Practical Carriage Building

Compiled by M.T. Richardson, Vol.1. 1891

Horse or Bench for Driving Spokes

Elktons spoke driving device fig 79

A device which I have been using for a number of years is shown in Fig. 79. I have seen several patent spoke-setting machines, but none of them that I liked as well as this, which has the merit of not being patented.

The bench A is nine feet long, made of two-inch stuff, fifteen inches wide. Two legs, B B, are placed near one end, while the other end, C, rests on the floor. By this construction the bench is placed at an angle which I find facilitates driving the spokes. A man can strike a strong, quick blow when the hub is held in the position shown in the engraving much better than if it were placed vertically in the center of the bench. The slot D is made to suit any size of hub. The bolt block F runs across the bench for the hubs to rest against. A piece, F, eight feet long, two inches thick by six inches wide, and entirely straight throughout its length, is arranged as a gauge, all as shown in the sketch. A slot is cut in the center of this piece, opposite the one in the bench already described. A second slot is placed near the end to accommodate the standard C, which is mortised into the end of the bench at C. By this construction it may be placed higher or lower to suit different sizes of hubs. Near the end of this bar F, is placed the gauge H, through which is passed the wheel-rod J. A standard, K, properly arranged to receive the rod L, is also fastened into this bar, L, and sustains the movable weight M. A cord attached to the end of L, and to the end of the spoke, serves by this construction to hold the spoke against the gauge H during the process of driving.

With this description the method of using the device is readily perceived. The bench A and the gauge bar F should be plated with iron on each side of the slots, in order to protect the wood from wearing. Place the hub on the bench A, over the slot D. Put the gauge hat F in position, and put the wheel-rod J. Allow the hub to rest against the block F so as to be solid in driving. Fasten in this position by the crank nut on the rod J. Put a bolt through the standard C where it passes through the gauge bar F. Move the spoke gauge H to the point where the rim will be. Run it up or down to suit the dish of the wheel that is to be made. Start the spoke I. Raise the lever L and place the cord N around the spoke, thus holding it against- the gauge H.

I may remark in this connection that I do not use this part of the machine except in filling old hubs. It is not necessary in making new wheels. After all has been made ready in this manner, the next operation is driving the spokes. After the first one has been sent home, loosen the crank nut, turn the hub to the next space, and fasten down as already described. In my own practice I employ a four and a half pound hammer with a good face.óBy ELKTON.