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How to make a Rear Dropout Straightening Tool (Picture Heavy)

#1 2010-09-25 9:04am

cmb
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How to make a Rear Dropout Straightening Tool (Picture Heavy)

I have been thinking about this for a while now and wondered if it would work.  Finally, this morning because it is raining here in North Texas, I decided to make one.  My idea was to use two pieces of steel to sandwich a rear dropout that needs to be straightened.  I made one and it worked.  So I decided to make a "how to" for this.  I am going to try and give very basic full explanations.  Let me apologize now if it seems too basic.

Here is what the end result is going to look like:

https://s3.amazonaws.com/uploads.bmxmuseum.com/user-images/45913/img_2690598b7bb609.jpg


I'm going to start with a list of parts and tools I used.

The following items were purchased at Home Depot:
Qty            Description
-(1)  1/8" thick  2"x36" flat steel stock
-(2)  3/8" x 1 3/4 bolts
-(2)  3/8" nuts
-(4)  3/8" flat washers

https://s3.amazonaws.com/uploads.bmxmuseum.com/user-images/45913/img_2671598b7bef01.jpg

I used the following tools:
- drill press
- 9/64 and 13/32 drill bits to drill holes
- 1/2 drill bit to deburr the drilled holes
- 1/4 center punch
- scratch awl
- tape measure
- fine bastard file
- square
- hack saw
- Red lead pencil
- (2) 9/16 wrenches (of course sockets could be used)
- wood block
- large vise
- medium drill vise

The frame I am going to use is a Hutch Pro Racer I am rebuilding/restoring/customizing.  The dropouts aren't too bad, but I want them to be straighter before I get the frame powder coated.

I started by cutting two 3" pieces of steel off of the 36" steel stock.  The three inch long piece is going to be long enough to cover the lenght of the axle cut out in the dropout.  I just measured 3", drew two lines on the top and bottom of the flat steel,  used my squard to draw a red line contecting the two small marks, secured the bar stock in a vise, and used the hacksaw to cut the steel down the line.  I repeated the above procedure to get:

https://s3.amazonaws.com/uploads.bmxmuseum.com/user-images/45913/img_2672598b7c2880.jpg


I then took one piece and laid it on the frame.  I decided to mark my holes diagonally on my steel pieces.  I then marked the axle cut out. (Ignore the holes in the reference picture, I had to go back and take it because the 1st one was bad)

https://s3.amazonaws.com/uploads.bmxmuseum.com/user-images/45913/img_2673598b7c5060.jpg

https://s3.amazonaws.com/uploads.bmxmuseum.com/user-images/45913/img_2674598b7c6dd5.jpg
https://s3.amazonaws.com/uploads.bmxmuseum.com/user-images/45913/img_2675598b7cc2ed.jpg


To get the right spacing between the two holes that I needed, I just laid the two washers down on the flat steel piece, made sure the washer holes were between the two lines that marked the axle cut out, and marked the washer holes with a red pencil.  I made sure the washer hole was on the curve mark.  This is to make sure that the steel piece would lie flat on the drop out and not hit the frame.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/uploads.bmxmuseum.com/user-images/45913/img_2676598b7ce2cd.jpg

After the two holes were marked,  I estimated the center of the red pencil circles, marked the center with a"+" using the red pencil.  I then used the 1/4 center punch to make two punch marks so my drilling will be accurate.
https://s3.amazonaws.com/uploads.bmxmuseum.com/user-images/45913/img_2677598b7d1eb2.jpg

The punch marks should look like this:
(this photo is of the second piece of steel, no red lines, just to reference the punch marks):

https://s3.amazonaws.com/uploads.bmxmuseum.com/user-images/45913/img_2678598b7e8706.jpg

(I am going to now change the tense in my writing)

Now that the holes are marked, it is now time to drill pilot holes using a 9/64' bit.  Using a drill press, lay the steel piece on a piece of wood to reduce the burring of the holes on the back side of the steel piece.  Then drill the two holes.
https://s3.amazonaws.com/uploads.bmxmuseum.com/user-images/45913/img_2679598b7dc6b1.jpg

After the two 9/64 holes are drilled, use a large 1/2 drill bit to deburr the small holes by twisting the drill bit with you hand.  Note the burr on the top hole.  This is make sure this steel piece can lie flat on the other one.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/uploads.bmxmuseum.com/user-images/45913/img_2680598b7efe30.jpg
https://s3.amazonaws.com/uploads.bmxmuseum.com/user-images/45913/img_2681598b7f3fb7.jpg

no burrs
https://s3.amazonaws.com/uploads.bmxmuseum.com/user-images/45913/img_2682598b7f80e2.jpg

Now you have a template for the other piece.  Just lay the drilled piece on top blank piece and mark the holes.  I used a scratch awl for this.  It will make smaller, more clearly defined marks on the steel piece.
https://s3.amazonaws.com/uploads.bmxmuseum.com/user-images/45913/img_2683598b7fd2c8.jpg
https://s3.amazonaws.com/uploads.bmxmuseum.com/user-images/45913/img_2684598b7fd215.jpg

After the holes are marked, use the 1/4 center punch to mark the holes
https://s3.amazonaws.com/uploads.bmxmuseum.com/user-images/45913/img_2685598b80280c.jpg

Now drill the 9/64 pilot holes in the second piece

After the pilot holes are drilled it is time to drill the bigger 13/32 holes.  Because I have a drill vise, I didn't have to worry about holding the steel piece and wondering if it is going to hang on the drill bit and take a piece of my hand as it is spinning around.  It was at this time that I thought a good alternative would be to make longer blanks, so it would be possible to hold the piece while drilling the larger holes, but be away from the drill bit itself.  This would also aid in holding the finish tool piece in a vise.  More on that later.  I guess a second alternative is holding the piece in a vise and using a hand drill to make the holes.  Anyway, moving along, the larger holes have to be drilled.  Here is a picture of how I did it:
https://s3.amazonaws.com/uploads.bmxmuseum.com/user-images/45913/img_2686598b80f7a0.jpg

After the four holes are drilled, it should look like this:
https://s3.amazonaws.com/uploads.bmxmuseum.com/user-images/45913/img_2687598b814130.jpg



Now, take the large 1/2 drill bit and deburr the holes by hand.

It is time to put the tool together.  Make sure your holes line up before you try and put in your bolts.  Place a washer on the bolt, then put the bolt through both holes on the steel pieces that are being held together.  Then place  the second washer on the bolt and screw on the nut
https://s3.amazonaws.com/uploads.bmxmuseum.com/user-images/45913/img_2688598b817ecd.jpg
https://s3.amazonaws.com/uploads.bmxmuseum.com/user-images/45913/img_2689598b817e21.jpg


Hand tighten the nut there is an 1/4"gap between the two steel pieces.  Now slide the entire piece over the dropout.  It should look like the second picture.  If it doesn't, take the assembly apart, flip your pieces, and then put it back together.
https://s3.amazonaws.com/uploads.bmxmuseum.com/user-images/45913/img_2690598b81eda4.jpg
https://s3.amazonaws.com/uploads.bmxmuseum.com/user-images/45913/img_2691598b81edbb.jpg

Now, using either two 9/16 wrenches or a 9/16 wrench/socket combination tighten the assembly.  I started with the bolt closest to the frame.  I tightened until it was snug then tightened the second bolt.  I then went back and forth until I could not turn them any further.  Because on of the dropouts was tweeked a little, I put the assembly in my vise and straightened it.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/uploads.bmxmuseum.com/user-images/45913/img_2692598b829331.jpg


Here are before and after shots:

Before
https://s3.amazonaws.com/uploads.bmxmuseum.com/user-images/45913/img_2693598b82c8e8.jpg
https://s3.amazonaws.com/uploads.bmxmuseum.com/user-images/45913/img_2694598b82c905.jpg

After
https://s3.amazonaws.com/uploads.bmxmuseum.com/user-images/45913/img_2695598b8306a2.jpg
https://s3.amazonaws.com/uploads.bmxmuseum.com/user-images/45913/img_2696598b8306c8.jpg

It may be hard to tell from the pictures, but it was definately easy to see a difference in person.  If something doesn't make any sense or if there are any questions, please ask.  I hope this helps someone, let me know what you think.

cmb

Last edited by cmb (2017-08-09 2:48pm)


Never trust a man that doesn't know what beer tastes like or wears more than two rings.

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#2 2010-09-25 6:08pm

jaxon53
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Re: How to make a Rear Dropout Straightening Tool (Picture Heavy)

great idea. I think I'm going to try this.


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#3 2010-09-25 6:47pm

nycet3
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Re: How to make a Rear Dropout Straightening Tool (Picture Heavy)

That's very cool. I love when people make the right tool when the right tool doesn't already exist.


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#4 2010-09-25 6:58pm

Flatlandfox
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Re: How to make a Rear Dropout Straightening Tool (Picture Heavy)

Well done bro, thanks 4 posting with pics!!!
Dennis-


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#5 2010-09-25 9:07pm

jlewis
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Re: How to make a Rear Dropout Straightening Tool (Picture Heavy)

Awesome!  Cool thread.  big_smile

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#6 2010-10-07 5:56pm

HARORi
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Re: How to make a Rear Dropout Straightening Tool (Picture Heavy)

ur bolts say AME COOOOL


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#7 2010-10-07 7:32pm

Ghostzapper
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Re: How to make a Rear Dropout Straightening Tool (Picture Heavy)

Thanks for posting this, I happen to have a frame with some bent drops and I've been contemplating how I should go about straightening them. Vises, hammers, torches.  This is immensely helpful and is easier than the other things I was deciding between.


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#8 2010-10-07 9:41pm

cmb
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Re: How to make a Rear Dropout Straightening Tool (Picture Heavy)

Ghostzapper wrote:

Thanks for posting this, I happen to have a frame with some bent drops and I've been contemplating how I should go about straightening them. Vises, hammers, torches.  This is immensely helpful and is easier than the other things I was deciding between.

Very cool, let us know how it turns out.

Last edited by cmb (2010-10-07 9:42pm)


Never trust a man that doesn't know what beer tastes like or wears more than two rings.

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#9 2011-03-16 3:05pm

regg10
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Re: How to make a Rear Dropout Straightening Tool (Picture Heavy)

i did something very similar to this but just used some steel scraps and the bench vise and it worked awesome also very cool thread


need 24 x 1.50 skinwall tires always looking to land the 80 early 90 s floval flyer on trade or barter to build my grail just dont have the cash to many mouths to feed i am a hvac service tech that will trade labor for parts in so cal also redline cranks

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#10 2011-03-16 7:19pm

oldschuulbmxer
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Re: How to make a Rear Dropout Straightening Tool (Picture Heavy)

regg10 wrote:

i did something very similar to this but just used some steel scraps and the bench vise and it worked awesome also very cool thread

yep!


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#11 2012-12-30 8:55pm

skaman
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Re: How to make a Rear Dropout Straightening Tool (Picture Heavy)

Thanks cmb!

I was looking for a way to straighten dropouts on a couple different frames. 

I built a set of these dropout straighteners.  I made the plates a little longer at 3.5" and offset the holes more to one end.  The offset holes allow me to use the same straighteners on two different types of dropouts (old Mongoose and looptail KOS).  The straightener goes on one way for the old Mongoose and flip it around for the KOS.  I didn't plan it that way but it works out great.

Thanks for the great writeup!

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#12 2012-12-31 3:54am

chach1970
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Re: How to make a Rear Dropout Straightening Tool (Picture Heavy)

cool idea its good if you have a lot to do i had to straighten one frame and all i did was use my vice and a couple pieces of wood did a great job


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#13 2012-12-31 5:24am

fred sanford
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Re: How to make a Rear Dropout Straightening Tool (Picture Heavy)

You guys are going to put the frame doctor out of business big_smile

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#14 2017-07-13 5:51am

Mattman215
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Re: How to make a Rear Dropout Straightening Tool (Picture Heavy)

Can you fix the photos for this thread?


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#15 2017-07-13 8:23am

cmb
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Re: How to make a Rear Dropout Straightening Tool (Picture Heavy)

Absolutely.  I will try and get to it and other how to posts this weekend.


Never trust a man that doesn't know what beer tastes like or wears more than two rings.

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#16 2017-07-13 8:42am

ssdjoey
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Re: How to make a Rear Dropout Straightening Tool (Picture Heavy)

Mattman215 wrote:

Can you fix the photos for this thread?

Surwgive him $400 so he can pay the yearly photobucket fees haha

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#17 2017-07-13 8:59am

cmb
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Re: How to make a Rear Dropout Straightening Tool (Picture Heavy)

ssdjoey wrote:

Mattman215 wrote:

Can you fix the photos for this thread?

Surwgive him $400 so he can pay the yearly photobucket fees haha

Na, just going to find the photos or make new ones.


Never trust a man that doesn't know what beer tastes like or wears more than two rings.

I usually edit for my grammar mistakes.

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#18 2017-07-13 10:47am

Mattman215
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Re: How to make a Rear Dropout Straightening Tool (Picture Heavy)

cmb wrote:

Absolutely.  I will try and get to it and other how to posts this weekend.

Awesome! Thanks man!


What I'd give for a early 80's 26" GT Cruiser....

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#19 2017-08-03 8:08am

cmb
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Re: How to make a Rear Dropout Straightening Tool (Picture Heavy)

I'm having issues downloading my libary from Photobucket.  I just wanted to give an update.  I haven't forgotten about this.


Never trust a man that doesn't know what beer tastes like or wears more than two rings.

I usually edit for my grammar mistakes.

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#20 2017-08-03 11:02am

cmb
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Re: How to make a Rear Dropout Straightening Tool (Picture Heavy)

I'm having issues downloading my libary from Photobucket.  I just wanted to give an update.  I haven't forgotten about this.


Never trust a man that doesn't know what beer tastes like or wears more than two rings.

I usually edit for my grammar mistakes.

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#21 2017-08-03 11:22am

Draw
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Re: How to make a Rear Dropout Straightening Tool (Picture Heavy)

cmb wrote:

I'm having issues downloading my libary from Photobucket.  I just wanted to give an update.  I haven't forgotten about this.

roll

https://web.archive.org/web/20140418210 … ?id=263140

big_smile

Last edited by Draw (2017-08-03 11:23am)


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#22 2017-08-03 7:06pm

cmb
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Re: How to make a Rear Dropout Straightening Tool (Picture Heavy)

Draw wrote:

cmb wrote:

I'm having issues downloading my libary from Photobucket.  I just wanted to give an update.  I haven't forgotten about this.

roll

https://web.archive.org/web/20140418210 … ?id=263140

big_smile

So awesome, thank you.


Never trust a man that doesn't know what beer tastes like or wears more than two rings.

I usually edit for my grammar mistakes.

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#23 2017-08-04 12:00pm

Draw
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Re: How to make a Rear Dropout Straightening Tool (Picture Heavy)

cmb wrote:

Draw wrote:

cmb wrote:

I'm having issues downloading my libary from Photobucket.  I just wanted to give an update.  I haven't forgotten about this.

roll

https://web.archive.org/web/20140418210 … ?id=263140

big_smile

So awesome, thank you.

sure thing. i figured id make a how to on this for others to fix their threads that have pictures

http://bmxmuseum.com/forums/viewtopic.php?id=738824

Last edited by Draw (2017-08-04 12:00pm)


Light, Strong, Cheap ... Pick two

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#24 2017-08-09 2:49pm

cmb
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Re: How to make a Rear Dropout Straightening Tool (Picture Heavy)

Fixed the original post.


Never trust a man that doesn't know what beer tastes like or wears more than two rings.

I usually edit for my grammar mistakes.

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