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.
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?”
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.
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.