# Setting a wagon tire

Working on a decorative wagon wheel in wood, but I'd really like to put a metal tire on it. Now, that's no trick if it's just for looks--make a steel ring that's close enough to the dimension that a little epoxy under it will hold it, but the devil in me wants to do a proper job and shrink the thing.
Trouble is that this is a no-burn area so I can't just light a fire in the back yard and heat the tire.
So, any ideas on how to go about this? The wheel is 2 feet in diameter, making the tire too big to fit in a barbecue or the like. If I was making a bunch of 'em I'd be tempted to just build a charcoal pit big enough and call it a barbie, but that's a lot of work for one wheel.
And yeah, I know I can find a blacksmith, but I'm more interested in the making than in having a wheel.
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>

A charcoal fire will do the trick, and most jurisdictions allow grills. It's the smoke they object to.
How big is the tire?
Joe Gwinn
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
On 7/31/2010 9:44 AM, Joseph Gwinn wrote:

<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>

I counted up four paragraphs and it said some thing about finding a blacksmith, but nothing about the size of the wheel.
How big is the wheel?
R
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
On 07/31/2010 08:26 AM, RicodJour wrote:

"The wheel is 2 feet in diameter, making the tire too big to fit in a barbecue or the like."
--

Tim Wescott
Wescott Design Services
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>

The diameter (2') is only one of the three needed numbers. What is thickness and width?
Joe Gwinn
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
On 7/31/2010 12:21 PM, Joseph Gwinn wrote:

An inch wide, 3/16 thick.
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
wrote:

Ahh. That's reasonably substantial. Thinner would be herder to keep hot using a torch. I bet a propane weedburner would do the job, especially if the heat were confined with some firebricks.
Joe Gwinn
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
On 7/31/2010 1:32 PM, Joseph Gwinn wrote:

That's another good idea, appeals to the small boy in me, and is cheaper than an oxyacetylene rig. So should I go for the 500,000 BTU Red Dragon, the 100,000, whatever Home Despot has, or the 12.99 Harbor Freight jobbie?
Wish I'd thought about using one of those when I was trying to get my muffler off a while back, but I'd have probably just set the Jeep on fire.
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
wrote:

Also, the heat content of acetylene is far less than that of propane, so propane is better for bulk heating. I learned this from a book on brazing and silver soldering. The author is a UK model builder, and he makes silver-soldered brass boilers for model steam engines.

I have a Home Despot weedburner, and while it does work, it is awkward to use because it lacks a built-in lighter, so you cannot turn it on and off so easily. An ordinary spark lighter didn't work, and I ended up using a small propane torch as a lighter. Clumsy. So, I would recommend getting a unit with built in lighter. I'll probably buy one someday.
I have no experience with the HF unit.
I would think that 100,000 BTU/hr is enough, but you will need the firebricks to make a simple muffle to contain and focus the heat.
If you can manage the charcoal ring fire, that may be easier. Use the weedburner to light the charcoal. Firebricks are still useful. Or half-bricks.
For doing hot work on my wooden workbench, I went down to a local brickyard and bought \$35 worth of ordinary firebricks and half-bricks. (Have the shape and density of an ordinary red brick, but are yellow; used to line fireplaces.) When I need to do some hot work, I make a cleverly arranged pile of bricks on the bench and get to work. With a muffle, I can easily get small objects up to a bright orange heat. After it all cools, the bricks go back to their storage pile. The only scorch marks on the bench are where I didn't pile enough bricks in place, and some flame spilled over the edge and impinged on the wood. The backside of a full brick does not get hot enough to be a problem.

Unh. Too much of a good thing.
For a muffler, I would guess that an air-acetylene turbotorch would work. Or air-propane turbotorch. But I've never had to use a torch on a muffler. It was cheaper in time to simply cut the entire old exhaust system off right up to the cast iron manifold using a cold chisel, and replace all that rusty tin. At least on the Volvos of the day, with care you could perhaps save the long pipe (which ran the hottest and so corroded the least), but it was not worth the trouble.
Joe Gwinn
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
How hot does it have to be?
The coefficient of thermal expansion for steel is 0.00000645in/in/deg F.
75 inches x 0.00000645 = 0.00048375 PER DEGREE INCREASE.
So, how much fit do you need?
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>

Well, it ain't much, really. If you heated it up 500F, you'd get a 1/4" (roughly) circumferential expansion, which would be 1/4 over pi inches in diameter, or roughly a bit more than 1/16" diametral expansion.
That's enough, I'd say, to get it over a well-sized wheel. If not - if you wanted to pull the wheel together tighter than you built it - heat it up 1000F for an 1/8" increase.
On a wooden wheel, what you really need to do is make sure it will shrink down further than the amount it burns away the wood before it's below 450F. That's more dependent upon the skill of the wheelwright in mounting and chilling the tire than it is upon the actual temperature to which it's heated.
LLoyd
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>

Calculating the change in circumference is the 'hard way' to get the answer.
A 'hole' in a piece of 'something'(anything) expands at the *exactly* the same rate as the material surrounding it.
So, the diameter will increase by 24*.00000645 inches per degree or, .00015480 in/degree.
Assuming 70f ambient. heating to 500F gets 0.0665+" on the diameter, which is almost exactly 1/15th of an inch. heating to 1000F gets 0.1439+" just over 1/7".
The tricky part is manhandling the two parts so the surfaces stay "parallel" from inner side to outer side, and getting things in place before the tire cools appreciably.
I'd be tempted to 'cheat', and subject the wooden wheel to a dry ice (or similar) treatment, to -shrink- it as much as possible.
Also get the wood as _dry_ as possible before mounting the tire, and then let it absorb moisture back to 'normal' level. every little bit helps. ;)
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
If you heat it up, and then slide it onto the wooden wheel. Won't that char the wheel some?
--
Christopher A. Young
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>

It does, indeed. The "art" is in having it char away less wood than the amount it will shrink after cooling. There are ways.
LLoyd
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
"Ve haf vays to make you tok."
--
Christopher A. Young
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>

In the time it has taken to discuss this, I would have dug a shallow hole, filled it with charcoal and done it. This is a classic case of overcomplicating things.
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
On 7/31/2010 9:58 PM, CW wrote:

Not an option. If it was I would already have done it.
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>

I don't understand something about this no-fire regulation. Where exactly is it that you can't have a BBQ? Seems outlandish.
R
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
wrote:

A *lot* of places have no *open* fire regulations, at least part of the time. There are "Red Flag" warnings issued here on dry days (quite often in the Winter). Some areas require a "burn permit" for an open fire.
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>

## Site Timeline

• ### On Topic: What to make to hone skills

• - previous thread in Woodworking Forum
• ### unrepairable lawnmower what would you try next

• - the site's newest thread. Posted in Home Repair
• Share To

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.