Mystery Frame with unusual lugs

cludence
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Mystery Frame with unusual lugs

Postby cludence » Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:22 am

I was given this frame today after discovering it was destined to go to scrap metal heaven.

It is an unusual frame with interesting lugs and one I am hoping someone may be able to identify.

Kid carbine has informed me that it has bi-laminate lugs. The frame is lugless but isnt lugless. Check the pics and you will see what I mean.

Apart from 'Century' on the down tube and 1001 stamped on the seat tube, I have no other identifying feautres.

Hoping someone may know.

Cheers,

Karen.

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MichaelB
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Re: Mystery Frame with unusual lugs

Postby MichaelB » Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:05 am

They certainly are fancy.

Even if it is a low end frame (doubt it), it would look fantastic with the right paintwork.

BTW, what are "bi-laminate lugs" ?

cludence
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Re: Mystery Frame with unusual lugs

Postby cludence » Thu Jan 21, 2010 11:12 am

Here is a paragraph copied from a hetchins site that explains it.

"These are flat sheets of elaborately cut metal, the thickness of a lug. These were folded round a frame joint, mitred, tacked, and then silver soldered. Claud Butler pioneered this technique of bi-lamination after the War; the frames were brazed together with lugless joints, then 'bi-lams' were added to the joints later."It is definately worth visiting the site for further reading as it is an interesting article on a great old builder/lug cutter.

It can be found here; http://www.hetchins.org/kenjanes-01.htm

Karen.

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spirito
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Re: Mystery Frame with unusual lugs

Postby spirito » Thu Jan 21, 2010 11:53 am

Strange ... I've seen those lugs before :mrgreen:

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Debus ?
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Johnj
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Re: Mystery Frame with unusual lugs

Postby Johnj » Thu Jan 21, 2010 12:18 pm

spirito wrote:Strange ... I've seen those lugs before

Debus ?


Hmm, Bernard Debus? 228 Liverpool Road, Enfield, established 1927, gone by 1963 (I'm not sure of the exact date).

You know my weakness for Ashfield/Burwood/Enfield bikes Karen, so if you ever need to move that one along...

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spirito
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Re: Mystery Frame with unusual lugs

Postby spirito » Thu Jan 21, 2010 12:55 pm

Johnj wrote:
spirito wrote:Strange ... I've seen those lugs before

Debus ?


Hmm, Bernard Debus? 228 Liverpool Road, Enfield, established 1927, gone by 1963 (I'm not sure of the exact date).


Debus was a shop manager at Malvern Star (I think he came from Vic.), worked at Smith Sons & Rees in Sydney, built a few under his own label/marque "Le Parfait" and as he grew more dependent on the bottle ended up in the workshop of Jack Walsh at Punchbowl.

Jim Bundy has said that he was easily the most talented frame builder he had ever met or know of. A real cut above anyone else and pioneering styles and methods never before seen. He was also a drunk, a scoundrel and was always being fired or letting people down. BTW he's related to the Honorable Bob Debus, MP :wink:
Cranky Jim wrote: God did not invent gears. Men invented gears ... because we are not gods.

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Re: Mystery Frame with unusual lugs

Postby sixx » Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:27 pm

So really, it should be back home in Vic? :P

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spirito
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Re: Mystery Frame with unusual lugs

Postby spirito » Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:32 pm

sixx wrote:So really, it should be back home in Vic? :P



Nah-nah :P

All of Debus' frames built under his own name/style (Le Parfait) were built here in Sydney. From what I have been told and can gather there are perhaps but a handful. He wasn't very prolific as he spent most of his time in the pub.
Cranky Jim wrote: God did not invent gears. Men invented gears ... because we are not gods.

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rkelsen
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Re: Mystery Frame with unusual lugs

Postby rkelsen » Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:33 pm

spirito wrote:He was also a drunk, a scoundrel and was always being fired or letting people down.

Sounds like any modern day tradie, really... :lol:

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Re: Mystery Frame with unusual lugs

Postby Johnj » Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:38 pm

spirito wrote:Debus was a shop manager at Malvern Star (I think he came from Vic.), worked at Smith Sons & Rees in Sydney, built a few under his own label/marque "Le Parfait" and as he grew more dependent on the bottle ended up in the workshop of Jack Walsh at Punchbowl.

Jim Bundy has said that he was easily the most talented frame builder he had ever met or know of. A real cut above anyone else and pioneering styles and methods never before seen. He was also a drunk, a scoundrel and was always being fired or letting people down. BTW he's related to the Honorable Bob Debus, MP :wink:


Curiouser and curiouser. Bernard Christian Debus was born in Burwood (Sydney) in 1906. Bernard Debus and his wife Lillian Olive Debus lived at 186 Liverpool Road Ashfield (Sydney) in 1933. By 1937 they had moved to 2 St Leonards Avenue, St Kilda West (Melbourne). Both times Bernard's profession is given as cycle builder.

In 1949 Bernard Christian Debus (profession cycle builder) and his wife Edith Florence Debus (remarriage?) were living at 66 Arthur Street Enfield (Sydney).

Looks like we might be talking about the same Bernard Debus? All this seems to tie togther quite neatly.

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spirito
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Re: Mystery Frame with unusual lugs

Postby spirito » Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:45 pm

Johnj wrote:
spirito wrote:Debus was a shop manager at Malvern Star (I think he came from Vic.), worked at Smith Sons & Rees in Sydney, built a few under his own label/marque "Le Parfait" and as he grew more dependent on the bottle ended up in the workshop of Jack Walsh at Punchbowl.

Jim Bundy has said that he was easily the most talented frame builder he had ever met or know of. A real cut above anyone else and pioneering styles and methods never before seen. He was also a drunk, a scoundrel and was always being fired or letting people down. BTW he's related to the Honorable Bob Debus, MP :wink:


Curiouser and curiouser. Bernard Christian Debus was born in Burwood (Sydney) in 1906. Bernard Debus and his wife Lillian Olive Debus lived at 186 Liverpool Road Ashfield (Sydney) in 1933. By 1937 they had moved to 2 St Leonards Avenue, St Kilda West (Melbourne). Both times Bernard's profession is given as cycle builder.

In 1949 Bernard Christian Debus (profession cycle builder) and his wife Edith Florence Debus (remarriage?) were living at 66 Arthur Street Enfield (Sydney).

Looks like we might be talking about the same Bernard Debus? All this seems to tie togther quite neatly.


Must be. I knew he was in Vic prior to coming back to Sydney and that he had some involvement with Malvern Star. As far as I know he was mostly known as "Bernie".
Cranky Jim wrote: God did not invent gears. Men invented gears ... because we are not gods.

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Re: Mystery Frame with unusual lugs

Postby cludence » Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:53 pm

OHHHH, I had written a response but you two must have posted at the same time and I lost mine! Nevermind.

In short, I am pleasantly surprised and keen to find out if it is a Debus. I have always admired the one you have Spirito.

Johnj, I am curious, did it show the maiden names of Bernie's two wives? I had family in Ashfield back then and two relos by those names (including middle name) just not sure of who they married etc.

I know it is a slim chance but my mothers family was all over that area. Ten kids in each family etc etc.

Karen.

cludence
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Re: Mystery Frame with unusual lugs

Postby cludence » Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:58 pm

Spirito,

Does yours have a frame number and if so, where and what number?
I'll ask Jim on the weekend about mine. Dont tell him though, I want to see what he comes up with without any prior suggestions.

Karen.

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Re: Mystery Frame with unusual lugs

Postby Johnj » Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:48 pm

cludence wrote:Johnj, I am curious, did it show the maiden names of Bernie's two wives? I had family in Ashfield back then and two relos by those names (including middle name) just not sure of who they married etc. Karen.


Lillian Olive Hamer, marriage in Burwood (NSW) in 1932. I suspect the later marriage was in Victoria, I can't find it in NSW.

You might need to change the title of the thread if you can confirm it as a Debus frame.

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Re: Mystery Frame with unusual lugs

Postby fixie » Fri Jan 22, 2010 9:25 pm

Slightly off topic. The bilaminate technique was well established by 1946. I have two bilaminate frames, a Paris Tour de France and a Caud Butler Avant Coureur Special. The Paris is presently naked. If anyone wishes to view either or both of these, PM me and we will make an arrangement.

Of course, if you must know, I am in Melbourne. :D

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Re: Mystery Frame with unusual lugs

Postby bigfriendlyvegan » Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:59 pm

fixie wrote:Slightly off topic. The bilaminate technique was well established by 1946. I have two bilaminate frames, a Paris Tour de France and a Caud Butler Avant Coureur Special. The Paris is presently naked. If anyone wishes to view either or both of these, PM me and we will make an arrangement.

Of course, if you must know, I am in Melbourne. :D


There's these things called cameras...

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Re: Mystery Frame with unusual lugs

Postby Torana68 » Sat Jan 23, 2010 8:11 pm

... more art than anything else.... beautifull, but oddly I dont think I would buy one?

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Re: Mystery Frame with unusual lugs

Postby fixie » Sat Jan 23, 2010 9:21 pm

They are bicycle frames. Meant for cycling. The art is incidental to make it look better to give a marketing edge to make you think that the person who made it is a better person and that it will look attractive when you hang it on your wall after you have ridden it home from work. Ahh :!:

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spirito
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Re: Mystery Frame with unusual lugs

Postby spirito » Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:06 pm

fixie wrote:They are bicycle frames. Meant for cycling. The art is incidental to make it look better to give a marketing edge to make you think that the person who made it is a better person and that it will look attractive when you hang it on your wall after you have ridden it home from work. Ahh :!:


I disagree ... a lot !!!!

The art on these wasn't incidental nor a marketing edge. During and shortly after the war there was a shortage of lugs and fittings for bicycle production. Quite simply, the demand didn't really drop off but the materials did and the old cliche comes to mind: necessity being the mother of invention. We know that there were frames made without lugs (fillet brazing). Usually specials and they were regarded as a little bit high zoot or risky. What Debus was doing was combining fillet brazing with some faux lugs to make it more palatable. People were used to the idea of lugs and their appearance.

It might appear like less work but it's actually more and requires a higher skill set.
http://curtgoodrich.blogspot.com/2008/0 ... inate.html

I think such bilaminate frames are particularly noteworthy, innovative and quite bold. It also meant not being able to hide crappy brazing and sloppy mitering as a good deal of the joins were visible and exposed. No doubt, it's not to everyone's taste but it does make for a distinct frameset. It's apparent that Claude Butler is championed as an innovator and pioneer of bilaminate construction but I'd be surprised if half way round the world here in Oz the same thing wasn't being invented at the same time by equally talented framebuilders.

When I compare it (mine) to other frames from the late 40's I can't help but feeling it was cutting edge, and very much future forward. Like comparing a Lamborghini Miura or a Lotus Esprit to an Aston Martin V8 or Jaguar E type. All nice cars from similar vintages but the former are distinctly the new generation and feature some quite exciting ideas that break the moulds of tradition.

Of course in bicycling terms it mightn't be possible to qualify or quantify any apparent functional improvement (should it ?) but it does come as a big breath of fresh air as well as show production possibilities on a highly custom level. Rather than being a slave to available lug fittings available off the shelf Debus and others simply made their own version of what a join should and could look like. It's intertesting and noteworthy that Bilaminate construction is being looked at again and inspiring some very talented and inspiring builders such as Curt Goodrcih and Peter Weigle.

Certainly, makes a pleasing change from BoCaMa, Prugnat yadda yadda same same. :P And it's a taste thing ... it's not easy to agree or define 8)
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Re: Mystery Frame with unusual lugs

Postby fixie » Sun Jan 24, 2010 10:50 pm

The particular claims for bilaminate construction are that it allows for flexibility in the design; No limitation imposed by available lug angles, and that the joint strength is increased.

Fillet brazed frames have been available for a long time. For the Tour de France in 1930, all of the frames were fillet brazed which was an affirmation of their quality. No frame breakages that year.

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spirito
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Re: Mystery Frame with unusual lugs

Postby spirito » Sun Jan 24, 2010 11:06 pm

fixie wrote:

Fillet brazed frames have been available for a long time. For the Tour de France in 1930, all of the frames were fillet brazed which was an affirmation of their quality. No frame breakages that year.


Of that there is no doubt. But fillet brazed frames were not easy for everyone to do. Lugs allowed simple hearth ovens to be used by many builders and made it easy to scale up to mass production. Then something got lost in translation and often in cycling myth became lore, which is why fillet brazed frames fell out of favour or for some reason were perceived as inferior or no longer fashionable. Or maybe it was that bicycle tubing became much lighter and thinner and lugged construction seemed a better option. I'm not sure why or what prompted change and perceptions.
Cranky Jim wrote: God did not invent gears. Men invented gears ... because we are not gods.

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Re: Mystery Frame with unusual lugs

Postby cludence » Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:54 pm

Miss Mystery frame had the pleasure of meeting Spirito's Debus today.

Comparing the two side by side they were almost identical. (Mine is better of course :wink:)

I have yet to catch up with Jim but it is looking promising towards it being a Debus built frame. There is also another gentleman who may know. If I get a chance I will stop in and see what he thinks.

Karen.

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Re: Mystery Frame with unusual lugs

Postby sixx » Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:21 pm

cludence wrote:Miss Mystery frame had the pleasure of meeting Spirito's Debus today.

Karen.



Dibs on the 1st born.

cludence
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Re: Mystery Frame with unusual lugs

Postby cludence » Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:36 pm

Firstborn will be available at local department stores and named 'Huffy'.

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Re: Mystery Frame with unusual lugs

Postby sixx » Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:20 am

... with a face only a mother could love.

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