Re: [CR]Hurt Hetchins

Date: Sat, 10 Feb 2001 11:08:45 -0800
Subject: Re: [CR]Hurt Hetchins
From: "Mark A. Perkins" <>

I would like to add that one of the reasons (probably the primary reason) that it is preferable to maintain the originaity of any collectible object, is that with complete originality one can be absolutely certain of the item's condition, and any modifications or damage will be readily aparent. And, with the original finish, decals, striping, etc. all visible, it makes it easier to restore the object, if so desired. However, once an item has been repainted or restored, you don't know what, if any, damage may be hidden beneath that shiny new paint. Which may be what you will want to do in order to be rid of the dent, but I personally would leave it alone, I think.

My '67 Raleigh Professional has one of those thumbnail sized dents in it's top-tube, which I will probably eventually repair, because the chrome has BAD rust and needs to be re-chromed, the decals are nearly impossible to make out, and the paint has mild rust coming through from beneath. It all sounds terrible, but the bike has low miles, and the components are in excellent condition, and if you don't look too close it doesn't look that bad, so I leave it as-is for now. Besides, I know where there is an original, and more my size, Raleigh Pro frameset, which I hope to someday purchase as a replacement of the too tall one I have.

On the side of repairing such a dent, I have known a few persons, who have tack-brazed a piece of steel welding rod into the center of the dent, and then by pulling on the wire with a slide hammer, they have removed small dents from frame tubes. I don't know for certain, how much damage, if any, this does to the tube (more than the dent has already done), but I'm fairly certain that brazing temperature is not high enough to anneal the surrounding steel, especially when the rod is tacked in place in a matter of seconds. The metal has to get much hotter before annealing can take place. Once the dent has been removed, the wire can be cut off and the remaining nub carefully filed flush with the tube's surface.

This is not something which should be recommend for the inexperienced to attempt, though. Dents usually have one or more areas at their perimeter which have been pushed upward, leaving a high or raised area. The above method of removing the dent usually requires a very experienced and judicial amount of hammering to push these areas back down, which in turn helps the dent come back up. Sometimes this can be done, without the rod brazed into the dent, with the use of special hardened steel blocks which have been bored to the tubing's O.D., flared at the ends of the bore, and then split into two halves, which are clamped around the tube and then worked back and forth, pushing the raised areas down, which in turn pushes the low area up closer to it's original position.

Just a few bits of stored information from the deteriorating memory banks of a bicycle enthusiast, with over 12 years of bike shop experience (nearly 40 years of personal bicycle mechanic experience), topped of with several years working as both a conventional machinist and as a prototype machinist, before moving on to earn a B.S. degree in Industrial Technology/Manufacturing - Computer Aided Design & Manufacturing. And an amateur, hobbyist, frame-builder, -painter, -repairer, with a fair amount of experience.

"Bicycle Mark" Perkins In rainy central California - the Sierra's have more new snow, YEA!

On Fri, 9 Feb 2001 20:51:44 -0800 writes:
> Daniel Dahlquist wrote:
> >What do I do about this dent?
> So far you have received good advice to either repair or simply accept
> and live with the frame dent to your Hetchins. I suggest a third
> possibility: camouflage
> Depending on the location, you may be able to hide the dent with a
> cable guide, pump clip or other accessory.
> As a matter of fact, I too have a noticable deep "ding" in the top tube
> of my Hetchins 70's Italianate frame. It came with the frame when I
> bought the bike -- and yes -- it bothers me! But there is something
> liberating about knowing that since the bike is not perfect, I can go
> out and ride it and enjoy it without anxiety: It's already "damaged goods".
> I have given the issue some thought and decided that I would rather
> have the dent and the nice original finish on my frame, rather than a
> repaint without the dent. I keep my bike inside the house and admire
> the elegant lugwork and paint whenever I walk past it.
> Enjoy your Hetchins, I'd like to see it someday. They are beautifully
> crafted and each one a work of art.


> Erik Siverson