Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Extreme Makeover: Lug Edition

For an upcoming mixte (step-through) frame project, I needed a lug set which includes the two special lugs to carry the steeply sloped top tube. Despite the variety of modern cast lugs available for traditional frames, there are no non-proprietary lug sets currently being produced for the mixte format. Searching the offerings of old-stock components, I found a set of vintage pressed lugs which, under all that tarnish, showed some potential.

But I never really cared for this Nervex style, and the sockets for the top tube and down tube are cut too blunt to carve any sort of nice point. This called for a major overhaul....

The first step was to square off the end of the down tube socket, and braze on an extension which can later be shaped into a point. In the photo below, the junction has been filed to reveal the fine brass-colored line of the joint.

This lug-shaped-object then was carved to create a new long point, and to remove most of the original Nervex features.

This new overall profile is consistent with the simple lug styling that I had envisioned for this frame. But I wasn't done yet... the shorelines needed refinement, and this lug needed to be thinned.

The photo below shows the brazed lug, sporting a completely new style for this old lug set. Who would ever guess how this lug started out?