I'm a newcomer to the hobby. Picked up a 26 T pick up this past summer. I'm getting ready to work on the wood spoke wheels and split rims. I read some of the other posts on wheel restoration in this forum but they didn't mention the type of paint used on the split rims. I like the look of the "silver" or "aluminum" color but all the paint I'm familiar with such as high temp aluminum paint will rub off even after its been layed down for a couple years. I know it's not orriginal but I like the look of the spokes painted a "wood tone" and have seen several cars at shows with their spokes painted varying shades of tan or brown. I read in the forum that folks use a marine grade wood filler to prep the spokes but again, no mention of the type and shade of paint used. I'm also having a hard time finding restorable 21"split rims either Ford or Chevy. I keep a close watch on E-bay but haven't found any that were affordable. I know they are available in reproduction but again, they are very expensive. I'll take all the advice I can get and thanks in advance for your info.
As everyone knows I am a newcomer to this as well. I am restoring a 1912 Roadster and the wheels are in good shape, being painted with some pin striping as well.
I also am restoring a 1927 one ton truck, a TT. This one had the wood spokes painted black. This last weekend I stripped the paint of of them with a commercial available paint stripper, used a putty knife to scrape them free of the paint. I then sanded them well, using sand paper that was made for a belt sander, but cut the belt in two and then sanded them as if I was polishing a shoe, if you get the picture...
The result was that the wood came through very beautifully but some of the black stayed in the grain. Then I lightly stained them with a wood stain, and then varnished them with marine varnish that was gloss... now they have 3 coats and I am going lightly sand it one more time and put one more coat on.
They are beautiful... This is an antique truck and I want the wheels to look antique as well. Some folks like them pristine, but I like it looking old but well preserved. I have no photos as yet, but I can take some and post them to this thread if you like.
Anyway, that is what I am doing... I love the look of the natural hickory wood rather than paint.. but that is just me..
The original rims were zinc plated. Zinc is sort of a light gray when new but tarnishes to a dark sort of dirty gray in a short time. Many have them cadmimum plated and others use an aluminum paint, or whatever. Zinc was called terne plate at the time (and later).
Here are a couple of pictures from the day I loaded up to come home. I have since dissassembled it into bite size pieces. I have the fenders, running boards and the rest of the body work but it is in rough condition. The engine runs pretty good and I have a test stand that it is sitting in right now so I can run it when I want to help keep me from getting discouraged.
As far as rims, someone had painted my 25 before I got it, so I took it down smooth and then brought them back silver with a few drops of black added. Looks and works fair enough!
On the wheels on the 25, they had flaking paint so I took a scraper to them them and discovered that they were more tan [like hammer handle tan] than brightwood. So I left them that color and just put clear waterlox on them. 28 years later they have held tight and clean up with a rag wipe.
The wheels on the trailer look a little sun bleached and just for the heck of it before thinking a stain color, give them a quick surface sand and then wet the bare wood. The wet color is the color that it will be with a clear finish. If it is still gray, you may want to add some color stain on them.
Zinc was called terne plate? I have always been of the understanding that zinc plate was either reffered to as zinc plate or galvanized, and that terne plating and coatings refer to a combonation of a lead and tin based coating. Granted, this is not model T but the Ford Chassis Parts List for the model A under the heading of "Finish Of Standard Parts" lists S-8 as zinc plate, and S-11 as terne coated. Did Ford make this difference after the model T?
Have the demountable rims coated with powder coating, there's some silver that look very much like the zinc or cad plating, and the finish is very durable. About $35 a rim, I believe.
I sand blasted mine, primed, and painted with Rustoleum Silver. Looked pretty good and holds up well.
If you are going to do your rims, why not do like Bruce says, and zinc plate them? Why do it wrong when you have the chance to do it correctly? I would definitely sandblast them first.
Chester: Regarding your concern about the split rim paint endurance, I had a '26 Roadster for 18 years. After initial restoration with aluminum painted rims I found that, regardless of use, they needed "freshening" every two years. This I did with just "rattle can" paint sprayed in the cap then applied with a very small brush. After 18 years they looked great. My current project is a '25 Fordor. I striped the painted spokes, applied several coats of penetrating epoxy (I don't know if this really helps but it seems logical to me that it can't hurt) then varnished. As referenced by one of the entrys above, there is some minor residual black in the grain but I think it provides a nice antique look. FYI, here, I hope, is a pic of one of the wheels.
Nice Ford T Truck;
Use a dull Silver Rustolum Enamel on Rimes;
Your Spokes looke Weathered, you can sand them and Paint Black Rustlum Enamel, or use a Ash Stain
on them and Varnish.
Don't ever get Discouraged! I'm 63, Have a 1900
cn Cady Made in Canasota ny, 1902 Fort Plain Spring &Axel Dr. 1 Cylinder 1 person. and a 1903
Fort Plain Spring and Axel Dr. Runabout.
Excellant Hobbie, I show all over NYS and Vt. April 26----Oct. 18 Just about every Weekend.
Richard Henza Pioneer Vintage car club
I am interested... No one likes the appearance of wood for their wood spokes? Or is it just that everyone tries to make it authentic appearance for the period of the car?
I am just wondering why no one posting here finishes their spokes to show off the actual hickory wood appearance..
OK guys, missed the wheel pic so here I will try again. If this doesn't work, I'll forget it. After all, we have all seen wheels anyway (what comes around, goes around).
Bill Rigdon '25 Fordor
Michael on My TT we restored in 1975-6 we scraped the spokes w/ a broken pc of glass light sanded them and spar varnished them, they are still in good shape, the hard part was doing the metal after we'd done the wood, we taped w/masking tap and a thin layer of rubber, over the wood, around the ends of the spokes etc. primered, filled and sanded and painted the metal, had the 600 x 20 in rims zinc plated, still look good. my TT is a sq cab w/factory flat bed, weas a PURINA CHAW delivery truck here in Fulton Mo in years past. Its funny its spelled CHAW not CHOW as is now.
YAY!! Now THAT is what I am talking about! Bill, those spokes look like mine do now... I LOVE that look!
John... sounds great... I have done the spokes, now need to clean up the rims.. I used spar varnish as well. I think they look wonderful.. I have painted the brake drums "ford red"... I thought I would follow the high end Porsche's color (their calipers are red) scheme behind the wheel to commemorate the fact that the TT will be completely at the other end of the speed scale from the Porsche!
Also planning to use red leather on the interior roof above the wood ribs.. Hey, what the heck... I plan to spend a lot of time in the TT so I am being creative with the scheme just for fun.. I am trying to figure out how to utilize a bobcat skin I got from a taxidermist some years ago ... for tying flies with.. but maybe some fuzz around the windshield and little balls hanging down.. (JUST KIDDING!!)
Bill Rigdon, Where did you get the penetrating epoxy from? what brand was it? As all of you have noticed, my spokes have had their share of sunshine and defineitely need something to perk them up or at least seal the grain prior to final finish be it paint or varnish. Also, are all of you disassembling the spokes from the wheels or working on everything as a complete assembly? I had planned on marking the spokes with an engraver on the end facing the hub and marking the rim/felloe as well as the hub components so that everything could be installed in the orriginal position. I forgot to mention that I did join the MTFCA this summer as well. I hate not contributing.
I love the natural look! The '25 came out a shade darker than the photo above, but it was the natural color the spokes had aged to.
Mine were tight when I did them 25 years ago so did not disassemble the spokes. Lots of scraping with different shards of broken glass to get all remnants of old paint off.
I used a Waterlox product, tooks forever as each coat needs days to dry but have been quite happy with the results.
Someone mentioned penetrating epoxy. First, I'd be a bit leary if there are too many 'checks' to begin with but if not, and I'm not sure, but has anyone tried acrylic consolidant first, then an epoxy film? Consolidant chemically modifies the surface cellulose to prevent further cellulose breakdown.
I have an old AACA writeup from the 60's. They go so far then as to recommend a 2 part epoxy for just about anything wheel related. Wonder it that still holds true?
PENATRATING EPOXY - As a result of a tip from a guy at a local car show, I went on line to the rotdoctor.com web site. That is a Seattle company specializing primarily in boats but they were very helpful and professional concerning my wheel inquiry. They had me send them a detailed close up pic of one of my wheels and a description of the wood and it's condition. They stock several types of epoxy and sealers for differing conditions. From the info. provided, they made a recommendation for the type of epoxy I should use (my hickory spokes were in good overall condition). I purchased a minimum quanity (two can mix) for $41.90. I brushed it on the spokes which I had stripped while still on the wheel. Easy to apply and it created a very nice wood tone.
I have plenty left over which I plan to share next summer (my T is in N. Idaho, I'm in Arizona for the winter. Oh well, everyone has to be somewhere) with any interested Inland Empire MTFCA club members or anyone else that can pick it up (I don't want to try to ship it after the cans have been opened). Hope this info. will be of assistance.
Bill Rigdon - '25 Fordor