I haven't made the transition to a SS or Fixed yet but recently picked up an steel '84 Raleigh Marathon at a garage sale that appeared to be a good converion candidate with horizontal dropouts.
The price was only $15 but I was stupid and didn't look it over close enough. The drive side rear dropout was spread open a bit and I was able to close and straighten it but it must have been jammed forward in a crash or something. The wheel fits farther back in the non-drive side and the angle puts the tire pretty close to the chain stay on that side. The alignment of the stays related to the seat tube seem fine.
Anyway my question concerns the value of the frame. Is the alignment less of an issue on a fixed or SS? Are bolt on axles commonly used on the rear so holding the wheel axle at an angle to keep the wheel straight wouldn't be a problem?
I'm wondering if I picked up $15 worth of scrap metal or if it would still have some value for me or someone else to convert. Otherwise it has some scratches but had a sharp paint scheme and nice stamped names and logos in the fork crown and seat stay tops, and would look nice converted.
sheldonbrown has info on aligning with a string, then space accordingly.
Actually I tried that and have the correct spacing, it is just that the drop out cavity on one side is farther to the rear than the other. Almost like one chain stay is longer. So you have to have the axle on the long side up closer to the front of the opening.
I suppose I could try and tack in some kind of spacer in the extra space behind the axle?
you won't be pushing the wheel all da way into the dropouts anyway, so it should be fine..
if the drops are not perfectly parallel to each other and you were gonna use a wheel with lots of dish and a quick release, you might run into problems with axle breakage.. but this is gonna be a single speed so...
if it seems strait and you can ride ok with no hands it'll be a nice $15 bike
you'll probably never notice