Sunday, July 12, 2009

So, what about that Holdsworth?

Readers with long memories may recall my plan to touch up the worst of the paint damage on my Holdsworth Professional frame and build it into a late 60s racing steed as it once was.
The more astute among you might well infer that my long silence on the subject says that all is not well.

After months of desultory action, I gave up on my efforts to touch up the paintwork, ordered a set of transfers from Lloyds and entrusted the job to the multi-talented Walter Thorburn.

A couple of weeks later, Walter called to tell me that beadblasting had exposed a crack underneath the bottom headlug. Being financially and emotionally invested in the project, I rejected the idea of chucking the frame in a skip, and set to replacing the downtube and headlug.

The first problem is that I needed a plain, long point headlug.

The Holdsworth's lugs look like a modified Prugnat Type S, which are probably fairly easy to find, but I decided it was better to make some progress while I was still in the mood.
I dug out a set of Prugnat lugs with triangular cutouts and a some bits of scrap tube, and brazed bits of steel tube scrap into the cutouts. After a morning of filing and sanding I had a passable lookalike of the original.

I quite probably have the correct Reynolds 531 downtube in my inventory, but chose to use Ishiwata 024, because it was closer to the top of the pile, just the right length, and a bit heavier, which seems appropriate on a frame that is earmarked for this year's edition of l'Eroica.
It's a few years since I have replaced a downtube, but to my eyes the end result doesn't look too bad at all.

While I had the frame back, I took the opportunity to cold set the rear dropouts to 126mm so that I can use a 7 speed freewheel. Usually my inner purist would frown at this, but I figure that I was already across the line in the sand when I decided to get the frame repainted, and anyway, a sub-athlete like me needs a wide range of gears for a life threatening outing like Eroica.



MarkB said...

Nicely done sir... a true artiiist.

Oli Brooke-White said...

Fascinating! Good work, DB...can't wait to see what it looks like when it comes back from Walter.