Late next month I head to Niles, MI to attend Doug Fattic's framebuilding class. As with Matthew's experience, I wasn't planning on this -- a friend came back from Cirque and told me Doug was planning on offering a course this summer, I happened to have those 10 days free, and so I jumped at the chance. I've spent the last few days deciding just what sort of frame I still need and, more importantly, what building experience I'd like to gain. I've decided on a 650B wide- tire randonneur with lots of braze-ons and as many usual features as I can convince Doug to let me try! (Doug, if you're reading, I apologize in advance!)
Top on my list is a rod-operated (aka "suicide") front derailleur. I believe Tony Pereira is selling these now, though I can't find them on his website. (And I certainly would much rather have a "brazed on" version than one with any clamps -- this is, after all, a handmade, very custom frame!) I would also ideally like one whose rod doesn't swing behind the seat tube, as I'd like to have a pump mounted back there. I believe the Simplex fits this requirement, though I suspect it too is a clamp-on model. I suppose with either, I can just braze on something to do the job of the clamp. Does anyone have such a derailleur to offer me, or more information on where I can get a Pereira?
Secondly, I'm interested in trying to integrate a chainrest. The Campagnolo Portacatena system actually looks just about right, as the 5 speed + rest setup is fine with me. Except that I want to use vertical dropouts, and I don't know if they can be modified to work with the Portacatena. I also would rather not use a Campagnolo shift lever -- I wonder if I could figure out how to modify a Simplex to include the Portacatena safety clutch!
Finally, like a lot of people, I'd love to use a Maxi Car rear hub. I see there are several on eBay now, but with French threading. Does anyone happen to have an English-threaded 126-spaced hub they'd be willing to sell?
The class isn't until late July, but I'll be sure to report to the list and offer photos when I return. And Matthew -- based on your report, I'll be sure to just use Doug's cast lugs, tempted as I am to stay up all night filing Cinellis!
(I am doing this, by the way, mostly as an enthusiast. No immediate plans to begin a framebuilding career -- though I can't say I don't often think of doing just that when I finish my doctoral work in two years...)
Toronto, ON, Canada