Monthly Archives: February 2015


The next 40″ wheel is more than half way done, eight more spokes to go, all fellows and hub drilled. I finished the end drill jig and drilled the fellow ends. It worked at the beginning but as I went along it got sloppy and the edges twisted or were off center. They will work if I leave some with just one peg and widen the hole. I should have used harder wood or metal inserts could do it. It does work, but the grain pulls the bit off just a little. A thought, I could sand the peg on one side and tune the alignment, will work. I could just leave the pegs out as well, use the metal tire.
I made a good batch of bean soup using bacon, a shallot, garlic, carrot, garden herbs parsley, thyme, rosemary and a can of TJ’s organic northern beans. It turned out excellent and about one large serving. Worth making again for lunch if you like bean soup, served with sour dough toast.
So a good day, back to work tomorrow.



No sign of Raven today, I’m guessing she is still in Esalen near Big Sur. I stopped at Salvation Army on the way home from coffee, found a new cup to match the Shrek ear soup bowl of a different color, a wooden clamp and a really nice air pump coffee server, all for 2 bucks. I talked with friend Bottle Dan while there.

Home and hungry I cooked up some chicken tenders in the fry pan with cucumber side, sate sauce and cauliflower au gratin. Yum.

I spent most of the day cutting out the 8 fellows for the next wooden cart wheel, the same 40″ size as the last one. I sanded them all on the lapidary drum sander, marking a set of 26″ fellows during a break from sanding. I ran about an 1/8 inch short on the last one, but the next stud will be enough for the second wheel and an extra fellow. The 40″ set is complete and ready to drill.


I’ve been thinking of a way to drill the fellows ends with dowel holes to line them up. I took one and held the end on a piece of redwood, marked the line in pen, flipped it and marked the other end further down. I drilled a fat hole in each rectangle and sawed the parts out with the jig saw. I cut the two apart with the band saw. Using a file I trued up the cuts and put in a curve for the inside arc of the fellows in each. I tested all the 8 fellows to fit, they do. I got a piece of brazing rod and found a drill about the same size. Stringing each rectangle together on a fellow and clamped in place, I drilled two holes one either side. Another piece of redwood sawn the same size, aligned and drilled to match, I used a couple nails that fit the holes to align all the pieces, wood glued and clamped. They are drying.


I will measure and carefully drill two holes using the drill press to keep them straight with the centered 5/16 bit that came from the doweling jig I used on the gate. I will mark each side A and B with a mark on the two matching edges to use as base line to make matching holes. It should work if I mark each fellow end A and B, drilled to match the jig with the adjusted depth stop for dowels cut to length. It should all line up and may even work on all the wheels. That’s the plan, should work.

2/14/2015 Valentines Day


Well it’s vardo day and Valentines, but Raven went to Esalen on a bucket wish, fair enough. My friend Joe said he’d stop by. I raked the sweet gum pods from the driveway so we don’t trip on them, started the truck and moved it to a slope to drain the bed of water then parked it. I jacked the vardo up and removed the blocks, she’s back on wheels again. I swept the leaves from the garage and found the reflectors for the fenders under the kiln, peeled and stuck the red ones back, yellow front on outer edge. It needs to be seen as these are extended and will help while backing the trailer as well.
I’ve been cutting more spokes for the wooden wheel, a few more done down to two fellows (wooden outer wheel sections) to go, 3/4 round. Getting hungry, I went in. A beef stew would be good, grass fed London broil thawing in hot water, red potatoes, celery, carrots, red onion, garlic, garden herbs of parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme and oregano, Scarborough plus, all organic. Beef broth and a glug of white wine, salt and Worcestershire. Joe called as it’s cooking, we’re on around 2:00. I cut more spokes as it cooked, thickened with flour water. Too hungry to wait, served with a slice of sour dough toast an butter adding the excess butter to the pot. Yum.

That small kids guitar I bought a couple weeks ago will be for Josie, Joe’s daughter. She’s been playing a ukulele, the two extra strings should help and it’s small enough for kid fingers. I cut a piece of soft leather for a strap, punched and cut for a button hole, then taper tied around the neck above the nut, simple effective. Tuned with my recorder and a Queen tune playing roughly close.

Another dowel cut and ready to turn as Joe arrived. We talked a while of possible improvements around the home and his new shop in progress. He had some stew and an orange for me. He brought me a hollyhock which we planted on Rosie the cat’s grave. I’ll need more hubs and Joe wants a couple rounds for whirligigs, so we broke out the hole saws and cut enough for two more wheels plus extensions and two rounds for him. I used a dome tool that fit in the holes as an axle held with pliers at an angle on the drum sander to spin and sand the parts true. In the process I had a thought.
“Hey Joe, you want to go to Salvation Army?”
“Yea sure.”
I closed the garage and we headed off in Joe’s car. Looking for tools, wow, a Ryobi bench top planer for $80, but some other guy just scored it. I helped him plug it in, it works, read the manual online first. We picked up some kitchen tools. Too bad we missed that planer, oh well.
Back home I cut another spoke as the neighbor’s kid Jamin showed up. We showed him the wood wheels I’m making. He asked for the scrap from the rounds, sure. Joe needs a hand plane, I have a duplicate, perfect. We pack his car with a vice I’ve been storing, a whole chicken partly frozen for his family, some grapefruits I scored from the tree at the park and ride in town, tart but tasty with sugar.
We walked to the river, it’s down still powerful, keeping an eye out for rattle snakes as I’ve seen one near the rocks. Time to go pick up Cat at her job in Healdsburg, Joe heads out. Oh no, he forgot the guitar, I jump in my car and head for town. I arrived at the mercantile before Joe, Cat is still working. I give her Josie’s guitar, “Happy Valentines Day!” and head out. Next door I pick up a Flying Goat coffee for tomorrow morning and head home.
This morning I mostly finished the wheel, at least the parts fit together, still need a steel tire.
Once assembled and painted they’ll look really good, three more to go, two smaller.


This afternoon I drove to Home Depot for more dowels, eight 3 footers 3/4″ dia. On the way back I stopped at Healdsburg Lumber and asked in the yard if they have metal banding, they do, I need 40 feet. We went to talk to the yard boss, he said $1.90/lb or just give it to him. We measured 40 feet, taped it round, he gave it to me. Thank you very much. So I have thin steel banding to make the tires for the wagon wheels and such a deal, very cool. Next time we need stuff, let’s check Healdsburg Lumber first.
Back home, I cut another large hub with the 5″ hole saw as the other one has a large chip out of it. Sanded smooth it looks even round. I picked two smaller hole saw blades and cut a quarter inch into the smaller hubs and chiseled out the tween stuff, sanded, they look good like an axle in the middle, paint it black. I measured the sixteen centers around the hub and drilled the half inch holes at a taped bit depth of +3/4″. I hand sawed one of the dowels to two 16.75″ pieces, adjusted the lathe tail stock to fit snugly now with room.
The centers are pinged in with the spring punch first, much easier. A heavy small line visible when spinning at the 3/4″ mark. I cut the line first with an angled skew cutter, then cut the rest with the flat round cutting an angle chamfer on the end and stopped to measure. A little over a half inch lands about here on the chamfered end, back on and cut true to that. Off and removed the part, a bit snug, back in and filed to fit. This time it fits nice, hammered into the hub. I’ll leave it in.
The next one the same, although I grabbed a square chisel as another cutter, this works, hammered in. These are tight and don’t flex much, will make a good wheel. Much better than the first one too large and at the hairy edge with not enough length inside the wood.
The sun is setting, I cleaned up, the tools away. I broke down the first wheel 3 fellows and moved it up on its side out of the way. Bringing the new 40 inch fellows inside, I marked the spoke centers with the square. Ready to be drilled at 3/4″ but too messy to do inside. Next time I’ll cut more spokes and drill fellows then some, a productive day today.


Well I ended up with a mild cold, sniffling and such. Yesterday and today off. I’m feeling better today and am considering going to work tomorrow.
I made some home made noodles this morning of one egg and flour to make a dough, rolled and cut, boiled in salt water. They turned out OK, needs salt in the dough. After that I looked it up on line, got it right. one egg, half cup flour per person, salt, knead it a lot. Cut, let it dry a half hour, cook with salt water and a little oil, (as I did). I didn’t let them dry so they stuck a bit, thinner would be better as they swelled. But they are good and easy to make. I even used the organic flour I got from Shelton’s.
I did play around today with the dust mask on. I hole saw cut two smaller 4″ circles for the 5″ hubs. I then laid out a new wheel pattern for a 40 inch wheel four inches smaller by just running another line off the old pattern card stock. Cut and folded to find the spoke centers, trimmed true to 2 inches wide, I drew them on the pieces of 2 x 4 wood I have left. I lucked out as they just fit for eight fellows (outer wheel pieces). They are all sawn and sanded just as the sun went down. This is a perfect size as the spokes fit easily on the lathe at 16.75″ and can be made of a three foot section of dowel instead of four. Figured, that’s ten and a half feet circumference for banding. The dowels will fit deeper at 3/4″ for a more solid fit. This is a good size wheel to produce in my shop.
I still want to make another set smaller yet for the “front” wheels, 36″ diameter or less. Maybe even carve the spokes, or not, we’ll see.
Interesting, I passed a trailer with a wooden wagon on it today, hit the brakes to get a quick look, very cool. To bad it was moving too fast to study. I did have a thought to cut a couple smaller circle cuts in the outer hub circles to represent the axle, chiseled out between. Thinking back, I should have done that while they were still attached to the board. I can hold them in the large bench vice or add a clamp. Another thought while sanding the fellows, spinning wheels are made this way too.
An experiment I tried drilling two 1/2″ holes offset to make  a long 3/4″ slot didn’t work as the center went away. Perhaps a smaller hole filed to make the true rectangle spoke hub hole.
So another wheel is in process even before the first is done. Perhaps I could reuse the spokes and make another to match the 40″ set, but I think the first should exist as is. It needs glue.
A good day.



Raven didn’t make it down the hill, an early memorial, emailed I knew though I was there to meet her in case at Bucky’s near the Home Depot. I picked up some dowels at HD for spokes, going with 3/4″ diameter as it looked right. It didn’t rain as I worked outside making the wooden wagon wheel, not a real one, just a prop but a challenge. I blew out the first hub as the 3/4″ bit is too large for the circumference. Hole saw cut another and backed it down to 1/2″ holes and whittle fit, then lathe turned the rest of the spokes to fit. Eight of sixteen spokes done and all the holes drilled in the hub and the fellows (outer curved wheel timbers). A real wooden wheel would have rectangle holes in the hub, I’m cheating as this is just a prop not load bearing and first experiment. Perhaps I’ll make the next one more so but still just props. It’s fun with three more to go.


That was yesterday, today I cut the other 8 spokes. I cooked a batch of spaghetti sauce while I worked the spokes. Good stuff, canned a few jars. I assembled the wheel on the garage floor where there is enough space. For now it is tied with nylon heavy string using a running hitch to hold it tight as the knot slides tighter. I am thinking to get some cheap lumber banding to make the steel tire.


It would be easier to make the next wheel an inch smaller as I could fit the lathe better, this one (18 5/8 spoke) puts my dead center hanging barely on. Or perhaps two holes chiseled each spoke would make a closer representation of the real thing, a long rectangle mortise and tenon on the hub. I am also thinking to add another smaller hole saw cutting to represent the wider hub found on true wheels. This one will need Epoxy glue on the hub tenons to keep it together. It looks good, more to do.


I went to the Shilo  center this morning to meet Raven at the Starbuck’s as we need wood at Home Depot. I was a half hour early and there is a Goodwill across the street, I checked it out. Nice terra cotta dish, not cheap. Wow, a guitar for $10, a small “Pignose” kid size guitar but not bad. It’s strung in steel strings with the second string missing. I’ll take it. Rough tuned while waiting. I head in to SB at 10:30 as planned, Raven is there at an outside table, I head in for a cup, nice place, coffee, ah.
Raven wants a copper pen, she walks to Office Depot to meet at HD out front. I move my car prepped for lumber and wait shortly. They didn’t have her pen, odd that. She goes looking in HD paint as I go to the wood for 2x4s. Three kiln dried 2 x 4 x 8 foot studs to make a wooden wheel or two. I cut the round hubs last week, slow on the band saw. It’s not a real wheel, just a prop, so I cut the hub in half to make two hubs. It took a long time to cut.
There is another store in Healdsburg may have copper pens, just up the street from Flying Goat Coffee. They have a set of pens with copper, I buy it. A stop at Shelton’s, celery and a rutabaga for the lamb I left cooking in the oven. Home.
The lamb is wine baked tender, cut up carrots, celery and rutabaga to add to the onions, garden thyme, rosemary and garlic, more chicken broth to cover on the stove top low. Corn fritter recipe by Gordon Ramsey I’m trying but not hot, red bell peppers instead of chilies with a yogurt sauce. Not great but edible. Raven went for some sourdough toast instead with the lamb stewed veggies good, though a bit lamb greasy, very tasty rutabaga, also known as swede.
Raven is working on the curtains in the vardo, she walked up town for cup hooks but Bosworth’s is closed for lunch. Across the street the antique store has nice buttons.
 I cut the card stock pattern for the wheels and draw it out on the 2x4s, something is odd, too many parts laid out. I cut the first piece but it is so slow. Checking the pattern I have cut it too short, back to the first spoke, but the first piece caught in time. Screw this, I need a new saw blade as it’s taking an hour to cut one eighth.
I head to town for new blades, dropping Raven off for hooks at the corner to short walk home. Down town mall Sears has 80″ blades, a wood one and a metal plus a few jig blades. More TJ bubble water. And a quick stop for new guitar strings, Nylon is easier on little fingers.
Raven has sewn in the buttons and hand stitched button holes into the curtains, with hooks to secure the curtains back.
I re draw and cut the card stock pattern, transfer it to the other side of the 2x4s. I’ll be short one gore for two wheels. It should be made up in the smaller front wheels. I cut two pieces quick on the new blade in minutes, perfect and sharp. Paper pattern folded in half, then each side folded to it makes a good spoke measurement.
It’s getting dark. Pictures taken for the blog. Raven heads off for a movie as I write this.
I re strung the guitar in Nylon and rough tuned it a couple times. It’s a nice small guitar, a beater git for a kid, sweet.
A good day.