Does anyone manufacture new all-metal spoked wheels for Model Ts that replace the wooden spoked clincher and demountable-rim wheels?
I know they would not be original, but a one piece all-metal spoked wheel with hub that could replace the wooden spokes would be so much stronger and safer. Demountable rims could still be used. They could look exactly like, and be shaped exactly like, an original black painted wooden spoked wheel. The only way to tell the difference would be if one closely examined the spokes by, for instance, tapping the spokes to discover they are metal and not wood. A wood texture look could be designed into the metal spokes.
Such an all-metal wheel would seem to be a stronger and safer alternative to wooden spokes, which can (and do) loosen at the rim and/or hub over time. Nor would metal suffer the fatigue of wood over time while in use.
For those who prefer natural-finish wooden spokes, they would not, however, be satisfactory. However, I am more concerned about strength and safety than the appearance of natural wood, especially because natural wood finish was not standard on Model T wheels.
I realize that those who manufacture fine replacement wooden spoked wheels would probably oppose this idea. I understand, but I am talking about the strength and safety of metal versus wood in the wheels of a motor vehicle. As a matter of safety, maybe metal is the way to go 100+ years later.
Would there a sufficient market for such all-metal wheels, so as to justify their manufacture?
I really think so, but it always comes down to the the cost, that is what makes, or breaks it.
I'm not sure the all-metal spokes would be that much stronger than a new set of hickory spokes for the price of machining them. Unless you could make metal spokes for a price comparable to wood spokes, I'm not sure you'd get too much interest. I could be wrong though.
I have NO experience in foundry work, but would cast aluminum be strong enough?
If so the process itself might be inexpensive enough to make production feasible. Not sure about cost of materials though.
Groooan, this stupid idea crawls out of the swamp of ignorance - again. Read what Dykes and Fahnestock have to say about steel spokes and the difficulty keeping them straight.
Here's a link to a set of Atlas steel spoke wheels I posted under accessory of the day here a while ago.
At some time in the past, there were metal spoke wheels constructed. I've seen them on Model T's and it is hard to tell from the original wood spokes. It's possible that the car might have a harder ride.
Maybe you could start making them. Problem is that to be economical you would need to make them in quantity, and it might be hard to find enough Model T owners who would buy them, especially if they are pricey.
There was someone in Montana a couple years ago that was making alum. ones, had the info. but don't know it is at present. Any one from Montana on here have the info.
Interesting post by Jay. There was a 1912 hack in town here a few years ago which had started life as a truck owned by PG&E (Pacific Gas and Electric). It had a set of those very same steel wheels. When the owner had restored the car he had to find another wheel to salvage some spokes from because his car had been left in a puddle and a few of the spokes had rusted.
Anyway, I think that these metal wheels are called PG&E wheels because PG&E used them on their fleet of service trucks... they may even have contracted for the wheel's construction to supply their fleet.
I have a pair of Kelsey steel spoke wheels.
Derek, Nice pictures of your Kelsey steel spoke wheels. I have seen advertisements for them in trade magazines of the period but have never seen a real one up close until now. Thanks!
Derek, how much do they weigh?
Here are aluminum spokes
And a thread on them:
I posted a few more pictures of the stampings on this thread: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/257047/287798.html?1336586703
Cast and machined aluminum wheels with your choice of spoke design and finish with tubeless radial tires. When was the last time you were gonna take the wifes honda to the store and had to worry about a flat tire when you came out or every rest stop walk around for an inspection? Then theres truing and balancing, tire availability,cost and quality, UV protection, tread pattern safety on wet roads AND a pinched tube blowout at speed. OOPS; forgot about water intrusion rusting the crap out of the rim under the flaps and tubes. How about the egg shaped rim from 10 people telling you 10 different ways to use the rim spreader on a sprung rim. Of course you can C clamp the rim onto the wheel and force the nuts down and break of a lug too...
The difference here is like the choice between steel and rubber horse shoes. Think of the horse.
Lets all rally with the ANTI GUN PEOPLE to include outlawing wood wheels, or any non steel wheel for that matter. All 1/2" plate with foam filled tires with a DNA microchip impregnated into the chinese rubber.
Picture 1920 blasting down Ferndale road at a blistering 30 mph in Bogalusa county and negotiating those 2 foot deep ruts. Maybe we should all wear parachutes too. troop; yeah TROOP
Max, do you have hard evidence that correct hickory spokes is an issue? Or is it just speculations?
If it works don't fix it.
You could argue if wooden spokes wheels are so good, why aren't they used today?
Simple - the work involved in producing a wooden spoke wheel is much higher and hence costly than producing a pressed steel disc wheel.
Wood spokes was used on many cars much more powerful than a model T.