Practical Carriage Building
Compiled by M.T. Richardson, Vol.1. 1891
Putting Rims on Wagon Wheels
I will describe how I put the rims on the wheels. I first cut my pattern from three-quarters to one inch larger than the wheel is to be. This will cause the ends of the felloes to stand out a little at the joints, but when the tire is put on all will be right and your rim will not settle at the joint. I next lay my felloe on the spoke tenons the way it is to go on, take a straight edge and lay on the spoke at the hub and on the felloe directly over the center of the spoke, and then mark across the felloe. This will serve as a guide in boring the hole for the spoke tenons. Mark the end of the felloe also to saw off, and then with a thumb gauge mark the inside of the felloe for boring. Then saw off the ends, set your gauge to half the width of the tire gauge from the face of the felloe and the back, and bore for the dowel pin.
Then round off the corners between the spoke and drive the felloe on. When the second one is driven on the joint must be sawed, and before this is done the opposite end of the felloe should be driven out, so that when the work is done the outer post of the joint will be open. This will keep the rims from opening at the joints inside. When the rim is on and the joints are sawed, drive the felloes back, put in the dowel pins, drive up and wedge. Out the spoke ends off just a little below the rims, because this will keep your spokes from kinking and your wheel from dishing so much as it would if the spoke end were left out flush with the rim.
As there are several ways of doweling rims, I will try to explain the one I think is best. It is to have the holes straight in the end of the felloe. This is not the easiest or shortest way, but I believe it is the best. Some dowel by boring in the joint, but this is apt to cause the end of the felloe to split while its tire is being set. Others bore diagonally across the joint, but this is not a good plan, for it may weaken the felloe and so cause it to split off on the inside.óBy James B. Wood.