Bright ideas for spreading dropout - not widening OLN?!

TreaderSteve

Retro Guru
So, project frame has received a doink - such that the dropout has closed up slightly such that the axle won't slip in. We're not on about spreading the OLN dimensions. Any bright ideas for easing the dropout 'open' so that we're all good to go again? A miniscule hydraulic ram would be perfect! Thanks in advance
 

TreaderSteve

Retro Guru
Yeah cheers - it needs 'prying' open somehow, but didn't want to apply a twisting motion at all if possible - rather a purely outward and apart motion - a 'trick' or knack....a 1991 Explosif needs to be treated with care and not my ham-fistedness!
 

TreaderSteve

Retro Guru
Good idea THM, pulling upwards with a bit of pipe. Try that first. Had a small brainwave in the shower: if I can get a Toblerone shaped piece of steel from my local hardware emporium (Mackays in Cambridge - what a place!) can possibly wedge it in and get it all in the vice and tighten to wedge the triangle point into the dropout to spread. Watch this space.
 

mullinino

Senior Retro Guru
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If the wheel is straight as it stands now then I'd advise you to leave it alone...once you start bending it you may end up pulling it one way then pushing it the other to get it lined up again which will weaken and crack the steel quicker than you think. Just pull the rear end apart with your hands when putting the wheel back in if you need to so it drops back in. I always built frames a couple of mm too narrow so the rear end gripped the wheel a bit even with the skewer opened fully, I just had it in my mind it was a bit safer that way!
 

KermitGKona88

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Just to clarify my first comment, I was talking about inserting the screwdriver from the front not the side and using the length of the screwdriver to pry open the dropout, no twisting involved.
 

hookooekoo

Retro Guru
Good idea THM, pulling upwards with a bit of pipe. Try that first. Had a small brainwave in the shower: if I can get a Toblerone shaped piece of steel from my local hardware emporium (Mackays in Cambridge - what a place!) can possibly wedge it in and get it all in the vice and tighten to wedge the triangle point into the dropout to spread. Watch this space.
Unfortunately I think you'll find it difficult to find a Toblerone, equilateral triangle profile. Most likely reason is that it's not a suitable starting point to turn anything commonly produced in a lathe. Of course most, if not all lathes, have three jaw, self centring chucks, and could grip a Toblerone profile, but three jaw chucks are to assist in the gripping of round and hexagonal bar. Round profile bar obviously has infinite uses, and hexagonal profile bar is the starting point for a hex nut.

https://www.metalsupermarkets.co.uk/metals/bright-steel/

I suppose that you might be able to force the dropout open using that method with a circular or hexagonal bar. And I think you'll find the best place for very small lengths of bar is Ebay, rather than a metal retailer. If using round profile, the greatest mechanical advantage would be obtained by using a series of bars, of gradually increasing diameter. Start with a bar that almost fits, then increase by 0.5mm or 1mm each time. Also bear in mind that there will be a small amount of spring back, which means that a 9mm diameter bar, for example, will not produce a 9mm opening.

I too have often had brainwaves while in the shower. Not sure why, but it seems that showering or the washing process facilitates it.
 
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