Yesterday was a serious disappointment. We had an appointment at DMV to register the vardo. I quit work early to get home on time at 2:45. Raven called, still in Calistoga, her truck driver totally flaked. She and I made it to DMV on time in separate vehicles, we won’t need a permit but the wagon needs to be there. We went shopping at Trader Joe’s, Cost Plus and Michael’s, we’re in town, let’s make the best of it. Home, we sulked in our quarters, oh well. Raven crashed early in the vardo as I tinkered on the computer.

This morning Raven came in from a walk with mail, mostly junk recycled. We headed to town in my truck for coffee and such, a stop at CSV, I hit Goodwill, home. Raven worked online a while making an invitation to the vardo. I helped her copy it to paint (printscreen).

Meanwhile I glued up the second wheel with carpenters glue to get it done, using clamps and extra glue on a couple fellows to get them lined up with the band clamp to hold everything in place. I removed the dowel pins between the fellows as they don’t line up anyway. It will be fine once the steel tire is in place.

Lunch time while the glue dries, TJ’s tater tots in the oven, O beef hamburger steaks with garlic, soy sauce, garden herbs, and frozen TJ’s green beans in the steamer. I made gravy in the burger pan, plus ketchup on the side. Served in the back yard with a view.

After lunch Raven walked up town to Bosworth’s looking for a hook latch for the front shutters, nothing she liked, HD or we’ll make one easy enough, black smithing I know. I drilled the second front hub on the drill press using the jig same as last weeks post.

I cut the first 16 dowels all to 10 inches with a 3/4 mark on the band saw for spokes. Reset the lathe for the shorter spokes with oil on the ways to keep it from rusting and move easy. I clamped the wood I’ve been using for a tool rest to the cross slide horizontal, this works well. I center punched all the dowels with the spring punch. Mounted to the lathe, dead centered to the punch mark, tighten the chuck, center tight, turn on the power. Cut the 3/4 end mark with the skew, rough turn it to center with the round chisel hogging it down, and cutting a bevel end, power off to measure. The calipers are set to a fat half inch, the end angle gives me an idea of how much. Using the flat chisel I turn the very end down, power off to measure, close and again to correct it. Once on size I trim the rest to match, skew the step again, filing smooth. Remove the part and fit it. Remount and file if necessary. 16 times took the rest of the day. wellspoken

Meanwhile Raven stained the by now mostly dry second wheel, getting it much done.


The neighbor boy Jamin came over wanting to play, make stuff. I gave him some scrap from the fellow cuts he liked, making a race track with jumps.

16 spokes is a good days work. Raven said “These fellows are well spoken.”, very funny, wheely now. I will need to drill the fellows next and have a sanded scrap cut part to use in the drill press as a jig. The press makes a much better line up, all the spokes turned out in line on the hubs, expected again on the fellows next. These smaller 26 inch wheels are much easier to build as the band saw cuts the dowels and fellows so easy and true.

We measured it at 90 inches wide and total length 14′ 7″. This falls into the $30 for 5 years category registration, very cool. Raven applied for another appointment at DMV three weeks out, We’ll need to find a reliable ride. Here is a shot of the vardo as the blog needs a shot to show every so often.


I took pictures for this post and cleaned up. I envision a planter box on the tire fender with a cover to hide the wheel and the two wooden wheels swivel bolted with set pins for travel. We got a lot done.

Next Day:

I finished drilling the fellows, chamfered the spokes on the sander, assembled the small wheel band clamped and hammered.


By far the best one yet, here is the vardo with both wheels.


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