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I Forge Iron

Any Wheelwrights amongst you?

Neil Blythin

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I've recently been reading up a bit on wheel making - and am thinking about giving it a try. Just wondering if there are any wheelwrights amongst the forum membership?

I'm looking for recommendations on good reference material on the subject (books, websites, associations, etc.). I'm also wondering if that trade has any specialized tools; and if there are smithing books on making those tools?

Any info is greatly appreciated!


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Western Canadian Wheelwright Association. Look up their web-site. One of their members, who lives in Parksville on Vancouver Island, has one of the best books published. I don't recall the name but I have the info at home. I'll dig it up.


Neil Gustafson


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I know two smiths who made many of the tongs, Steam boxes and other tools for the local amish wheel wrights up here  But they are older and don't have computers. :( 






and darnit I can't find the old black and white one I watched just a little while ago where they showed them measuring out a tire with a walking wheel, bending the tire, spliting, scarfing, and welding up the tire then shrinking it on the wheel.  Its some where on youtube.

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This is available from www.wheelwrighting.ca    Cottonwood Press, Joyce & Bruce Morrison (the Authors). Enjoy the Journey, not the gurney. Neil Gustafson

Wheelwrighting: A Modern Introduction

The Most Comprehensive Book on Building

Carriage and Wagon Wheels — Ever!!

general reference book is accessible to beginners while at the same time
challenging to intermediate level wheelwrights. Lots of
information—the chapters guide the reader through the steps in
building spiders—the first step in wheel building—for Sarven hubs,
bolted hubs, wagon hubs and carriage hubs. Subsequent chapters follow
the progressive steps in wheel construction, from pointing and tenoning
spokes to installing felloes and setting tires. There is a chapter on
boring and boxing hubs to complete the wheel building sequence. A large
number of appendices provide additional information on where to find
wheelwright training, reference information for wheelwrights, measured
drawings for building wheelwrighting tools, as well as technical sections on such
topics as dish. Carriage wheels, carriage hubs, wagon wheels, general
Wheelwrighting and Wheelwright training – this book has it covered.





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Stuart is a good friend and always helpful to all of us that are less experienced than he is. 


PM sent with my email address so that I may attempt to answer questions that Neil may have about wheelwrighting.


Be careful about copying how people tire wheels on Internet videos.  Burning tires and bands onto wooden wheels creates a layer of ash between the tire or band and the fellows and/or hubs.  When the ashes work their way out, then the bands (both tires and hub bands were called bands) become loose. Thus you hear about all the stories of tires coming loose.  Yes it was too often done that way, but it is sort of like letting your auto mechanic put cheap knock-off parts on your car or truck that wear out in six months instead of quality OEM parts that may last for years. 


Shown is a 57" diameter wheel being *warm* tired in front of my shop.  The white stuff in the photo is steam coming off the wheel as the warm tire (temperature approximately less than 454 degrees Fahrenheit) is cooled.


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Hi Neil,

I am also looking at wheel making, so far I have only completed a wheel barrow wheel but I am eyeing up something a little bigger.


A couple more books you could try are -


Wheel making, wooden wheel design and construction - Don Peloubet -  astragal press isbn 1-879335-73-5


Carriage and wagon axles for horse drawn vehicles - Don Peloubet - Astragal press isbn 1-031626-02-2


Practical carriage building - M T Richardson - Astragal press isbn 1-879335-50-6


Carriage and wagon makers machinery and tools - Kenneth L Cope - Astragal press isbn 1-931626-18-9


If you go to the Umba library of DVD's there is one DVD - RD82 which is a demo on making a wooden wheel and hub.



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  • 1 year later...

Yo ! I have made upwards of 1500 wheels of all sizes and types so I guess I qualify. I originally owned Camelot Carriage Mfg. in St. Jacobs . I now live near Peterborough and am looking to get back into wheel making and restoration. I would like to team up with interested persons and I am on the hunt for property and wheelwright tools as I sold mine off a few moons ago. I am also a member of the Western Wheelwright Assoc.


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