Hello Everyone ,
This is a follow-up on the message posted by my friend André on Nov 4 11.16am . I got a 1913 Touring earlier this year . I am novice and he greatly helped me to recondition it . I took advantage of a recent dry day to make some detailed photo's of the rear wheels condition. Cost wise it seems unreasonable to send 2 wheels from Belgium to the US - to Stutzman for instance - and back for repair . Maybe you judge that this is not necessary and another solution can be envisaged . I appreciate every input and opinion of how to handle , protect, repair or do something else with these wheels . Maybe many or most old wheels on your cars are more or less in a similar condition . I also thought that because there are 12 spokes to a wheel , in any case pressure and tension will be distributed . The worst being probably side pressure in turning . I have no idea how hazardous this may turn out to be .
I can add that I tried to punch the bare wood with a fine screwdriver and did not get further than about 1,5 mm on the worst spot : the felloe between and around spokes on the left wheel ( photo 1b and 1c ). Is there some recommendable wood penetrator to harden the damaged spots or will just painting do the job to stop further deterioration .
André's concern is very legitimate . His old father is an excellent carpenter - to the point of making a complete new wooden body for a model T recently - and of course he has seen woodwork at home all his life .
Thanks for all your help
P.S. I hope the 8 pictures are visible - tried twice .
The flaked-off paint tells me there may be movement due to looseness. Some people go to great lengths trying to repair loose wheels. Cobbled-up fixes may be OK if the car is only driven very slowly for short distances, but for driving at normal speeds I wouldn't trust a 100-year-old wheel that shows any signs of deterioration.
See Jim Patrick's comment here: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/331880/402557.html?1384960856.
The wheels almost look like there has been some past repair. I would give them that serious pull and push test to check for movement on the spokes. If no movement, clean up and paint.
OH, I forgot to ask, what is the word "artillery"
referring to?? Those look like standard T wheels to me.
There are some wheels called artillery, but they have less spokes and look different.
The term is not used much but is proper for the type of wheel used on cars.
Wood wheels used on wagons and carriages used mortise and tenon to mount the spokes to the hub rather then the taper compressed fit of the artillery wheel which was developed to carry the heavy weight of cannons etc.
I have had good success in repairing wood spoke wheels with wood fellows using 3M structural Epoxy adhesive. The wood must not have dry rot and still maintain good integrity/strength.
I did the wheels on my 1910 2cyl. REO in 1978 and they are still tight. Also did the wheels on our 13 T touring and several other cars and the wheels are still tight.
You can E-mail me for the details if interested.
If you have good wood working skills available, you might consider buying the pieces from Noah Stutzman and assembling them yourself.
Have Noah make the wood felloes slightly long so you can fit them tightly to your rims. Send a sample spoke and felloe or two for them to copy, and then assemble the spokes in the felloes. Finally, drill out the center of the spokes after assembly and press in our wheel hubs. Don't forget to place the chamfered end of the spoke against the hub. fasten the felloes to the rims with new rivets and splice plates and new nuts and bolts at the hub.
Thank you all for your input .
I see valuable ideas to work on .
As an additional check I went pushing and pulling the spokes with two hands for a while today , especially the damaged ones . There is absolutely no clearance , movement or looseness . I came to my mind that this condition may be a result of the treatment the car received over the last 7 or 8 years .
The pictures more or less reflect the condition in which the car was obtained . I was able to trace a previous owner who sent me the pictures after I got the car .The largest quantity of spider nest had been removed , but the radiator grid and the bottom part still hosted many nests .
If you see how the rear wheels literally sink into the ground , humidity and swelling of the wood spokes and suffering of the felloes there is no surprise .
It was more or less what you call "a barn find" , but I would rather call that an outside or next to the barn find .