Practical Carriage Building
Compiled by M.T. Richardson, Vol.1. 1891
Practical Hints for Repairing Wagon Wheels
The one branch of carriage and wagon making in which the divergences of opinion are the most marked, and in which the laws governing construction are the least arbitrary and least respected, is that of the wheel making.
From the oldest to the youngest wagon wheel maker there is the same contention as to the right and wrong way, the same difference as to what constitutes the right form of spoke, hub, and felloe.
Those who advocate the old methods claim that the wheels of former days were more durable than those of the present; while the wagon wheel maker of to-day, who uses the most modern appliances in the way of machinery, asserts that there never was a time when wheel making was conducted so scientifically as at the present, nor when the results were better.
When the opinions are so varied, it seems but right that no one should assume to possess knowledge of an order so much above that of his neighbor as to attempt to lay down an arbitrary course for all to follow. On the contrary, it is probable that the seeker after knowledge will find it far more satisfactory to study up the writings of practical men, and glean from each hints which may serve as starting points for him who wishes to advance, or advantages for those who are content when they have discovered some practical plan of working out a satisfactory result.
Recognizing the differences of opinion, this chapter is made up from contributions from practical men, giving individual experiences, covering all parts of the country, and all conditions of surroundings. Practice, not theory, predominates, and the reader is asked to treat each as the result of some manís daily study and observation; and no matter how much opinions may differ, it must be remembered that these opinions are based upon conditions which entitle them to credence.