b4utoo

Wagon Wheels Metal Good?

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Old vintage wagon wheels... I get a lot of them...what are they made of? And are they good metal to use and what for?

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Wrought iron, usually double wrought. Has a strong pattern when etched, makes nice decorative work.

Frosty The Lucky.

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It's been my experience, that SOME vintage, wood-spoked Wagon Wheels do, ... in fact, ... have Wrought Iron "Tires".

But a surprising number do not.

I think it might be a "regional" thing, ... due to the ongoing use of horse drawn conveyances, ... particularly here, in the North East.

 

I suspect the Wagon Wheels found "West of the Mississippi", are most likely to be old "originals", ... with the Wrought Iron Tires that you would expect to find on 100 year old artifacts.

But here in "Amish Country", ... there are still a few practicing "Wheelwrights", ... turning out new wheels, ... and repairing older equipment, ... using rolled STEEL Tires.

Any Wheel built, or repaired, in the 70 years that have passed since the end of WWII, ... have most likely got Steel Tires.

 

So, ... depending on where you're located, ... don't "take it for granted" that the Tires and Bands on a wooden wheel are necessarily Wrought Iron.

 

Personally, ... I'd guess the Wheels you're finding, in Southern California, are old enough to have Wrought Iron Tires.

If it's not obvious at-a-glance, ... then a simple Spark Test will erase all doubt about which material you have.

 

.

Edited by SmoothBore

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My last set of tyres from the scrapyard had a set of buggy tyres that were not wrought but mild---very mild indeed and they are slowly becoming  bottle openers.  The larger tyres were all wrought iron.

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Cut one half way thru, bend it at the fold and see if it looks stringy like wrought iron. If so .... you have some great iron to work with. You are luck to have a lot of them. They are quite expensive now as people are selling them as yard decorations on Craigslist for $100+ .....  Are you selling any of the rim pieces if they are true wrought ??

Ohio Rusty ><>

The Ohio Frontier Forge

Edited by Ohio Rusty

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Cut one half way thru, bend it at the fold and see if it looks stringy like wrought iron. If so .... you have some great iron to work with. You are luck to have a lot of them. They are quite expensive now as people are selling them as yard decorations on Craigslist for $100+ .....  Are you selling any of the rim pieces if they are true wrought ??

Ohio Rusty ><>

The Ohio Frontier Forge

​Here are some pictures of them...guy brings them to me...I paid $60 for all three...Two are over 50 inches..and weigh a ton. He asked how many I want...I told him hold on a minute I let you know...So I am here asking you all...before I proceed in any deal.

20150410_193004_resized.jpg

20150410_193750_resized.jpg

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I just "threw" them on the junk area of the yard until I get a bit of education here. I appreciate the feedback..I remember the spark test...will attempt it, but I gotta remember which is which on the sparks lol

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Back when I lived in Columbus OH I once found a free one just down the block from my house.  The little florist shop used it as window decor for years and then one day threw it out and looking down the alleyway I could see it sticking out of their dumpster.

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I wouldn't chop those up for material. I would either sell them as decorations, or incorporate them into a project like a chandelier. A friend back in CA used to collect wheels that style, and stacked them into a wall. Looked pretty cool. 

If all you had was the tire off of wood wheels, then yes, they would be material candidates. As complete steel wheels, nope. Too much other material out there to use.

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My Aunt's kitchen table was a large old implement wheel with a glass top over it.  The chairs were tractor seats welded to a frame.  Of course this was 30 years ago in Arkansas...

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Lots of creative reuses for these. 

Lamps, racks, use two for a rocking chair/couch, yard art, tool rack, rough terrain cart wheels, 

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Some nice pieces of metal there lol  I know I shouldn't cut it...but Im counting number of projects I can make with them...

 

I will consider other uses before I continue...maybe they'll bring me something uglier to chop up.

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Ayup you have a LOT more than old wagon tyers there. some make good stock, some make good bases incorporated in projects and commissions. Looks like you have a nice resource at hand, congratulations. You may have enough available to sell or trade at meetings or conferences. Hollis isn't that for from you and the CBA (or is it NWBA?) Conference has a really BIG tailgating area/event. Were I close enough I'd attend for the tailgating if nothing else.

Frosty The Lucky.

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You are looking at it wrong. Those can get you far more stock than they have in them by using them complete in projects that you sell, or selling them outright. You are close enough to Los Angeles that high end interior designers are not that far away. Las Vegas isn't even that far away.  Round bar, and flat stock is easy to come by, old wheels not so. 

You can cut them for stock, but you will be taking a shortsighted approach to them.

 

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I limit myself to 50 miles in any direction usually. I did get a good source for flat, angle, and plate steel. And other odds and ends. But actual steel companies think they have gold for sale instead of steel...

And only thing around here is recycling companies that want your stuff, not sell.

I did pick up quite a few precut 4140 and 1045 rounds from ebay :)  but paid through the nose but still cheaper than local steel places.

I am considering alternate sources now...

I'll hold the wheels and think on it, I just won't stock up with them until I figured how I will use them or sell them.Thanks again!

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b4utoo,

 

   Go make friends with your local auto junkyard. 1 busted truck axel, 1 busted leaf spring, 1 busted 3/4 ton truck coil spring, and 1 busted small car coil spring and you will have all the stock you need for learning to make tongs, punches, chisels, and knives for a couple of years.

 

Russell 

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Never saw wrought iron tire in Minnesota. 

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The all metal wagon wheels with the steel spokes are steel. I have one similiar. The larger wheel rim all by itself that went around a wooden wagon wheel is most likely hand forged wrought iron. I see a wood wheel with  no rim. The metal bands around the outsde of the hub are also wrought iron in my experience. The wood rim should have a metal hub inside the axel rotated on. That hub is normally just cast iron, same stuff your cast iron skillets are made of. Not really usable for forging.

Ohio Rusty ><>

The Ohio Frontier Forge

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