I'm reconditioning a '59 Hercules 3-speed that had evidently been in an accident. I saved it from the trash heap and it stayed in my cellar for about 12 years. The fork was bent way back, but the bike seemed in pretty fair condition over all, and is nice looking with it's green paint and chrome fenders, matching rear rack, and Brooks saddle with chrome springs, so I decided to have the fork straightened. It came out rather well, except that the axle spacing is now a little too wide, but there is a strange problem. The hole in the fork crown for the brake and fender comes out at an angle instead of being perpendicular, so the brake is crooked, and the fender had to be bent to line up with the wheel.
I can't see how this could be anything but a manufacturing defect, and the only way I can think of to remedy the situation would be to ream out the hole sideways until there is a straight shot from one side to the other. This would require filling in the holes on both sides to end up with round ones instead of ovals.
Does anyone know if this sort of defect was common in 1959 with these bikes, and does my solution sound plausible?