A couple of years ago, I had my rear wheels re-wooded by Noah Stutzman and he did the usual wonderful job everybody knows to expect of him. -Of course, his wheels arrive unfinished and need to be either painted or varnished. I went with stain and varnish.
The painting fixture I used for my rear wheels was just a wooden dowel held by my bench-vice. -As I was varnishing it, I'd just rotate the wheel to brush each spoke in turn and later, when it came time to sand between coats, I'd flip the whole wheel over by use of a looped piece of wire clothes-hanger through the air-valve hole in the felloe and a block & tackle (because my back is crippled and I can't lift the wheel).
Well, that worked out great for the rear wheels, but now doing the front wheels will be different because of the ball-bearings and grease, and that probably wouldn't be compatible with the wooden dowel in the vice that I used for the rear wheels. -If I use an old, used, front-end spindle, I still won't be able to flip the wheel over. -Any suggestions for an improvised wheel-holding fixture?
Why not just wash out all the grease and use the dowel?
Do what I do. I use a 8 foot pipe, put the wheel on and set it on tall saw horses. Then work from both sides of the wheel.