Rear Cassette Swap Questions?

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I cannot imagine why you are so settled on the old friction shifter? If you must have it, go with an old 6spd, threaded, spin on cluster on a non-cassette hub, and friction shift away!. It would also solve your rubbing problem as the 6th (high gear) cog is spaced much further away from the dropout.. Good luck!

I want to maintain the old Western Flyer stuff as much as I can, which means re-using the Western-Flyer-Badged shifters.

I love the rims, maybe just swap the hubs and spokes? Question, should the front hub be swapped too? It is also quick-release, but was not has bad to fit in.
 
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I figured it was a cassette because I don't think there were Hyperglide freewheels (though I could certainly be wrong) and that you're having more trouble with the hub OLD being too wide than you should be. Redistributing the spacers and redishing the hub may be your best bet (or you might be able to just grind down the smallest cog to where it doesn't bother anything). What I would do is measure your dropout width and your hub OLD. A problem with freehubs on old frames is that the hub OLD is usually a lot wider than the old dropouts. You might have better luck with an old freewheel hub with a 6-speed. I actually have one to spare, if you want it. My next project bike is to use a 6 speed freewheel in a 1961 Columbia Firebolt and I had the hub from a 1983 Fuji Grand Prix when I changed to 700c wheels. But I want to convert it to rear disc brake, which was a whole fun thing trying to find a freewheel hub I could use blah, blah, blah, anyway I no longer need that Fuji hub if you want it, but you'll have to find a freewheel cassette (which shouldn't be hard). I don't know if the possible hub flange differences will require you to get new spokes, though.

I've done all kinds of custom friction shifters and never had compatibility problems—all it's doing is pulling the cable, moving the derailleur in turn and when it goes into gear and stops making noise, you're good. While I love the nice click of index shifters properly indexing, I prefer friction for its ease of setup, versatility (especially with the weird things I do), and ability to more rapidly jump through gears in one move.

Can you send me the measurements of this hub? And your price? Is it bolt-on or quick release?
 
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It's bolt on, 10mm axle. Sunshine 5345 Z. Not fancy stuff, but it should get you out of the hole, if you're interested. I don't know what this will cost to ship, so how's $12 shipped?

From my cheap analog calipers:
OLD: 109mm (this will be wider with the cassette, but IIRC, it was ~120 all told).
Flange outside widths: 56mm
Flange thickness: 3mm
Flange diameter: ~55.5mm
Spoke hole diameter: hair over 45mm.

It also used a 14mm long spacer on the cassette side of the axle, but I'm keeping that for my project (it's 16mm diameter, so anything around that size will do). The spacer is in the photo just for reference. You'd also want to adjust the bearings (probably want to grease them, anyway) as I was messing around with the nuts (that doesn't sound right) when I was working things out with finding a replacement with a freewheel threading on each side of the hub.

28576233_10155597841148191_6899978296621006848_n.jpg
 
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It's bolt on, 10mm axle. Sunshine 5345 Z. Not fancy stuff, but it should get you out of the hole, if you're interested. I don't know what this will cost to ship, so how's $12 shipped?

From my cheap analog calipers:
OLD: 109mm (this will be wider with the cassette, but IIRC, it was ~120 all told).
Flange outside widths: 56mm
Flange thickness: 3mm
Flange diameter: ~55.5mm
Spoke hole diameter: hair over 45mm.

It also used a 14mm long spacer on the cassette side of the axle, but I'm keeping that for my project (it's 16mm diameter, so anything around that size will do). The spacer is in the photo just for reference. You'd also want to adjust the bearings (probably want to grease them, anyway) as I was messing around with the nuts (that doesn't sound right) when I was working things out with finding a replacement with a freewheel threading on each side of the hub.

28576233_10155597841148191_6899978296621006848_n.jpg

I'm game to try this. Send me your PayPal addy.
 
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When did 6-speed cogs become outdated?

never. They are still sold on millions of bsos. 7 speed is probably the most common of all now. 8 & 9 are more obsolete in favor of 10 or 11 speed on bikes riden by racers and bike snobs.

More gears is more gears and nothing else. More gears is not higher or lower or faster or slower. The number of teeth on the gears is what matters, not how many gears there are.

As mentioned, you can rearrange the washers on the rear axle to move the hub and gears to the left to make clearance for the frame vs chain interference. You will need to redish the rear wheel to compensate for the spacer changes.
 

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