I've mostly been hard at work on the cleaning. I'm still waiting on a special-order lockring spanner wrench to get the bottom bracket apart, and in the meantime, I've taken down the front wheel and cleaned and repacked the hub. I didn't take photos of the process because cameras and bearing grease aren't a good combination in my less-than-capable hands, and I still haven't been able to hire that assistant (or housekeeper, for that matter). But here's an after photo of the front rim and hub, shown beside the rear wheel for a before/after comparison.
My project over the weekend was to completely clean and repack the pedals, which are in good enough condition to reuse. They were in such rough shape that it took me an entire afternoon, but I'm pretty happy with the result. The photo below shows the clean bits of the outer bearing assembly of the right pedal. More photos at my Flickr photostream.
Basically, all the other parts (except the rear wheel--I'll have something to say on that later) have now been cleaned once, just to see what I'm dealing with in the way of chrome and paint disintegration, and I'll be cleaning everything very thoroughly and meticulously again before reassembly.
The story isn't great for the chrome, which I'll post on later, but the paint isn't too bad. I won't have to repaint everything; the fork, for instance, is in brilliant condition, and most of the down tube is almost pristine. There are some trouble spots, however, where rust has done away with the paint almost entirely. For repainting, I've settled on the front and rear fenders, the chain guard, the top tube and head tube, and the seat stays and chain stays. All of the decals on the chain guard and frame will be preserved, however. Hey baby, I'm rollin' on a Huffy and I want people to know it! (that was some subtle sarcasm--for those who don't know, Huffy developed a rather poor reputation in the half-century since this bike was made).
Anyway, I promise more regular updates in the new year as I work on this project. I'm hoping to put everything back together and assemble all of my replacement parts by spring, but I'll also be finishing and defending my PhD dissertation between now and March, so I may drop off the edge of the blogosphere for a little while in late February. Just so you know.