If I recall correctly, Henry dipped his wheels in paint after they were completely put together. You can see that on the video's.
Would it make sense to seal the tenon end of the spoke with wood sealer or primer before putting the wheel together? This is an older wheel where I am just replacing the wood. The rim is fine and does not need paint.
I also have an older wheel that needs sanding of both rim and spokes, so I wonder if this older wheel should be dipped in primer, and then dipped in paint just like Henry did.
Thank you for your help.
I can't see how dipping could hurt. I would try it.
Dipping an entire wheel would be quite an undertaking for the back yard mechanic.
Even if you were to dip the wheels horizontally, that would require a large vat and a substantial quantity of paint. Once you are done dipping the wheels, you will have a large quantity of paint left over which would be wasteful.
According to "Ford Methods and the Ford Shops" pages 376-378 "Painting Ford Wheels" the wheels were dipped horizontally in a vat of paint and then centrifugally dried by spinning them at 720 rpm. They were then set aside to completely air dry. A second coat was applied by dipping but this time they were spun at 540 rpm.
Not to be argumentative Eric
I don't think you would have to waste any paint. I would just pour it back in the can for some future model T use. One way to spin it a certin RPM would be to use a horizontal mill. I know not everyone has one but a angle drive could be adapted with just a motor. This is a lot of work and spraying would be simpler, but maybe not as much fun.
It's always cheaper to buy by the gallon. Dip one side of the wheel, then flip it over like a pancake and dip the other side. Spinning would be the hard part. Have to do it in the back yard where the wife wouldn't see the paint flying around.
Wonder if anyone else has done it this way???
This info was posted before on dip painting by Ford, ref noted. I would believe that spray painting wheels, which is what I do, is much easier and will have better results, unless you really make the process work for you ,
“ALL MODEL T'S WERE BLACK”
By Trent Boggess
Dipping was another painting processes that was frequently used in the Ford factory during the Model T era. Fenders, hoods, running boards, running board shields, steering column tubes, coil boxes and windshields were all painted using the dipping process. The dipping of fenders in glossy black paint and baking them in special drying ovens was practiced in the Ford factory by 1912 and may have begun even earlier. In the teens automatic dip tanks were used so that the fenders were carried on a conveyor through the dip tank and then through an oven. In order to conserve factory floor space, the fenders were dip painted on the top floor of the Highland Park factory and the conveyor carried the fenders up to the roof where the baking ovens were located.
The rear axle assembly was one of the largest components of a Model T that was dip painted. As the individual component assemblies of the rear axle (rear axle housings, torque tube and radius rods) were completed they were individually painted. When the entire rear axle assembly was completed, it was painted a second time in a novel way. The axle assembly was hung on a conveyor and carried up over a tank filled with paint. At this point, a machine automatically placed caps over the ends of the axle, and the tank was raised six feet, completely immersing the rear axle in the paint, before returning to its original position. After painting, the axle was carried through a baking oven to dry.
Another interesting dip painting operation was the painting of wood wheels. The first coat applied was F-108 Black Wheel Surfacer. This paint was primarily made up of pigment (52-54%), with the oil, gum and metallic dryer representing 12-14% of the paint, and a thinner of mineral spirits which accounted for 32-34% of the paint. Unpainted wheels were mounted horizontally on a vertical spindle above a circular vat partially filled with paint. The vat was raised, immersing the wheel in the paint and then partway lowered. The wheel was then spun at 540 to 720 rpm for about a minute while still within the vat but above the surface level of the paint. After spinning the paint was considered to be dry enough that the wheel could be handled and it was placed in a drying room for the next 24 hours. The subsequent two coats of paint were applied in a similar manner. The second coat was F-159 Black Wheel Color Varnish. This was followed by F-404 Finish Coat on Wheels. F-404 could be described as a nearly clear topcoat varnish. It contained only enough pigment to give it a dark tint. This painting process resulted in wheels that were a deep, gloss black color.
A final example of using dipping to paint a Model T part was the crankcase. While dip painting the crankcase assembly may not in itself be remarkable, the paint that was used is. This paint was F-142 Black Slush Paint. It was probably the fastest air drying paint used in the Ford Motor Company, and it certainly was the simplest in composition. It was made from 50% Gilsonite and 50% petroleum spirits (paint thinner). Crankcases were dipped in this material and would air dry in an hour or less. Parts painted with F-142 would have appeared to be “dense black” in color, but probably not very glossy or shiny.
Spray painted wheel