Practical Carriage Building

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

Driving Wagon Spokes

J.A.B.'s bench for driving wagon spokes Fig 137

For a three and a quarter inch skein I use an eight and a quarter inch hub. I mortise holes for a two and a quarter inch spoke, making the mortise two and a quarter inches deep, two and one-sixteenth inches at the top or face of the hub, and one and eleven-sixteenths inch at the bottom, and so place it that the face of the mortise is square with the face or front end of the hub. Next I band the hubs, drivČing the bands on snugly and within three-quarters of an inch of the mortises. Then I fit the spokes by first facing them with a jointer. Next I cut the tenon off two and a quarter inches long. Then measuring from the face of the spoke, make it two and a quarter inches at the shoulder. Measuring at the end of the tenon from the face, I make it two and one-sixteenth inches, which gives three-sixteenths inch edgeways.

Then I give it one-twelfth inch sideways by chamfering. I edge it well off at the point. This completed, the spokes are ready for driving. I have my glue ready for use; I put the hubs in a kettle of water, and place it over the fire, allowing them to boil for twenty minČutes. Then I take them out and drive as fast as possible, with a helper, using the glue on the spokes. Fig. 137 represents the bench which I employ in the driving. It is six feet long, ten inches wide, and five inches thick. It is furnished with six legs, made of two by four stuff, mortised in three inches deep to make it stand firm. A strong staple is placed in the floor immediately below the center of the bench. I have a rod of seven-eighths inch iron, with one end threaded to receive a nut, and the other end finished with an eye to hook into the staple, which I pass through a hole provided in the center of the bench for the purpose. I have a mandrel which will fit in the small end of the hub, and which has a hole sufficient to let the rod through.

I drive this mandrel in snug, and then taking another one which fits the butt end of the hub in the same manner, drive it home also. I prefer driving from the back, as the hole is tapering. I next place the hub on the bench, face end down, letting the rod run through the mandrel just described. Then I place a block of wood which has a hole through it, on the hub, and with a handle nut, shown in the sketch, draw the parts all snug together. The mortise I wish to use first is turned toward one end of the bench. With my square and try square I next ascertain the height of the face from the top of the bench. If I desire to drive the spokes with one-eighth of an inch dish, I set the foot gauge shown under the spoke in Fig. 137 so as to get it. For example, if the measurement of the hub shows the face of the mortise to be five inches from the top of the bench, I set the gauge four and seven-eighths inches from the face of the bench to the top of the foot gauge. In driving I set my foot oh the spoke over the gauge, and with a heavy woodmaul drive with both hands.ŚBy J. A. B.




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