Thursday, September 22, 2016

Mike's Columbia Chopper Restoration - Crazy Cool!

This is Mike's Columbia Chopper restoration.  This is just crazy cool!  I did not know much about the Columbia Chopper before Mike brought it to the shop.  From research I believe there was 3 versions on the Columbia Chopper.  This is the single speed version.

The Columbia came to the shop in a couple of boxes.  The crank was missing.  It took me sometime to find crank pieces that would work for the Columbia.  I basically found pieces from many different cranks that fit the frame, the original bottom bracket bearing cups and a chain ring that looks similar to the original.

The chopper is going to receive a total restoration a long with new paint, new tires and tubes, all new bearings and a few other new pieces along the way.  My painting skills are not good enough to reproduce the original metallic fade.  Originally we where going to go with a candy red paint scheme but have later changed that scheme to a yellow like the Schwinn Cool Yellow.  I like the yellow choice a lot!

Mike's Columbia Chopper Bicycle - Frame Before

Mike's Columbia Chopper Bicycle - Frame Before
Head Tube

Mike's Columbia Chopper Bicycle - Frame Before
Head Tube

Mike's Columbia Chopper Bicycle - Frame Before
Head Tube

Mike's Columbia Chopper Bicycle - Frame Before
Top Tubes

Mike's Columbia Chopper Bicycle - Frame Before
Top Tubes

Mike's Columbia Chopper Bicycle - Frame Before
Seat Lug Area

Mike's Columbia Chopper Bicycle - Frame Before
Down Tubes

Mike's Columbia Chopper Bicycle - Frame Before
Bottom Bracket Area

Mike's Columbia Chopper Bicycle - Frame Before
Bottom Bracket Area

Mike's Columbia Chopper Bicycle - Frame Before
Seat Tube

Mike's Columbia Chopper Bicycle - Frame Before
Rear Seat Stays

Mike's Columbia Chopper Bicycle - Frame Before
Drop Outs

Mike's Columbia Chopper Bicycle - Frame Before
Rear

Mike's Columbia Chopper Bicycle - Frame Before
Chain Stays
 I chemically removed the paint from the Columbus frame and then gave the frame a good cleaning.  The photos below are of the frame after chemical paint stripping and cleaning but before a light media blasting.  I usually don't take the photos after the media blasting because the frame goes right from the media blasting cabinet into a cleaning solution and right on to the powder coating rack.  I don't really move it around from there to take photos because the frame needs to stay absolutely perfectly clean.  Moving it for photos just adds dirt.

Mike's Columbia Chopper Bicycle - Frame Paint Stripped

Mike's Columbia Chopper Bicycle - Frame Paint Stripped
Head Tube

Mike's Columbia Chopper Bicycle - Frame Paint Stripped
Head Tube

Mike's Columbia Chopper Bicycle - Frame Paint Stripped
Head Tube

Mike's Columbia  Chopper Bicycle - Frame Paint Stripped
Down Tubes

Mike's Columbia Chopper Bicycle - Frame Paint Stripped
Seat Area

Mike's Columbia Chopper Bicycle - Frame Paint Stripped
Bottom Bracket

Mike's Columbia Chopper Bicycle - Frame Paint Stripped
Bottom Bracket

Mike's Columbia Chopper Bicycle - Frame Paint Stripped
Chain Stays

Mike's Columbia Chopper Bicycle - Frame Paint Stripped
Rear

Mike's Columbia Chopper Bicycle - Frame Paint Stripped
Drop Outs

Mike's Columbia Chopper Bicycle - Frame Paint Stripped
Rear
Below is a photo of the frame after the first coat of powder, the yellow base coat.  It turned out horrible, I am thinking the powder is bad, the bag it was shipped in was not closed tightly in the box so I think it might have gotten some humidity in it.  Today I after re-stripped the paint and will be starting over.  Sometimes the clear layer will smooth everything out but I am not even going try here, the yellow layer is just to bad.
Mike's Columbia  Chopper Bicycle - Frame Paint Stripped
Bad Paint
Check back soon!

This Columbia frame has proven to be a real challenge to powder coat.  I think it was because there is so many types of mental and thickness.  When I would bake the powder it would bake unevenly.  At least that is what I think.  

What also proved to be a challenge was getting the powder evenly in all the nooks of the frame.  What also was bugging me it the sloppy welds with spatter all over.  I cleaned up a lot of the splatter and booger welds with a files the best I could.  I don't know if I made a huge difference cleaning up the welds with a file but I think it helped some. 

I ended up painting the frame three times until I was happy with it.  The powder is a little thicker then I wanted it to be but that is to  help fill and smooth out everything and to help in the welds area.  I am actually very happy at this point with the results and work put into it.  The yellow looks great, I think it will really pop when the chrome starts going on the bike.

Mike's Columbia  Chopper Bicycle - Frame Paint Complete

Mike's Columbia  Chopper Bicycle - Frame Paint Complete
Head Tube

Mike's Columbia  Chopper Bicycle - Frame Paint Complete
Head Tube

Mike's Columbia  Chopper Bicycle - Frame Paint Complete
Head Tube

Mike's Columbia  Chopper Bicycle - Frame Paint Complete
Seat Tube Area

Mike's Columbia  Chopper Bicycle - Frame Paint Complete
Seat Tube

Mike's Columbia  Chopper Bicycle - Frame Paint Complete
Bottom Bracket Area

Mike's Columbia  Chopper Bicycle - Frame Paint Complete
Bottom Bracket

Mike's Columbia  Chopper Bicycle - Frame Paint Complete
Rear Area

Mike's Columbia  Chopper Bicycle - Frame Paint Complete
Seat Struts

Mike's Columbia  Chopper Bicycle - Frame Paint Complete

Soon chrome components will start going on.

The fork is so cool, so stretched out and looks cool the way the handlebars connect.  The fork blades are a little rough with surface rust and the handlebars have a little bit of chrome damage but the handlebars are not to bad.  I cleaned all the pieces and worked through the polishing wheels.  The handlebars and fork polished great considering where they started.  I am very happy with the results of the handlebars and fork.

The headset is very neat in its simplicity.  It uses thread-less brass flange nuts to fit in the frame and then a smooth bolt through them.  I cleaned and polished all the pieces, the pieces polished great.  I installed the fork and tightened the crown nut at the bottom.  The crown nut uses a cotter pin to keep it in place but I have not installed it yet just in case I have to take the fork apart again.  Overall I am very happy how the fork and handlebars looks with the new yellow paint!

Mike's Columbia  Chopper Bicycle - Handlebars & Fork Before

Mike's Columbia  Chopper Bicycle - Handlebars Before

Mike's Columbia  Chopper Bicycle - Handlebars Before

Mike's Columbia  Chopper Bicycle - Handlebars Before

Mike's Columbia  Chopper Bicycle - Fork Before

Mike's Columbia  Chopper Bicycle - Fork Before

Mike's Columbia  Chopper Bicycle - Fork Blades Before

Mike's Columbia  Chopper Bicycle - Fork Blades Before

Mike's Columbia  Chopper Bicycle - Fork Blade Before

Mike's Columbia  Chopper Bicycle - Fork Blade Before

Mike's Columbia  Chopper Bicycle - Fork Blade Before

Mike's Columbia  Chopper Bicycle - Fork Blade Before

Mike's Columbia  Chopper Bicycle - Fork Plate Before

Mike's Columbia  Chopper Bicycle - Handlebars Before

Mike's Columbia  Chopper Bicycle - Handlebars Before

Mike's Columbia  Chopper Bicycle - Handlebars Before

Mike's Columbia  Chopper Bicycle - Headset Before

Mike's Columbia  Chopper Bicycle -Handlebars Polished

Mike's Columbia  Chopper Bicycle - Handlebars Polished

Mike's Columbia  Chopper Bicycle - Fork Plate
Poliushed

Mike's Columbia  Chopper Bicycle - Fork Polished

Mike's Columbia  Chopper Bicycle - Fork Polished

Mike's Columbia  Chopper Bicycle - Fork Polished

Mike's Columbia  Chopper Bicycle - Headset
Polished

Mike's Columbia  Chopper Bicycle - Brass Flange Nuts Installed

Mike's Columbia  Chopper Bicycle - Fork Complete

Mike's Columbia  Chopper Bicycle - Fork Complete

Mike's Columbia  Chopper Bicycle - Fork Complete

Mike's Columbia  Chopper Bicycle - Handlebars
Installed

Mike's Columbia  Chopper Bicycle - Fork & Handlebars Installed
Check back soon.

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