I have a 21" wheel that only needs 2 spokes. Can I replace the two? How would I do this?
Havn't the others been in the wheel about the same amount of time?? Bud.
Yes, they probably have been, but they seem to be solid.
I'm in the same boat. The local club members feel it is fine to swap out as needed. If the others are in good condition, I can't think of a reason not to keep them.
Here is my reasoning.
I pulled apart 4 wheels that sat for about 60-70 years in a field. I took 12 spokes at random and cut them in half lengthwise. 8 of them the rot (weathering, soft wood whatever you want to call it) was only about a 1/16th deep, something that could be sanded off. On the others it was as deep as 1/4 inch: no good. The tenons and parts covered by the hubs were good and solid on all of them. Just my thoughts.
I'm sure those that disagree will let us know soon enough.
If all the other spokes are solid, what happened to the two. What is wrong with them? I suggest repairing them in lieu of tearing the wheel apart to replace two spokes. Repair is possible and the method is depending on what the problem is.
How to replace spokes:
Only you can decide. Going price here is $10.50 each https://www.modeltford.com/item/2800HS-5/8.aspx
If you go to the effort of taking the wheel apart to change one or 2, why not change all and have peace of mind (and safety)...Chris (above) found bad spokes only by cutting them in half. As the "Shadow said" - "what evil lurks in the heart of men"...or what rot is in your spokes?
I love Lang's, but $10.50 a spoke is WAY too much. Contact Stutzman. The last ones I got from him were six bucks apiece.
I agree with Steve, but I'll take this one step further. If you're gonna go to all the trouble to replace only a couple of spokes, why risk your safety and others by not just biting the bullet and doing them ALL? For cripes sake, if a guy can't muster up a couple hundred bucks for safety's sake for his cars and the people around him, then he doesn't belong in this business. This past spring I had two on one wheel and three on the other that were cracked, so I had Stutzman rebuild them both completely. Best $400 bucks ever spent. Driving down the road, I don't worry. Just my 10 cents worth.
Dunno about hickory, but Douglas Fir hardens with age. I would worry about the mismatch of loads due to the difference in flexibility of spokes. You never know when you will stress a wheel to its limit.
No, I don't recommend DF for spokes, but the lumber in my T era house is tough as nails.
Even if you do the job yourself, I agree with Tim. Do them all. I spent $152 on spokes for two wheels (that included shipping) and another $30 making a Regan press. $76 a wheel, plus paint, is pretty cheap when you consider they'll outlast you by many years.
"if a guy can't muster up a couple hundred bucks for safety's sake for his cars and the people around him, then he doesn't belong in this business". Pretty harsh Tim. Not everyone has cash to toss around.
I would be inclined to think that as long as all the other spokes are tight in the hub and the tenons show no sign of movement and are tight in their holes then replacing two spokes might be ok. You might have to sand down the thickness at the hub to match the remaining spokes to their crush. If you do proceed be sure to check the diameter of the tenon. Lang's only list 5/8" but you never know.
I would still like to know what the two *bad* spokes are....any photos?
I agree with Ralph. Two new spokes in an eighty year old wheel sounds funky. I also know that wood for making spokes is very expensive. To buy an 8/4 plank of Hickory, to turn enough spokes for four wheels, is big bucks. I paid $250.00 about 20 years ago. Shag Bark Hickory would probably be more, if you can find it.
The bad ones are the bottom two.
Ralph Ricks - Not to get too far "OT", but your comments on Douglas Fir reminded me of an experience I had years ago with Douglas fir:
I wanted to build a workbench for a little basement shop in the house we had just bought in Deer Lodge, Montana. Working for the RR at the time, I was given some left-over Douglas Fir that one of the carmen had taken out of an old boxcar from the 1930's that was being burned and then scrapped for the metal. The inside lining of that old boxcar had been tongue-and-groove Douglas Fir. Figured that 6 or 8 of those planks would make a good bench top. They sure did too, except that you can believe this or not,....I absolutely could not drive nails through that old lumber; I had to drill a pilot hole for every nail I used to nail that bench top down. Now then Ralph, your comments make me wonder if the toughness or hardness of that lumber was because it was old-growth Douglas Fir (which the RR Car Foreman told me), or, if as you mentioned Ralph, the fact that that lumber hardens with age. Maybe a combination of both, huh?......(???)
Steve, USE UM.
Harold (I like that name) I found that out too when using very old 2X4s. I bet they don't bend before they break though.
Harold P. Schedler (Hal)
Lang's has both 1/2" and 5/8" tenon, I know this because I need Kelsey - Hayes spokes with 1/2" tenon.
Thanks for the spoke photos...if the two at the bottom are the bad ones then the others must be the solid ones.