I have an old bike that needs a lot of TLC for it to be useable again. Whilst I am sorting it out, a half hour here and there, I thought I might sort out a few bits that I'd like to improve. Its got a pair of straight leg forks and, on this particular old friend (Since 1992)I want crown headed forks with curved legs. The problem is that the steerer tube needs a 1" fork tube and it needs to be around 16" long! I'd appreciate any ideas where to look for these things. I'm in Englandsville but would be okay to pay shipping for the right parts. Any ideas?
16" steerer isn't going to be found on any second hand frame except one just like yours. I think your best bet is to get a welding shop to extend a standard fork. That's basically what I did with my bikes that need long steerers, like this one:
It's not hard, but it helps if the welding person has a rotating jig (or a lathe) to keep things aligned while welding. If you can't do that I'd find a bit of bike tubing that slips over the steerer, then cut the steerer the middle and sleeve that tube over it, making two welded joints rather than trying to find a second, longer steerer and weld that on to the existing one. It's easier to keep it all lined up that way.
For used parts your best bet is the local ebay or equivalent. Also search in your location for a bike co-operative. In my city there are two.
Third option is to buy a complete used bike with the bits you want and then swap parts around. Ideally you'll end up with a second complete bike out of it.
Buying new steel forks with a 1" threaded steerer is going to be unlikely but not impossible. Try visiting the oldest, ugliest and most cramped bike shops in your area, and ask nicely. They may have "something out the back" for nice customers. If the shop has room for three people to walk side by side in the aisles, its not a real LBS!
Get one made by a bicycle framebuilder. It's a nice enough bike to warrant it and it's the only way to get one that's really right. Basic replacement 1" threaded forks are readily available, but nothing you'll find is this long.
Framebuilders will also be able to make appropriate choices about either finding a steerer that will work (1" threaded steerers this long aren't common catalog items for them either) or fabricating one that's got the strength and alignment needed for the application.