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

How to Put on a New Wagon Wheel and Weld Wagon Wheels


When you have the bar of either steel or iron for the tire, first see if it is straight, if not be sure to make it. Next place the tire on the floor and place the wheel on top of the tire, begin in such a way that the end of the fellow will be even with the end of the tire. Now roll the wheel over the tire. If a heavy tire cut it three inches longer than the wheel, if a thin tire, two inches. Now bend the tire in the bender. Measure the wheel with the gauge, then measure the tire; if it is a heavy wagon tire and a straight wheel cut the tire one-fourth of an inch shorter than the wheel. If it is a buggy tire cut it the size of the wheel. In welding these tires they will shorten enough to be the size wanted.


There are many different ideas practiced in welding tires. One smith will narrow both ends before welding; another will cut the edges off after it is welded. This is done to prevent it from spreading or getting too wide over the weld. I hold that both these ideas are wrong. The first one is wrong because when the ends are narrowed down it is impossible to make them stay together until the weld is taken, especially if it is a narrow tire. The second idea is wrong because it cuts off the best part of the weld and weakens it. Some smiths will split the tires, others will rivet them together. This is done to hold the tire in place until it has been welded. There is no need of this trouble, but for a new beginner a rivet is all right.

I shall now give my experience in welding tire, and as this experience has been in a factory where thousands of wheels are made yearly, I suppose it will be worth something to the reader. When the tire is ready to weld draw down the ends and let them swell as much as they want to. Now let the helper take the end that is to lay on top and pull it towards the floor, the other end to rest on the anvil. This will give that end a tendency to press itself steadily against the lower end. Next place this end on top of the other end. The ends must now be hot enough to allow them to be shaped. You will now notice that the top end is wider than the tire, so is the lower end. The tire is to be so placed that the swelled parts reach over and inside of each other a little. Now give a couple of blows right over the end of the under tire. Next tap the swelled sides down over the tire. This will hold the tire together so that it cannot slip to either side and the swelled end of the under tire will prevent it from pulling out. If the top end has been so bent that it has a tendency to press down and out a little, the tire will now be in a good shape to weld.