Author Topic: Tightening wood wheels the old fashion way.  (Read 1035 times)

chetbrz

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Tightening wood wheels the old fashion way.
« on: March 20, 2008, 03:15:20 PM »
Jim Yergin recently sent me an article, which he ran across in the Skinned Knuckles Magazine, which talked about wooden automobile wheels.  What I found interesting was the section concerning fixing loose or squeaky spokes.   

The article implied that back in day when our cars were new it was recommended to wash them often so as to allow the wood wheels to swell and tighten, especially if you lived in a dry climate.  The urban legend was mentioned that if your spokes were loose it was best to park the car in a shallow stream for the night to swell the wood wheels, which would tighten the spokes.  Also a product called Chair-Lock was mentioned which is a chemical composition used to swell woods for the purpose of tightening doweled joins without the use of glue.

What say ye..,  Any comments or experiences.  ???  This seems to make sense to me.
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Satillite70

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Re: Tightening wood wheels the old fashion way.
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2008, 07:06:35 PM »
Hello,
    I work for Home Hardware in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada.  The "Chair-Loc" product you mentioned is something I have in stock in my paint department.  I've not used it, but have been told it is good if the chair parts fit well, but if they are really loose, it's not the best solution... not sure how that would apply to the wheels though.  Something I might try on my 1928 Q though I'll try water first if it is required.

Regards,
    Chris Osborne

chetbrz

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Re: Tightening wood wheels the old fashion way.
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2008, 01:08:05 PM »
Chris,

According to the article:

The Chair Lock formula was developed in the 50ís and is now in public domain.  The quick story is:, it is a mixture of chemicals with natural resin so that once the dried wood absorbs the mixture containing the resin, the fluid will dry up leaving the natural resin behind thus leaving the wood tight.

At some future point and in my spare time,?   I will be working on a respoking project for my wheels and this sounds like a good mixture to dip the wheels in after I am finished to expand the kiln dried hickory into a permanently tight position.  Of course since the hubs are hydraulically pressed into the new construction and the wood is kiln dried, everything is pretty tight to begin with and will only get better in time.  Maybe dipping the old wheels might relieve the necessity of redoing them.  The main problem right now is that Chair-Lock is sold in 2 & 3 oz bottles and I need to mix up a 2 to 3 gallon batch.  Currently buying it isnít cost affective because I am not sure it will do me any good.  The article listed the ingredients so maybe a cauldron may be in my future.  However I might need to find an eye of Newt.

Theoretically it all sounds good.

ChetÖ
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Old Plymouths

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Re: Tightening wood wheels the old fashion way.
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2008, 01:59:13 PM »
I use a product called 'POLYALL 2000' to save antique hard wood pieces that have become soft on the ends. This way I don't have to cut a new piece with all it's 'ins and outs'.   
 I'm using it to close up the space in some old hardwood right now on an antique truck I'm restoring. The truck's body is wood covered in sheet steel like a pre-1930 car.
  Polyall is a 2 part liquid like an epoxy glue but it has the consistency of water. I've not tried it on wooden wheels but I would assume you would hold the wheel in a vise in a fashion that each spoke was vertical, facing up out of the metal rim (felloe). A wrapping of masking tape around the spoke body below the rim works well to keep the product where you want it to stay. I use masking tape to dam it where ever I use it. 
 You would make up maybe 10ml. total mix (5ml. each part) and pour it slowly on to the end of each spoke. It will go right into the wood the same as water would ,because it's so thin, but in about 5 minutes it will harden to a very hard biege coloured plastic. It was sold to me for the repair of old 'spongy' timber several years ago and it works as advertised. The unused product has an indefinite shelf life. Mine is about 4 years old.
  It's not cheap at $60 CDN for 1.9 litres. My purchase was 1 litre, two 500 ml. cans, and the price was $49.95.  It appears the price has gone down but you have to buy more product volume. It also comes with a powder,I think it's talcum, to mix with it if you want to fill an area. I also use it to take the place of the resin in putting down fibreglas cloth. It is a very strong glue.
  It can also be used as a moulding compound for making copies of small plastic knobs. I've not used it this way but after seeing it's finished condition and the scrap left in the mixing tub I can see it would work well for plastic copying. The instructions say you can add just about any coloured powder to it and make the moulding that colour. Even sawdust to make the repair invisible. It can also be used for repairing cracked steering wheels.
  I'm in Canada and I buy it from a place in Bradford Ont. not far from me. They are on the net as Polyall.com and they ship to the U.S. They say the Canadian Dept. of Defense and Rolls Royce uses it. (Wonder what for?)
  There are some photos on the Polyall site of it being used to restore wood on an antique truck bed.   
         
« Last Edit: March 27, 2008, 10:31:09 AM by Old Plymouths »

aussieQ

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Re: Tightening wood wheels the old fashion way.
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2009, 07:34:38 AM »
Hi guys,
The weather over here in the Southern states in Australia has been very dry for a number of years and this year we have experienced temps around 37deg C. I had my Plymouth out on a club run through very hilly country. On steep decents when going around RH courners I heard a clackerty noise each time. It was so loud that the car following me commented on it when we stopped for lunch. On inspection of the wheels it was found that the RH front wheel was noisy when it was shaken with a fair bit of force.
I have been told by other club members that soaking the wheel in a tub of water for about a week in water should swell it sufficiently to stop it. Will let you know if it works.

Gary Stocking