Malvern Star 5 Star 1958

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WyvernRH
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Malvern Star 5 Star 1958

Postby WyvernRH » Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:54 pm

As a few of you know I have recently become the custodian of the frame of a Malvern Star 5 Star frame no 58M5380. Seem it was made the same year I was born, maybe fate but thank you very much Rob74.
I can do no better than give you his description:
Rear Frame has Track Type tips
RHS rear frame tip Sen No 58 M5380 (Have not taken the fork out to look at the steerer tube)
the "3" on the rear frame tip could be something else.
Underside of Bottom Bracket stamped Made in ?England?
Wheel base = 1035 nominal axle to axle
Seat Tube = 21&1/2" (550) C-C
Top Tube = 575 C-C
Down Tube = 630 C-C
Head Tube = 70 C-C (120 O/A)
* Pump pegs,
* top of rear stays in a diamond shape,
* Fork crowns (with chrome underneath)
Frame + Forks + Head Set = 3.10kg

Overpainted Burgundy Red with White accents on
* the five stars on the head tube

Gently scraping with finger nail reveals Original Baked Enamel Royal Blue with White Pin Stripes on seat tube and forks
Red & White Letters on the Down Tube now unreadable possibly " ?XXXXXoun Cycles"
Seat Tube has two (2) of Red, White, Blue 4mm each circular strip bands. In between that was Red & White Letters that are now unreadable

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Now, my knowledge of Australian producers is slim and mainly gained from the internet as afar as big firms like Malvern Star are concerned. Obviously a 1958 model and a 5 star BUT it uses chainstay and seat stay bridges I would associate with a much lower class model?
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I have a 55 3 - star and while it has the plate seatstay bridge with NO mudguard eyes it has a tube chainstay bridge - eh?
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Okay, so where are with this frame? It is a 5 star but is has roadster (?) type bridges for mudguards, pump pegs and original drillings in the fork for front brakes BUT with rear facing dropouts...

Over to you chaps

Richard

bicyclepassion
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Re: Malvern Star 5 Star 1958

Postby bicyclepassion » Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:36 pm

After about 1950, 99% of 5 stars were production semi racers, as this one is. Made with slack angles, mudguard clearances, pump pegs etc. Only a small number were hand built to order. The production 5 stars and the specials are two very different beasts. This one must have been repainted twice, once with xxxxx cycles etc, and then burgundy over that. It is definitely a 'real' 5 star though. A few fake 'specials' getting around now.

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WyvernRH
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Re: Malvern Star 5 Star 1958

Postby WyvernRH » Tue Oct 03, 2017 9:15 am

Yes, I realized it would be a production series frame. However it is very well made compared to the 3 Star with neatly filed and thinned lugs and tidy brazing, especially around the seatstay/seatlug junctions. A quick inspection with the endoscope seems to show that it is made with some sort of (probably plain gauge) drawn tubing (as opposed to welded tubing) so maybe A&P or 531 main tubes?. I haven't measured the angles but I wouldn't have said 'slack', seems to me like what you would find on most 'Club' racers of the period when roads were by and large not smooth tarmac. I'll measure the angle and update the post later.
The two plate bridges were what I found unusual as the few 5-Stars from the 50's that I have seen while using a plate seatstay bridge did not have the eyelets for mudguards and also had a tube chainstay brace.

The frame also has a Haden B'Bracket shell that I would think came from a much earlier date than 1958. However it has no 'lips' on either side of the shell which these model B'Brackets normally had. They are present on the '55 3-star for example. So would these lips have been milled back at the factory or has someone done this later do you think? I have Oz frames where the lip has been milled from the drive side but left on the off-side, I'm assuming to assist with the chainline. Can't see how it would help if you were moving to 10 speed?

My first efforts after recording the current paint work will be to see if I can remove the burgundy paint and rescue the original paintwork. It must have been re-painted for some reason....

I am also tempted to assemble some parts and wheels onto the frame and give it blast as-is just to see how it rides :)

Here is a link to the Fliker album which contains HD photos of the downtube and seattude decals in case anyone recognizes the shop or fancies a go at deciphering the incomplete text.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/24580288@N05/albums

Richard

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Rob74
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Re: Malvern Star 5 Star 1958

Postby Rob74 » Sat Oct 07, 2017 11:58 am

Hi Richard,

Great to meet and chat.

As discussed, if its not a 63cm seat tube frame I would not be able to ride it so more than happy to pass it on to someone who will rebuild it "with the love of steel" and ride it. I’m just disappointed that I was not able to recover the complete bike.

Looking forward to seeing the rebuild progress, maybe it could be ready for the Tweed Ride next year?.

Rob

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WyvernRH
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Re: Malvern Star 5 Star 1958

Postby WyvernRH » Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:01 pm

As I had a bit of spare time (a rarity at the moment) I decided to investigate what was under that white 'Dulux' paint on the fork crown. We had suspected it might be chrome. However no... The white flaked off easily exposing not as I suspected brown paint over chrome but some sort of metallic silver paint with small patches of blue.
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and quite a lot of rust... that white paint was not waterproof. I thought maybe someone had painted metal paint over chrome but no, it sanded off on the test patch to reveal a tough cream undercoat which had plain metal underneath. So we have original undercoat then metallic silver paint then blue then the final 'Dulux' white as the last top coat hiding everything else.

Given the original paint on the bike was blue, my first reaction is that the fork crown would originally have had the 'metal' paint under ta blue lacquer or iridescent layer as a cheaper and quicker way than chrome to make it look flash. First investigations seem to reveal that the metallic layer is on the crown only and the forks revert to the normal slightly metallic blue that appears to be the base colour for the rest of the frame. Given it is a 5-Star, production tho it be, it seems a bit miserly of Malvern Star to try and achieve the visual effect of a fancy fork crown on the cheap or was this a common 'highlight' finishing technique here in Oz in the late 50's? Would certainly make highlighting lugs quicker and cheaper than nickel or chrome. When I have abit more time I'm going to see what is under the paint on the headlugs.
I have found it surprisingly hard to find info on the web about normal Malvern Stars of the period or how they were finished (I have a copy of Rolf's pamphlet) and photos in colour or black and white seem scarce. as opposed to artist drawn advertisements which are pretty but unhelpful. Can anyone point me at some resources on the web that show 'normal' Malvern Stars?

I am also interested as to what the star system actually meant in the factory post WWII. All 5-stars seem well built be they one-offs or not but I have seen 3-stars that seem to range from roadster to lightweight road racer.

Richard

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Re: Malvern Star 5 Star 1958

Postby Torana68 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:00 pm

smoke and Mirrors ................the good bikes were for the pros and made to order, the others were um .. well you have one in your hands, there are better Oz bike frames of the same age out there.(defining better- neatly made and light, beautiffull lugs a bonus )
The bikes were flash to look at and the advertising well done, but other companies sold you what the pros rode MS sold you a frame not much different from a 3 star (if at all different) at a premium. Im NOT saying they are a bad bike Im saying the advertising is still working many years later :) if you want a premium fifties Oz frame its not the production 5 Star.

I would not be surprised if the frame was all candy blue and probably would look great painted that way again, with Photobucket being dead to me I cant post a pic but the original primer is a light mustard colour , if you cant find that its probably been blasted and "renovated", paint colour inside BB?
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bicyclepassion
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Re: Malvern Star 5 Star 1958

Postby bicyclepassion » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:55 pm

The blue was sprayed over the silver at the factory. As torana said, brown/tan coloured primer, then silver, then colour. From mid thirties right through to 1960's. Lots of Malvern stars turn up with the colour worn or polished off, particularly on the top bar, revealing the silver.

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WyvernRH
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Re: Malvern Star 5 Star 1958

Postby WyvernRH » Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:19 pm

brown/tan coloured primer, then silver, then colour.


Yup, that describes it exactly, thank you Warren and Torana68. I'm still going to try and rescue the blue under he brown on the rest of the frame as it seems in good nick on the exposed parts where the brown has flaked off. However I'm not sure what sort of technique to use to remove the outer layer of paint. Anybody have any suggestions?

I have a suspicion this one might be heading to the blaster and paintshop tho...

Richard

PS Torana's comment about 3-Stars stuck a chord. I was given that 3-Star from a barn, it had been driven over by a tractor at some point and had no forks. I had a surplus 531DB top and down tube pair laying around so I used them to replace the damaged tubes (you may have noticed it has bottle bosses) and paired the frame with an old Dawes 531st fork that was hanging on the wall. Reckon when it's painted it might be the classiest framed 3-Star on the road :P

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WyvernRH
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Re: Malvern Star 5 Star 1958

Postby WyvernRH » Fri Jan 05, 2018 1:44 pm

I'm just about to put a decal order thru to Greg at Cyclemondo and I thought i would get some Malvern Star decal in advance of the forthcoming paint job on this frame. Howvver, the sheer variaty amazes me!
I realize i need the later scroll downtube decals but what version? Also what would the seattube and other decals be on a 1958 5 Star? I can't find any pictures of unrestored bikes that show this stuff.
I quite fancy his 'Malvern Star 9' set myself but would this be reasonably accurate?

Image

Richard

Torana68
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Re: Malvern Star 5 Star 1958

Postby Torana68 » Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:33 pm

I think the script is ok , not sure on the down tube decal
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Clydesdale Scot
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Re: Malvern Star 5 Star 1958

Postby Clydesdale Scot » Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:36 am

Mario asked a similar question ten years ago.
Karen said she had a document that maybe helpful.
Mario has one painted up and would appear to be the outcome of his enquiries.

Limited advertising but a advertisement for a 2 Star is informative. Items were sourced from America, Italy and France; and "Brilliant super-chromatic finish! Sparkling chrome-plating"

I suggest contacting Mario, Warren and Karen direct.

Philip

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Re: Malvern Star 5 Star 1958

Postby Torana68 » Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:00 pm

Warren will know exactly whats needed
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bicyclepassion
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Re: Malvern Star 5 Star 1958

Postby bicyclepassion » Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:58 pm

Pm me Richard. I did a perfect restoration of a one owner 56 5 star a few years ago, reproduced the original paint at great expense. Also have a 57 custom 5 star with good original paint. Most/all of the ones I have seen done of recent years, or by Ray Greenslade or Bates years ago, are way fancier than the originals, and nit accurate. Or visit my Facebook page, quite a few Malvern Star photos on there now.

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Re: Malvern Star 5 Star 1958

Postby bicyclepassion » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:50 pm

Found a 58 5 star in my shed tonight, with original paint, pm me Richard and I'll send you some photos. The decals are nothing like the set pictured above.

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WyvernRH
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Re: Malvern Star 5 Star 1958

Postby WyvernRH » Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:49 pm

Finally had time to put a little work in on the 5 Star. Judicious exploration of the paintwork explained why the bike was re-sprayed over the original blue. Quite large patches of the original metallic blue are still in place under the brown, possibly where grease and/or oil may have accumulated or covered it like around the seat post along top and seat tube, around the headset and the bottom bracket. However in large areas along the tubes it just doesn't exist, either showing bare metal/rust or the thick white undercoat which suggests that it was flaking off maybe?
So, I decided to take it back to bare metal and start again. I took the opportunity to try out a new sandblaster attachment for my workshop compressor that I was given at Christmas. Contrary to previous experiences with this sort of kit it works really well (see pictures). Needs frequent reloading but cleans off paint and rust no problems especially around the hard to get to lugwork bits. I only have a medium sized compressor so the 90 psi running pressure is well within it's capacity and CFPM rating. I can recommend this kit for small work, seems to be available from most car spares type stores.
What it did expose was neatly filed lugs but brass spatter everywhere! It had been neatly cleaned back and the lugs themselves were trim but the amount of brass on the bottom bracket and seat lugs surprised me. Did Malvern Star use Hearth brazing to build their frames or torches? I have little experience with Hearth brazing a frame (except watching an expert do it) so maybe you get this sort of spatter in a production environment. I know I got sarcastic remarks if excess braze had to be cleaned off the tubes or lugs but I was brazing with a torch and not on piece work.
Apart from the spatter the standard of build looked very good. Neatly finished lugs, pins well hidden and where you can see it well cut mitres on the tubing. No rust or pitting apart from a little surface dusting where the original paint had vanished entirely. Good internally too it appears.
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So next step is to get a new paint job. Always a hard thing up here in the Hunter. After my reasonable results with my 'Blue' frame I might consider a go at doing it myself. I already do my own lug and box lining (cos no-one else will) so maybe I should try the main coat.

I'm accumulating parts, sort of assuming that this bike would have been single speed fixed/free? I can fit various 'forward mount' derailleurs out of my collection (say a Cyclo Oppy) but would this have been the 'thing' in Oz back in 1958?

Richard

PS Warren, did you get my PMs? They seem to be stuck in my outbox!

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Re: Malvern Star 5 Star 1958

Postby QuangVuong » Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:21 pm

If you blast into a container of sorts(big box behind the frame, etc), you'll be able to reuse the blasting media rather than have it as a one time use.
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WyvernRH
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Re: Malvern Star 5 Star 1958

Postby WyvernRH » Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:17 pm

QuangVuong wrote:If you blast into a container of sorts(big box behind the frame, etc), you'll be able to reuse the blasting media rather than have it as a one time use.


I had a big 1m x 0.5mx10cm deep plastic tray under the frame but only that collected about 1/4 of the sand used, the rest is distributed over our lawn.
I will hang a sheet around the tray next time so the only open side is where I am standing and see how that goes.

Richard

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