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I'm getting ready to refinish wood spoke wheels on my 12 Hudson. Currently 95% good natural finish but I want to redo them before they deteriorate. No rot. Should a strip them or sand? I plan on using a natural finish. What can you tell me?

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Do not dip strip them. That will make the grain stand up and create a real sanding job. I've used a "mild" liquid (not paste) stripper with success. Just be careful around where the spokes come together. A build up in the crevices could come back to haunt you with the next finish. Sanding is good but a lot of work and you don't want to remove any wood.

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Good suggestion Philip. I had forgotten about that method.When I used glass, I was careful to drag the glass so it would not gouge the wood. If you are lucky you might even find a piece of broken glass with a curve roughly the radius of the spokes to keep from getting a flat drag.

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A little safer than broken glass, I have used an engine bearing scraper to remove old paint/varnish from wooden wheels. My question is, what is the best method of refinishing them to help preserve them? I would prefer not to use paint. I thought I might use a wood oil like Danish Oil. Anyone tried this? Thanks.

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Yes,<BR>a pice of glass works good also the bearing tool what Dave wrote. I saw some wood spokes which are refinished with a kind of oil. That looks good. We used in the past a transparent laquer like the laquer for ships and boats. We took a glossy one. That looks nice, too. We paint it, then we polished it with a fine sandpaper, again laquer and so on until it have an even finish. That protects the wood very good against bad weather.<P>------------------<BR>Thomas Borchers<BR>

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I've dressed the back of an old hacksaw blade on the bench grinder. This made a sharp square edge on the back side. Then I used this as a scrapper. A little duct tape on each end for handles. The flexibality of the blade helped somewhat on scrapping the spokes

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If you are going for a natural finish the suggestions in this thread are certainly good. IF, however protection and possibly some repairs are needed and IF you are going to paint the spokes, as you should for many models, then I suggest the use of RSP. It soaks into the fibers and can be used to fill some gouges and scrapes. It gives great protection and adds strength to the spokes. Unfortunately, the surface finish is no longer compatible with natural finishes, but excellent for sanding and painting. I use RSP on all old or new wood, not only spokes, if the final finish is paint.

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