Re: Tinsmith's in frame gas tank for cantilever Schwinn.
Lots of great suggestions to look into and experiment with. Now that I've given it all a going over with super fine steel wool I'm pretty fired up with just how beautiful the copper is. It glows and the solder looks good, too, I'm deciding. If there had been a way to solder this tank from the inside then the soldering could be close to invisible, but this tank can only be done from the outside. So be it, then it is part of the look of the tank and makes a statement about how it is made. There are some spots I want to address, but most of it on the top and sides looks good to my eye. The bottom isn't seen unless I happen to run over somebody while they're admiring the bike. So the bottom is not a concern. That doesn't leave all that much to address. I'll post a photo later today of the initial cleaning so you see what I'm talking about.
This tank is not going to be painted. I like the look of the copper too much. The debate now is whether to leave it alone once it has been cleaned up and allow the natural oxidation process to darken it and eventually turn green in spots as it weathers... or shine it up so that it glows and carefully give it coats of clear coat to preserve it that way... 'Nubian gold with a border of silver', in my imagination at least.
A year ago I had stripped down a 39 Elgin to bare metal and thought how beautiful the frame and parts were like that. I went ahead and gave it a paint job of cobalt blue, but somehow the paint was less than and not more than it was as a bare machine. Someday I want to do a bike with no paint, but also without rust... everything clear coated to make it look factory fresh as a statement of "I am a clever machine made of metal, come ride me". Ha!
Anyway, Dan says to let it do what copper does when left alone to time and the elements. I don't know Dan. It sure looks purty all shiny. And I am part raccoon, you know, mightily attracted to shiny things...
Tim, Dan is right... Towson isn't all that far away. We should get a ride together toward the end of the month or early next.
And looking further on into April, Virginian, if you're reading this thread, let's get a spring ride set up. And Crazy Horse, aren't you getting stoked for a spring ride? What about you boys in southern PA? Davis brothers, you ready to ride? Let's celebrate spring and the beginning of the riding season in our part of the world! Dan is the only forum member I've ridden with, a few weeks back when the weather was nice... some fun! Maybe we can settle on someplace central to everybody. Maybe a state park or some nice back farm country. Dan's part of the world was nice farmland with gentle hills and winding back roads. Up my way it gets awfully hilly here on the mountain. I'm just talking about a day ride, not a formal rally or anything. I'm smiling just thinking about it. Woohoo!
Someday when I grow up I will probably lose interest in toys with wheels, but until then...