I cut some 3M paint film for each side of the headtube, for the bottom of the downtube, and for the top of the DS chainstay. Now the most commonly chipped and abraded paint is protected.
The steerer/headset issues have been sorted out (thanks to Rob and an extra keyed washer) and the fork is installed.
Installed the Hollowtech II crankset, which took just a few seconds more than typing this sentence. The front and rear brake calipers are installed, along with the front and rear derailleurs. The Ritchey Classic seatpost and the Brooks saddle is installed, and I’ve positioned it to match the Merckx measurements.
The stem, a Nitto Pearl, is installed along with the handlebars which are Nitto B115 alloy. The brakes/shifters are next. Handlebars set and semi-tightened, levers are installed and lined up.
Next I laced the H+Son TB14 rims to DA 7400 hubs, using DT Swiss Competition double-butted spokes. I need to swap the 7401 freehub for a 7403 freehub so that I can use a 10 speed cassette. I was lucky enough to pick up a 7403 hubset and the tools I need to do the swap.
It was a bear to remove the 7403 freehub from the donor hub. I had to lace it into a spare rim to be able to apply enough torque to remove it. But it’s off, and cleaned up now. Removed the 7401 freehub from the “real” hub so I can replace it with the 7403. Then the 10 speed cassette can be installed.
I cleaned up the 7403 freehub and let it soak in a bath of Mobil 1 gear oil for a couple of days. Let it drain for a couple of days, then cleaned the oil off the threads that go into the hub. Odd not to use any kind of lube on these threads, but that’s what Shimano says, so I followed their directions. The freehub is on, and the 10 speed cassette fits fine.