Finishing off a wheel in the Wheelwrights' Shop.
The metal tyre (or rim) as been sweated on and now a smoothing plane will be used to achieve a fine finish to the sides of the wheel.
The component parts of the wheel are:
a) the hub made of elm - which resists splitting - an advantage with the many close spaced mortise holes in it,
b) The spokes - made of oak - for strength in bearing the burden,
c) the felloes (pronounced 'fellys') - the wooden segments of the rim - made from ash which has the resilience to cope with the rough road surfaces and,
d) the metal tyre made from iron and slightly smaller than the wooden wheel. It is heated and expanded in an open fire, placed on the rim of the wheel, then cooled with water to contract it to a tight fit.
No glue or fixings are used in the assembly of the wheel - just the tightness of the joints and the inwards pressure of the metal tyre.
Note! Other combinations of suitable woods may be used by wheelwrights in other areas depending upon availability and local conditions.
Amberley Museum & Heritage Centre, Houghton Bridge, Arundel, West Sussex.
9th November 2011.
Fujifilm Finepix S9600.
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