What type of wood are these spokes?

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2005: What type of wood are these spokes?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By mark uchneat on Saturday, March 01, 2008 - 10:21 pm:

Can anyone tell me what kind of wood these spokes are made of? Thanks, Mark


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ray Elkins on Saturday, March 01, 2008 - 10:25 pm:

Looks just like the hickory spokes that were on my 24 roadster, just maybe with a light stain?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By cecil paoletti on Saturday, March 01, 2008 - 10:27 pm:

My uneducated guess would be oak. It will be interesting to hear the experts opinions.
Ceece


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Walker, NW AR. on Saturday, March 01, 2008 - 10:41 pm:

They look like hickory to me.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By mark uchneat on Saturday, March 01, 2008 - 11:25 pm:

How ironic Ray, these will be going on my '24 roadster! These spokes look like they were black at one point and the paint has been stipped. Mark


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Jeandrevin on Saturday, March 01, 2008 - 11:26 pm:

They look like redoak to me. Hickory and redoak have very much the same grain pattern though. Hickory is just a little tighter grain, and if freshly cut, hickory is much whiter looking. Aged, it is really hard to tell in a picture. Another reason I beleave it is redoak is the dark stains at the end of the spoke. Redoak is high in tannic acid which turns dark purple or black when in contact with metal and exposed to moisture.

Tim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Dewey on Sunday, March 02, 2008 - 12:34 am:

Hard to tell from just a picture, but they sure look like a closed-grained wood, like Hickory, Oak is open grain, and really doesn't look the same.
T'ake care,
David D.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ken Kopsky on Sunday, March 02, 2008 - 12:43 am:

Dims Hickory, plain as day.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Doug Menkhaus on Sunday, March 02, 2008 - 12:59 am:

I'm not an expert..hell...I'm not even a pert..but I'm guessin that they've been around awhile...so they're probably earned they're keep? If they were junk...they'd be broke by now?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James A. Golden on Sunday, March 02, 2008 - 09:47 am:

They look and could be original spokes. They would be hickory if Henry Ford made them. Hickory is a much stronger wood.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Jeandrevin on Sunday, March 02, 2008 - 10:23 am:

I have to agree with Doug. What ever they are, they have been around long enough to have proven themselves worthy! lol

Tim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ricks - Surf City on Sunday, March 02, 2008 - 10:47 am:

Most, but not all, of the grain in the pix above is straight and true to the wheel, with very little cross-grain. Compare to Hal Schedler's, new hickory, here:


See, fellas, here's why we need a test to determine if a particular wheel is safe to use. Merely making new ones of some breed of hickory is not good enough.

As for age being a good sign, I don't think so. I have 3/4 of a set of oak spoked wheels that have been around over 25 years. The fourth one broke the first year in service. I may use the others for a stair railing or something.

rdr


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Patrick - (2) '26's - Bartow, FL on Sunday, March 02, 2008 - 10:54 am:

Looks like closed grain Hickory, which, because it is hard and strong, but flexible, makes it the most suitable wood to use on spokes. Oak is brittle, which makes it unsuitable to use on spokes and unlike the wood pictured, has open grains which are deep and very visible. These look like a smooth, worn hickory sledgehammer handle. Jim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tom Mullin on Sunday, March 02, 2008 - 04:47 pm:

The Ford spoke drawing calls for Second Growth Shagbark Hickory.

Tom


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ricks - Surf City on Sunday, March 02, 2008 - 05:19 pm:

That's progress, Tom; I believe you're the first to post that Ford specified Shagbark. The tree pic came from Tim Moore.

rdr


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Jeandrevin on Monday, March 03, 2008 - 01:27 am:

Rick,
If you say those spokes on the wheel with the blue hub are hickory, I won't argue, but I would almost bet my model T that is Red Oak from the pic!
Tim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Jeandrevin on Monday, March 03, 2008 - 01:30 am:

Wait...wait...wait....lol...I just reread your post. I see now you are saying those ARE Red Oak. Sorry sir, but now I sure feel better about my eyes! Sure looked like oak to me! lol

Tim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James A. Golden on Monday, March 03, 2008 - 07:53 am:

Note the part, "especially well designed to withstand extreme side-strains when turning corners at fast speed." Fast when that was written was over 10 mph, not over 50 mph, as today is considered fast.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By G Gilmore on Monday, March 10, 2008 - 11:52 pm:

The spokes on the wheels with the red hubs are hickory. Notice the lack of medullary rays that are found in the wood of all oaks. These medullary rays are very noticable in the wood that broke (wheel with blue hub) As far as using shagbark hickory only, I'd question that. Smooth bark, shell bark and pignut hickory could also be used provided the growth rings were not too wide and the grain was straight. Hickory is a much tougher wood than red oak which tends to be brittle, as is well illustrated.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ray Elkins on Tuesday, March 11, 2008 - 04:40 am:

Ford specified Shagbark, I don't think Ralph was necessarily saying one way or other, just that Ford's specs state it.

Ray


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ricks - Surf City on Tuesday, March 11, 2008 - 09:50 am:

You would not want to mix different hickories in the same wheel, as their characteristics are quite different. That means you would not want to have spokes from different hickories in the factory, due to inventory control challenges.

Hickory, Bitternut. 0.66 1.79 66 9,040 1,680 -
Hickory, Nutmeg .. 0.60 1.70 - .6,910 1,570 -
Hickory, Pecan ... . 0.66 1.73 44 7,850 1,720 2,080
Hickory, Water . .. 0.62 2.02 53 8,600 1,550 -
Hickory, Mockernut 0.72 2.22 77 8,940 1,730 1,740
Hickory, Pignut .. . 0.75 2.26 74 9,190 1,980 2,150
Hickory, Shagbark. 0.72 2.16 67 9,210 1,760 2,430
Hickory, Shellbark. 0.69 1.89 88 8,000 1,800 2,110

For a wheel, the third column, Impact Bending, Height of Drop Causing Failure, in inches, is no doubt the most important.

http://www.woodbin.com/ref/wood/strength_table.htm

Likewise, you would not want to mix new and old spokes on the same wheel. Their strengths may vary too much, and the stiffer spokes would take too much of the load.

For example, Douglas Fir hardens with age. It's tough to drive a nail in the studs of my T era house.

rdr


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Walker, NW AR. on Tuesday, March 11, 2008 - 08:44 pm:

That's interesting that Pignut and Bitternut are listed as separate species. According to my tree book (and according to vernacular usage), Pignut is a common name for the Bitternut Hickory.

For what it's worth, many moons ago when I was cutting hickory bolts and selling them to the local handle factory, Pignut was the only type of hickory they wouldn't take.

Shagbark and Shellbark are usually grouped together in the lumber trade, even though their numbers are quite different in the above table.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John F. Regan on Tuesday, March 11, 2008 - 09:04 pm:

I don't want to appear to be a skeptic in all this but I have original Ford Factory drawings for the spoke both in the rough blank dimensions and the FINISHED spoke dimensions and NEITHER of those drawings say anything but the words "HICKORY". No specifics beyond that. So could someone please tell me EXACTLY what Ford Spec they are talking about since I would like to investigate into that further. Saying it is a "Ford Spec" is not specific as to what is being talked about. Ford part drawings?? Ford Record of Changes?? Where do I look??


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim ( www.ModelTengine.com ) on Tuesday, March 11, 2008 - 10:07 pm:

One thing no one ever mentions every time this argument comes up is that modern methods of making these spokes are very different than the way it was done back then. This time, the past was better. Cutting up dimensional lumber to turn spokes out on a lathe will not give you the same strength the original spoke had when new. Why? Because the wood was split into blanks and then shaved to it's final shape. The wood chose where to break, not a saw cut where it was most effective to get a more boards. Splitting ensured that the grain ran the length of the piece. Saw cut lumber could have the grain running at a small angle, even though it looks like it's lengthwise.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Paul Vitko on Tuesday, March 11, 2008 - 10:36 pm:

Not sure I agree with that Tim, I have cut several roted spokes from T wheels, What comes to mind is the grain is usually about 1/16 growth rings ( old growth) . and it is usually within about 15 degrees of across the rotation of the wheels. So the maximum strength is at ninety degrees to tire rotation or side pressure. With the fifteen million Ts built I doubt that the spokes were split, but I do not doubt that they were set up so the grain ran at a right angle to the wheel. Just my opinion!!


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