Repairing Wooden Wheels

I frequently get asked to repair wooden carriage wheels, and they are always a voyage of adventure as you never know what your going to find, which also makes it the hardest to price, which is another problem as everyone wants to know before you start what its going to cost.

A broken spoke

A typical example would be the wheel in the picture which came in to have a broken spoke replaced. In order to replace the spoke you have to first remove the rubber tyre, steel rim, and a section of felloe to get to it. Usually at this point I discover all manner of issues, and that the old time craftsmen where just as capable of a “bodge Job” as modern ones.

So the blue wheel pictured illustrates this perfectly. It came in with a broken spoke which turned out to be rotten and riddled with wood worm to a point where the wood crumbled away when touched. The Carriage had obviously not moved for a while and water had got into the joint between felloes and spokes, causing the felloes to swell and also rot along with the end of several spokes. Our tale of woe continues as the wheel I suspect originally from America  with steam bent felloes covering 7 spokes each, rather than the European Sawn felloes which conventionally bridge 2 spokes, had previously been worked on, and one half of the wheel steamed felloes had been replaced with sawn, some of which were solid and some rotten, all of which had been hidden under many layers of paint.

To cut a long story short I ended up replacing several spokes, most of the felloes, but retained the hub, rubber tyre and steel rim which were refitted. Once its had  a new coat of paint its good to go, back on the carriage.

The finished wheel before the tyre is fitted

10 Pin Bowling at Canary Wharf

 

10 Pin Bowling Lanes at Canary Wharf

This weekend we installed a pair of Ten Pin Bowling Lanes at Canary Wharf – Montgomery square. Each of the two lanes is 7.2mts in length  x 1mt wide and were supplied with 10 hand turned skittles, plus spares, with a ball return along the side, all designed and built from scratch by us.

These are a feature of the estate free summer entertainment, and from the initial reaction are going to be very popular so if you would like to try them for yourself you will need to get there early. Alternatively you could always get us to make one for you.

What Exactly is it you do?

My name is Tom Green and people often ask me what exactly is it you do?

The short answer is I make things. I am most comfortable working in wood, steel, or leather, and I specialize in one off or short run projects. 20 years ago when I set out to become a wheelwright, I thought I would just make carriage wheels, and I still do, but of course what happens is you make the items your customers ask for. However the best way to find out is have a look at my  youtube channel .There or in the Galleries on this website you will see examples of my work, links to my blog, and details of where to get my books.

If you have a project in mind do get in touch.

Tom Green