Steven brought me his Michalo touring frame with the beginnings of a down tube failure.
Michalo frames were built by Ron Mitten during the 1980’s. He built some very nice racing frames and a few tourers here in Melbourne, Australia. He was active both as a framebuilder and as a veteran rider when I started racing. and did build some frames for both Christie cycles here and McBains in Tasmania. I know this because I recall him saying one day that he had just shipped three frames down to Tasmania that week. This frame is kind of interesting though. I somehow doubt that the three different options for canti stud positions are original and given it has been repainted at some point I feel it has probably seen some work in the past. Still 30 years of service isn’t bad. lets see if we can set it up for another 30. Enough history
With the crack extending into the lug the decision was made to replace both the down tube and the lower head lug. I filed the lug down so that when I heated things up the lug would come away in two pieces rather than attempt to slide it off the head tube. The amount of rust inside the tube at that junction was rather interesting. I didn’t have an exact match for the lug but did have something close so a little bit of filing produced a pretty good replacement. I decided to drill a vent/drainage hole in the headtube. As far as these holes are concerned they provide for expansion when you braze but they also allow for the water to drain out after you soak the flux off the frame. You don’t need one here for expansion because the BB is open but it cant hurt in terms of drainage. I filed up the down tube and cleaned out the BB shell after removing the remnants of the down tube. Flux the tube and lugs, Braze and soak. Clean up the lugs. Run the taps through the BB shell and we are back on the road. On to the future