What to do on a rainy day ?
Put a bike together !
The shiny bolts in this photo below replace the cheap rivets that once held the 3 chain wheels together. Their only purpose now is to hold the protective guard ring onto the single wheel as this bike will be a 6-speed rear derailleur only, using the old front middle ring. I have done this conversion on another 26″ wheeled bike and find it greatly simplifies shifting for us old timers (lol), while still giving enough gears to make a useful commuter.
I kind of like one piece cranks – though they are heavy and usually found only on cheap bikes they are simple, generally work well and are easy to maintain. Remember that the adjusting cone and locknuts are left-hand threaded if you are working on one. A large bike spanner like this one below is useful, and the crank is left just slightly loose before tightening, as the act of tightening the locknut generally nips up the remaining play – this may need to be re-done a few times to achieve free bearings with no play. The notches in the adjusting cone allow fine tuning adjustments before tightening the nut and lock-washer against it. Generally it helps, if you can, to unscrew the cone while tightening the lock-nut in these situations as forcing them against each other helps keep them firmly in place, as it does with wheel bearing cones.
The rear derailleur was reassembled with a light smear of grease inside the two plain jockey wheel bearings. The 8mm bolts hold the jockey wheel cage together as well as keeping the wheels in place. This is a “low-tech” Chinese made Shimano mech., but the principles are the same as the fancier ones.
Fitted the derailleur mech. to the right hand dropout first, then the wheel is installed. The chain will pull the mech. into its proper position when fitted.