Wood wheel restoration

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us56456712

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125 year old rear wheel. The cog was worn to points.
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After several weeks of soaking the axle, cog and spoke nipples in penetrant I started to take it apart. The cog and lock ring took two people to get it off, one to hold it while the hub was clamped in a vice and the other to remove the lock ring and cog.
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A modern track cog from the 1950s and lock ring are too small to thread on.
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I had an antique skip tooth cog in my junk stash that fit. It needs a spacer on the underside of the cog.
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The wood was extreemly dirty with paint, tire glue, oil and yeas of dust. I washed it with Simple Green, 99% isopropyl, acetone, xylene and paint remover, scrubbing with fine steel wool. What a gummy mess. It’s very dirty.
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Sanding was required after chemical cleaning. It’s half sanded.
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Oxalic acid was used as a wood bleach to brighten it up. I may not stain it, just put on a oil and varnish coat after the acid is neutralized.
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us56456712

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The rim took a hit long ago, right on the finger joint. It slightly chipped the joint and moved it slightly laterally. I sanded it more or less flush. The joint is still tight. Since it’s been stressed I drilled a small hole through the joint and put a slightly larger pin in the hole, which will be trimmed and counter sunk in with epoxy as a lubricant. You can see the joint chip in the first and last photo.
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us56456712

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The hub has leather seals and spring retainer clips for the 1/4 inch ball bearings. At least the ball bearings are standard. One leather bearing seal is missing so I’ll have to make one. One of the bearing retainer clips is bent so it was probably rebuilt in the past. It was very dry inside as it has an oil hole and it all leaked out. I’m using grease.
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I tried some of my other stains on some hardwood blocks. The Minwax gunstock oil based penetrating stain is very close to the original, at lest when wet, so I put a coat of that over the light pine stain. I like it better now. You have to go slow when staining wood wheels, working up from light to dark. You can have a way too dark result If your not careful.
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Ulu

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This looks like an awful lot of effort, which is what I think of all woodworking. I am amazed that this has survived at all. Maybe that tire glue is toxic to wood worms and termites?

We have subterranean termites here and if you left wood sit “out back” for a few years it would be infested. I had them come up through a crack in my concrete floor and start eating cardboard boxes I had there, working their way up into a wooden cabinet. And this was indoors
 

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I hate to lace wheels where the first hole to the right of the valve is staggered upwards. None of the tutorials on line are helpful. To me they don’t make sense anymore if your building an up hole. Now give me a wheel with the first hole down and I have no problems. I built an up hole wheel starting yesterday. This was to practice for this wood rim that has the up hole. Seven wrong tries over two days using different tutorials. It’s mostly my advanced age, no concentration following along anymore, very stiff hands, bad eyesight and a central tremor so I drop everything and can’t find it in front of my nose. I used to be able to build these no problem. I’m probably going to have to have wheels built pretty soon. I can lace the driveside no problem. What I finally did was quit the tutorials and lace the non drive side over and over, changing the spoke locations until I got it right. I couldn’t do this again first time for the wood wheel. I’ll have to do the trial and error method. You don’t have to lace the non drive side more than a quarter and then start crossing. If your wrong it’s noticeable then. Start over and over, until you get it. Frustrating I say. I’m making old age illegal. Jail time for violators. Here is my result. I changed the hub on this steel rim, so it needed relacing anyway but I was going to do it in the winter. First spoke hole to the right of the valve is up.
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The wood rim has the same stagger. Headache.
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This looks like an awful lot of effort, which is what I think of all woodworking. I am amazed that this has survived at all. Maybe that tire glue is toxic to wood worms and termites?

We have subterranean termites here and if you left wood sit “out back” for a few years it would be infested. I had them come up through a crack in my concrete floor and start eating cardboard boxes I had there, working their way up into a wooden cabinet. And this was indoors
So far termites are a few hundred miles south of us. It’s only a matter of time before we get them. We have carpenter ants, but they like moist wood. It’s some effort but I only need one rim. I’m also building 2 new wood rims. The front wheel will have the original 1900 hub, the rear wheel will use an armless coaster brake. The bike originally was fixed gear and the rim I’m trying to save is the original with the fixed gear. This bike is from around 1900 and is tall and unsafe to ride with a fixed gear. So, I’ll have the original fixed gear and safer coaster rear. I won’t use this fixed gear wheel much but I want to preserve the originally. I also have a clamp on front brake for it that is old and won’t look out of place.
 

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That’s how I end up building yet another bicycle, just because I have the extra wheel sitting around and I’m in love with it and I invested some work in it.

Before I started working on bicycles again, which I hadn’t done more than 4 since a teenager, I didn’t realize how it was nowadays. Strange bicycles are dropping out of the heavens into my lap.
 

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That’s how I end up building yet another bicycle, just because I have the extra wheel sitting around and I’m in love with it and I invested some work in it.

Before I started working on bicycles again, which I hadn’t done more than 4 since a teenager, I didn’t realize how it was nowadays. Strange bicycles are dropping out of the heavens into my lap.
I know exactly what you mean. I have a Bendix manual shift two speed wheel, the shifter and frame clips. Boy would I like to find a free chrome beach cruiser type frame. I have a chrome fork with canti mounts. Chrome cantilever cruiser frames are only $149 delivered but that’s too much for something I don’t need. All chrome and black only Is my idea. I have too many bicycles so it’s not a priority, but a 26 wheeled 2 speed BMX like chrome klunker would be cool. There is one of these in town, vintage chrome frame built up with vintage parts. It’s nice, it has a 1970s disc brake.
 
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