When painting new wooden spokes can you paint the bottom sides of the spoke wherr they go against the other spoke or will that make them too tight to get wheel together ?
It will make them too tight, just ask Steve Jelf.
When I first assembled wheels several years ago I read about the theory of paint between the spokes making them too tight. (I don't know if that was based on anybody's actual experience.) So when I painted mine I avoided spraying directly onto those surfaces.
I painted the outside and inside surfaces all the way down, and didn't worry about a little over spray on the in-between surfaces.
When I assembled the wheels the over spray was no problem at all. NOTE: When John Regan saw this he noted that I had the felloe bolted down, and pointed out that that is wrong. It should be free to move so the spokes can center it.
When I painted a new set this week, again I painted the insides and outsides all the way down, and didn't worry about a little bit of over spray.
I have the in-between surface taped and have primed two times and sanded. Now I am going to remove the tape and spray the color a little over spray should help seal the wood.
In 2011, I relayed my spoking experience in the following thread in which I made the mistake of painting the joining surfaces of each spoke prior to pressing them into the felloe. Jim Patrick