Practical Carriage Building

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

Making Shoulders for Spokes and Mortising Hubs

J.S.'s method of fitting spokes in hubs Fig 138

I for one am of the opinion that spokes are better with-out shoulders than with. My reasons for this belief are as follows:

I find in mortising a set of lumber hubs, and driving the spokes into them, there are always a few spokes in the bundle that are one-sixteenth inch smaller than the rest. And as the mortise is not made for each particular spoke, there will be, if not properly fitted, when the job is finished, a few spokes that are not driven as tight as the rest. And these few are the first that wear out.

Again, in repairing wheels with shouldered spokes I find that nine out of ten are broken off directly under the shoulder, the square jog making the starting point, and the tenon being the weakest part. Now then if the shoulders are re¨moved from the spokes as they come from the factory, as shown in Fig. 138, they will not be so liable to check. Of course each shoulder must be taken off in the same way. In driving spokes the smaller ones must be driven a little further than the others, by which means the bearings become alike on each spoke, and all are tight. A spoke without shoulders will stand a much greater strain without breaking, as there is no starting point for the break.

Ordinary method of making the shoulder and mortising the hub Fig 139

In mortising the hub it will be necessary to make it a little different from the old way. Take the chisel and cut off a small shaving, as shown in Fig. 138. This makes a bearing for the bevel of the spoke. Then the hub will not be so liable to check. Fig. 139 shows the ordinary style of making the shoulder and mortising the hub.

As regards the taper of the spoke, give it as little as possible and drive it tight, say one-sixteenth of an inch on two and a quarter, and the spoke will not get loose as quickly as it would if it is given more taper. The principle is the same as a wedge. A slim wedge drives tight and remains tight longer than a blunt one.óBy J. S.