What type of wood for spokes?

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2013: What type of wood for spokes?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Enos Wiseman on Monday, July 08, 2013 - 02:47 pm:

I had my 26 Touring at a car show yesterday and I was asked the question what type of wood the wooden spokes were made from. I said I think Ash but that was only a guess. Maybe next time I can be sure. The car was from an assembly line in Connecticut as far as I know, if that makes a difference.
Thanks for your help.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve in Tennessee on Monday, July 08, 2013 - 02:52 pm:

They were supposed to have been second growth hickory. I've never known if that was shag bark or some other specific hickory, or just any hickory.

Personally it would seem to me that ash would work well but others with more woodcraft may say it lacks enough spring to be safe.

I've been trying to talk someone into make some out of Bodock (bodark, osage orange, american yew...call it what you will) but nobody I know seems willing to sacrifice their tools on the stuff. I'm just trying to find something that it is good for as I have it in spades.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Monday, July 08, 2013 - 03:49 pm:

Fence posts. I have some that are over fifty years old and still solid. When my grandfather built the house ninety years ago, he put the bathroom on top of the original storm cellar that was dug in the 1870's. He added Osage orange (bois d'arc) logs on top of the stone cellar walls. When I remodeled the bathroom a few years ago I thought I'd drill through one of the logs to install new water lines. After burning up three drill bits (the last one is still stuck in there), I used flexible lines around the log.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ricks - Surf City on Monday, July 08, 2013 - 04:24 pm:

The dirt rots away from around the Osage posts...

Hickory, not Pecan, is known for its flexibility - ability to absorb shocks. Osage should be even better than hickory. The Cherokee used it for bows. I brought home a pile of Osage from Ill five years ago, and it's still waiting to be made into spokes.



Early Ford brochure


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem on Monday, July 08, 2013 - 04:32 pm:

Enos,

Lots of woods mentioned above but the simple answer is:

Hickory.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve in Tennessee on Monday, July 08, 2013 - 04:32 pm:

I've actually seen the stuff throw sparks with a chain saw. Seriously.

My dad and his dad used bodock (as we call it) for fence posts. 1/2 inch staples for bodock and locust. 1 inch staples for cedar. Attempts to drive a 1 inch staple into bodock or locust usually fail.

It is, I am told the Amercian version of English Yew and does well for bows provided you get heartwood center with the green wood on the outside.

I have heard (only heard mind you) that it serves well in conversation with a 2 year old mule.

"Mules and children should be broken by the age of three." - My dad.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Enos Wiseman on Monday, July 08, 2013 - 07:38 pm:

Thanks:
Next time someone asks I'll just say as far as I know Henry used Hickory but it's possible that other similar wood could've been used.I think that would be pretty safe.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Walker, NW AR on Monday, July 08, 2013 - 07:42 pm:

Enos -- Back when wood wheels were put on cars, virtually all wheel makers used hickory for the spokes. The same was true for buggies and wagons.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ricks - Surf City on Monday, July 08, 2013 - 08:49 pm:

With spares, Ford would have made about a billion spokes, and there is no evidence anything other than hickory was used.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Enos Wiseman on Monday, July 08, 2013 - 09:13 pm:

OK Hickory it is then.
Thanks everyone for your information.
How often should I check them and what would I look for. Mine are all looking good and put quite a few Km's/miles on it over the past few days.
Thanks again.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Walker, NW AR on Monday, July 08, 2013 - 09:21 pm:

Enos -- They'll tell you when they need attention. You'll hear a "clicking" sound from them when you go around corners.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Monday, July 08, 2013 - 09:56 pm:

Bois d'arc - we called them horse apple trees when I was a kid- is impossible to work with.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Walker, NW AR on Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - 09:03 am:

I have a Bois d'arc longbow made by my great-great-grandfather, who was Cherokee. I made a similar one back when I lived in the woods, about 35 years ago. Mine is only about half as thick, and it's about 40-lbs. pull. It would take a real man to use the old one!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Seth from NC on Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - 09:52 am:

Pretty nifty stuff according to wikipedia:

The Osage orange is commonly used as a tree row windbreak in prairie states, which gives it one of its colloquial names, "hedge apple". It was one of the primary trees used in President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's "Great Plains Shelterbelt" WPA project, which was launched in 1934 as an ambitious plan to modify weather and prevent soil erosion in the Great Plains states, and by 1942 resulted in the planting of 30,233 shelterbelts containing 220 million trees that stretched for 18,600 miles (29,900 km).[12] The sharp-thorned trees were also planted as cattle-deterring hedges before the introduction of barbed wire and afterwards became an important source of fence posts.

The heavy, close-grained yellow-orange wood is very dense and is prized for tool handles, treenails, fence posts, and other applications requiring a strong dimensionally stable wood that withstands rot. Straight-grained osage timber (most is knotty and twisted) makes very good bows. In Arkansas, in the early 19th century, a good Osage bow was worth a horse and a blanket.[6] Additionally, a yellow-orange dye can be extracted from the wood, which can be used as a substitute for fustic and aniline dyes. When dried, the wood has the highest BTU content of any commonly available North American wood, and burns long and hot.[13][14]

The fruit was once used to repel spiders by placing one under the bed. Various studies have found elemol, an extract of Osage orange, to repel several species of mosquitos, cockroaches, crickets, and ticks.[15] One study found elemol to be as effective a mosquito repellant as DEET.[16] A patent was awarded in 2012 for an insect repelling device using Osage orange.[17]


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - 11:50 am:

All this Osage orange talk prompted me to pick up my camera and take a few shots.


The first homesteading here was in 1870, before barbed wire became widely available. Salesmen came through the area peddling hedge seedlings and they were planted for fencing by the thousands. There are a lot fewer of them now than there were when I was a kiddo sixty years ago, but there are still a lot left. This hedge is along my west field.


I don't see any mosquitoes or spiders on this.


If you have to do any trimming or cutting, you'd better wear gloves.


This fence was put up by my uncle, Charles Miller. Charles died in 1960, so I think the fence is about 55 to 60 years old. Note the bent nail and the barbed wire mostly tied on, not stapled.

And yes, the stuff makes great firewood.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve in Tennessee on Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - 04:26 pm:

on the 7th day, while the lord rested, the devil went around planting bodock, honey locust, and johnson grass. (Jericho 4:9).

as for spoke replacement. They will click when loose but a careful spoke by spoke inspection checking for looseness is advisable if there is a concern. There are previous posts (no pun intended) on the forum regarding back in the day solutions to tighten the spokes. I have replaced all of mine even though they all were tight. It may be have been overkill but after 80 something years I was unwilling to assume the wood had enough of its original flexibility to be safe. Spokes are one of the key safety issues so why take the chance. Such was my view.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - 04:42 pm:

Hickory is very strong. It is used for baseball bats.
Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem on Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - 04:45 pm:

Norm,

Actually ash is used for ball bats.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Schedler, Sacramento on Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - 05:18 pm:

I made one spoke out of Osage Orange for Ralph and it was beautiful. My problem with making them is turning rounds into 8/4 lumber. A spoke blank (before turning) is around 11X2X2. All blades on saw and lathe have to be sharp and they don't stay that way long. You sharpen or replace blades when the smoke detector goes off or when you get too many sparks. Four wheels with OO spokes would be very pretty.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Treace, North FL on Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - 05:56 pm:

Jerry

Today's pro bats are made of either maple or ash.

http://www.slugger.com/bats/technology.aspx

But hickory for hammer and axe handles, and of course Model T spokes for me :-)

And....never pine or oak!



Early big truck solid rubber tire on hickory spoke wheel.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By john kuehn on Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - 06:21 pm:

Steve when my parents bought the farm in the late 30's my Father also had the idea of 'raising' Osage Orange for fence posts. There was already some on the property so he spread the apples and seedlings here and there to increase the number. I can remember him telling me when get to be around 20 years old or so they may be big enough to cut and make posts. That was over 45 years ago.

Now I have to control them with herbicides.
Man those things can spread!

We now have our landlocked 38 acres covered with them. The other 156 acres has them here and there.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ricks - Surf City on Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - 06:29 pm:

The spoke and a pen Hal made for me. He didn't volunteer to do the whole set...



Thanks, Hal!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dennis Seth - Ohio on Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - 06:53 pm:

Hal also made me some beautiful pens from old wood that I took from my '22 Coupe. A great keepsake and gifts.

I love those pens Hal! Now all I have to do is learn to write.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Thode Chehalis Washington on Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - 07:32 pm:

If you found an easy way to made osage orange spokes, they may look good and should not rot but strength wise it would not be as good as hickory. It seems that osage orange is a little stronger then oak but not a strong as hickory.

Historically, osage orange was in great demand for making hubs and rims of wheels for horse-drawn vehicles but there is no report of it being used for spokes.

Jim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - 08:23 pm:

From the pictures shown,where would you find any good stock to build any spokes let alone 100,000 000 at least?Bud.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Walker, NW AR on Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - 10:30 pm:

Jim Thode -- You can bend a 1/4" thick piece of Osage Orange double (if you're strong enough), and it won't break. Whatever source you found saying that it is not as strong as hickory is not reliable. Why didn't Native Americans make their longbows from hickory, since hickory was much more plentiful?

It would make wonderful wheel spokes, but it wouldn't be economically feasible to keep the tools sharp which are needed to shape them.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Seth from NC on Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - 07:34 am:

Question, how did Native Americans make bows out of this stuff if it's so darn hard to work with?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By michael grady on Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - 09:00 am:

As far a wood working goes - Osage Orange is one of the finest/hardest American woods we have for turing stuff on a lathe.

Outside the US, the Australian woods are the best in the world.

We have a couple of folks here from down under...can you guys imagine a wheel full of purple gidge spokes?

My .02


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Allan Richard Bennett on Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - 10:37 am:

My machinist from the engine shop would recommend tree wood!!!!

Michael, we don't have Osage Orange and when it is available as a craftwood for lathe work it commands a premium price. In my collection of turned fruits I have an Osage Orange lemon. The rest are Australian hardwoods. We sell wooden scarf pins as accessories to our handknits made from our woollen yarns. These are made from re-cycled Native timbers, my favourite being from weeping myall, a type of accacia, which has yellow sapwood and deep brown heartwood.

Just for interest.

allan from down under.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Thode Chehalis Washington on Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - 03:42 pm:

Mike Walker,
I agree, osage orange may be more flexible then hickory in certain thicknesses but that is not directly related to the strength. I think for strength tests, a 1" x 1" section is normally used. I found a couple references that show the modulus of rupture or maximum bending stress for OO was right between oak and hickey.

http://www.wood-database.com/lumber-identification/hardwoods/shagbark-hickory/

http://www.wood-database.com/lumber-identification/hardwoods/osage-orange/

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=10&ved=0CFUQFjAJ&ur l=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.fpl.fs.fed.us%2Fdocumnts%2Fusda%2Famwood%2F248osage.pdf&ei=KJ bcUYXXF8ngrQGRjYD4Cg&usg=AFQjCNFbX80XKOMcyhfzuZw32Chasiwvjg&bvm=bv.48705608,d.aW M

Jim


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