"If I don't believe in solipsism, who will?" - Al Batt

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Shiny Bits: C-Record Jewelry

Jack Gabus (Silk Hope) asked about components for the upcoming Kvale build. Below is the rear derailleur. I believe the Campagnolo Corsa Record, or C-Record as everybody calls it, came out in '85, maybe '86. This one, without the embossed Campy shield and with the cutout on the roller guard, would probably be from the late '80s. Anyway, close to that time frame. As we discussed earlier, there are lighter derailleurs and maybe better functioning derailleurs, but in my opinion, non prettier. Lets face it, we will put up with a lot of shortcomings for a little beauty. I got this one from Miguel Booth. It was mildly scratched and scraped, though particularly nice for a twenty-year-old "user". Either Miguel didn't ride the bike much or he is very careful.

The first thing I did was hit it with Heavy Duty Easy-Off oven cleaner to remove the anodized coating. This is nasty stuff, the primary ingredient being sodium hydroxide (lye) and requires rubber gloves and common sense. It's best to do it with ventilation or step out of the room for five minutes after spraying it. After ten minutes or so, rinse with water which will neutralize the lye. I prefer to do it with a series of short soakings - too long and it can turn black and etch the aluminum.

I stripped it down to dull aluminum and filed out the scrapes, then sanded it with a series of ever finer wet sandpaper. When it was smooth I buffed it with Simichrome metal polish. After it was polished the shine showed some sanding tracks and I re-worked those spots. There are still some thin scratches that are deep. It could be better, but at some point, pretty good is good enough.

The old Campy rollers were the color of grease. Why change them to a light gray that always looks dirty? I may replace them with some trick red sealed-bearing rollers. We'll see how it looks mounted on the bike.

(After looking at the photos blown up, I think I'll be doing a little Simichrome time.)  (done, no more pictures)


Jonny Hamachi said...


Anonymous said...

Bellissimo! I like the oven cleaner idea. I usually just wet-sand with 880, then 660 grit until all the anodizing is gone, but this takes a LONG time. -Tony

Gunnar Berg said...

Oh yeah!!! Cut your time to a 4th.

800 and 600 is about right. I also like to sand the sandpaper before I start. Say huh? Rub two pieces of sandpaper together to knock off the rogue pieces of grit that will gouge.

And wax the piece when you're done.

Gunnar Berg said...

Tony, With the pre-stripping, you don't have to use any 800 except for scratches, mostly just 600.

Anonymous said...

You have done a great job on the derailleur. I have always thought it was a beautiful part. When I got it the pulleys were frozen and it was much dirtier. I am glad to see it went to a good home.

Gunnar Berg said...

Thanks. It's even cleaner now. ;o)

Rat Trap Press said...

Wow, that's beautiful! I'd heard about using oven cleaner to remove anodization. I'm going to experiment by polishing an old seatpost or stem before I work on something important.

Gunnar Berg said...

It has to be the Heavy-Duty. Regular Easy-Off is a safe, rational product and doesn't contain lye.

Silk Hope said...

yee haw! stunning.