Wood Spoked Wheels

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    I'm thinking out loud about this problem of well-aged wood. Do I want to do this or turn into a parking space and have a wheel collapse? The spokes are all firm and tight in the wheels. Originally I was going to just apply Tung oil, several coats, but if I do this, I cannot later decide I need structural epoxy improvement.

    My wheels had been left on the car in New Jersey rains unprotected and
    unoiled, so the lignin has dissolved from the wood surface, leaving some
    longitudinal small cracks. Some spokes are much worse than others. Previous urethane finish is 99% gone. A pen knife blade will enter less that 1/8 inch meaning the wood is still strong. I'm hoping that other project cars owners have
    corrected this potential failure and can recommend a suitable method.

    There seem to be two choices for wood-strengthening epoxy, Liquid Wood packaged up by Abatron, and Kwik-Poly available from Restoration Supply. The first has somewhat higher initial viscosity but very long pot life > 1hr, the second lower viscosity but inconveniently short pot life ~ 5 min. Dilution with acetone of lacquer thinner will decrease ultimate physical properties a lot, but will decrease viscosity and lengthen pot life, so I don't want to do this unless I have to.

    Certainly would help to warm the wood to decrease viscosity and increase penetration rate, which I can do with a box and heater. The Liquid Wood may give me time to wipe the spokes clean and avoid excess build-up. I would scrape the surface with curved broken bottle shards. (Sharp edge, disposable, curved shape to fit spoke).

    1.   If I leave it assembled as is, I will inadvertently glue the rims and brake drums in place.
    2.   If I take all the metal off and leave the spokes all in place, then I won't be able to get the assembly back together again. The spokes will still glued to the rim.
    3.   If I remove only the drum, I may never get it seated correctly against the wood. The wood may not be filled on the other side.
    4.   If I take all the spokes out, scrape each, then epoxy, I'm pretty sure that will be a disaster when attempting to reassemble.
    5.   If I don't take it apart, I will have an extremely difficult time scraping the parts.
    6.   Coat epoxy only on the exposed wood; avoid applying close to all metal.
    7.   The options make me hope that Tung oil is sufficient for old cracked wood. I'm afraid this is wishful thinking and the wheel will collapse as I'm sharply turning into the driveway.

    Can anyone offer a wheel historical perspective I should know about before I do something irreversible?