Restoring a vintage rack

I have this old mousetrap style rack from a Malvern Star which I had intended to install on my Speedwell, as it is about the same vintage …However, once the Speedwell had new wheels and a Shimano hub fitted to it, it was no longer compatible with the rack and would require some customisation of the rack to fit the bike. It does, however, fit the Bennett I am currently working on, so my plan now is to fit it to that bike and see how it looks and functions.

So I decided to spray paint it with chrome coloured paint and this is how it came up …I realise that the spray job will not be nearly as durable as  proper chrome plating but it may look OK on the Bennett, and it is still fully functional. The metal has a nice handbeaten look about it which I think would be enhanced by taking it back to the metal and then chroming it and that is an option I may pursue in the future too.

This is it next to the chrome mudguard which is also destined for the Bennett …Hmmm, there is quite a bit of difference there, so I willl see how it all looks when it is fitted. If it does not work, Plan B will come into action and it will go to the Speedwell.

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5 Responses to Restoring a vintage rack

  1. petermc says:

    I’m looking forward to seeing it on the bike Vicki, also I’ve found that clear coating with “White Knight” brand epoxy clear (from bunnings) helps keep rust off bare metal or metal with some paint rubbed back off it for an aged look.

  2. Vicki says:

    Does the White Knight also work as a clear coating over the paint job Peter?

  3. Wayne Martin says:

    Be careful when chroming that you can remove the spring before hand as there are problems with chroming springs, they become weaker and can also break due to hydrogen embrittlement.
    Maybe bead blasting and painting/ powdercoating is a better option?

    • Vicki says:

      The springs appear to be welded into place Wayne, and that is one reason I was reluctant to have it chromed. I was not aware of the fatigue factor, so thanks for that information. I’ll see how this solution works and will consider powdercoating as the next option.

  4. petermc says:

    The epoxy clear is designed to go straight onto metal Vicki, it might dissolve enamel paints if they are new (e.g. gold/silver enamel) though I’ve also experimented on white knight epoxy rustguard paints and it seemed OK on them as well as on some old hardened paintwork. If you want you can use it on alloy, copper/brass or steel after they have been polished and they seem to hold their shine without tarnishing once coated.

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