I met Raven this morning for coffee, it’s been awhile as she’s been to Esalen. We jumped in my car and went to the RV shop Raven knew of on the North end of Healdsburg. We had to ring the bell to get in, but it actually had a lot of stuff. We picked up a lock pin for the trailer hitch and an adapter for the running lights. They didn’t have the trailer frame wire clips I’m looking for. We tried the auto store, no luck, Garrett’s nope, maybe these 25 cent pin clips could work, bought four to try. Let’s go home, dropped back to Safeway for her rig.

Raven has a phone appointment as I cook us lunch. Bean soup, O canned cannellini beans, carrots, that lean O bacon, onions, celery, garlic, cherry tomatoes halved, some cauliflower florets,  garden herbs of parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme and oregano. A re baked sourdough sandwich roll with butter on the side and parsley garnish served in the new Shrek ear cups. A dash of rice vinegar sets it off nicely. Yum.

As it cooked down I went out and turned a couple more spokes for the next wheel in process. After lunch I cut another, a few more spokes should finish this wheel. But I want to get the iron tire made for the one good wheel to finish for painting. I break out the lumber strapping I got for free at Healdsburg Lumber. I attach the new ratchet band clamp to the wheel and crank it down tight. Measured with the tape measure I get 10 feet 4 and a quarter inches. I lay it out and measure the metal band, cut with the abrasive side grinder. I break out the oxy-acetylene torch with the new tank set on the ground.


Using three C clamps, one as a base and two to secure the flat and paint ground banding with a couple saw horses to hold the metal ready for welding. I used a coat hanger for welding rod, worked fine with my welding dark glasses over my eye glasses. To fit it, damn, I measured it wrong it’s way to small by a foot. Oh well, save the piece for the smaller front wheels and cut another piece, this time with Raven’s help to hold the tape measure. Marked, cut and welded, fitting it’s a little bit big by a 1/4″ dowel thickness. Dang, OK I cut a 1/4 inch out with the grinder and re weld it, now it’s too small. This is difficult. I re saw a couple of the looser fellows with the Fein tool, not enough.

Meanwhile, Raven prepares the interior for the move to get this trailer registered for the road.

I need to get some wood glue before Harry closes, head up town thinking. On the way home I have an idea. I re hook up the clamps and add some more coat hangar metal to the joint with the torch, then using the big vise as an anvil with the clamps loosely holding the band flat, torched red hot I hammer the metal down flat, quenched with a cup of water, test fit. It’s bigger, not quite, I do it a couple more times adding metal to the joint, hot hammered flat and ground straight. Finally it just fits the wheel with the clamp super tight. Tapped into place and remove the clamp, I have it.


Wow, this is cool. I added metal to the tire and blacksmith hammered it hot to lengthen the tire to fit. It worked perfect. The tire holds the wheel mostly but it will need some glue or dowels to hold it ultimately secure. It fits. The next wheel still needs a few more spokes, easy and a tire.


Then a couple more smaller wheels I have drawn ready to cut the first set of fellows. This day of wheel wright black smithing was exciting.

I ordered 25 good frame wire clips this evening from amazon after measuring the 3/16 angle iron frames.

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