Wooden wheel manufacture and repair at The Wheelwright Shop.
At The Wheelwright Shop we manufacture and repair all sizes and types of wooden wheels. All our timber is sourced locally and sustainably in the Wairarapa - elm for the hubs; oak, ash or hickory for spokes; and ash for the felloes. We only use the heart of the tree for its superior strength and wood is always air-dried, not kiln dried - in our opinion, hastening the drying process by using a kiln compromises the cell structure of the timber.
All our wooden wheels are crafted using hand tools.
Tyres for wooden wheels.
The earliest tyres were bands of iron (later steel), placed on wooden wheels used on carts and wagons. The tyre would be heated in a forge fire, placed over the wheel and quenched, causing the metal to contract and fit tightly on the wheel. The outer ring served to "tie" the wheel segments together for use, providing also a wear-resistant surface to the perimeter of the wheel. The word "tire" thus emerged as a variant spelling to refer to the metal bands used to 'tie' wheels.
At The Wheelwright Shop we can fit both steel and solid rubber tyres to our wooden wheels and can also supply tyres for your own requirements. We roll steel tires on-site. For our rubber tyres we import the best quality rubber from the U.S.A. and construct the tyre using a special spring wire.
We believe that a rubber tyre is easier on the wooden vehicle and is quieter on the road, so we will always recommend rubber for older or more fragile vehicles.
When enquiring about our tires please provide your wheel diameter and felloe width.
New rubber sizes vary from 1" to 2½". Oversize rubber can be fitted - please enquire.