Practical Carriage Building

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

Farm Wagon Wheels

E.S.'s method for making staggering mortises and setting spokes

For hubs, spokes, and rims the wheelwright needs, first of all, good, well-seasoned timber, for if the timber is bad. or not dry enough, the best wheel maker cannot make a good wheel.

For general farm wagons I use hubs eight by ten inches, and two and a quarter inch spokes. The front side of the spoke is driven perfectly straight, or one-sixteenth of an inch backward rather than forward, for a blacksmith who under¨stands his trade can set a tire tightly on a straight wheel, and draw it to just the dish he wants; but if the spokes are driven with too much dish, the tire cannot be set on tightly without giving the wheel a great deal more dish than it ought to have. Then the wheel is in bad shape, and is much less durable than a straight one.

If I use staggering or set mortised hubs, I dish the front spokes nearly half of the stagger backward, and the hind ones forward. When the smith sets the tire tight he draws it enough to get the front spokes straight. I have never known a staggering spoke wheel to be dished backward by any cause if it once was forward. But they are liable to be dished too much forward if not made in proper shape at first. A good wheel should not have more than one-eighth or three-sixteenths of an inch dish after the tire is put on tightly.

Fig. 136 shows what I mean by a staggering mortise, and how the spokes are set. A denotes the gauge line, B the center line of the stagger, F the front side of the front spoke, and S the front side of the set spoke.óBy E. S.