I have a 21 inch Buffalo wire wheel that is part of a set that I would like to complete. It has a nasty twist but good solid metal with minor pitting. What are suggestions of how to possibly straighten out twisted wire wheel rims OR it is just a waste of time ? The challenge with the 21 inch Buffalo wheels is that they employ a lock ring and are a straight sided rim. Nobody reproduces these to my knowledge.
My idea would be to leave all the wheel as is with all the spokes in place and take it to a place such as a spring shop and have them put it onto a flat surface on their forge and let the heat drop it down. Maybe have some bags of lead shot weigh it down .
Idea and comments ?
Ed, if it was my wheel I would take it apart and rebuild it. You may need a set of new spokes, as some can be messed up trying to dis-assemble the wheel. It is a job a motor cycle wheel builder could accomplish. The wheel is trued as it is built.
Others may indicate a different path/wheel builder/backyard fix.
Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.
Ed- take it apart, then straighten the rim. It will be impossible to straighten it with the wheel assembled.
http://www.buchananspokes.com/ they are the only game in town. its about 1.50 ea for spoke and nipple, they will want one of yours to copy.
You might try :Dayton Wire Wheels. That is where I bought my spokes for my Buffalos.
As far as reproduction rims go...
Coker tire had them on their website a while back. The were about $800 ea with a bronze lock ring. Coker's website currently does not show the rims, they may be available as special order.
Vintage rims in New Zealand does show them on their website. They advertise the lock ring as hot rolled, I assume steel. I do not know about their price.
Neither supplier sells them dimpled/punched without extra charge
As far as spokes go, both Buchanan and Dayton are excellent choices for quality. Beware that neither company sells spokes for any specific brand wheel except their own. They will offer several different gauges of spokes in several styles, and it is up to the customer to decide what is best. The straight (1 diameter) spokes will be the cheapest, but can cause clearance issues where the spokes cross in the lacing. Single reduced (2 diameter) will cost a bit more but may solve the clearance issue, probably the most common respoke option. Double reduced (center reduced) are what the wheels had originally and will be noticeably more expensive.
As for straightening the rim, the wheel must be disassembled. I have had good luck with clamping the rim flat to a heavy table, with the low spot cantilevered over the edge. I then am able to bend the rim while isolating the damaged section.
The rim must be straight and round prior to assembly of the wheel. The spokes can not be used to straighten the rim! If this is done, spoke tension will have to be unequal, and this will lead to loose and broken spokes.
This is a 21" buffalo that I just finished restoring. New double reduced spokes and nipples, straightened rim, and ready for paint prep.
Thanks for the advice. I am guessing that I should likely start off trying to correct it "cold"- no heat ?
That 21" rim in the picture above was pretty soft... no heat necessary. A long pry bar, yes! But no heat. A 2"x6" actually, bout 4' long did just fine.
I tried all sorts of ways to hold and bend the rim... Long story short, a big steel table, a few pieces of lumber, a little patience, and some big clamps did the trick.
Universal tire advertises new rims in the Horseless Carriage Gazette. Universaltire.com. The have a lot of sizes. 600 and change for 21 inch lock ring and like Kevin says, they don't come punched for spokes.
Well, it is good to know that at least someone out there is repopping them. ( going to have to keep this as a backup plan B though )
$600 US in Canadian bucks is $828 plus customs and shipping ends up at a nasty number! Ed is gonna have to keep the wheel "original" huh ?! So Straightening Table here we come !
Ed, before you start in on it, is there a wheelworks near you used to re-rolling more modern rims. They might just be able to handle your job. If their equipment will work on your rim, I think it would do a better job than a one-off job done by a handyman.
No offence intended,
Allan from down under.
Could you post a picture of your wheel please