This not really off topic.
I am working on a '25 Studebaker that has 5.25X21 demountable wheels. Looks like same as a T.
One wheel has bad skooweeeeek, you can shake the wheel around very easily. The spoke are loose where they go into the felloe. The spoke otherwise look good.
I always skip past anything to do with wood wheels.
So how do I tighten it if the spokes are worn too short?
New spokes is the only reliable repair. I know this guy is on the wrong coast for you but he does other than Ford wheels as well.
He might be able to refer you to someone on your side of the country, or make the spokes for you to install. Also if one wheel is bad, the others may not be far behind.
If the wheel is loose enough to be shaken around, personally I would replace the spokes. You can tighten them with wedges and washers, many do this, however to do this is using something that has now got a smaller surface area to grip. Some may argue this, but if it has shrunk, it is smaller and wedging something in to tighten it will not replace the original surface area grip it one had.
Here is a useful post on this topic.
Using spoke shims has been done, on the light Ford car, but lots of inspection and qualification of the spoked wheel needs to be done for a safe wheel repair.
The best course is replace with new. The wood is now 89 years old, how much longer can it act as a safe wheel on a heavy car like a Studebaker?
Once you have a wheel fail on you, you will be more critical of their condition. Experience can be a great teacher.
I have tightened warn tenons by drilling through the steel felloe with a 1/2" bit about 1 inch into the spoke and insert and glue a new tight fitting tenan. Stock round hardwood may not be tight enough I had to turn them in my lathe to fit tight. Because they fit tight it is recommended to drill a very small hole through the tenan plug to release air when inserting, best of luck David
This is a Standard Six Studebaker, not a heavy car. I think there were 3 sizes in that year, this being the lightest as the model T size tires would attest to.
I think sending the wheel to Calimer's Wheel would be the thing to do, as John suggests.
I have an idea the other three have been rebuilt through the years as they are like new and tight.
Thanks for posting that thread Dan, I did read it all.
The owner has a Ferrari, a Lambo and a Porsche 928 along with is 560 SL daily driver. He can not afford to run the stupidbaker with shims in the spokes.
Contact George Garrigan at The VIntage Wheel Shop in Sonora, a lot closer than Pennsylvania:
His ad is on p 62 of the current issue of Vintage Ford.
I have used Calimer's. They produced some decent, strong wheels that took 1 week each to fill, sand & prime before painting. As received, the wood was rough and showed file marks and some degree of open grain which had to be filled.
I have used Stutzman's as well and had nearly zero time in prepping the wheels as they were finish sanded and ready to go. They were also much cheaper, maybe 2/3 the cost of Calimer.
The Curved Dash Olds I bought several years back came with 2 sets of new hubs and a new set of wheels by Calimer. Rather than spend the time to prep them, (as I had done on my Model N wheels), I sent the new hubs & some new rims to Stutzman to build a second set. I will eventually sell the Calimer wheels.
I too have a set of wheels redone by the Stutzmans. They required no filling at all. Just prime, sand, and paint. And they will make spokes for any type of wheel, even Studebakers.
Thanks guys. Great inf.
I am going to Sonora next week on my way to Coulterville.