I recently took my 1913 car on it's first short tour. I had a rivet in one rear wheel come loose and the other rear start making noise. So in preparation for the second tour which we just completed yesterday ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gpibZ28NJ0 ) I decided to shim the wheels tighter.
The plan was to re-shim the wheels, but upon disassembly it became clear that a different approach was needed... spoke replacements. I found that the technique I had developed for my metal felloe wheels would work on the wooden felloe wheels. See: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/257047/320980.html for a description of my procedure on making spoke replacements.
Upon disassembly I found that one wheel had previously been shimmed correctly and the other incorrectly. I ended up replacing 6 spokes on one wheel (bad shim job) and 2 on the other (correct shim job).
Instead of shimming (between the felloe and the rim) I decided to take some old spokes from a 30 X3 wheel and cut them down for the 30 X 3 1/2 wheel. I found if you cut them 1/16" too long it will tighten up the wheel nicely without using the circumferential shim. That way you can always shim later if it becomes necessary.
I found on disassembly that one spoke had a completely broken tennon and several others were ruined by a previous owner trying to tighten up the wheels by driving screws through the rim and into the tennons!
Locate the rivet first (photo 1)
Grind off the peened end and push out with a punch (photo2)
Push the felloe out of the rim (photo3)
Choose which spokes are to be saved and which replaced (photo 4)
While inspecting the parts correct the damage done by previous "restorers". Here I removed the ill thought out "shims" and the stupid wood screws. (photo 1)
I discovered one spoke had sheared off it's tennon... but the wood screw had held that tennon in the felloe! (photo 2)
When you inspect the donor wheel spokes you may find that Henry's shop didn't always consider "quality job #1"! (photo 3)
From here the repair is just like on metal felloe wheels, scribe the new spoke at the same length as the original spoke (photo 4)
Turn the spoke down in a lathe, I left it 1/16" longer than the original to tighten up the wheel without any shims (photo 1)
Here is the donor wheel, it had rotted felloe, but was properly shimmed with a brass shim band (photo2)
The tennon is cut to proper diameter (photo 3)
The wheel is assembled with the extra length of the tennons on the replacement spokes obvious (photo 4)
The excess tennon length is removed (photo 1)
The wheel is assembled and pressed into the rim (photo 2)
A buck is obtained... I turned this one from a piece of scrap (photo 3)
The rivets are inserted and peened, I found using a wooden lever to hold the buck made the job easier (photo 4) Note here: As I had a failed rivet in the wheel from the previous owner's repair, I countersunk the rivet holes to make them stronger. If I ever have to re-work this wheel I will have to drill out the rivets instead of pushing them out!
Next you apply the finish of your choice and install rubber. My first tour left me with 5 flat tires, all from defective tubes from two different suppliers. I bought the expensive (about $50) tubes with vulcanized metal stems from Donny Lang's. I had no more wheel troubles or flat tires on this weekend's tour. Tohse new defective tubes?... I cut them up and made them into flaps!
Here is the wheel visible as the car is loaded up at the end of the tour.
If you want to see a shot of the car in action (my first attempt at video, so don't expect much... can't see the wheels!) go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gpibZ28NJ0
It's quite the challenge to drive, hold and operate the camera and narrate all at the same time.
By the end of the tour the wheels are just as tight as at the start, and make no noise.
Respectfully submitted, TH
I meant to post the spoke turning directions and goofed the link: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/257047/324108.html?1353786070