Homemade Headset Press Tool?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Pedaling Pete, Oct 24, 2003.

  1. Pedaling Pete

    Pedaling Pete New Member

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    I am having trouble making a inexpensive press tool for the headset like this one:
    http://www.mindspring.com/~d.g1/headset.html

    Could not find the right bushings so I tried without. Worked OK the first time.
    But the second time the cups refused to set horizontally and when they finally did, the washers bent!
    The upper cup have yet one cm to go before it is all the way in to the head tube of the frame.
    VERY frustrating!!!
    So its back to the drawingboard!

    What kind of component can I use to steer the cups down in the right angle?
    Does anyone know what that author have used?
    I have looked everywhere!

    "...should be available at any descent hardware store..."
    Yeah, Right!
     
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  2. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    I never used anything but a block of wood and a hammer. It may help to chamfer the headtube a bit to remove burrs and sharp edges to prevent shaving of alloy cups.. The chamfer on the cups is also often abrupt,and creating a shallower angle with a dremel tool can ease starting in the headtube.
     
  3. Pedaling Pete

    Pedaling Pete New Member

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    Thanks!
    But would you dare to "go medeaval" on a nice headset like Woodland?
    Don´t think so!
    They even rekomend their special own special tool!!!

    Might work if I get a stick or similar in hard wood.
    But the Cups are extremly wide on this type and made in aluminium. Using a piece of plank might put to much stress on the walls of the cups.
    Besides, the bike is fully asembled so i would have to ask someone to hold the bike etc....

    No, I need those bushings!
    Any clues what to use? :confused:
     
  4. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    Yeah, I have done 'medeaval' on everything.
     
  5. tomasbikes

    tomasbikes New Member

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    I agree that those bushings should be at a good hardware store, back in the drawers where they keep the metric bolts, stainless steel bolts, and left-hand thread screws. And I'm serious!

    However, it may be quicker to try multiple washers stacked up on your bolt. It will be much harder to bend 6 washers than 1. And washers are cheap! Those bushings might cost $5 each.

    As for myself, I've always re-installed headset cups using the hammer and wood block method to start. For difficut installations, I've followed up with a junk fork and headset fittings and just cranked the cups in. Of course, this was for steel cups. I would NEVER use these methods on alloy cups.

    Instead of a bolt, try threaded rod. This will allow you to secure a stack of washers at one end of the "tool" at least.

    Good Luck! Tom C.
     
  6. mikeo

    mikeo New Member

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    Why not get a length of appropriate diameter threaded rod several inches longer than the head tube, two nuts with large washers and a couple of short bits of pine 4" X 2". Drill a clearance hole for the the threaded rod in the centre of the pine 4" X 2"s. Put a nut and washer on one end of the threaded rod drop one 4" x 2" onto the washer, poke the other end of the threaded rod through the bottom cup then the head tube, slide the other cup over the threaded rod onto the top of the head tube, then the other 4" x 2", washer and screw the other nut on. Tighten it up until the cups are just starting to push into the head tube square and then continue tightening the nuts until it pushes on (a little lube on the cup might help). The cup might push into the pine a bit but this should prevent damaging the cups.
     
  7. tomasbikes

    tomasbikes New Member

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    mikeo,

    "Don't try this at home." At least not with an alloy headset. The whole purpose of the bushings, washers, etc. is to apply the forcing pressure to the inner part of the cup, and avoid damage to the bearing race. If you press on the upper edges of the bearing cups, you might distort the bearing surface. At this point it's cheaper to have the LBS re-insert the cups.

    Tom C.
     
  8. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    Good theory,but not necessarily true in actual practice. Better folks than I have used the block of wood for untold installations with alloy cups and no problems. none here either.
     
  9. angrydave

    angrydave New Member

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    Yeah I use the wood method all the time, everything from no-name headsets to King and the Campy Chorus I just put in ten minutes ago. It definitely works fine.
     
  10. JohnO

    JohnO New Member

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    Me, too. Installed Campy Chorus on road bike and Aheadset on MTB, all with a block of wood, and due caution. Both times it was into carbon frames, which can be easily cracked if you're careless installing a headset.

    It helps to have a heavy hammer that packs a lot of inertia. I use a brass mallet to do the driving. Also, don't try to drive it in with one whack. Work it slowly, and check after every hit to be sure that it hasn't turned off center.
     
  11. angrydave

    angrydave New Member

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    John O's advice is well founded. I use a sand filled dead blow hammer, and indeed check it often for turns.
     
  12. fullvision

    fullvision New Member

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    If you use soft pine (no finish) you shouldn't have any problems...even with alloy. I've done dozens without a problem.
     
  13. Dave539

    Dave539 New Member

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    First - Big threaded rod 5/8 inch or 3/4. Two big washers, 4 total. Stack the washers, two on each end. You use one washer, it could bend. You need good thick washers. Get sticky felt and cut out two circles, these will pad your washers as they press on the cups. Slowly crank. Slowly. Watch as you crank so the cups go in straight. Don't use a thin threaded bolt with little washers and nuts, not good.
     
  14. jasong

    jasong New Member

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  15. artmichalek

    artmichalek New Member

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    I have access to a hydraulic press that i used to install an alloy Ahead Set recently. I installed it one cup at a time with scraps of 2x4 above and below. I cranked up the load slowly, and occasionally releasing it and moving things around to make sure the cups went in straight. The alloy cups sank pretty far into the wood, but they didn't bend at all.
     
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