Science: Move Over Physics, Chemistry Is The New Boss

Postby Rik on Wed 14/Jul/21 9:14am

I don’t know if you remember turd-trackie-part-cutting-and-polishing-t126847.htm
Anyway long story short, I needed the forks off this project for another project, which meant resurrecting the forks I had hacksawed off the bike.

Coming back to these forks, my efforts against these forks were turning into a personal battle. The firepower employed against them was escalating as well. My increasing kinetic efforts to remove the old quill stem were reinforced with the literal addition of firepower. Fire bombing the steerer tube with the blow torch to loosen the bond, followed by continued blows with a lump hammer, yielded zero results.

Searches on vorb suggested hacksawing the stem out into pie pieces. Which took freakin’ ages, and blunted one hacksaw blade. Chiselling out the pie pieces resulted in the steerer tube splitting at the top. It was at his point that I started to consider the financial folly of attempting to salvage these $20 forks, but we’re not in this game for the money are we?

This is when fate stepped in, whilst perusing my facebook feed, one of my friends had just experienced the pain of seizing the engine of his freshly restored motorcycle on its maiden road test.
The collective wisdom on the subject of cleaning off melted Aluminium from the steel bore was to drop drain cleaner (Sodium Hydroxide) on it. The drain cleaner reacts with the Aluminium without damaging the steel. Ding! light bulb moment. This was my exact same problem, and this could be my salvation.

Safety first kids, Sodium Hydroxide, even in diluted form, is dangerous stuff. Always read the label and take the recommended safety precautions. But treated with respect this stuff was the magical solution to my problem. Leaving the upturned fork stem in a jar of drain cleaner outside was the zero effort way to remove every last trace of the quill stem. Mind you, it took a week to complete its magic. Move over Physics, Chemistry is the new boss

Final note, unless you’re planning on repainting your forks, protect your paintwork, because Sodium Hydroxide and the reactions byproduct foam will strip your paintwork.
User avatar
""Cities are becoming more rational again, after the folly of car-centric planning," Colville-Andersen"
Member for: 13 years 11 months

Re: Science: Move Over Physics, Chemistry Is The New Boss

Postby AgrAde on Thu 15/Jul/21 1:46pm

Chemistry is just applied physics :sly:

But, always nice to win a battle. Good work.
User avatar
Member for: 18 years 5 months

Bicycle Repair | Cycling | News - Latest Posts

Who is online

73 Users browsing this website: Google [Bot], Google Adsense [Bot] and 71 guests


  • Chain Reaction Cycles
  • GT Bicycles
  • ProBikeKit
  • Vorb Shop
  • Wiggle