Introduction: Upcycling Dead And/or Scrap Bicycles - Part 1 - Home-made Tools - Hand-powered Sander

About: I am an escapee from modern life, now living by the sea in a forest garden in France. After over 20 years industrial experience, I quit my managerial position to study for a degree in Engineering. That done I …

Our film on the hand-powered sander, made with the use of scrap bicycle parts is one of our most successful to date with over one and a quarter million views. It also threw up a lot of comments on the use of dead bicycles and so I've written this piece to share and address some of these comments and to show why I think the bicycle is such a marvellous machine.

From time to time you can be lucky and find a really good quality bike that, though damaged and/or already cannibalised for the parts, usually the gearing system, can be repaired and reused. Normally however, the majority of dumped bikes are just good for the individual parts, which can be recycled or rather upcycled into something useful.

Step 1: Hand-Powered Sander Film - an Example of 'dead' Bike Upcycling

You can view my film on the hand-powered sander above.

Use all the buffalo

It is a real shame not to use as much as possible of you recuperated bike - there will of course be some waste but you would be surprised what can be upcycled. On the above bicycle, for example, the brakes and the saddle have already been removed to repair a child's bike but some of the individual spokes from the wheels have also been put to use to fix a friend's fishing gear! The front wheel spindle is ear-marked a project I'll be undertaking in the Autumn. I've also recuperated for reuse many of the fasteners - nuts bolts and washers.

The hand-powered sander was designed and made using the crankwheel assembly and the lower part of the frame of a scrapped bicycle someone had dumped, along with three others, at the back of our bottle bank. This seems a regular place people leave bikes - so it might be worth your while checking this out where you live too! . Any bicycle can be used to make this hand-powered sander but do ensure that the bottom bracket bearings in the cramkwheel assembly are still running smoothly.

The table top upon which the wood rests was recuperated from a pallet and I used it because it was a smooth flat surface, ideal for this kind of application.

The actual cost of this project is therefore really only the cost of a sheet of sandpaper, a few screws and a little glue - here in France, that cost me 10 centimes. If you wanted to make a 'deluxe' model, viewers have suggested buying special sandpaper with a Velcro back - so you can change the grade of sandpaper, which is a really useful tip.

You can find the original version of this article on my blog: here

Feel free to ask questions either here or on the blog or film.

All the very best and Happy Recuperating!

Andy aka Organikmechanic aka The Green Lever