Introduction: Using a Bike Chain Tool
I build unusual bikes that often need custom long bike chains. See the unusual bikes at: http://woodenbikes.com
People often ask: "Where did you find the long chain?"
This instructable shows how to use a Bike Chain Tool to make chains of desired length.
Step 1: Driving the Chain Pin Most of the Way Out
Place the Chain in the lower chain support and advance the tool's Driving Pin against the Chain Pin to push the Chain Pin most of the way out the other side.
DO NOT PUSH IT ALL THE WAY OUT.
Keep backing out the Driver and test (gently bend and pull) to see if you can separate the chain yet.
If you can't, then screw the driver up against the Chain Pin and advance another 1/2 turn then back out and check again.
Repeat ad successeum (That's mechanic-latin for keep going bit by bit until it works)
Step 2: Bending and Checking
Check to see if Pin is driven far enough out by gently bending the chain and trying to separate it.
Step 3: Separate the Chain
Gently bend and pull it apart.
Leaving a little of the Chain Pin still exposed helps greatly with re-assembly.
Step 4: Joining Chains
To link two chains together you need to have the Pin still through one of the outer plates of one chain's link. For the other chain you need the empty receiving roller side (narrow pair of plates) of a link. It looks just like prior picture.
First retract the Tool's Driving Pin so there is room to position the chain in the tool's lower support with the chain Pin protruding toward the Driving Pin.
Fit the two chain links together and line them up on the Chain Tool's lower support with the Chain Pin protruding toward the Driving Pin.
Then gently drive the Chain Pin in while gently steering the chain to keep things straight.
Be careful not to misalign so badly as to make the Chain Pin fold over in the plate hole.
Step 5: Drive Chain Pin Most of the Way In
Here you drive the Chain Pin most of the way in so it protrudes a little out the other end of the link matching its neighbors.
Because the plates squeezed together there is a little too much pin still protruding out the front end.
We will correct that in the final step.
Step 6: Loosening the Stiff Link
Driving the Pin in while the link was in the lower support compressed the plates together and made the link stiff.
Now it's time to help the link limber up and space the plates out a little.
This is done on the Upper Chain Guide where the chain floats. When the pin is driven a 1/4 turn on the floating support, the Pin spreads the plates out a little so the link is not stiff with friction.
Check to see there are about equal amounts of pin protrusion out from both outer plates.
Congratulations! You did it. You have joined the Chain Gang!
You deserve a treat, so go visit Sheldon Brown's hilarious chain cleaning page:
Step 7: Bonus Tip: You Can Use a Piece of Wire As a Third and a Fourth Hand to Hold Chain
Its hard to put the chain back together if tension and deraileur springs keep pulling it apart before you set the rivet. Just use a short piece of wire to pull tension in the chain and create slack in the part of the chain you upon which you are working.
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Please be positive and constructive.