I came across a cast steel spider steering wheel that is different than what I usually see. The wood portion is basically a ring within a ring. There is an inner full circumference half with a finger joint then there is an outer full circumference half with a finger joint that is 180 degrees opposite of the inner half. From what little I have heard this could be a late 12 or early 13 steering wheel. Also, were brass spiders used in early 13? Thanks for observations, opinions, and facts. Mike
I believe the wood was always one piece with one finger joint, painted black.
By 1913 the spider was forged steel painted black.
There should be two keyways.
The wheel that you have might be aftermarket.
: ^ )
I have a 1912 steering spider and a original wood wheel in my collection. Notice the double keyways, Dodge Bros marking and the one piece with one finger joint. The spider is brass but has not been cleaned up yet.
Thanks. Mike Bird's wheel wood is exactly like mine but it has a cast iron spider. Just thinking is there a chance that mine has a combination of 12 and 13 features. I have reason to believe that this is from an original early 1913.
Some years ago (maybe even the '50s?), someone made reproduction rims exactly that way. I saw several of them. Years ago. Still run into one now and again.
I don't think there are any absolutes to steering wheel rim construction. In my stash I have one of each design mentioned above by each of the Mike's. The first two photos are of the same 1910 wheel and it is as Mike-Iowa describes of a "ring within a ring" and the joints are staggered, but not at 180-degrees. If one is at 12-o'clock, then the other is at 4-o'clock. The next photo is of a rim I removed from a 1911 spider and it is a single piece with one joint. I also have a steel forged spider wheel (not shown) and its rim is two half sections with joints at 180-degrees. It is old, but I am uncertain of its origin.
I suspect there was more than one supplier of rims, though that is purely speculation on my part. I would think something like that would have dimensional specs for the rim, but not necessarily specifics about the joints. Perhaps somebody has prints they can reference and prove me wrong.
1910 wheel. I feel that this is an excellent original as it would be very difficult to duplicate the finish on the rim and the patina overall. The screws aren't even boogered up.
1911 rim that I removed from the spider. It is ancient and had blacksmith repairs with bolts peened over holding it on, I suspect because the rim distorted so bad and the screws wouldn't hold.
Most '13s that I've seen had the one piece design. My '13 roadster came with one like Walt posted above. My touring has the one piece design. By '15 they most likely were the two piece finger joints.
Since Larry mentioned it, below is a photo of the forged steel spider wheel that I mentioned. It is two full halves with finger joints at 180-degrees. It has been fooled with. The spider is repainted and there is no trace of paint on the rim. Maybe it is an original that somebody stripped a long time ago.
A second photo below is the rim from a wheel that I repainted that was on a 1915, though I can't say if that wheel is original to the car on which it was attached. It is a forged steel spider and the rim was old -- similar to the "ring within a ring" as Mike-Iowa first described except it had more finger joints. Note that the inner ring is two halves with joints at 180-degrees whereas with the 1910 wheel each "ring" is a single piece.
I have a brass spider marked Dodge like the one Mike Bird shows in the above pic. After measuring it, it looks like the wood wheel would be about 11.5" on the inside. Is this a 1912 wheel? Does any one make a replacement wood rim ?
Guy, There is a guy on E-bay that makes the wood wheels,but they are not one piece with one finger joint but are listed as a 6 piece with finger joints.
I should just stay lurking in these situations but after reading, I find I might have a 13/14 steering wheel that's been on the wall for awhile.
Iron spider, two key-ways, single finger-joint rim.
The spider looks bulkier tho.
I'll guess that it's the camera that makes the spiders look different.
Guy, scroll down to the bottom here. http://woodbykevinallen.com/steering-wheel-rims.html
The fellow appears to have a rim that might fit your spider. I've no connection but I've drooled over his rims before and seems to have a nice cherry rim in your size. :-)
Oops. Typing while Mike B posted.
Shoot, forgot to ask. Do you guys see any machining marks around the hub of your spiders? Both upper side and bottom side.
(Message edited by Duey_C on November 15, 2017)
(Message edited by Duey_C on November 15, 2017)
There is a guy in the chocolate field up against the fence that makes perfect steering wheels with two joints. They are absolutely beautiful.
Here is my brass spider, marked Dodge. Duey. thanks for the lead on the rim,I see circle machine marks on both sides of the hub.
Also a pic of the wheel on my 12 touring, showing single joint.
The concentric marks on the spider are usually from where it rubs on the steering case cover and from the nut being torqued. It looks like you have the start of the telltale 1/16" shoulder forming near the center of the shaft hole where the shaft shoulder backs up to it. On ones with heavy wear the "Dodge Bros" mark will eventually fade away.
Here's the various steering wheel diameters from the encyclopedia: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/S-T.htm#stw
Bronze spider and nut. 14-1/4 O.D. (12-1/2 I.D., 1 thick) wood rim was painted black. Note: most recent data shows the wheel to be 13 O.D. but this is apparently the result of latter-day reproduction wheels. No original 13 wheels have been found on Ford cars.
Bronze spider. Redesigned wheel now 12-3/8 I.D. and 1-1/8 thick (14-3/4 O.D.) wood rim painted black. Bronze spider believed to have been painted black in later production.
Malleable iron spider, painted black. 12-1/4 I.D., 1-3/8 thick) 14.59 O.D. wood rim painted black until about 1919, then made of Fordite composition material. The malleable iron spider was changed to the pressed steel design late in the era (date unknown)"
So is the brass spider I have, 11.5" I.D. rim, marked Dodge Bros in the pic above,not used on a Model T ?
My 1910 wheel is also close to 11.5" i.d. I've measured a lot of these things and I don't think those printed dimensions are terribly accurate. What they have there doesn't match my 1911 wheel, either. If what they are calling "thick" is the narrow dimension across the cross section (since they are oval), 1" and 1-1/8" would be huge. Mine are less than 3/4".
Guy, The Dodge Boys made stuff for Ford before Highland Park and The Rouge plants. Thru/into 14???
What I wanted to type is: Dodge supplied chassis and parts to the Ford Motor company early on. I surely could be off.
I'll forget much more than some of the super young folks will ever learn. I sure ain't talking about anyone here. :-)
Early parts may have a DB stamp.
The "Dodge Bros" stamp on these spiders is ultra neat to see as I never have before.
I lost/sold a 13-14 chassis several years ago that had the DB logo stamped in the front axle. Dopey me.
I thought I was gaining a T friend, he didn't.
Is the Dodge Brother's connection something to be re-introduced? Perhaps ad-nauseum?
There has been talk lately about Ford employees messing up an early engine block main bearing a trifle.
I think to myself, Dodge employees messed it up a trifle....??? I'm prolly messed up. :-)
An iron spider'd two keyed, single fingered-joint wheel. No maker's marks.
These are the machining marks around the hubs I was asking about earlier. :-)
A steering wheel is a slippery little devil to photograph!
Sorry about the double pic.
(Message edited by Duey_C on November 17, 2017)
Duey, I didn't see the machining marks bit in your earlier post, just what Guy had posted. So, it looks like the underside of your hub is turned with a square shoulder? Out of two forged spiders I have here now, both are have a heavy radius like all of the brass spiders I have ever handled. I can't speak to what you have there other than to say maybe it is yet another variation or perhaps somebody modified it. All of my hubs have the same radius top and bottom. If there are machine marks, perhaps my forged ones were pitted enough to hide and it and on the brass ones I could see where it could easily be polished away.