Thursday, September 07, 2006

2006 Old Threshers Reunion

Well I'm starting to recover from a 3 day long blacksmithing demo, 2 days of which involved standing in the rain, ankle deep in the mud , yuck !! Needless to say, Saturday was the best day by far. First thing we did when I got there was set a wagon tire. Keith Sommers from Ohio, {the gentleman with white hair / brownleather Apron } acted as team leader for this project. The wheel we were repairing was in fairly bad shape, the wooden spokes and fellows had shrunk and the tire was loose, so the wagon owner had attached the steel tire to the wheel with several screws. To remove the tire, the screws had to be cut off and filed down, then any lip on the inside of the tire was filed down. Next we had to shrink the tire a little so it would fit the wheel tightly again. This was accomplished by spot heating several inches of the tire and using a tire shrinker to upset a small area. The tire shrinker has 2 camming lobes that grab the tire,than a long lever is used to push the camming lobes together thus "Shrinking " the tire. Once the tire was shrunk, it was placed on 4 stacks of fire bricks and a straw and corn cob fire was built around it. We let this burn for a while until the tire was aprox 800-900 degrees, the temp was checked by rubing a stick on the surface of the tire, at cooler temps the stick drags but somewhere around 800 or so the tire feels"{ greasy} " or slick when you rub the surface with the stick. Then the tire is picked up, team work here, with all 4 of us acting in unison the tire is placed into position, markings are aligned, then the tire is beaten onto the wheel and cooled with buckets of water. The wheel when it is hot is expaneded slightly but when quenched with the buckets of water is shrinks up and pulls the wheel together nice and tight when it cools.


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