I've got my rear wheels disassembled as I finish varnishing the new wood spokes. I plan on painting the metal parts next. My question is, which surfaces of the inner hub should be painted and which should be left bare?
I paint the outside and leave the inside bare to accommodate the axle shaft. I hated the paint easily chipping off when I used primer, so I blasted them bare again and used appliance epoxy enamel directly on the metal. Much better.
Thanks, Steve. What about the surface that the drum mounts to? Did you paint it or leave it bare metal? I want as much rust protection as possible, but I want a solid wheel too.
When Ford made the wheels,they were assembled, dipped and spun to remove excess paint. That should tell you what parts get paint. In other words, if the paint can't reach an area then it didn't get paint, IE between the brake drum and hub and where the spokes are clamped between the hub and plate.
They used plugs to prevent the paint from getting into the bearing or axle area.
Paint thickness tends to chip and wear, creating minor looseness where you don't want it. I was taught to use a thin coat of primer, then assemble, and paint the assembled wheel. Getting the paint evenly between spokes is difficult (without a full dip), so I sometimes paint the spokes before assembly, but not either ends of the spokes, especially between the spokes and the spokes and hub flanges. I sometimes run thinned paint into those areas after assembly, to help seal and protect areas that water could creep into later.
If you go for the natural look on the spokes? All that becomes more complicated. However, most of it still mostly applies.
When reassembling the wheel...make sure you have two spokes butted under every plate hole...that way 6 bolts actually hold 12 spokes.
Myself I am running wood stained wheels with clear coat over them, so I stained all surfaces except the tennon (I waxed it) and coated all surfaces...I know that is against popular thought, but I figured that to really protect that spoke, all sides needed some of the coating...now I didn't coat the tapered sides as thick as the front and back, but they do have some coating on them. I then sanded the spoke and reapplied my finish coat, roughed it a bit with 0000 steel wool and gave it a very heavy waxing with genuine carnuba wax and buffed them to the shine they have now.
Very nice Martin V, very nice indeed.
The modern fad of "natural" wheels is very popular, but I prefer mine black as God and Henry intended.
Either way, I agree that it's best to leave the parts of the spokes that fit together unpainted. A little overspray won't hurt, but I avoid letting those parts get the full treatment.
Thanks for all the input. I am going for the natural look on my spokes. The last of 10 coats of Epifanes is curing now. I applied the first coat (50/50) to all surfaces and then skipped the tenon and mating surfaces on the tapers for every coat after. I'll sand those tapers again before assembly just to make sure they don't have any buildup. I also masked the drums on the braking surfaces before priming. First coat of paint is on the metal parts. I'm hoping to assemble this weekend.
As a side note, the old spokes looked really rough on the surface, which is what prompted me to rebuild them. Surprisingly, they were still really tight when the hub came out with some coaxing with a dead blow hammer and they still have that "ring" when you tap them. I probably could have postponed the rebuild for a few more seasons, but I'll like the peace of mind knowing my wheels are solid.