Practical Carriage Building

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

Putting in Axles and Getting a Plumb Spoke

Trestle designed by J.L.P. Fig 226

A trestle that may be useful to some of my fellow-workmen is represented by Fig. 220. It often happens that we have to put axles on old wagons that arc broken or worn so badly that it is difficult to get the exact length without fitting up and measuring, which is the "fit and try rule," as some would call it.

Then measure four inches from the under side to the top, and two and a half inches from the point up, as in Fig. 224. By the use of this trestle all we have to do to get the length is to hang the wheels on the spindles C, lay the track stick D across the top of the wheels and measure on A from box to box in wheels, which will give the length of axle on the bottom from shoulder to shoulder.

To make the trestle, take a piece of wood three by four feet, plane the top straight and level, and taper the bottom up so that it will not bear on the box. Then let in and bolt or mortise four legs long enough to raise the highest wheel you use off the floor.

If you wish to work to a plumb spoke, make two long thin wedges of hard wood and slip them in on the top of A. If the wheels are badly dished, you will need the wedges at the point of the hub; if straight, at the back of the wheel. The bottom of the axle will be "out of straight" in proportion to the thickness of the wedges where they touch the box.— By J. L. P.

Putting in Wooden Axletrees

Fig 227 - How to use the straightedge Fig 228 How to fix the lenght of the axletree between the arms

I have a good rule for putting in wooden axletrees. It is as follows:

Take the dish of the wheels from the rear end of the hub box to the face of the felloes, and deduct the amount from five feet two inches. Stand your wheels up, so that they will stand on a balance that will give the swing of wheels. Add half of this swing to the balance of the five feet two inches, and that will give the length of the axletree between the arms. Then take a straightedge with a hole in it; get the length of the hub from one end and measure from that half the hight of the wheels. Put a nail in the hole in the straightedge and down in the bench, and move the straight¬edge up from there a quarter of the swing of the wheels. Then measure to see how much it has moved at the other or hub end of the straightedge; measure that, down on the axle-tree from the center of the large box for the center of the small box. That will give the crook of the arms, which will make the wheels stand on a balance so as to run very easily.

To make this method perfectly plain, I will repeat the foregoing directions in a slightly different way. In doing this job the first thing to know is how wide you want your wagon to track. I make my wagons to track five feet two inches from out to out. The next thing is to take the dish of the wheels from the back end of the hub box (not the band) to the face of the felloes. Put a straightedge up against the felloes and on the face. Measure from the back of the box to the straightedge; also measure both wheels. Add these measures together. Ordinary wheels meas¬ure about eight and a half inches. Twice that makes seventeen inches. Take that amount from five feet two inches, and that will leave three feet nine inches. Then stand your wheels up against the bench to get the swing of the wheel. Ordinary wheels swing about six inches. Now add half the swing of the wheels, which will be three inches, to three feet nine inches, and that will make four feet between the shoulders of the axletree.

The accompanying illustrations will be of great assistance in understanding my plan. Fig. 227 shows how the straightedge is used, and Fig. 228 shows how to fix the length of the axletree between the arms. To get the g ather of the wheels, set your compasses one-eighth of an inch nearer the front side of the axletree from the center of the large box to the center of the small box. This is for the rear wheels. For the front wheels set your compasses for one-eighth and one-sixteenth.—By W. L.