The wood felloe wheels on my 16 were built by a local Amish wheelwright about four years ago. The rear spokes have now shrunk enough that I need to do something to tighten them up. I am thinking that injecting an epoxy into the area between the spoke end and rim might be the best fix for this. What are your experiences? What would be the best epoxy to use? At this point I know that Gorrilla glue and Chair Lock type products are not going to work.
I have seen Kwik Poly, which is very liquid, poured around the hub. This requires that the wheel be removed and laid over and made level after the hub plate is removed. Due to the liquid
nature of the Kwik Poly it soaks in between the spokes and the spokes and the hub and then hardens up.
I would bring the wheel(s) back to the Amish wheelwright and ask him to correct it. Many wheelwrights have faced this problem over the years, so why not ask. The wood spokes must not have been dried or sealed properly if they are only four years old. There are spoke shims that can tighten them also. I avoid epoxy. This is just an opinion, good luck.
I was surprised yesterday to find Kwik Poly still in business, operating the same way as when I discovered them in about 1993. www.kwikpolyllc.com .
I sent an email but no reply yet. Will call today in case their email is as lackadaisical as their site.
I am repairing the wood in an 1830 mahogany sofa, and Kwik Poly is the only thing I know to trust. I have a two part wood consolidant I bought when I couldn't get KP, and it's a few years old and won't harden.
The wheel wrights can easily tighten your spokes. They will use a spoke jack to lift the tenon from the felloe enough to install a shim on two or three spokes, which should tighten the wheel for the next 20 years. This ought to take a couple minutes for a good wheel wright.
Any kind of epoxy fix would be fine for furniture. It won't make the wheels safe for you and your family. Suggesting you avoid any such ideas unless you are looking to make your insurance company pay your beneficiaries.
I am surprised that the wheel became loose in such a short period of time. Is the car outside in the rain all the time?
Side note on Kwik Poly. This was the obituary that appeared for Harold Bowden in the St. Louis club's newsletter in May 2002:
It is with deep regret that we report the passing of Harold Bowden, a fixture in the Model T Ford Club of Greater Saint Louis and also in the Model T world for at least three decades. It has been said of Harold that he probably bought, sold, worked on, gave advice about, drove, sold parts for or at one time owned half the Model T’s in eastern Missouri.
Harold and his wife, Ruth, used to hold annual sales which were the stuff of legends. Harold was also known throughout the antique car hobby for his wood repair product, first called RSP and then known by the name Kwik-Poly. Harold had discovered the product when he was working for Ozark Air Lines and immediately recognized its value to the old car hobbyist. It is now used by car owners nationwide.
Yeah, something's affecting them. Either weather conditions in your area, (though I doubt that. It's not common enough) or the wood was not dry enough in manufacturing. Whatever the situation it may continue so I'd stay away from anything as permanent as epoxy because they may need further adjustment over time.
An injection with epoxy is appropriate. I have spokes that are impregnated with and bonded with epoxy and have been running for 40 years.
Note on my wheels- The wheelwright already redid the front wheels to fix a terrible lateral runout. I don't want him touching them again. The car is kept either in the garage or trailer 100% of the time except when we are touring. The wheels are wood felloe, so metal shims are not appropriate. I went around both wheels with a feeler gauge to check the clearance between the spoke and felloe, and it looks like the average clearance is about 0.015in, so I think an epoxy injection should work.
Talking to a local Amish buggy shop owner a couple years ago when I had some big wagon wheels re-spoked... 4 years seems to be about how long the average Amish buggy goes between major overhauls/re-manufacturing which usually includes work on wheels or re-spoking, re-painting, repairing structural issues, deteriorated wood etc...
My wheels were re-spoked by Clint Darmstead, Murphys, Ca. way back in 1978. They are just as tight today as they were then. I would check with the wheelwright before doing anything. John
Wood will shrink when in a dry climate. For example furniture made in Oregon will shrink in southern California or Arizona. Depending on where the wheels were manufactured in relation to where they are now located could be the problem. The wood should be well dried preferably kiln dried shortly before manufacture to minimize the drying effects.
If the tenons are loose in the felloe there might not be much you can do. If the spokes have shortened, you can try gluing on wood venier on the flat areas by the hub and then wedging between the hub and the ends of the spokes to push the spokes outward toward the felloe. I know that works with steel felloes, but have not tried it with the wood ones.
Wood shrinks very little in length. It shrinks laterally in one direction. Turnings 100 years old are slightly oval due to uneven shrinkage.
Therefore, the shrinkage occurs on the wedges at the hubs. Shimming the felloes may fix it, but you have to be sure the spoke is stopped at its laterals, and not at its end on the hub.
I have good results with a mix of 50 - 50 of Acetone and Construction glue that expand when drying, and inject the spooks/fellows
The wheels on my '15 are originals. They have been shimmed once, probably before WWII. There is a piece of steel shim stock behind one of the round fellows. Some of the other spokes have the typical .010" steel horseshoe shims. I've refinished the wheels twice in the past 15 years, but they remain straight and true in spite of climates ranging from Cincinnati rain to Dallas zero humidity.
Note to Ron Dupree - this is the right way to fix the wheels permanently. It does not show unless you are really looking for it, and even then the shims are hard to detect unless someone tells you what you are looking at.
Attention With such a method, you might go to a “drug dealer” ....... :-)
Personally, I also glued the wheels of my 1912 this week.
My method is as follows:
1 - I have a hole in the circle of the wheel, then I make a tapping.
2 - I installed a pneumatic connection.
3 - I filled the pipe with glue, then I open the compressed air (6 bar) for 1-10 minutes. The glue is located just across the cracks in the wood.
4 - I installed a set screw and I make a point of welding (TIG) for it not unscrew.
6 bar = 87.0226426 pounds per square inch
Wow...a very ingenious solution to a problem - but - (and this is a very un-informed but, as I know very little about the gripping power of glues)
- is it safe?
For the glue to have penetrated that far into the spoke, it would appear that there is a cavity....dryness and a split? - or rot. If rot, what glue holds to "soft" wood?
To get Kwik Poly don't bother emailing......CALL him.
He does business the old fashioned way. He doesn't take plastic either........just includes the bill with the shipment and you pay when you get it.......
Rocky Mountain Machine Co in Colorado does business the same way.
BOTH are top notch suppliers.
For what it is worth, I sell Kwik-Poly and take plastic. Ford-n-more 1-800-327-1469
Do you have a website, Tom?
I don't have an online store. You still gotta call (toll free) during business hours and talk to a person.
Smart Olivier! Building homes with wood and custom furniture for fifty years you learn something new often.
Material has become more and more glue friendly. Growth rings are wider with younger trees, and most material now uses younger trees not as strong or durable as old growth.