Just finished my wheels and have them back on the car. I know not everyone agrees with natural finish, but I like it. I couldn't buy new spokes for my Canadian Kelsey wheels so I took them apart, had everything vapor blasted, sanded the spokes and used spar varnish to finish them. All the spokes seem solid and tight.
I like the look of natural wood.
They don't look "original", however, the natural wood will draw attention to the fact they are wood. Many lookers have no idea that our spokes are wood.
Be sure to keep the finish good. If you park or use the car outdoors a lot, you should refinish them every year or two. If you park inside and only take the car out once or twice a month, you can probably get buy for a long time.
They look good.
I notice in the Ford Price List of Parts dated 1928 that balloon demountable wheels for 1925-27 were available in either black or natural. Would they have had the spokes finished (varnish) or just left bare so the purchaser could finish them? Price for both black and natural is the same $5.50 for front, $7.00 for rear(incl brake drum)
Love the natural look! Except when I get up in the morning and look in the mirror.
Dave, I wondered the same thing. I would think Ford would have at least used some linseed oil or something, but who knows for sure?
I've got a set of wheels that appear to be the 1925-27 ones, and I haven't decided what to do with them. The wheels on my 1923 are painted black, but not the way Henry did them. Maybe I'll leave the next set wood grained.
I forgot to add that those are some great looking wheels! Duh, silly me.
Your wheels. Your car. I have a Ruxtell in my 1911 and I don't care if they like them or not. I think you did a nice job on those and I like them aloe.
Wheels look great natural. Very clean looking. Tim
Good on Marvin. We must be using the same brand mirror.
Nice car by the way. Looks like the firewood might be a little hard starting.
While the "natural" look is a modern fad (how many do you see in period photos?), I don't see anything wrong with it. If you choose to go that route, as Norm says, expect to refinish often if the car isn't kept indoors nearly all the time. Even marine spar varnish will betray you when exposed to weather. If you make them black, as God and Henry intended, Ace appliance epoxy enamel seems to hold up pretty well.
Steve, Did you paint your steel rings silver or polish them?
Richard. Good one! No one else picked up on the firewood. Doesn't burn well but sure holds the soil back. There used to be another pile where the concrete wall is but after rebuilding it 3 times I gave up. Frost does crazy things.
Still on the subject of the wheels, I'm still looking for the spreader that fits these Canadian Kelsey wheels
close-up of the wheel showing the holes that the above tool fits into. Same on the back
Chris, if I recall, Steve blasted his rims then sent them off to be hot dip galvanized.
Mark is correct. I took them to Valmont in Tulsa. There are numerous locations across the country.
Modern fad or not, the natural wheels look great as does the rest of the T. Then again, I like period correct wire wheels on brass T's so what do I know