Practical Carriage Building

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

Putting the Rims on Wagon Wheels

There are many ways of putting rims on wheels, but we poor fellows in country shops, surrounded by factories of all kinds, where prices are cut to their lowest point, have always to try to get the best and quickest way of doing anything in order to keep up with prices and make an honest living. The good old fashioned way of putting on sawed or pieced rims is just as good as any; but it takes too much time, and as everybody knows, time is money.

Why not have correct patterns of the rim, the ends sawed off correctly and the holes for the spokes marked at their right place? Lay this pattern on the rim, mark the ends and holes for spokes, saw off the rim to the mark, bore the holes for spokes and dowel, round off the inside of the rims and put them on. My advice is to leave one piece a little longer than the rest, so that if any of the joints should not fit correctly, one can run a saw through without getting what is called too much open wood. In this way I get all spokes an equal distance apart. I have seen wheels where some spokes were three-quarters of an inch and more further apart at the rims than others. Saw off and bore all the rims at the same time, and no matter how many sets there are, they will fit on any wheel of the same size.

I suppose everybody can make a pattern, but if any cannot, I am willing to show him how to do it. I don't use sawed rims except for repair work, for in my part of the country most all farm wagons are put up with three or three and a half inch tire.

First turn the tenons on the spokes and then get the correct length of the hall' rim, by laying one end on the center of a tenon on the spoke; and lay the rim tight up to the shoulder where it should go. Then make a mark on the rim, on the center of the opposite spoke, lay the other end on that spoke, and lay the rim around the other half of the wheel. If the mark strikes the center of the first spoke, it is all right, and if there is any difference, divide it, and that gives the correct half of the rim. Then take the dividers and divide the half rim into twelve equal parts for six spokes or fourteen parts for seven; mark off for the spokes, bore the holes around the rims and drive on. After the dividers have been set once, as many may be marked off as is desired.óBy Michigan Woodworker.