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Re: Wooden wagons....and

Poster: terry_buyers@catbox.win.net (Terry Buyers)

K(>Poster: David KUIJT <kuijt@umiacs.umd.edu>
K(>Put simply, it goes like this: wagons are easy; wheels are hard.
K(>Period wheels are not planar (flat) but cupped, for a number of 
K(>very good
K(>reasons (single wheels as for wheelbarrows excepted).  They are 
K(>together by no glue, by no pins -- the rim of the wheel is a 
K(>single metal
K(>band that binds the pieces together.  The rim is made exactly the 
K(>length so that it expands just barely enough when heated (in a 
K(>fire) to slip over the wheel; when it cools it shrinks and binds 
K(>pieces tightly together.  If the rim is too small, it won't go on. 
K(> If the
K(>rim is too large, it will come off in use.  If it is too thin it 
K(>break (the whole wheel is under tension).
K(>I haven't had the time to invest in making progress in this 
K(>project for
K(>some years, partly because I do not possess the technology of 
K(>making a
K(>wheel-rim (a single circular loop of soft iron exactly the right 
K(>I had hoped to find a matched pair of old wagon-wheels (the sort 
K(>of thing
K(>yuppies put in the yards or gates of their single-family 
K(>dwellings) in
K(>good enough shape to use, but I've had no luck in that so far.  
K(>The Amish
K(>still make wagonwheels, and you can buy them from them, but they 
K(>cost $300
K(>or so for a pair.  At this point I cannot afford that.
K(>I could probably make a two-wheel wagon appropriate for a 
K(>wares, or for carting three or four people's armour, in a single 
K(>weekend -- IF I had the wheels.

I've re-tyred a couple of wagon wheels. Lap weld steel strap stock then hammer
down to original thickness. If I had it to do again, I'd TIG butt weld the
thing and grind down the excess. 

Commercial sized band saw blade with the teeth ground off would appear to be a
quick and dirty solution to the problem since it comes welded in a circle, and
we are not talking about something that would be hauling a heavy load every
day over cobblestones. 

"Practical Blacksmithing" M.T. Richardson (orig print 1890s) reprinted in 1978
by Weathervane Books - my copy shows LCCN: 77-94507 - devotes a good deal of
print to wagon parts and setting tyres. 

If I had to do a wheel without welding the tyre, I'd peg the felloes to hub
and wheel segments, and use short sections of strap or spring steel (1/4 -
3/8" x 1 1/2" for the size of person pulled wagon I'm thinking of) set to
bridge the gaps in the wheel sections, and held on with two countersunk bolts
per section of tyre - head out, nut in. With a little care, each section of
tyre could be made to butt closely to the next for a smooth ride. I'd make the
tyre sections to a little larger radius than the wheel, and use the bolts to
draw them into place. 

I've seen sledge edges set to wooden runners with countersunk bolts and they
didn't seem to work loose, even when used to skid logs.

Hmmm.... wandering out to the shop and looking at the scrap can... Looks like
someone with a 55 gallon drum, an electric saw, and some earplugs (!) could
cut some light weight tyres out of drum stock, then make wheels to fit. 


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