Another question: my '27 wire wheels are completely shot and not restorable. Is there an outfit that sells complete wood wheels? Repro wire wheels are over $400/wheel, and I would rather have a more antique looking wheel with what I am trying to accomplish with my T.
Prices vary from vendor to vendor, but Snyder's sells new reproduction 26-27 wire wheels for $385.00 each, but good used ones can be obtained on the MTFCA classifieds for much less. If you want wood spoke 21" wheels they come up often, too. Also, available from some hot rod vendors are adapters that would adapt the Model T wire wheel 5" bolt pattern to the 21" Model A 5.5" bolt pattern. All these things come up for sale on Ebay, also.
Wire wheel style Ford hubs and rear drums now on your T are worth some, so if you can't find better used wires, then it will cost you to replace. The wires are nice for the 21" tires, and are reliable. Used wire wheels go for $50 - $125.
Nobody sells new wood wheels. You find old ones and get them re-wooded or do it your self.
To replace for wood 21" wheels, you will need set of wood wheels in good shape, and set of split rims in good shape. Used wood wheels about $100-$150 each, used split rims, about $80-$125each. Used parts may need work.
For excellent wood wheels, go the new route, with a re-builder, new re-wood 21" wheel by a good wheelwright will cost $150 ea. (you supply the metal parts, hubs and felloe), and new split rims will cost $255 ea. but are excellent.
So less overall cost to just find better used wire wheels, they are out there at swap meets and on-line too.
Nick if you are going to try to re-spoke wood wheels here is more info for you to digest the spokes are available from the vendors
https://www.modeltford.com/item/2800HSB.aspx just make sure you get the correct tenon size
and you will need to build one of these
on the bottom window select wheel spoke press then download the plans
Steve Jelf (AKA Dauntless Geezer) also has a video on how to install spokes using the press (with a couple of mistakes but he corrects them) maybe he will chime in here. Good luck and welcome to the affliction!
Here's the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKZ7WrfHdf8
Be sure you read the notes.
Spokes from Stutzman are about half the price of those from some of the parts dealers.
33656 County Rd 12
Baltic, OH 43804
BUT I agree that if the main consideration is money you want wires. I recently saw a guy buy one at an auction for $30, so the rare deals are out there, but Dan's price of $50 to $125 (usually closer to $125 than $50) is more likely. That's less than it will cost you to put together a set of good wood wheels.
Go to ebay and look up gunman63. I think Mike has a set of wheels and rims on there now.
To go wire to wood you also need to change out the hubs, wood wheels will not go on wire hubs. May be able to sell the wire hubs, they are quite desirable and sought after. Make sure when getting used wire wheels that the lug holes age good, not cracked or wobbled out.
Another person to try that respokes wood wheels using your original hardware is George Garrigan at the Vintage Wheel Works, 19842 Via Redondo, Sonora, CA 95370. You can call him at 209-533-0468 for more information. George is a great guy and does excellent work.
The correct name of George's company is The Vintage Wheel Shop not Vintage Wheel Works As stated above, sorry about that.