Wood type in the hub of a Wood Spoked Wagon Wheel

Page 1 of 2  
All
Any idea what type of wood is used in the hub of a wood spoked wagon wheel? Can you tell by looking or feeling?
The piece has the spokes inserted into it. The piece is a "spacer" between the metal hub or spacer that rotates on the axle and the hub/ flange that attaches the spokes to the flange. The piece is round with rectangular holes to accept the spokes. It is about 8" long and maybe 5" in diameter. It tapers some to each end.
And finally what is the name of the tool that drills "square holes" on wood. I think it is called a mortise drill. Am I right?
Thanks Bob AZ
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Elm was often used due to it's twisted grain...didn't split.
Re the mortises, they could have either been drilled and chiseled square to simply chopped square with a mortising chisels. In more modern wheels a hollow chisels mortiser could be used.
John
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Bob AZ" wrote in message

American elm.

"Hollow chisel mortiser". Combination of chisel and bit. Bit rides inside the four sided chisel and removes most of the wood while the chisel, with downward pressure of the tool/machine, squares the corner of the round hole, in on pass.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 2/20/07
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

All
Thanks for the prompt replies.
And pray tell where does one get some "American Elm".? In a 8" round by 16" size? I would be afraid to ask where I live in the AZ desert.
Will look online this evening.
Bob AZ
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Good luck - most American elms were wiped out by Dutch elm disease by the 1970's. There are still a few around, but many of the large living ones are the ones that are valuable enough to be kept alive by injections of fungicide, so they probably won't be cut down for wagon wheels any time soon. Siberian and other Asian elms are not as susceptible to the disease, so they are more common now, but I don't know if they have the same interlocking grain characteristics. There are a few varieties of American elm that have been bred for higher tolerance of Dutch elm disease, but they haven't been around that long, so none of those would be large enough for wagon wheels yet. Sorry this doesn't really answer your question, but I guess I'm trying to say you might need to search for reclaimed elm lumber, or do some research to explore alternative woods for wagon wheel hub use. I'm curious - are you restoring wagon wheels? Andy
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Andy
Not really restoring.
I do some work for a local blacksmith shop. They asked that I find the right type of wood and "machine" it to size. They simply did not have this particular item in stock..
The blacksmith shop is out of the past. Their new stuff is pre WWII. I am not sure they even are aware that 1950 and later exists. They still use coal for the forge. The owner is 94. His Grandfather started the place long before the Civil War. I think it was 1840. At any rate well before my time.
Another reply said that the piece I am to make is called the "boxing". Again the piece is between the axle sleeve and the flanged hub. The shop has the rivets in stock. Surplus from the Army/Calvary stock. Even me at 70+ has to get into the past to do anything right there.
Thanks for everybodys' responses. Now if I had a contact in Dallas.
Bob AZ
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Bob AZ wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks for everybodys' responses. Now if I had a contact in Dallas.

This discussion has been about what type of wood is in the hub of a wood wheel. The consensus of opinion seems to be American Elm. Another mentioned to contact any tree service in Dallas. Which implys to me that there are plenty of elm trees coming down in Dallas. I would need log about 8" in diameter and 24" long. Of course I would pay the shipping, probably by arranging things through FedEX Ground.
I have not attempted to locate any elm elsewhere. So until this thread runs its' course I will hold tight for another week or so. Thanks for the response. Bob AZ
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thu, Apr 5, 2007, 11:59am (EDT-3) snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (BobAZ) doth sayeth: I do some work for a local blacksmith shop. They asked that I find the right type of wood and "machine" it to size. They simply did not have this particular item in stock.. The blacksmith shop is out of the past. Their new stuff is pre WWII. I am not sure they even are aware that 1950 and later exists. They still use coal for the forge. <snip>
Then why didn't you ask them what type of wood it is? Or, if they buy them pre-made, ask where where they get them, and ask the manufacturer? There's any number of different woods that would be suitable. Locust for one. Google.
Is it supposed to be unusual for a blacksmiths to use coal? I would consder using charcoal more traditonal than using coal.
JOAT In the rough is just enough.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Apr 7, 10:16�am, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (J T) wrote:

Who knows what they used a hundred or more years ago? Coal is unique for where I live. I have lived her 60+ years and have never heard or seen of coad. Oil for heat but even that is scarce. Electric or gas or many times nothing. Winters are mild. And some do use wood. Bob AZ
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
(BobAZ) doth

Who knows what they used a hundred or more years ago? Coal is unique for where I live. I have lived her 60+ years and have never heard or seen of coad. Oil for heat but even that is scarce. Electric or gas or many times nothing. Winters are mild. And some do use wood. Bob AZ
Cannot say what was common 100 years ago for forges, but in the settled areas along the east coast in the 18th century coal was common. It was used as ballast in ships... Colonial Williamsburg, VA uses coal in its forges (though turned into coke before actually doing any forging, welding, etc.)
John
John
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Apr 7, 10:16�am, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (J T) wrote:

The shop does not know what the wood is. It is crumbling and rotting right now. I have a small piece to go by but am not able to identify it. The stock thay have pre made is from a long time ago. Before you or I were born. No markings to indicate manufacturer.
There is no way they will farm out anywork at all except is rare cases such as having me make/cut the piece. I am sure the shop will scruitinizing me every step of the way. Their customers expect everything to be done in house. Outsource? They probably have not heard the word. Bob AZ
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Bob AZ wrote:
> > The shop does not know what the wood is. It is crumbling and rotting > right now. I have a small piece to go by but am not able to identify > it. The stock thay have pre made is from a long time ago. Before you > or I were born. No markings to indicate manufacturer.
Certainly no wood expert, but does lignum vitae meet the requirements?
Lew
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Bob AZ wrote:
| Any idea what type of wood is used in the hub of a wood spoked wagon | wheel? Can you tell by looking or feeling?
Bob...
A suggestion: See if your local library has, or can request, a copy of the Fox Fire books. This was a series of paperback books put together by hgh school kids (in Appalaachia?) who interviewed oldsters in an effort to produce a compendium of how things used to be done. One of the volumes has an excellent chapter on making wagon wheels - with information from people who actually did that for a living.
HTH
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/solar.html
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Appalachia, sort of. The project was done in a school in Rabun Gap, GA, as I recall. That's in the NE part of the state. I guess that's the Appalachin chain, but I think it's also the southern end of the Blue Ridge in that area. The Chattooga River runs through there, which is where "Deliverance" was filmed.
The sad part of the Foxfire books story is that the teacher who led the project was eventually charged with some variation of child molesting, was discharged, and did some time.
--
LRod

Master Woodbutcher and seasoned termite
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
LRod wrote:
| wrote:
| Appalachia, sort of. The project was done in a school in Rabun Gap, | GA, as I recall. That's in the NE part of the state. I guess that's | the Appalachin chain, but I think it's also the southern end of the | Blue Ridge in that area. The Chattooga River runs through there, | which is where "Deliverance" was filmed.
Thanks. I wasn't sure where it was - Rabun Gap rings a bell, though. I remember being amazed that they'd been produced by kids. I only had the first three volumes - but felt that I learned a lot from them.
| The sad part of the Foxfire books story is that the teacher who led | the project was eventually charged with some variation of child | molesting, was discharged, and did some time.
That _is_ sad.
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/solar.html
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
i've seen them made from white or yellow burr oak. seems to me they are made like a barrel is made with steel bands around them. sound right? makes nice light fixtures like for a swag. ross www.highislandexport.com
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 5 Apr, 07:40, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (Ross Hebeisen) wrote:

Nope. They're always (*) made from solid. They're often banded too, but they're not stave-built like a barrel.
* Some huge hubs are made from pieces, owing to their sheer size. This is millwright's work, not wheelwright's. I'm talking about the hubs for horse gins, mill wheels, windmill gears or trip hammers, rather than even big cartwheels. The joinery on these things is as complex as Japanese temple carpentry work. As they're big sections, then oak is more common than elm. Oak in bulk is stronger than elm, elm's virtue is in that rippled grain retaining its strength down to thin sections.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I understand that osage orange was used a lot.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.