How to Restore a Wooden Trailer Wheel

Written by joe mcelroy
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How to Restore a Wooden Trailer Wheel
With proper replacement parts, you can restore a wooden trailer wheel yourself. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

A wooden trailer wheel is a simple device. It is simply a solid hub that secures wooden spokes that project into it from the felloe, the outer rim, which is usually covered with a band of steel on the outer surface to protect it from damage by road obstructions. As long as the hub is sound, replacement spokes and felloes can be purchased to restore the wheel to usefulness. If you have access to a wood shop, you can make your own replacement parts. Unless you have blacksmithing skills, though, you should have a professional shop replace the steel tire.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Replacement spokes
  • Replacement felloe
  • Socket set
  • Chisel

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  1. 1

    Check the hub for damage. If it is pitted through with rust or is warped, you will need to order a replacement hub. If it is structurally sound, you can simply replace the worn spokes or felloe around it.

  2. 2

    Remove the bolts that secure the hub. Once you have removed the hub, you can easily pull damaged spokes out of the felloe. Use a chisel to cleanly remove any vestiges of wood from rotted or damaged spokes out of the holes that seat them in the felloe.

  3. 3

    Put enough wood glue into each seating indentation in the felloe to just cover the bottom before replacing spokes. Seat each spoke firmly before moving on to the next.

  4. 4

    Re-bolt the hub to secure the entire assembly after all replacement spokes have been seated into the felloe. Let it sit for several days to allow the wood glue to set before returning the wheel to use.

Tips and warnings

  • If your wagon wheel is just for show, you can get by without any sort of tire on it. If you actually use the wood cart, make sure to get a felloe with the tire already installed. Steel tires can come cold set or hot set. They can also come in a narrow strip that sits inside the felloe or a wide strip that covers the entire outer edge of the felloe. Hot-set, wide-strip steel tires will hold up the longest.
  • Carefully examine the hub before reusing it. Attaaching replacement parts to a warped hub or one that is pitted through will cause you to have to replace the entire wheel after just a little use. A damaged hub can crack spokes and warp the felloe.

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