Modern Blacksmithing Rational Horse Shoeing and Wagon Making
with rules, tables, recipes, etc., useful to manufactures, blacksmiths, machinists, well-drillers, engineers, liverymen, horse-shoers, farmers, wagon-makers, mechanics, amateurs and all others who have occasion to perform the work for which this book is primarily intended. by J.G. Homstrom 1901
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Setting a Wagon Wheel Part 2
This done, heat the tire and shrink it. If the wheel is straight give it half an inch draw, sometimes even five eighths if the wheel is heavy and strong. But if the wheel is poor and dished, do not give it more than one-fourth-inch draw. One tire only with a little draw can be heated in the forge, but if there is more than one tire heat them outside in a fire made for this purpose, or in a tire heater.
There are different ways of cooling the tire. Some smiths have a table in a tank, they place the wheel on the table and with a lever sink both wheel and tire in the water. There are many objections to this. I, You will have to soak the whole wheel; 2, it is inconvenient to put the tire on; 3, in order to set the tire right, it is necessary to reach the tire from both sides with the hammer; 4 when spokes have a tendency to creep out, or when the wheel is much dished, the wheel should be tapped with the hammer over the spokes. Now, to be able to perform all these moves, one must have, first, a table; this table to be about twelve inches high and wide enough to take any wheel, with a hole in the center of table to receive the hub. On one side you may make a hook that will fall over the wheel and hold the tire down while you get it on. Close to this table have a box 5~ feet long, 12 inches wide and 12 inches deep. On each side bolt a piece of two by six about three feet long. In these planks cut notches in which you place an iron rod, run through the hub. On this rod the wheel will hang. The notches can be made so that any sized wheel will just hang down enough to cover the tire in the water. In this concern you can give the wheel a whirl and it will turn so swift that there will be water all around the tire. It can be stopped at any time and the tire set right, or the spokes tapped. With these accommodations and four helpers I have set six hundred hay rake wheels in nine and one-half hours. This was in a factory where all the tires were welded and the wheels ready so that it was nothing but to heat the tires and put them on. I had three fires with twelve tires in each fire. An artesian well running through the water box kept the water cool.
If the fire is not hot enough to make it expand a tire puller is needed. A tire puller can be made in many ways and of either wood or iron. Buggy tire is more particular than wagon tire and there are thousand of buggy wheels spoiled every year by poor or careless blacksmiths. In a buggy tire one-eighth of an inch draw is the most that it will stand, while most wheels will stand only one-sixteenth. If the wheel is badly dished don't give it any draw at all, the tire should then measure the same as the wheel, the heat in the tire is enough. If the wheel is fellow-bound cut the fellows to let them down on the spokes. If the spokes are loose on the tenon wedge them up tight.