I just had two Model T steel fellow wheels respoked by Tom Dessert owner of ANTIQUE WHEELS, and I couldn't be any happier. Tom's workmanship is outstanding and the fit is flawless. Interestingly, Tom uses a compound taper where the spokes meet towards the hub, you have the standard taper going towards the hub, plus a slight additional taper running from front to back. This "double taper" makes for a stronger and tighter wheel. He makes all of his own spokes from Hickory he purchases "back East" and stores it in a temperature and humidity controlled room 24-7.
He rebuilds a variety of wheels not just Model T. He was also working on a set of wheels for a Mercer. For those of us who live in the Pacific Northwest he is located in Ridgefield WA.
I told Tom I'd mention my personal experience on the MTCFA. Tom can be contacted at 360-910-4362.
I didn't know that Tom Dessert was working with wheels. I know that what ever he does, he will do it right. He is following in his dad's foot steps. I worked with his dad and he was a real craftsman also. Tom's dad rebuilt a Student Prince airplane that was a real nice plane and only about five planes built.
Charles, the 'compound taper' you refer to is standard fare on all the Canadian sourced cars we have in Australia. It certainly makes for a stronger, tighter wheel. When the 6 bolts between the hub and the outer plate are done up, the spokes are forced into tighter contact than can be achieved by the spokes without the front to back taper as used in US production. It also make for far easier dis-assembly/assembly of the wheel when rebuilding them.
It would be interesting to know just why this discrepancy in manufacture was allowed to go on. Perhaps it was cheaper the US way, but why was Canada allowed to continue as it did?
Allan from down under.