Practical Carriage Building
Compiled by M.T. Richardson, Vol.1. 1891
Making a Wagon Run Well
I claim that, except in width, the rim has nothing to do with the mortises, and the center of the box for a wheel with one and a half inch tire should be three-quarters of an inch back of the front of the mortises, or half the width of the tire. This will always throw the center of the box over the center of the rim, no matter how much dish the wheel may have, provided it is set properly on the spindle. I think a wheel standing plumb will have a tendency to run in a circle or slip on the ground, for the wheels are propelled by the axle, and the axle tapers from the shoulder to the point both on the front and bottom.
The draft forward tends to crowd the wheels against the nuts. As to throwing mud on a muddy road, if built with three-quarters of an inch dish and set plumb, supposing the wheel to sink to the hub (allowing one and a half inch for width of tire, three-quarters for dish and three-quarters for taper in spokes), it would cut a rut at the top three inches wide. And this is not the worst feature of such a wheel, for the spokes stand on a pry, each wheel crowding the opposite one; and for this reason the skein will wear on the point at the bottom and front, and at the shoulder on the top and back.
A great many seem to have an erroneous idea of what a wheel is given gather for, and believe it will slip on the ground in proportion to the gather given. Such is not the case. I admit that a wheel may be given too much gather, and in that case would slip on the ground the same as one set without any gather. I build all wheels with three-eighths of an inch dish, set them on a plumb spoke (not a plumb wheel), and give them one-quarter to three-eighths of an inch gather, according to the dish they have.óBy H. L. Cordrey.