In a message dated 9/30/2002 7:47:11 PM Eastern Daylight Time, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
<< I can't imagine Hetchins allowing one of its contract builders to use their proprietary lugs. >>
OK, here's the deal. (in my humble opinion, tempered by looking at all this rather closely for a few years now...)
There have not been, and are not, proprietary lugs for Hetchins since the late 1960s. You know, as on that page from the catalog where they show the lug styles... http://www.classicrendezvous.com./British/bigpg1.htm
In earliest days, Hetchins lugs were carved up from base lug units by the craftsmen at Hetchins. Then maybe just post WW2, Jack Denny took his lug designs and had them made up in some small quantities by some outside firm. Those first lugs, in those styles (Magnum Opus, Magnum Bonam, Experto Crede, etc.) used cast lug blanks. And each year as Hetchins production used up lugs, new variations were introduced and old designs modified.
By the early 1960s, a stamped/forged blank was used.... and finally, at the end of the 1960s and on certain less expensive models (Mountain King. etc.) sheet metal stamped blanks were phased in. Who made these lugs for Hetchins? Possibly Chater Lea and later Brampton, but no one has said... It is for certain that Hetchins craftspersons did not hand carve them but the lugs were in boxes sitting there to be used, just like a Rivendell lug or a Nervex...
When the companies who supplied these lugs started to disappear, Jack Denny came up with his Swallow style wherein he used standard stamped lugs (Prugnat, etc) and then hack sawed into the lug profile, then heating and bending the lug, shaving the spikes into artsey shapes. Scorpions, etc., used this technique. From the early 1970s until now, most all Hetchins lugs have been reshaped and elaborated normal lugs that any builder had access to.
There are deluxe frames offered by other builders (Jackson) which have true "feature cut" lugs where a big expansive blank was elaborately carved. Many of the super frames made by Gillot, Hurlow, Ephgrave, etc. were made with lugs in which every window and curl was hand filed from a blank original, one at a time...
Superb copies of famous old lugs are now being circulated (in the UK particularly) all made I think by the amazing Len Phipps, lugs which are laboriously produced to any pattern by him. Many UK builders have used this craftsperson to supply lugs including my modern Bates, my Arthur Caygill "Artisan" and (I bet!) that fanciest B. Jackson Legend model, among others.
Interestingly, I have not seen a Hetchins produced with these cut from blank lugs; most modern Hetchins combine the Jack Denny devised "Lug shaving" method with added-on stamped elaborations. The art in Hetchins is evident in the way all these elements in lug modification flow together and make it look as one..... The least well crafted versions looked a bit tacked together...
Greensboro, NC 2