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Willy

Spoked Wheel Prices

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Willy    3

I'm looking to buy new spoked wheels for my 1918 DB Touring, and I wonder if anybody could give me a ballpark figure to their cost? I would feel more comfortable, driving on new wheels. I understand they are made by computer now, and are more reasonable - is this true? Willy

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Terry Bond    213

First, you are making the right choice with new wheels.   Not sure how much computer work is involved, perhaps turning out spokes?   I know there is lots of hand work involved in assembly as well as finishing them.  I had new wheels made for my 1914 T by Bill Calimer in PA.  Great work and if you check the internet you'll find other sources with prices listed.  Don't think they would be much different than model T.  Would think $200 tops per wheel.  You need to supply the iron parts - rims, hubs, etc.

the time it takes to build them will vary.  I allowed several months during the winter and can highly recommend Bill's work.  Shop around, you might find a place close to you that you can actually visit to see how it's done and talk with the people there.  Maybe even close enough you can deliver and pick-up. 

Terry

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trimacar    464

I second or third the use of Bill Calimer....but you need to get the rims and hubs there (preferably cleaned and primed) as soon as you can, as he has long lead time.  He's done numerous sets of wheels for me and the results are excellent.  Last ones I did were about $300 each, but the quality is worth it.  If you're going to paint the wheels, no problem, if you're going to varnish them natural let him know so he selects a nice looking grain for the wheels.  I'm not a fan of natural varnished wheels but some people are.

 

There are other places, such as Stutzmans in Ohio, which are preferred by many because of being less expensive.  I can't vouch for their quality, although I'm sure someone can, look on MTFCA forum and search wheels, been discussed many, many times there....

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emjay    32

Recently I saw a tour of a furniture maker in Stroudsburg, PA who practices the old methods.  He showed splitting the wood stock from the log rather than cutting.  Some unique tools were required.  The resulting component of the furniture had straight grain rather than some of the grain passing through the part as it would from saw mill stock.  I wonder if the wheel manufacturers did that as well.  As the volume increased they probably departed.

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Bill Calimer does indeed do a great job on wood wheels. I have used him several times and cannot say enough good things about his workmanship. Another possible source is Stutzman's in Ohio. Although I have not used them, I have seen their work and it looks top notch. DB wheels are a bit bigger and heavier than those on a Model T, so you should expect to pay a bit more. Like Terry says, good, solid wheels are extremely important-especially if you are going to seriously use your car. I have been on many tours where 100 year old wood wheels have collapsed causing damage to the car and injury to its occupants.

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oldcarfudd    29

Calimer did my wheels for a '12 Buick.  Stutzman did them for a Model T and a single-cylinder Cadillac.  Both did top-notch work.

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