I have wooden spokes that have already been primed. Is there a particular brand and type of paint that is best suited for painting the spokes? Also, I would greatly appreciate any tips on the best methods for painting them (brush vs sprayer).
Just be sure to use a top coat that will mate with the primer on the spokes now.
A single stage acrylic enamel is what I like to use, DuPont Centari 99A pitch black acrylic enamel, with a touch of gloss hardener catalyst added to the mix with the reducer.
Nice hard glossy shine enamel finish.
Dan: I ran across one of your earlier posts about your wheels. It was helpful, too. I am fairly new at Model T restoration and don't want to do anything that will unnecessarily loosen the spokes. How do I keep from inadvertently loosening the spokes when I remove the brake drum?
Also, the spokes were already primed when I purchased the car. How do I know whether the top coat and primer will mate?
There are a lot of ways to finish you wheels. The way I do mine is as follows;
I take the wheel apart. I then put the individual spoke in a vise and scrape it with a scrapper from Shermen Williams. After I scrape as much of the spokes as I can I use a small belt sander to finish cleaning them. I then use MINWAX by HELMSMAN, spar urethane. I only use one coat but a lot of guys say they paint the urethane and sand them three times.
I have the felloe, hub and flange powder coated with high gloss black. I have the rim powder coated chrome. Before every one get on their high horse they should know that powder coat chrome turns to a finish identical to the original zinc. The chrome powder coat does not look like the trim on a modern car. In fact I would challenge any one to tell me which rims are powder coated chrome and which ones are the original zinc (or what ever Ford used}.
You can test paint one spot on the backside and see if the enamel pulls off easy from the primer. Or test the primer with enamel thinner, if it is hard to rub off, then ok to use enamel top coat. Enamel will go over most primers.
As for the brake drum, mask it if you can, and leave it in place. If not, when removed, most times the bolts will have to be changed, and re-peened to stay tight.
The spokes will not be loosened by just removing a few hub bolts, as the hub plate on the back and the hub is pressed into the spokes and will be most tight. If they are loose from just removing a few hub bolts, or all of the bolts, they are too loose to start with!
Eric, I have always painted wheel spokes after the wheel is assembled. Coats of paint act as a lubricant when in contact with the steel felloe, and may make assembly of the wheel considerably more difficult.
Once the wheel is assembled, then it can be primed and finish coated, as many coats as you need to get the finish you want. Doing it this way means there is no damage to your work during assembly.
Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.
I just re-spoked the rear wheels on my touring car about a month ago. I used 5 coats of rustolium sandable primer (sanded between each coat) and 3 coats of rustolium appliance epoxy for the finish. They look very nice when I was done. I did the same to the fellow and hub. Following the instructions on the can for each coat.
Not a great photo because of the lighting in the shop.