I was given an old bike and discovered it had a very unique hub. It's made of 4130 steel and has keyholes for spokes and allows you to replace spokes without removing the freewheel! I'm stoked over this thing! No more hauling around a chain whip, lock ring tool, and wrench! It does weight more than my current aluminum hub and cassette but when you add the required tools to remove the cassette the weight will be reduced. Here is a drawing of what each keyhole looks like and a photo of the hub (before I remove the old rim and rusty spokes).
I'll be getting new a 7-speed freewheel, spokes, rim, and QR axel for this hub.
If the steel cups/cones aren't rough or pitted, it's worth building up.
Sounds like a fun project!
I've got it cleaned up now and the cups, cones, and balls are perfect! I've also discovered the original solid axel is long enough to use with my touring bike even after adding spacers for 130mm dropout spacing. I have a small adjustable aluminum wrench that I carry so I may reuse the solid axel. It may or may not be stronger than a new QR axel with the required hole drilled down the middle of it. I don’t think this hub had very many miles put on it. From the looks of the bike it may have been ridden a few times and hung up in a garage for many years.
Yup, that was a quite popular way of building touring hubs back in the day. Especially Maxi car are famous for it, but they where exclusively made out of alloy if I´m not mistaken. couls you give us some more pics of it, looks cool!