This stroller had begun rusting, but other than a very small bit of pitting, most of the rust was just on the surface. The seat and grab bar were made of wood, and it appeared that somewhere along the line someone had "slapped" (literally) a bit of paint on it (and dribbled it everywhere), and this paint had begun checking and flaking off.
The front and rear bumpers were made of 3/16ths steel rod, and the rubber covering was rock hard and had started breaking off in chunks.
The stroller's handle was missing, the body was beginning to rust, the wheels squeaked, and.....well, you get the picture. The thing totally needed refinishing, but the good news was that the only thing missing was the handle -- all the other parts were there.
Step 1: Tools & Supplies Used
- pliers (to break off the old hardened rubber off the bumpers)
- hacksaw (to cut the tubing for the handle)
- Krylon primer
- Krylon spray paint (blue and ivory)
- painters tape
- mineral spirits
- oak dowel
- washing machine inlet hoses
- 8' length of 1/2 inch metal conduit
- two 1/2 inch metal conduit elbows
- 2 metal conduit couplers
- miscellaneous nuts, bolts, screws
Step 2: Make the Missing Parts
Since I don't have a conduit bender, I bought two 1/2 inch metal elbows and two couplers. I spliced the metal elbows together using an oak dowel and epoxy adhesive to make a new handle, which was attached to the side pieces with the couplers. This made for a simple, but sturdy handle.
To attach the handle to the stroller, I drilled holes in the flattened sections of the side pieces to match the holes that were on the stroller body. I didn't attempt to build a folding handle (since we'll only use this when our new grandchild comes to visit), but if we did want to transport the stroller in the car, it would be a simple matter to remove two of the four bolts that attach it to the stroller and fold the handle forward.
With the handle issue solved, it was now time to start taking things apart.
Step 3: Before You Disassemble
Step 4: Take It Apart
Taking things apart is reasonably easy -- it's the putting them back together that usually the challenge! That's why I took the photos before i began.
Step 5: Replace Parts That Need Replacing
The rubber on the bumpers was extremely brittle, and had to be replaced. I thought, "Where oh where can I get rubber bumpers for a 60 year old stroller?"
Of course, the answer was simple -- in the plumbing department of my local home improvement store! Quite often when I'm faced with needing a part that can't be found anywhere, I've found that more often than not I can find something that works in the plumbing section!
What I found in the plumbing section was a set of black inlet hoses for a washing machine. These hoses had the same outside and inside diameters of the old bumper coverings, and were the exact same color (black)!
I cut the ends off the hoses (guess that voided their warranty) , and began pushing the hose over the steel bumper. It turned out to be tougher than I initially thought, due to the friction between the hose and the curved areas at the ends of the steel bumper. WD-40 to the rescue! Squirting just a little bit of WD-40 inside the hose made a huge difference. I slid the hoses onto both bumpers and trimmed off the excess. Now the bumpers looked just like the originals had looked when they were new.
I also replaced the wooden beads in front of the tray with new one's, and replaced the old hardened rubber covering with a piece of hose left over from the bumpers.
Step 6: Sand & Prime
The rust on the metal parts was first attacked with a wire brush to get into all the nooks and crannies. Then I sanded each piece first with 220 grit paper, then moved to 400 grit.
Once each metal part was sanded, I cleaned it with mineral spirits and sprayed with Krylon rust resistant primer. I then set these parts aside for two days to make sure the primer was fully cured. Before painting the wheels, I put tape over the tread.
Step 7: Paint
Step 8: Reassembly
All that's left to do now is wait for the grandchild!