Well. I spent last weekend stripping Deathtrap's bits from her frame in preparation for powder coating it. I could only do so much as I was missing a couple of relevant spanners/sockets, so took the partly-disassembled bike around to a friend's. Steve has a fab garage and full-on tool set. He put her frame in his vice and together we took wheels and other parts off. But... we hit a snag. The stem wouldn't be parted from the frame. It appears, somewhere deep inside, that rust has taken its toll. We followed appropriate processes for removing the stem - undoing the bolt at the top, tapping it with a hammer to release it, then pulling and - nothing!
Copious applications of WD-40 and an hour or two for it to sink in didn't help either. The wretched thing is stuck solid.
To make matters worse, Steve noticed that where we'd put the frame in the vice to hold it steady, it had dented. The steel used to build the frame is horribly cheap and light it seems. He reckoned he could feel the top tube bending under his fingers when he pushed it hard enough.
Is it worth persevering in that case? I'm looking at spending hundreds of dollars on new components, and attaching them to a very cheap frame. I think I'm being a bit daft. Although the frame size is good for me and the lugwork is lovely, it's not a good solution.
So poor old Deathtrap, her stem still eternally attached, is heading for the bin. There's stuff all worth salvaging except the chaincase cover and the mudguards.
Back to square one. I'm now looking for vintage bikes on eBay that might not require a full rebuild but will be the right sort of frame to utilise my 8 speed hub.