In the process of installing new wood spokes. I heard that it is a good idea to soak them in linseed oil before installing. What's the thought on this idea. GOOD OR BAD NECESSARY OR NOT. Also have a couple of them in another wheel that are not too tight in the farrow is there any suggestion for tightening them a tad?
Also what is the best finish to use on the wood spokes other than paint?
Marine grade Spar Varnish with UV protection, Some people even use POR-15 (for black spokes) But I assume you want the natural look. I prefer satin finish others like glossy
I forgot if you soak them in linseed oil that will be your finish which will need to be re-applied at regular intervals. Nothing will stick to the spokes if they are saturated with linseed oil
Good thing is it only takes a few minutes to slop on a fresh coat of linseed oil any time you take a notion!!
To my thinking , you should not soak them in anything . It stands to reason that once they dry out they will become loose .
The way I have tightened up loose spokes is disassemble the wheel mark all the spokes so you can put them back in the same order they came out. Place a shim made of thick paper between each spoke and reassemble.
In taking wheels apart I have found metal shims that had been hammered in to remove slack. In the old days it was a common practice to drive your wood wheel vehicle into a low water crossing and let them soak, they would swell and get tight.
Linseed oil is the old school wood hardener, if you let it soak in and repeat the spoke will get harder. It will also turn the wood yellow. Remember you are taking your life and others in your hands no short cuts here. I am not a pro just rebuilt a lot of T's. Good luck
(Message edited by adminchris on April 23, 2015)
"Natural" wheels are a modern fad. Wheels on a 1915 should be black, as God and Henry intended. Appliance epoxy enamel has worked well for me on this 1923 touring so far.
The several Ford prints I've seen for spokes/wheels, don't say anything about any sort of coating prior to painting. Except that white lead was used on the angles of the spokes on the hub end. (Probably lubricant for pressing the spokes in)
Take a piece of hickory, coat it with linseed oil, or anything else. Let it dry a couple days, then saw it in half and see how far it "penetrated". You will probably be disappointed.
I agree with Perry above. Soaking spokes assures future shrinkage. Furthermore, whether you prefer painted or clear finish, it stands to reason that the finish should be applied to the spokes prior to assembly to get the best possible moisture seal over 100% of the wood surface.
Water (even just a little moisture) is the enemy here. Whatever you do it should target keeping the wood dry. Once you start talking strategies to swell loose spokes, the water has won. From that point it's just a question of time before you'll need new spokes.
My $0.02 worth.
A little related drift:
A long time ago I was involved in the installation and refinishing of maple gym floors. Anyone who thinks wood remains unchanged once installed has never really examined things. The next time you're in a gym (high school gym or the like) observe the baseboard. Typically it's made of a heavy rubber like L-shaped material, about 2" vertical against the wall and maybe 4" layer flat on top of the maple. It's fastened to the wall with adhesive and the horizontal part just lays on top of the floor. If you remove a piece and at say 6:00 AM measure the distance between the wood edge and the wall it may measure about 3". Come back at about 6:00 PM and that same spot is likely to measure 1" or less. Depending on weather conditions that maple floor can grow and shrink as much as 6" over the course of 24 hours.
I don't know how you can shim between the spokes without it making the 'hole' in the center larger. When it does, what is holding up the car? It ain't the hub anymore. It's the lug bolts and whatever friction there is due to the lug bolts clamping the two halves of the hub flange together. If you are going to shim a metal felloe wheel, put the shims between the end of the spoke and the felloe. On wooden felloe wheels, shim between the felloe and the rim.
Good observation. You have to wrap a shim around the hub nose to get things tight again.
you don't want to put linseed oil on any part of a T. You may however want to use Raw Linseed oil which is an entirely different thing.
and if you do use it, be sure to dispose of the rags properly lest you create a condition where spontaneous combustion will occur.
You want to use boiled linseed oil versus raw if you are refinishing wheels. Boiled dries quicker than raw. Regardless, both are an outstanding way to preserve patina. There has been a lot written about it on the Forum with regard to preserving an old look while protecting a vehicle.
When I use it on a doodlebug, I cut it with mineral spirits.
Best thing I've found so far is thinned POR-15. If you thin POR-15 to the point it is liquid it will soak into the wood and completely seal it out from moisture. I use two soaks to get best results. Did it on my top bows and undercarriage.
Just my $0.02 add.
First my opinion a loose wheel should be rebuild properly with new spokes.
I was thinking shim up the spokes was done between the spokes and the felloe so you are pushing the spokes to the hub and to each other.
Putting a shim around the hub will drive the spokes to the felloe but will also brake the contact between each spokes and will need a shim between them too.
boy did I dork up my response. I meant to say BOILED linseed oil. What was I thinking???
Don't use Raw Linseed oil! It will never dry properly.
wow...too early in the AM!
Just for information, I don't have any connection, but Coker Tire in Chattanooga is now doing wood spokes and wood felloes any size or type, they show in the current catalog.