I'm rebuilding my wheels, and had a few questions.
What is the correct wood to use for a 1913 Tourer built in October 1913?
Does anyone have a drawing or similar of the correct shape of the spokes?
Mine are a mixed bunch... Looks like the wheels have a few replacement spokes added in... Some are oval, and others round..
I would like to get them all correct. Any advice greatly appreciated.
Good source for spokes and/or complete wheel rebuild: Stutzman Wheel Shop, Baltic, Ohio (330-897-1391).
You are a ways from Noah's shop in Ohio, so I hope these dimensions help you some. They are from an original Ford drawing, dated after 1917. That drawing was originally made in 1910 and revised a number of times in between. Noah does ship and receive UPS.
Front view of wheel:
Side view of wheel:
You will notice there is a range for both dimensions of the ellipse and that the outer end, by the rim, is smaller than the hub end.
Tom's drawing does not show the proper spoke profile for 1913. The spokes are not oval in profile. They were more of a tear drop profile in 1913.
Tom's drawing is appropriate for 1917 - 18 wood wheels.
If you can source the wood, you can make them yourself. It might make sense to set up to make them if any others near you also need them.
I am sure somebody near you has a "wood shaper". (search google and you will get lots of information). A big router can also be used.
Anyway you will need to get cutters ground to make the oval shape. With a shaper you can do each side of the spoke in one pass. With a router you will probably have to do the spokes in "quarters" (4 passes. With a fairly large cutter wheel on the shaper, as you get to the hub end of the spoke, you set up a "stop", and you will get the correct shape there as well.
Another suggestion; carefully measure the elliptical spokes you have. Matching the shape of those might be a good way to go.
I like doing things myself. I enjoy the learning as well as the doing.
Using the shaper method of making spokes, the elliptical are no harder to make (OK a little more trouble to grind the cutter, but after that no more difficult).
Royce is correct. The spokes shown are heavier than a 1913 would have. Les' suggestion is probably the best, since the earlier versions of the drawing I used are not available at Benson Ford Research Center.
Find a spoke that looks "good" to you and use that as your pattern. Correct 1913 spokes are a smaller section than the ones I showed above.
If you do decide to send them to Noah Stutzman, or another wheelwright, they will want several things from you in order to make your wheels correctly:
1. Wheel rim
2. Wheel hub and flange (Noah provided new bolts and nuts)
3. A sample of your felloe
4. A sample spoke
Remember, some Model Ts came with 30" by 3" tires in front, especially if United States made, so send samples for both the front and rear wheels, if yours are not the same.
Les, How do you handle the taper on the spokes with the router or shaper methods?
The taper does pose a bit of a problem with elliptic and egg shaped spokes, but I don't think insurmountable. Please note that they are tapered in both planes. Using the shaped cutter and mounting the spoke for taper in the "horizontal" plane, by default will also provide some taper in what I will call the "vertical" plane as it will "over cut" (the centre line of the cut will in fact be passed centre).
If you did not accomplish enough taper to satisfy yourself then you could shim up one end (probably what I will call the "small end") of the spoke on your slide fixture and do a second pass. We are only talking about 1/32" of taper per side, so not very darn much.
My understanding is that using a "shaper" type of machine was how all the original Ford spokes were made. It is way faster than trying to turn them on a lathe and particularly a lathe that would try to create a "non-round" profile.
I hope this answers your question (and it made me think for a bit, so thank you).
Oh and we know that Justin's car is a Canadian car so it has the same size (30x3 1/2) front and back.
Stutzmann's makes the spokes on a duplicating lathe. It is sort of like a key duplicating machine on a larger scale.
The two shops up here who do wheels both use a shaper. A good friend of mine built both of the machines.
...from Bruce McCalley's encyclopedia concerning 1911-1916 wheels:
Same tire size but heavier construction and 6'' flanges. Rear hub heavier with change to tapered axles; no longer looked the same as the front hubs. Painted blue, with and without striping as on the earlier cars. Hub caps had “Ford” in script, with “Made in USA” added in late 1912. Rims were screwed to the felloes (#10 x 3/4”flat head) in 1909 through sometime in 1912, after which they were riveted with 3/16” rivets with a 1/2” washer on the inside. Also, perhaps at the change to the riveted felloes, the tire valve holes were specified to be lined with steel tubing (9/16” o.d., #25 B.W. gauge) flanged on the inside and expanded on the outside to secure them to the rim. Spokes were oval-shaped and the felloes were rounded (7/16” radius).
With the introduction of the 1911 models, the
standard color became blue. The spokes were made a bit stronger (about 1/8-inch thicker) and the hub flanges were increased to six inches in diameter. The hub bolts,while appearing similar to the earlier type, now seemed to have the square shoulders like a standard carriage bolt.1 The manufacturer's initial was stamped on the
felloe splicing plate; “P” for Pruden, “K” for Kelsey, and “H” for Hayes⎯the manufacturers of Ford's wheels at the time.
Thank you everyone. I love this resource and the many minds that contribute to it, thank you.
I had a long chat yesterday with a very knowledgeable fellow Model T enthusiast who has redone many wheels already of different styles.
He made mention of the Canadian wheel having a 30 degree angle cut, as well as a 4? degree secondary angle.
The teardrop shape is correct, and he mentioned the correct way around that they are inserted. Also that the 4 degree angle is opposite on every other spoke. So you in essence make 6 one way, 6 the other, alternating as you assemble them.
We are going to wait a while until he re-does his, and some other T wheels. I am in good hands here.
Thanks very much,
Justin in South Africa,
I too have been in touch with a very knowledgeable Model T enthusiast. It is his opinion, which I respect, that the spokes used in 1913 have a tear drop profile. This is consistent with what Royce posted.
The comment about the oval profile in McCalley's encyclopedia is apparently incorrect for wheels produced prior to 1914 or perhaps even as late as 1915.
I stand corrected.
I can't wait till I get my encyclopedia... Anyway, yes it is a teardrop profile. That is what we will do with these spokes.
I had to do a repair on one of my front wheels. Perhaps at some point in its life , the tie rod broke or something similar, because it was gouged (sp) out around the inside of the hug and damage to quite a few spokes radiating from the hub outwards.
It had reddish brown wood putty on it... Anyway, when I removed the putty I saw what had happened. There were also 3 spokes that had cracks in them on the outside face.
I went to a composites company, and got hold of a laminating epoxy that is clear, and used to glue wooden hunting / target bows together. Unbelievable tensile strength and waterproof as well.
I lifted the cracked sections and got the epoxy in there. Then clamped till dry. On the rear I needed to use a filling type epoxy compatible with wood etc, and other epoxies. I used the same laminating epoxy to act as the glue to the filler epoxy, so applied it, and covered with the filler.
Then when cured, I used my polisher with a sanding disk on to re shape everything. Whatever the net effect is of what I have done... its got to be better than wood putty!
And I am glad I will be replacing these spokes as, most are oval, but there are a few round ones added it as well... see the last two pics. Oval , then round. K for Kelsey.
If wheels could talk...
Here are a couple examples of 1913 - 1915 (approximately) hubs. They have the characteristic maker's mark, not Ford script. The lip where the hub cap rests against is quite thin and sharp, about 1/8" - 3/16" thick.
If you look closely at the wheels in the picture you can see the tear drop shaped spoke profile.
The wheel that you show looks to me like it has a square felloe. Notice on Royce's you can see there the felloe is more rounded between the spokes and "squareish" at the spoke. It is hard to tell, but your spokes look round, too. The front wheel hub should have a large threaded area for the hubcap and a very small shoulder area. On later wheels this was reversed.
Look to see if all your wheels are the same. I suspect the one shown is from a few years later.
: ^ )
I just looked at your profile picture and I see that your car is RHD, with a opening driver door. Is your car Canadian? If so, they came with 30x3-1/3 wheels on all four, so all your wheel spokes all will be the same length and general shape, with a 23" rim.
: ^ )
I have sent you a PM with high resolution photos of the front wheel from #178294. Hope it helps...