I have a 1917 Model T and it has wood spooked wheels with a wood felloes at the end of the spokes. The felloes is attached to the rim with rivets. The spokes are a bit loose. I have The video from the Model T Ford Club of America, "6-3 Spoke Tightening". This video does not show the felloes at the end of the spokes.
Can anyone tell me how to tighten the spokes on this type of a wheel?
One way I have seen these tightened is by using a spoke jack and placing shims between the ends of the spokes and the wood fellows. I did try once to take the rim off and glued a veneer strip around the outside of the fellow then replaced the rim after heating it. I was not entirely satisfied with the results but it seems to still be tight after 2 years.
I noticed this is your first posting -- so "Welcome to the Forum!"
The MTFCA Video on Spoke Tightening is very good. From memory -- not as reliable as notes etc. -- I believe it only demonstrated the spoke tightening on the standard Ford Motor Company supplied metal felloe demountable wheels and NOT on the non-demountable wood felloe wheels.
Depending on your budget and your desires for the car, having the wheels rebuilt by one of the several reputable wheelwrights would be an excellent investment in safety and reliability. See the forum posting at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/50893/71760.html?1226110985 for several professional wheelwrights. Failure of a wheel or wheels could be catastrophic.
It also looks like you are located on 2 hours from the Model T Ford Museum there in Indiana. I would recommend that you contact some of the local Model T Folks and have them take a look at what you have. It will be easier for you and others if someone can actually look at your wheels, see the condition of the spokes, felloes, etc. You can get the information via the forum and for many folks -- they don't have any Model T Folks near by. I suspect there will be one within 30 min of you based on where you live. There are at least 4 chapters listed in your state see: http://www.mtfca.com/clubpages/chapters.htm#in and https://nebula.wsimg.com/cef403fd63e2fc2fe1fefe14fb897006?AccessKeyId=1992A0A3E7 31FDB20580&disposition=0&alloworigin=1
"IF" the wood is good in your wheels and the spokes are only a little loose, you probably can get some extra use out of them by using the methods shown in the video. If you cannot go for a professionally rebuilt wood felloe wheel at this time (hey -- it is on my un-funded list also and one of my cars is parked because of it) I would recommend obtaining a set of the standard Ford demoutable wheels and rebuilding them yourself. The metal felloe demountable wheels Ford supplied can be safely rebuilt by a hobbyist. New spokes can be purchased directly from a wheelwright or from one of the vendors. But if you plan to shim your originals, I would recommend the approach the video shared where the metal shims are placed around the hub and between the spokes at the hub end. In the video they shared that was a better repair than placing the horse shoe washers at the end of the spoke. Additionally, while they were not offered by Ford until 1919, they are very handy if you ever have a flat while out driving. You remove four nuts and you can put the spare rim & tire on. Caution – you need to have four compatible wheels and 5 compatible rims or you may wind up with rims that won’t work on all the wheels (see: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/411944/467592.html?1407242022 )
If you are new to Model Ts, please see the safety items at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/599638/696360.html
It is at that thread and at the 5th or 6th posting that has "By Hap Tucker in Sumter SC on Saturday, November 26, 2016 - 09:20 pm:"
Finally, if you let folks know if this is your first antique car, or Model T etc. it will help us know how to better answer your questions. I.e. if you have been doing this for 30 years verses you just purchased your first T – how we answer will be different
Again, welcome to the forum!
I've done the veneer trick with excellent results. It's all up to you. Some folks will tell you you don't love your grandchildren and you are public enemy number one if you even consider doing wheels yourself, and believe all wheel work should only be trusted to government certified professional Wheelwrighs with a minimum of 300 years experience. Others belive with a little research, common sense, and mechanical aptitude, you can determine if your wheels are too far gone for repair work and need to be totally rebuilt.
I don't like the idea of shimming the tenon on wood felloe wheels. And I don't like the idea of swimming the hub end on any of them. I have shimmed the tenon on metal felloe wheels with good results. I've shimmed the felloe to the rim on wooden felloe wheels, and I have totally respoked a metal felloe wheel. One thing I would not attempt on my own is totally rebuilding a wood felloe wheel.
Hal....I'm planning on building the Fun-Projects jig for rebuilding my metal fellow wheels.
Is that what you used?
RE; The post from Respectfully submitted. Thanks very much for your post. Just for information, my great grandmother purchased my T new. She gave it to me in 1957. I am in the process of restoring the car. In 2008 I put shims between the felloes and the rims to tighten the fellows as a temporary fix for the anniversary in Richmond. The wood in the wheels and all of the wood is in excellent condition.
My issue is that I want to do the work myself! I am trying to find out how to press the rim off the felloes after the rivets are removed and how much press fit is needed when heating the steel rims when replacing them.
It would be nice if I could find information about how Henry did the making of the wheels. Also I am wandering what years the wood felloes were used. My car is a 1917 and I am sure they are original.
You don't need to press the wheel off the rim after removing the rivets. You can easily pound it out using a rubber mallet. Same thing goes after you've shimmed the fellow with a veneer or like I've done with steel shim stock. Easiest to place the shimmed wheel back in the rim in a different position and drill new rivet holes. I use oversize shank rivets with the heads turned down to the size of the originals. Done a lot of them.
Welcome to the forum and real neat you have your grandmother's T!
There have been lots of folks rebuild those wood felloe wheels, with some skills. The Jan / Feb 2017 Model T Times magazine article appeared with a hobbyist rebuild, making a steam box to bend new fellie, and then step by step assembly. The author has 30 years woodworking experience.
This older post has description of one rebuild, and how to heat the rim or press it too.
On tours I have seem attempts at repair that IMO would never be done by me! There are a good many wheelwrights available to remake T wood wheels, that is my choice when wheels get shaky.
I hope those clamps are holding balancing weights in place.
I made a plywood cutout to hold the wheel straight and true seal up the backside and fill all voids with kwik poly wood resign.
This make all wood parts solid
Next drill and install new fellow rivets.
I have done several sets with lots of miles
Oops – when I copied it from my word processor and pasted it into the forum I missed my name. I’m Hap.
A couple of your questions:
Q: I am wandering what years the wood felloes were used. Ford USA used them on the Model T’s from the introduction in Oct 1908 up until they were phased out in favor of the all metal felloe non-demountable. The dates for that change over and how much overlap when both the wood felloe and the metal felloe non-demountables were available varies on the reference source. From the on line Model t Encyclopedia [ home page at: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/intro.htm and the page on wheels at: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/U-Z.htm#wheels ] we see: In 1920 the wooden felloes were replaced with steel, and wheels could then be supplied without hubs. (The wood-felloe wheels tended to warp when there was no hub in place.)
But the Model T Ford Club International Judging Guidelines continue to make mention of a “Joining Plate” that would have been used to join the wooden square fellow were the ends met all the way up through 1925 for the non-demountable clincher wheels.
Ford introduced the demountable 30 x 3 1/2 wheels and rims in 1919. They were initially supplied by both Kelsey and Hayes manufactures. Ford later also used Firestone, Cleveland, and Motorwheel manufactures to supply wheels that Ford used. Both the demountable and non-demountable wheels were available 1919-early 1926 production.
Q: It would be nice if I could find information about how Henry did the making of the wheels.
A: The set up cost would be prohibitive to do it like the Ford factory. Based on the video that is supposedly made at the Ford factory, Ford USA also produced some of their own non-demountable wheels. See the video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CdZvLvu8IQ start around the 1min and 34 second part. Stills from the video are shown below. It appears to be a square felloe non-demountable wheel.
If you have a chance, please take a look at your car and see if it has a body number or body letter. If so please let us know. Please see the Forum posting “Home for the Holidays” at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/29/40322.html and let us know if you find anything.
Good luck with your project.
Hap l9l5 cut off
(Message edited by Hap_tucker on February 19, 2017)
What a surprise, the picture of the clamps on the spokes is from my car. Dale is correct, they are there for balance. The wheels are Jackon, an aftermarket manufacturer from back in the day. The wheels were on the car when I bought it, but I wish they were Ford demountables. The car will be on Steve Ellis's Winter Tour in a couple of weeks.
Good to know that those clamps are balance, thought the wood spokes were cracked near that end! Took that photo on tour at Noel Dana's Moultrie tour I think.
Will retire that photo from use as example....but save it as nice aftermarket wheel photo
See you on the Winter Tour..
Yes, I built the Fun Projects spoke press. It works great. Just take your time and keep checking as you press them together. It's not a big deal if you decide to back off and straighten things and start again.
Yes, demountables came along in 1919. But not on all Model T's. Wood-felloe wheels (square felloe) were still standard on open cars.
Gene carrothers and I shimmed our front wheels a couple of years ago. They came out very nice. Look up "Amount of press fit between wood felloe and rim" April 21 2014 for details and pictures of our project.
Let me know if you have any questions.
Gene Carrothers and I shimmed our front wheels a couple of years ago. They came out very nice. Look up "Amount of press fit between wood felloe and rim" April 21 2014 for details and pictures of our project.
Let me know if you have any questions.
I also have a '17 that had the original spokes. When they got loose and started to "clack" when driving, I borrowed a spoke jack and shimmed the spokes. Even tho they were tighter, apparently when I used the spoke jack, I loosened the rivets holding the felloes to the rim (altho I realize if done correctly and the original way, it's the pressure that holds the felloes to the rim and rivets aren't "necessary"). Apparently the wood had shrunk over 96 years.
Anyway, I broke a spoke while driving and, when I stopped to check the other 96+ y/o spokes, the whole spoke/felloe set-up almost came entirely out of the rim! I learned then that my family's safety is too important to attempt to jerry-rig something as important as the wheels. As Dan Treace says, there are a number of excellent wheelwrights out there, and you don't put your family at risk.
My 2 cents worth.
And yes! When I got the new wheels back, I riveted the new felloes to the rim.
Are you saying the wheelwright did not rivet the felloe to the rim?