Bianchi Update: Preparing to soak the frame

I admit it, I’ve been feeling guilty. That poor, poor Bianchi has been hanging in the garage, neglected in favor of my Surly Cross Check, which has been bringing me much enjoyment. That’s going to change this weekend, however, as I’ve finally got a day with no other major commitments, which means it’s time to soak the frame in an oxalic acid solution. Oxalic acid is essentially deck cleaner. One can purchase it off the shelf at their local paint store. The solution is a fairly diluted one of oxalic acid and water. From what I’ve read, I can expect it to soak for a day or two, with some scrubbing at the rusty spots here and there. Once it’s done soaking (i.e., rust is gone), I’ll drop in a box of baking soda to neutralize the acid and let it soak for awhile like that. I’m thinking I can use our hot tub testing strips to determine when the pH levels are pretty flat. Then I’ll rinse it off, blow it out with compressed air and treat the inside with framesaver. Pretty excited, as once that’s done, it’s time to rebuild!

Now, what to do about the soaking container? I’d read that people often use those cheap hard plastic kiddie pools, about $10 at the local variety store. But it’s middle of Winter and nobody is selling wading pools right now, besides the fact that I don’t like the idea of wasting plastic like that. Then, I thought, if I bought some plastic sheeting (at least not as much plastic as a kiddie pool) and built a wood frame, I could like the frame with the plastic and soak it. We have a ton of scrap lumber in the backyard, so that’s pretty doable. But, let’s face it, I don’t want to spend my day building a frame; I want to get this thing soaking now! I did a last-hope Google search for a solution and the second link I clicked on gave me this image:

Using a bike shipping box, cut out and lined with plastic is just the ticket.

Using a bike shipping box, cut out and lined with plastic is just the ticket.

Brilliant! It’s recyclable, easy to do and is the perfect size. Now I’m going to head down to my LBS and see what I can scavenge there. I’ll take lots of photos and report back the results when it’s all said and done.

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