Is there a trick to getting the wheels apart? I have the 30" wood-spoked wheels. I have removed the hub bolts already but it seems like they're pressed together or ????
Ideally, I'd like to disassemble the wheels, sandblast the rims, and reassemble / re-use the original spokes. Most if the spokes are in great shape and still have 99% of the original black paint on them.
If someone could post a step by step process from start to finish, that would be awesome!!!!
You have to remove the hub plates from the hub, With the bolts out, place a punch, at an angle, into the bolt hole and strike the outer plate several times as you go around the ring of hub bolt holes. That will push the outer plate free of the hub.
For a well rusted hub, you need to soak first with sprays of penetrating oil. I used Kroil oil to free this one up.
Since I had all the old busted up and rotten spokes out, it was easy to punch thru the bolt holes in the hub flanges. I set the hub upside down, and poured Kroil oil into the recess of the hub plate, later I could see the Kroil oil seeping out onto the outer hub cap area, that Kroil oil really worked! Outer plate came right off.
The rest of the story on how to re-spoke a T wheel can be found in the archives of the Forum. Use the search function.
If your spokes are real nice now, i.e. you have done a rubber mallet test and all the spokes are tight, the best way is to try to just refinish the metal without taking apart the spokes.
The spokes are pressed into the hub, real tight, and you will need a press or make a spoke press to put the wheel back together.
Spoke press in operation (Picture courtesy of a Forum post)
This still strong original wood I just cleaned the metal and didn't take this wheel apart.
If your wheel hubs are tight and they have steel felloes you can heat the felloe and create some play in the hub.
I just did that last week to replace a rear wheel hub with a front wheel hub in a solid wheel. I took the hub bolts out and took the plate off the outside. Then supported the spokes near the hub with wood blocks. I beat on the hub some with a soft hammer with no success. So with the wheel temperature at about 40F I heated the felloe to about 140F with at heat gun being careful not the heat the wood spokes. Once the felloe was hot I easily tapped out the rear hub a installed front hub.
In your case you should be able to push the spokes out similar to the wheel press as soon as the hub is out or get one spoke out and the others will come out easier. Be careful not to break the tenons which may be a hazard not matter what you do.
Paul If you are going to reuse the spokes,
dont forget to number/mark them so they can be put back the same position.
Here's a video showing spoke installation with the Regan spoke press. I would make a change in the procedure. The paper support column is unnecessary. Leave it out and use only the cardboard collar, with a little duct tape to keep it in place. With the collar supporting the spokes, the felloe doesn't need to be bolted in place.
Thanks for all of the great info!
Have any of you sandblasted the rims and left the spokes in the rims while doing so? If so, what have you "covered" the spokes with so they aren't damaged by the sand/glass?
I tried blasting the rims already (before trying to disassemble the wheels) and ended up wrecking a few spokes....
Lots of duct tape. Several layers.
The wheels on my Nellybell were sandblasted. The duct tape was still on the spokes when I bought them. Just aim at the metal not the wood and you should be ok.
If you wrecked a few spokes, either the blasting media is too coarse, or the spokes aren't as solid as they look. Duct taping will save the wood. IF the spokes are in good shape, and tight, I certainly wouldn't want to disassemble them--too many things to go wrong! The original hickory is pretty hard stuff, it should resist some blasting, unless it is compromised (dry rot, termites, etc.)