long. It took about an hour to get a clean silvery frame and fork, including working around the bottom bracket, cantilever mounts and other complicated areas.

Now that its clean, there are a few areas that need touchup with a file. Then its on to sanding, and for the stainless bits, polishing.

Altife has my recommendation.

No comments: