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Old bike chains

 
Posts: 30
Location: Currently south Wales (the old one!)
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cat bike woodworking
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So what is everyone doing with your worn out bike chains?

I've got two now from the last year and I'm reluctant to just put them in the steel recycling.
 
steward
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I think you could feel fine about recycling them.

a couple other options I've seen:
cleaned up and welded into handles to make mason jars into mugs.
jewelry. I wore I chain bracelet for a couple years many years ago. needed a chain breaker to take it off. it's a little embarrassing now, but I thought it was pretty cool at the time. opened a lot of beer bottles with it.
art. I've got a plan for a bathroom fan that involves bike chain, a little motor, and a radiator fan that I liked the look of and I bought on clearance. it'll be functional, but also hopefully look nice. there's a chance it may be another use of bike chain I'm embarrassed about years down the road, though.

but recycling it seems fine.
 
master pollinator
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I suppose they would serve anywhere that light duty chain or heavy metal strapping would otherwise be used.

-Hang shop lights from the ceiling? Or heat lamps in the chicken coop?
-Hang long-handled tools from the rafters?
-Hang pots over a fire?
-Tie a new wooden post to a wobbly old one (lazy fence repair) ?
- Use to forge something with? It'll have an interesting pattern.

Added:
- Make a handy boot scraper for the garden?
 
tel jetson
steward
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Douglas Alpenstock wrote:
- Use to forge something with? It'll have an interesting pattern.



I like that idea.
 
James Alun
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Location: Currently south Wales (the old one!)
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Douglas Alpenstock wrote:
- Use to forge something with? It'll have an interesting pattern.



The original Damascus steel?

tel jetson wrote:
jewelry. I wore I chain bracelet for a couple years many years ago. needed a chain breaker to take it off



I did save the old quick links.
 
Mother Tree
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I can't fully explain this, but there's one up in our roof in some way assisting the relatively new bit of wood that's supporting the ridge beam.  We discovered it while putting some reclaimed insulation sheets up there.

I'm guessing they just used whatever they had around...


 
James Alun
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I kept the old freewheel as well with the idea of making a treadle pillar drill that I saw somewhere on the web.

Seems a bit redundant when we've got two working pillar drills and it would be much easier to convert one with a broken motor.

(We've got two lathes as well, so I'm not building a treadle lathe any time soon.)
 
James Alun
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Burra Maluca wrote:I can't fully explain this, but there's one up in our roof in some way assisting the relatively new bit of wood that's supporting the ridge beam.  We discovered it while putting some reclaimed insulation sheets up there.

I'm guessing they just used whatever they had around...



As much as I enjoy taking things apart, I would probably leave that alone!
 
gardener
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You cam buy these but I have made up my own for odd clamping jobs from bicycle to larger m/cycle chains. All types of Chain wrenches come to mind.
chain-clamp.jpg
[Thumbnail for chain-clamp.jpg]
 
James Alun
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I have a solution! A bike hoist.

My electric bike is kinda heavy to lift up on to the work bench and there is something wonderfully circular about using old bike bits to service the bike.

It's not perfect but with a bit of modifiying I'll probably submit this for an Oddball BB. It really needs another length of chain to make it work well, the blue strap is a compromise.
IMG_20210215_113407_4.jpg
Bike on table.
Bike on table.
IMG_20210215_113416_7.jpg
Mechanism
Mechanism
IMG_20210215_113544_2.jpg
The locking mechanism works!
The locking mechanism works!
 
pollinator
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I’m considering the bike chain hoist idea because I’m getting into bike mechanics. Not wanting to hijack the thread but widen it slightly to address the bike parts conundrum. What to do with extra parts and bikes? What is worth hanging onto and what should I recycle or discard? I’m mobile and have a cargo trailer with limited space. I already found a bike someone tossed into a arroyo just because it was missing a tire. So now my bike rack is already full with my bike and the freebie bike. I imagine there’s bike coops in cities that accept bikes or bike parts. I read that after Burning Man a insane number of bikes were abandoned. Thousands. I read they started a program to send them to Africa. In Florida it’s common to see stuff out by the curb and people drive around and take what they want. This is the only state where I’ve noticed this grassroots recycling. Is this common in other states?
I might use bike chain to support some fold-down tables on the side of my trailer. It would work good and look good.
 
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Location: Northern Ontario, Canada
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Douglas Alpenstock wrote:I suppose they would serve anywhere that light duty chain or heavy metal strapping would otherwise be used.



Any sort of fold-up shelving or desks I think would be well supported by an old chain. I'm often thinking of ideas to use chains in crank powered tools...obviously very crude versions but I think it would be fun to try. I joke to myself that I'll make an apocalypse betty crocker dough mixer some day. These involve a bike drive train more than just a chain but it's still fun to think about what could be done.
 
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