Practical Carriage Building

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

Driving Heavy Oak Spokes

When the spokes are ready for driving, I place the hub end close to a stove in which there is a hot fire, and put a dish of boiling water on the top of the stove. When they have been heated as much as they can be without scorching them, I dip one in the hot water, place it in the hub, and drive it as rapidly as possible. It must not be soaked in the water, but simply dipped.

The object of heating is to shrink the wood, and the dipping in hot water is intended to moisten the outside so that the spoke will not rebound in driving. If it is desired to repair an old wheel with a greasy hub, plunge the spoke into ashes after dipping it in the water.

Wheels repaired by me in this way have lasted through twenty years of constant use, and the spokes are as firm now as on the day they were driven.óBy A. M. T.

Something about Spokes

Showing how the back of the spoke is pricked Fig 140

I prefer wheel making to anything else in the line of car¨riage and wagon manufacturing, and I have made all sorts of wheels, from the best to the cheapest. The mortises should have one-eighth inch squeeze, or be one-eighth inch smaller at the bottom than at the top. I make my spokes fit tightly sidewise, and then face them up with a plane; that is, I dress the front side straight at the tenons. I then set my dividers to correspond with the side of the mortises at the outsides and cut the tenons to the length desired. I then apply my dividers to the face and prick the back, as shown by the dots in Fig. 140. I make the spoke as large at the point as at the shoulder, so that when it is driven it will be tight at the bottom, and when tight there it will not work loose. A spoke should be just tight enough at the shoulder to fill the mortise well. If it is any tighter, the grain of the wood in the spoke will break, and this will of course weaken and tend to loosen the spoke.óBy A. L.