After some reading I decided not to remove the spokes from the wheel. I did want to get behind the hub to make it easier to refinish. The hub is very tight and took some hammering to move. I got the backside even with the wood which moved the front away about 3/16". This was enough to get some sandpaper in for a light sanding. This will also be helpful for rust and old paint removal on the hub.
A nice little gap to help the refinishing.
The hub moved back. This is in super tight, I guess there should be no wobble in this wheel.
After doing some reading I probably should treat the old paint as if it has lead.
Better safe than sorry.