Basement Skates Continued

January 7, 2014 - 12:01 am
Irradiated by Stingray
1 Comment

So after a couple weeks worth of neatsfoot oil, Dr. Jackson’s Hide Rejuvenator, and Leather Honey, the leather in the boots has come quite a long ways towards viability. Work on the plates has been a little more challenging. A few shots of penetrating oil didn’t do much, but some small vice grips did the trick on getting the kingpins loose.

The toe-stop obviously didn’t fare so well. The kingpins remain the oddest bit, but more on those in a bit.


The pivot cups, being arguably the most wear-prone part, are in surprisingly good shape. Gonna replace them anyway since the age of the rubber has some cracks showing, but if the leather hadn’t been dessicated, you could mistake these for something that just sees regular use and hasn’t been replaced in a while.



Getting useful toestops in, as you can see by the post size, will be a bit of work. The fixed stops originally on were loc-tited in place, but came out clean. I should be able to bore out the holes and re-thread them without un-mounting the plate from the boots, but if there’s any hope of a derby life for these old war-horses, a transition to adjustable stops is pretty mandatory.


So the kingpins. They’re kind of bass-ackwards from most these days. Largely, with exceptions and hand waving and so forth, kingpins either drop through the top of the plate with the nut on the bottom for adjustment, or are more in this vein, screwed in from the under side of the plate, again with a nut on the bottom for action adjustment. Not quite sure what to do here, since these screw in from the bottom, but the nut is non-integral. Adjusting the nut to be able to screw the pin further into the plate to tighten up the trucks is… awkward at best. The bushings are toast, and rock hard, but at $15 for a full set for both skates, who cares? They’re wear parts again, it happens. The bushing cups could possibly stand replacing, but they’re not really something that wears out, and the metal is overall in good shape. The 7mm axles remain interesting. Bearings are plenty available in that size, or a ten dollar sleeve will let me use normal 8mm bearings.

Now the bad news. After loosening up the leather a good bit, the odds of these fitting my battleship-like feet are getting lower and lower. The width could probably be stretched, but the length… that’s a long way to go. Fortunately, there are still multiple good homes for these, and the restoration itself is actually a lot more fun than expected. The leather is just about to the point where it needs motion before it’s going to get any better. We’ve got a couple sets of wheels that can be Frankensteined in, and some old clean bearings (from before I discovered the ones that apparently never get dirty) so long as I put those sleeves on.

Thanks, FarmFam! These are awesome!

One Response to “Basement Skates Continued”

  1. Old NFO Says:

    Very nicely done! Sad that you won’t be able to use them; but I would hope whomever does has an appreciation for history!