Many of us don’t spend a lot of time wondering how our vehicle moves. We just get in, turn the key and go. But the more mechanically inclined of us may love getting dirty while tinkering under the hood.
One thing you may or may not tackle is the repacking of wheel bearings.
How many of us remember a time before our vehicles even worked with wheels bearings? Do you ever wonder how the wagons or buggies, which carried your ancestors and their supplies, survived as they traversed the rougher, unpaved roads with just a wood-on-metal connection?
Have you ever wondered what buggy makers used before the advent of wheel bearings? Before then, vehicles’ wheels relied on boxings and skeins.
One such mechanism is the Sarven-style buggy wheel. Inside is a wood hub core – check out our video on Facebook). It’s a tapered metal sleeve, called a boxing that rides on the stub of your buggy axle.
The amount of taper and length of the boxing differed from manufacturer to manufacturer. The small red number in the video is a Little Giant No. 1 hub-boring machine, patented on May 5, 1891, by Adrian O. Abbot. That’s what we use to rebuild wheels for our customers. It’s adjustable so you can bore a tapered hole in the wooden core of the hub to match the boxing to be pressed into it. The No. 1 was used for boring buggy wheels but there were larger ones for larger and heavier wheels.
I’m not sure just how old ours is but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was older than the guy getting the cardiovascular workout in the video. We don’t do a lot of this, as nowadays there is a bolted hub available that’s made of metal and uses tapered roller bearings.
But every once in a while we have to replace a damaged Sarven hub for a customer who wants to keep his buggy ‘original’ and intact. So out comes our Little Giant.
I’m sure of one thing though if we get many more hubs to bore, we’re going to be mounting an electric motor on this thing!
For more information on our services or to learn more about Alberta Carriage Supply, please contact Terry at (403) 689-0149 or email@example.com.