I am about to strip my wheels down to have them sandblasted and powder coated and I wondered if I need to keep the wooden spokes in the same order and wheel when reassembling them.
The spokes have been restored at some stage and appear very sound. Is there a test to perform on them to make sure they are okay. I am a little scared of wooden wheels, they don't look strong compared to wires ?
I number the spokes, from the valve stem. Never had a problem. If they are not really tight, an oak shim glued to the taper will help tighten them, not more than one shim per spoke.
I always number (or mark in some way) things so I can put it back the way it was. I'm sure that there are times when it's a waste of effort, but there have been times I found out later that it was a darn good thing I did.
Just my $.02 worth.
When you remove the hub plate off of the wheel you can see that its best to keep the spokes exactly in order. They are drilled to accecpt the hub bolts back exactly the way they came out.
Watch what you are doing and things will be OK.
I have a question - after the new spokes have been pressed in, how do you drill the holes for the hub bolts so that they are are aligned correctly? Drill press? Alignment jig? Drill from both sides and hope the two holes meet in the middle?
Mark I did mine on a radial drill press but there are other ways there was a thread a while back where someone had made a guide out of an old spoke that seemed to be the simplest way I have seen
I eyeballed mine and was very lucky that I got them straight. Next time I think I'll use a drill press.
This is the way I drill the holes.
Mark found the thread
About 4 or 5 entries down
Thanks all, I should have done a search before I asked my question, here is another thread with a drilling jig box made out of plywood:
I cut a plywood template on my bandsaw using a nail point for center and turn the plywood template on the saw to cut a perfect circle the diameter of the inside of the rim. If it is not exact then cut a second one. The nail point will be center then drill the center out with a hole cutter to fit the hub. This may require some hand tooling to fit. When the hub is fitted then the flange can be set in place and drilled, usually the flange bolt holes are equi-distant between the spokes. Some models other than Ford are drilled in the center of the spoke. Unless you have a robot to do the assembly it is difficult to make two exactly the same. There is no jig to drill them exactly between the spokes just your eyeball. Good luck David
What Tony said works with the steel felloes. I have never tried it with wood felloes. In addtion to adding the shim at the taper, I would also shim between the hub and the end of the spoke. For the shim around the hub, I use tongue depressers and drive in equally all the way around to keep the hub centered in the wheel. It is very important that the hub is tight, otherwise as you drive along the hub will move from side to side and wear at the wood until the wheel becomes loose. Then if you tighten the bolts it will continue to wear and get loose again, but if the spokes are tight around the hub, it will last a long time without a problem.
Center the drilled holes on the seams between the spokes, NOT like the last wheel shown in Andre's posting, with each hole contained in one spoke.
Having the bolt located between spokes has the effect of locking one spoke against the next, with the bolts acting like a "keys", making the center of the wheel one solid assembly. This prevents the hub from rotating in the wheel during a hard stop, causing the spokes to shift in a sort of wrapping motion, with each spoke essentially rotating about the bolts.
Also, don't drill the holes any larger than they have to be. It's best if you have to tap the bolts in with a mallet.
Thanks guys for all the info.
Ok, I searched this time and couldn't find an answer to this question:
I have heard that the front wheels are "dished" so that the hub is inboard of the center of the rim. Is there a feature of, or procedure using the wheel press that creates the proper dish, or does it just "happen" due to the geometry of the hub, spokes, and rim?
That was old practice, used more in buggy wheels I think. I don't believe Model T wheels used this design. The proper dish is zero.
George Sturt's "The Wheelwright's Shop" has a superb discussion about dish in wagon wheels. Overall a fascinating book. It might be OT, but it covers a very interesting time period that overlapped with the T era in rural Britain.
Buggy wheels were dished to keep the buggy aligned and prevent whipping, some of this mentality was carried over to the early T wheels but was discontinued very early. There are some wheel rebuilders to day that still produce dished wheels. The dish is achieved by slightly tapering each spoke about 1.5 - 2 degrees on one side, when tightened up the wheel will assume a dished effect. The wheel is intended to "tighten" when turning hard therefore the spokes would have to "move" to "tighten" or bind to tighten on itself. Said movement may or may not be desirable. With todays roads and the type of driving of most hobbyists dished or nondished would be a matter of choice/prefrence.
While on the subject of wood wheels...
For a wooden fellow wheel... How is the outer diameter of the fellow trued? Does anyone use a Large lathe or simply rely on the thickness of the fellow and length of the spokes to provide a true running wheel? I've talked to the rim mfg's and was told that when the assembled wheel is pressed into the rim that will make the rim true.
The reason for my questioning is that I have front wheels with excessive amounts of run out caused by the fellows not being true radially. Now I'm trying to decide how to fix them.
Thanks for any suggestions and especially to Art Wilson!
If you have a rim out-of-round, most are, pressing the spokes in will correct the condition. If the rim is running out ie buckled it will stay that way even with new spokes. The rim should lay flat on the floor and not rock. with the tire installed, spokes and felloe installed may correct some if not excessive. If the runout is excessive the wheel may have to be bent back to spec or discarded. A buckled rim is most difficult to straighten.
From what I've heard, sandblasting is not a good method of stripping paint off wooden spokes. I can't remember the reason why, but perhaps this is a good time to discuss that if anybody else remembers?
Raises the grain. The soft wood blows away and the harder wood if left taller.
I drilled the first hole and put a hub bolt through then drilled 1/2 way through each side so the holes met in the middle. I only had one to do, the wheel was to big diameter to use my drill press.
Gene, my car has the same problem, I think it occurred when shims were put between the rim and wood fellow( sometime in the past). The shims were only installed on half of the fellow/rim. It makes sense how this would cause radial runout but it seems to have caused lateral runout as well. At least in my case.
Got some ideas from Art Wilson for you Dexter with your out of round wheels. Haven't worked on mine yet but it's in the schedule. Will get back to ya.