In the AC brake thread, Ricks mentioned that he thinks maybe I have oak spokes instead of hickory?
My Dad and I have sanded/stained/varnished the spokes, but they haven't been replaced in my life time (27). I'm just asking because I have NO clue, but do they look like oak? I haven't seen enough T's with stained rims instead of painted ones to know one way or another. My grandfather never mentioned anything about having the wheels re-spoked, although he did say that he swapped the original clinchers that came with the car for these later wheels with demountable rims - the idea being to be able to change a flat easier - although he never followed through and got a spare rim and tire.
All of the spokes are very firm and I don't get any wiggle when I try to man-handle any of them. However, if it seems the consensus is that I have oak instead of hickory, I'll make a point to not drive the car until I can either have these re-spoked correctly or get some of the wire wheels that accept my demountable rims.
If somebody can tell from looking at your photos what kind of wood your spokes are made of, they have way better eyes than me!
To me they look just like my Hickory spokes.
as a woodworker, I'd put my bet on yours being oak.
That said, you might try finding a cabinet shop, or a wood turning club near you. Someone should be able to tell you if they are oak or not. They may not be able to confirm hickory, but should be able to tell you if it's oak.
They look like hickory to me. Mine are original Ford - and the grain on your spokes looks exactly like mine.
Hi: Its going to be hard to tell from a pic what kind you have. My trained eye says hickory. If not hickory they could be white oak. I myself would have no problems with white oak spokes. There were some replacement spokes made years ago that were red oak. I would not use red oak for spokes at all. Red oak is more brittle. White oak has a long grain that is more suitable for spokes. Hickory is better but white oak is OK. For a test find you a piece of red oak and a piece of white oak. cut you a stick about a foot or two long, by 3/4 inch by 3/4 inch. Then break both of them by hand. You will find that the white oak is a lot harder to get a clean break. white oak tends to break and split lengthwise and are a lot tougher. If you want to compare to hickory, you can cut a test stick from a old shovel handle, most handles are hickory. Make sure the handle is sound and not some china, tawain import. Remember that some of the replacement spokes sold today are even oak. Some of the vendors do not know the difference.
They look like hickory.
Original spokes that have been stripped of paint and then varnished typically have more visible grain because of the paint, dirt and/or grease still in wood.
Those are hickory.
They look like wood spokes to me.
But seriously you could try a search on the internet and see what you can find.
I found this:
It might help you.
Or I know that our local library used to have a sample book that had good pictures of different species of wood grains.
I would start with an internet search and then go to a library if you weren't satisfied with what you find on the net.
Based on the thread responses as well as comparing a ton of pictures I'm fairly confident that they are hickory spokes. Ultimately I'd like some wire rims anyway, but these will have to do for now. I mean seriously, who can afford $700 per wheel? Craziness.
Anyway! Thanks for all the responses.
Seth, you could get yours respoked with new hickory by Stutzman for a lot less than that. Sorry if I alarmed you, but 10-15 years ago all that was available from the mainstream vendors were oak. We have seen too many rollover accidents with collapsed wheels.
There has been no evidence so far that Ford used anything but hickory. It is flexible, whereas oak is brittle. The more flexible, the better to absorb shock.
One of the pix of your brakes had the grain coming out of the spoke, which led me to suspect oak. A Ford requirement reported was that grain did not come out to the surface, for good reason.
Correction: I did not see end grain coming out on your wheels. I saw one spoke with wide grain, but that is apparently normal. Note the end grain coming out of the first spoke in the second pic I posted above. I was a real novice about spokes until that one collapsed. I couldn't imagine anybody using anything but hickory, until I had mine finished and mounted.
You can find hardwood ID info at:
Here is the chart and the terms are defined in the link.