Just getting ready to order spokes. I want to apply a light stain to the hickory and a polyurethane sealer. Any recommendations/suggestions for the finish?
I have used the following product:
Sikkens Brand Cetol Door & Window Translucent Satin Wood Finish - Light Oak 006
High Performance for Exterior Wood in a 32 FL OZ can the UPC code # 7 92240 62955 3
Akzo Nobel Paints LLC
Strongsville, OH 44136
Best of luck
Here's what I used on mine:
Appliance epoxy enamel makes the finish God and Henry intended.
Looks real nice Mark. I'll find the products you share.
David, I used a light stain on mine also (Pecan) and used spar urethane in two light coats. I used satin varnish and paint for the metal parts as I was trying to keep the "used" look that my T has. The stain and spar urethane were both Minwax. The paint for the metal was Rustoleum.
I did not disassemble these wheels, they are tight and original. It took me a long time to strip them down. You have the advantage of assembling new spokes which should make things go faster in the finishing of them.
Also, per Larry Smith in a 2014 search I did, he states that 1925/26 (I myself would imagine also 1927 too?), that 21" wheels could be had in painted OR natural spokes only for the 21" wheels.
There also have been photos of NOS wheels that have not been painted--if I recall they were 21" also.
So if you have 21" wheels, either finish would be correct as your profile states you have a '25 RPU. Of course, the finish is truly up to you in the end.
Here is one of mine I refinished this year.
Here are the wheels with spokes finished with the products I showed above (yes, all of the spokes are straight grain hickory):
I too have used the Minwax Spar Varnish clear Urethane and I am very happy with it.
Zar oil based urethane varnish is probably the best on the market bar none. My Dad and I used it on a Depot Hack restored in 1970 and it still intact and beautiful today. I would recommend this product as a primary choice, having used Minwax, Varithane, Olympic, and others with so-so wear and longevity compared to the Zar. Used all of these variants on an East facing front door that gets heavy sun exposure and had to retreat/refinish that door every 2years with the other exterior grade products. Zar may be a little tougher to find and is definitely more expensive but once and done.
Just a thought for you guys going "au naturel" - why not put a matching faux wood-grain finish on hubs and felloes ? it's easy enough to do.