Thursday, November 9, 2017

bicycle stool (or, recycle all the things)

Last week, a friend from my shul brought me two old road bikes as donations for the refugee bicycle project. One of the bikes was fine and would be great after a tune-up; the other had been in a crash and the frame and fork were damaged beyond repair.
I assured my friend that I'd scavenge whatever useful parts I could and recycle the rest.

After removing all the parts -- including the bottom bracket and headset, which are both still fully functional -- I decided to make the frame into something I could use in my shop. Years ago, in my early months at Citybikes, I'd made a work stool from a damaged bike frame. It was a great height for working alongside a bicycle in a tight space and I liked having it. When it was stolen, I never got around to replacing it.

But now that I work at a home workshop, I thought it would be a good time to make another.
So I grabbed my hacksaw and removed the front triangle of the frame, sawing off the downtube and top tube about an inch and a half from the seat tube (which I eft attached to form the rear triangle).
I set the front end aside. Then I spread the dropouts as far apart as I could without breaking the old steel tubing, to form a tripod.
Since I'm bigger than I was when I made the first seat some twenty yers ago, I decided to add another "leg" in the back to stabilize the seat more.

I used a damaged mountain bike handlebar, flattening one end to fit over the cable stop bracket at the seatpost clamp and sawing off the other end to the correct length. I used hose clamps to attach the handlebar to the frame after I'd affixed the flattened end to the seat clamp bracket. The bottom end got capped with a stout handlebar plug.
Hose clamps worked well -- if you choose this addition, be sure not to overtighten them. You can cover the hose clamps with thick tape if you're concerned about the sharp edges.
Once that was done, I plugged the two open holes and added a wide saddle and accessories. The bell is just for fun, and the bottle cage was rescued from the front half of the frame to be used to hold my beer.

I may look around for an even wider saddle, but this was in the junk pile and for now it'll work.

I really like the addition of the fourth "leg" as it stabilizes the stool so I can put more of my weight on it. It's a good height for truing wheels on the bike, detailing brakes and such. And it's small enough that I can hang it on a hook and lock it inside the shop when I don't need it.

As it happened, the front end of the frame is being claimed by an artist friend, who will turn it into door handles for a large cabinet in her studio.

So in the end, almost none of it will end up in the landfill. I couldn't be happier.


anniebikes said...

I love this idea. Seems like I've seen various versions of this frame to stool concept but never with a bell and bottle cage!

LizzieL said...

That is brilliant!!

TrevorW�� said...

Smart idea......