Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Emergency Welded Spanner

Michael, bless him, gave me his old bicycle because, foolish fellow, he thought his new one made of aluminium, being modern, was certain to be better
Not a brilliant machine but certainly not one to be hacksawn: the sticker said Seamless Tubing and all the little braze-ons looked pretty and nice. And Mr. Knight told me that Shimano 600 series weren't put on garbage frames and indeed there are, he said, people who actually collect Shimano 600 stuff.
Unf. the gearing for a hilly region like this one was far too high; perhaps this is why Michael had lost his enthusiasm for the bike.
Unf.er he had done this much maintenance in the 30 years since he was an impecunious medical student: 0.
Accordingly my expensive hardened steel Ofmega 15mm crank bolt spanner shattered and I was this thing: displeased. I said the appropriate words reserved for such occasions.

When all else fails, one has to use the Emergency Welded Spanner. One goes to the Bike Heap, selects a frame recovered from the river where the urchins discard them after jumping on them sideways, and cuts off a chainstay. All the bits of the rear dropout are bent out of the way, and the dropout slot itself  placed over the end of the recalcitrant bolt. Out with the Mig welder, and the dropout is welded to the end of the bolt. Almost certainly because of the huge heat input, the bolt becomes free, and off it comes.

At one time I had a number of similar welded trophies on the garage wall, all of them right-hand bottom bracket cups. It was in the days when I lived near Loughborough and Harry, the bike shop owner nearest the university, brought me all the engineering students' bikes when said students, servicing said bikes, had tried to remove said cups without acquainting themselves with the fact of left-hand threads.

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