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The Classic & Vintage Pass Around [Cotter] Press

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The Classic & Vintage Pass Around [Cotter] Press

Old 12-15-22, 12:07 PM
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The Classic & Vintage Pass Around [Cotter] Press

About a week ago, Dave (Mad Honk) and I had a chat about his VAR cotter press and the general accessibility of crank cotter presses overall. We both realized that there are a number of forum members with basic, cottered-crank bikes who may not be in a position to commit $69 + shipping for one of Mark Stonich's legendary BikeSmith cotter presses, for a single removal job - especially if swapping to a square taper crank.

Long story short, I wound up acquiring Dave's VAR press, leaving me with one more press than I need: My trusty, first-generation BikeSmith press. As such, Dave and I came up with a plan:

To aid anyone on this forum in need of a cotter press for a short amount of time, we're going to offer up my old press as a pass-around loaner to any forum member who needs it.




************************************
The rules of The Classic & Vintage Pass Around Press are simple:
  1. The press will be shipped in a Small Flat Rate Box to you upon request.
  2. As nominal payment for using the tool, you will cover whatever the going rate is for a Small Flat Rate Box to ship it to the next person. Don't ship it back to me - that's inefficient and I'll wind up getting stuck for a constant $9 cost to ship it out.
  3. If the Small FRB is too tattered to re-use when you get it, please replace the box. Always circle the box with w/packing tape around the long end, as the tabbed ends tend to pop open with heavy objects - like this tool.
  4. For now, let's keep it within the US - this means we're only talking $9-10 to ship for each user, not $29-30.
  5. Everyone requesting the press must announce so in this thread and when they have received it, thus making it clear who has the press at any given time.
  6. Please post photos of its use!
  7. You can use the press as long as you need until someone else requests it. When they do, please communicate via PM to the current holder of the press with your shipping address. The holder of the press must ship it out to them within four (4) days, and provide the tracking number.
  8. There is no limit to requesting the tool; we realize that you may have to re-install the cranks a number of weeks or months after you removed them.
  9. If you wreck your cotters using this tool, that's on you. It's possible; smooth removal is a blessing, but not a guarantee.
  10. If you drop this tool on your foot, that's on you. Try not to, it's heavy.
************************************
Do not request the press if:
  • You have less than 10 posts.
  • You cannot use the PM system.
  • You cannot expect to ship the press within the aforementioned four days (within reason - if you wind up incapacitated for a week from a cold or COVID, this will be understood, of course).
  • You intend to use it at a profit-making bike shop. This offer is for enthusiasts, not for businesses.
  • You intend to sell the press.
  • You will be banned from this and any future goodwill tool loaner efforts Dave or I may offer if you violate any of the rules above.
************************************
If the USPS loses the press:
  • The last person to ship it out will be expected to place the USPS insurance claim on the Small Flat Rate Box it was shipped in, and they will be expected to do so within a reasonable amount of time.
  • With these funds, you will be expected to replace the tool. Yes, it sucks that you'll have to cover the difference - remember, Mark's tool is $69 + shipping and USPS base insurance is $50, minus your cost to ship. This is a small price to pay to keep this loaner system running even if the USPS screws up.
  • If you really don't want to have to cover the difference, feel free to spend the additional $ to add $100 in insurance to the package. Up to you. Just remember that the last person with the tool will be expected to replace it if it gets lost.
************************************
Recommended instructions:
Also, If anyone with the ability and desire wants to mill or etch "The Classic & Vintage Pass Around Press" into the body, go right ahead. It'd reduce the chance that the tool will get lost or misplaced.

That said, be warned that the BikeSmith tool does have occasional limitations. On some really thin crankarms, like the one on my Moulton Mk.1, it hits the chainring before centering on the cotter. This won't be the case for most bikes, but that's definitely something to keep in mind. They do really well on Raleigh cranksets, like this one.




Looking forward to the first taker! Let's make this a thing

-Kurt
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Last edited by cudak888; 12-30-22 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 12-15-22, 01:12 PM
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This is a great service to your fellow hobbyists. I do not need it now, but I love knowing that it may be out there if I do need it. Thank you!
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Old 12-15-22, 01:50 PM
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This makes a lot of sense. Thanks for the kind offer.
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Old 12-15-22, 04:15 PM
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-----

side note -

most readers are likely familiar with the VAR press - LARGE in terms of size/weight

was recently reminded that Cyclo of England offered a very similar tool -








-----
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Old 12-15-22, 04:34 PM
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It's cold here in Vermont, so I often wear a wool cap indoors, as I am now. [pause] But I have now literally doffed my cap to Mad Honk and cudak888 for this great idea. I have always thought that it's nuts to use some kludgy method of removing and replacing cotters when there's a tool for the job. That's why I went ahead and bought one for myself. Now even those who can't make that kind of investment can do it right. Thanks, guys.
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Old 12-15-22, 07:35 PM
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But what will I do now with the big hammer?
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Old 12-15-22, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
But what will I do now with the big hammer?
Remove some braze-ons.

-Kurt
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Old 12-15-22, 08:33 PM
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Neal,
The problem with that hammer is that you only have one leg to stand on!
Kurt,
Glad to see that the pass around tool is now in the works! The rules seem pretty straightforward and are just like the Box O' Crap so it should work quite nicely (the USPS is your friend when shipping). I am pretty glad to see that we have some nice philanthropy going on in the forum.
This thread may deserve a sticky. Smiles, MH
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Old 12-15-22, 08:44 PM
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It looks like I might have to buy a 23.35 mm Stein crank puller for Stronglight cranks. If I do, perhaps I will start one of these for the puller.
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Old 12-15-22, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by albrt View Post
It looks like I might have to buy a 23.35 mm Stein crank puller for Stronglight cranks. If I do, perhaps I will start one of these for the puller.
Come to think of it, I think I have a spare Park dual-ended 22mm + 24mm TA puller that could make the rounds too, but I think it's one of the earlier versions with coarse threads and a shorter handle. Not the best, can't be transplanted onto a modern arm, and might not work ideally.

-Kurt
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Old 12-16-22, 04:09 AM
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Originally Posted by albrt View Post
It looks like I might have to buy a 23.35 mm Stein crank puller for Stronglight cranks. If I do, perhaps I will start one of these for the puller.
Based on that art project, you need a 23.35 METER crank puller for .... something!
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Old 12-16-22, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
But what will I do now with the big hammer?
Whack students and faculty "up-side da head," who act as if they are academic snobs.
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Old 12-16-22, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
Wack students and faculty "up-side da head," who act as if they are academic snobs.
Iím afraid the whacking would be a full-time job when it comes to my current context, Bob.
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Old 12-16-22, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
Iím afraid the whacking would be a full-time job when it comes to my current context, Bob.
Other than assault charges, I donít see a problem. 🤔
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Old 12-17-22, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by albrt View Post
It looks like I might have to buy a 23.35 mm Stein crank puller for Stronglight cranks. If I do, perhaps I will start one of these for the puller.
I have a Stronglight cotterless puller, which I bought after buying the PKN-10. Why did they have to use an oddball size?
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Old 12-17-22, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by John E View Post
I have a Stronglight cotterless puller, which I bought after buying the PKN-10. Why did they have to use an oddball size?
Stronglight invented the square taper cotterless crank, so there was no existing standard for them to use. Why they chose that particular size is a mystery. Perhaps they got a deal on 16mm bolts and calculated that 23.35mm was an appropriate diameter for the extractor, to fit available 16mm sockets.

Another mystery is why Zeus chose to follow Stronglight in using 16mm mounting bolts, but put them in a 22mm extractor hole, requiring a particularly thin-wall socket to remove the bolts.

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Old 12-17-22, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
Whack students and faculty "up-side da head," who act as if they are academic snobs.
What has that got to do with the original post? Is that your "Christmas-spirit" contribution?
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Old 12-17-22, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by 1989Pre View Post
What has that got to do with the original post? Is that your "Christmas-spirit" contribution?
Bob, Neal, and I have a running gag of returning each other's off the wall jokes in kind. Don't take it too literally.

Unless, of course, you'd like to try the cotter press. On the faculty. The stubborn ones.

-Kurt
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Old 12-17-22, 04:21 PM
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Loaner tools = for bike guys with no friends.
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Old 12-17-22, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by CroMo Mike View Post
Loaner tools = for bike guys with no friends.
Not all of us live in a dense city.

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Old 12-17-22, 05:13 PM
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I live in a dense city, and I have friends at two co-ops and a bike shop that specializes in second hand bikes. None of them have a 23.35 mm crank puller.
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Old 12-17-22, 05:59 PM
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CroMo Mike,
I think you might have mis-spelled " loner" . Smiles, MH
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Old 12-17-22, 07:35 PM
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Yes, intentionally. My son and I get a laugh every time we drive past Advance auto parts and see the sign in the window. "Free loaner tools" :-)
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Old 12-17-22, 07:39 PM
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Thanks guys for the well thought out and useful service for us bike nerds.

I was considering buying a press, but may take up this offer in the near future to finish the Claud Butler!
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Old 12-18-22, 06:53 AM
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As others have said before: the generosity of C&V forum members is astounding.

Question: should this thread be a "sticky", so that members needing to use the loaner service could find the rules (and the current location of the loaner press) easily?
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