Before heading off for Christmas, I did a couple more things on the New World project bike.
First, I rebuilt the freewheel. Basically I just took apart the freewheel bearing cups and cones. This left the "guts" of the freewheel ratchet system intact. Schwinn used a two-part system. First, there are the cup and cone bearing assemblies, then there is the ratchet system itself, which is built directly into the hub and requires special tools to disassemble.
I searched the net for information on early single speed freewheels like this but found nothing really. Second, the ratchet mechanism was functional. So what I decided to do was clean the bearings out and re-grease them, while wicking medium weight oil into the freewheel mechanism. The result is that the wheel loosened up nicely.
I also cleaned the rust and old grease from the high flange hub. I then de-rusted the rim, which took quite a lot of effort. There is a fair bit of plating loss, but everything is solid. With a little polish and hard work, it looks ok for a 1947 wheel. The result is not all that bad:
I also took a little NuFinish Scratch Doctor car polish, which I find is plenty aggressive for cleaning up paint. My method is to rub on the paste, then let it set a couple moments to a haze, then buff off. I monitor the amount of paint removed by checking the rag frequently. I did the chainguard using this method, and it doesn't look bad at all.