My recently purchased 1925 pickup has developed some slightly loose spokes. they are loose at the rim end.
The pickup came from the Los Angeles harbor area where the humidity is most likely much higher than here in Tucson.
Can I daily spray a little water on them or am I looking at re spoking them?
If your wood is not rotten it is just shrunk. You can use a spoke jack to shim every other spoke, which should result in a round wheel that is tighter. Or you can disassemble the wheel and shim all the spokes in the center.
I lived in both LA and Tucson at various times. There's not much humidity in either place.
Personally, its cheap insurance to buy new spokes and not have to worry about it.
I have heard of parking outside where there are lots of dogs and moving it a bit every day to get a new area "treated". I have not personally used this method but it sounds reasonable
My Grand Father made wagon wheels for the turpentine wagons in South Georgia until the late 50's (He was near 100 years old then) He would dry the wood put them together and then throw them into the Satilla River for an hour. he would remark that those turpentine fellows would run that wheel until it got loose then soak it and try to use it until it fell apart, good thing they aren't going very fast when it does.
If the spoke are in reasonable condition and the wheels have a metal feloe, then it is not that difficult to disassemble the wheel, glue on some shims to the angled area and then press the spokes back into the feloe. It takes about an hour if you have the some veneer shims and new bolts on hand.
John, if you decide to respoke your wheels I have a spoke press that you can barrow, just pay the shipping. Steve
Note John says the spokes are loose at the "rim" (felloe) end. If they are tight at the hub, jacking and shimming may not help. Be sure that the tenons on the spokes going through the felloe are a reasonable fit in the felloe, and not worn or rotted.
If you shim at the hub, how do you calculate how thick to make the shims, or is it sort of trial and error?
They do make a tool that tightens them at the wheel I just don't know if they make one aftermarket I've used my friends Eric Barrett maybe you can see if a club member has one there is a sequence to tightening them we Eric and I welded a half inch socket on it easy and faster maybe send Eric a pm and he can send you a picture of it it took Eric and I 45 minutes to do all 4 wheels
Thank You all for your help.
I will check with my local Guru Ken Petrick and may end up respoking the wheels.
Rich I may take you up on your offer if it comes to that.
Here's a NO NO...drive thick, short, screws, (maybe #12) into the end of each spoke. I did it and it worked for a long time. Woe is me.
Just a note here about the commonly shown octagon shaped spoke press. It doesn't need to be that complicated. A square of 4 X 4's will work just as well. Screwed in place on a piece of plywood with your threaded rod backed up underneath by a large washer or a piece of scrap steel with the proper hole in it. Lets face it: it's a 4 use (one car) tool for most of us and with out any fancy cuts it can be pulled apart and the pieces re-used. Keep it simple.