If you look back the the first photos of the Raleigh Project, you will notice how bad the bar and stem were. Looking at a finished bicycle as well as riding, its important to have a clean, good looking handlebar. The attention is drawn to the brake lever and when ever anyone stands near a bike they look at the bars and squeeze the brakes. I'm not sure where this comes from, but everyone seems to do it.
When I went to remove the bar and stem form the bike, it was so stuck that both the expander bolt and the sides of the stem were crushed.
Searching the "Pile" in the basement here at home, I found a bar and stem from a 1930's Raleigh I had used for a Fixed Gear Project years ago.
Never say "Never!" Look how beautifully this Bar and stem cleaned up with a little steel wool, white polishing compound and my favorite, Elbow Grease!