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Restoring Demountable Rims
By Tony Cimorelli
Sanding Inside Lips
Final Outside Sanding
Primed Awaiting Paint
The problem faced with many rims is that they are rusted on the edges where they deteriorate and become razor sharp. Many a good rim have been thrown in a corner of the shop because the rust has taken over. The solution is to save as many as we can. Good, replacement rims are newly manufactured by John McLaren, but not having the budget (about $150 a rim), here is a way to restore your existing ones.
These sharp edges will
slice the clincher tire bead off. Figure 1 displays a sharp edge on
a Hayes rim I recently acquired. A beautiful rim with Hayes stamped on the
lugs. Rust, however, had taken over on the inside.
One of the easiest ways to clean up a rim edge is to use a lawnmower blade sharpening tool (Figure 2). You can get these at any store that handles replacement lawnmover parts (I got mine at Lowe's). It tapers both edges and flattens the edge. Just make sure you have a decent drill.
Here we try using a rattail file on the rolled lip,
After the initial corrosion is filed flat to shining steel, we take a flat file and reduce the edge on the rolled lip. All in the interest of reducing the sharp edges.
Finally, we sand smooth the burrs inside the lip. I start out with 240 grit paper, and drop down to 600 before priming.
A final cursory glance and it's off to the paint tree.
We prime the wheel and sand and paint. Cadmium plate was original but aluminum paint works great.
Photographs: Tony Cimorelli using a Kodak
DC280 digital camera.