Homemade Horse Drawn Wagon |Wagon Wheel Fitment | Engels Coach
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Homemade Horse Drawn Wagon |Wagon Wheel Fitment | Engels Coach

October 10, 2019


Well, to those of you who’ve been
following along on this channel you know that I do custom repairs, restorations,
new, I’ll do new builds on wagons and my parameter is that you have to be able to
hook a draft animal to it; draft horse, saddle horse, mule, dogs, goats, I
even did one that was being pulled by turkeys, but generally it has to be a
traditional style vehicle before I’m really interested in getting too deep
into it. Well I have a wagon that we’re going to go through today and on the
surface it looks like a traditional wagon, but once we begin to look a little
closer we’ll see that it’s not quite so. The main problem is with the wheels and
these nuts were loosening up. So as I got to lookin’ a little closer to this
wagon, I begin to see telltale signs of what this wagon was about. Not quite
traditional. There’s quite a little bit of homemade fabrication and if you’ve
watched my videos you’ll begin to see some of these little oddities stand out.
This would be called, I would say it’s an original, but it’s not traditional and
there’s a big difference between the two. I would consider this wagon original to
the man who built it, but not so much in a traditional method, so I’m gonna grab a
creeper and crawl under this thing and we’re gonna see that there’s really
quite a few things that aren’t quite traditional.
It has a fifth-wheel support similar to a buggy. The back axle has been replaced
and the skeins don’t really quite fit. So they welded a strap across from skein
to skein, from right to left. It kind of makes me wonder who put this wagon
togethe. You can see it’s not forged like the old
traditional ones would be, so I’m gonna take some wagon jacks and jack this up
and see what’s happening inside these wheels. Part of the problem from the
customer is saying that the right rear wheel was the worst having been nut
loosen up when his horses were jigging and dancing. They hadn’t really quite learned
how to stand still yet, so I’m going to open these up and kinda see what we got
going on. Well, even though a square axle nut is
the most common there are a few of these hex nuts around, but when I open them up
and I start to see these little metal shims that have been added my suspicion
radar goes up. When I find big ole washers like this
I know somethings not right, so I’m going to check the fit it doesn’t take much to
find out these wheels don’t fit the skein. The outside of the boxing
isn’t bad, but the overall boxing is about 3/8 of an inch too short and the
taper on the inside is not even close. It’s about 3/16 of an inch too big on
the boxing to the skein. So, I’ve got enough grease on here we can’t even see
what’s going on I’m going to clean things up. So, after a run through the
sandblaster we can see seamless arm a number three and an L for left. Inside is
pretty traditional, but there sure is a big wear groove. The three should stand
for a three-inch axle, and this is what is on the large side of the skein.
There’s the three, so the nut does fit the skein. Well I got about three and a
quarter inch and I’m going to get rid of these steel washers and put in a leather
washer. The problem with steel washers that they’ll grab and seize where the
leather washer won’t. Well, I’ve got a pretty heavy side of leather here and I’ve got
some homemade punches and I’m going to punch out some washers that’s going to
fit these wheels and axles Well, I thought I had this center hole
kind of figured out, but a quick little check I’m a little tight and I really
don’t have the right size so I’m gonna make me a new little punch that should
fit these axles better. Well, there’s not really much I can do
about the misfit on the taper, but a with a little leather shim, we can take the play
out of this hub in and out where runs up against the nut and that’ll help it a
little bit. Well, this nut is the same hexagon, but it doesn’t have the seamless
arm on there like the other one does and this has a little different
configuration of washers. Well, this washer isn’t really quite thick enough
like I’d like. In my configuration of washers I got one that’s a little
heavier this one’s gonna fit a little better. It looks like what they’ve been using is
just an ordinary general-purpose grease, which I’ve got some about like it, so I’ll
grease it up and take her back together. Well this right rear wheel is the wheel
that was giving him in the most fits, so we’ll see what we got going got the same
little round washer. Oh my, we got lots of washers in here. When I clean the grease off of this one
my first thought was, huh. Wow! Somebody needs to learn how to weld.
Well now what do we do. We’re gonna clean it up. Yep, still a seamless three. This
one has an R on it for the right side instead of a left. Ya, and boy, we got a lot of shims in this one. With all these welds it’s keeping the
nut from going on, but just about maybe three threads and it bottoms out on this
weld. Yeah, that’s why we got to add so many shims, we can’t even get the nut on.
See how far out it’s sticking? Well, the inside of these nuts have kind of a concave
little section to them I think if I knock some of this weld down it’ll fit
into this little concave section of this nut that’s going to gain us a couple
threads and I think maybe if I take a triangle file
I might clean it up to get it in about to where it almost have full set of
threads. I thought about cutting these apart but then we got these straps on
there and they go front and back both, and they’re welded to the skeins and they
go from one side to the next and, you know, this really isn’t a high-dollar
wagon so now that comes to be the puzzle how much time and effort do I put in
here to fix this or do I just make it where the nut will stay on? Well, the latter
decision was where I decided to go. I’m gonna try to clean some of this weld up see if
I can get close to a full nuts worth of thread on these nuts. Well, without really an in-depth surgical
operation there’s just really no way to make this ideal. I gotter down to where I’m
about one thread or thread and a half short of getting the whole nut on still
takes two washers to take all the play in and out, but with the leather washers
as opposed to all those steel washers it won’t have a tendency to loosen that nut
up quite so bad when we back it up. Well, the right-front has kind of the
same problem, but it’s not near as severe. So this one’s not quite so difficult to get
a full nuts worth of thread on it. But, my oh my, did they have lots of washers
on this one. Still the seamless three, R. But look at this stack of washers. Wow! So these are all the washers I took out.
This is the left rear, this one was the left front, and this one here was the
right rear. All these washers, and the other one here is the right front. So overall, these are not ideal fixes, but
they’ll make the wagon run. The biggest part was getting rid of the steel
washers so they don’t lock up or seize up against the nuts quite so much.
Putting these leather washers in will make a big difference. So, in doing repairs
like this, there’s a number of factors that all add in. One is the goal and
desire of the customer, one is the overall integrity of the wagon, and
therefore the value of the wagon, and just how much time effort and expense is
worth investing into the wagon to make it runnable. If it weren’t safe I wouldn’t
do it, but sometimes it’s less than ideal but that’s just the reality of life. Well,
now we have a tongue that we need to change out. It’s about six inches shorter
than he would like. It’s kind of a homemade fabrication too, but it is what
it is. We’ll swap it over and make it work. Well, over the years I’ve been asked
over and over and time and time again where did you learn to do what you do?
Did your dad do it? Well, my common answer is, no my dad didn’t do it. I just kind of
picked it up by doing it, and I’ve said time and time again, my teachers have
been the waggons themselves. Kind of like looking for counterfeit money. When you
look at the original long enough you see what’s counterfeit. Qnd I think you’ve
been viewing long enough you can kind of see what’s counterfeit. So, I’ll finish
this next week. Thanks for watching!

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  1. What year do you think this homemade wagon was built? I see that the nuts are square but more modern welding. I'm thinking early 1900's, or perhaps up to WW1.

  2. Remarkable- Knowing (now) that you're "self-taught" is amazing as well. These videos are a wonderful watch. Thank you again for taking the time to create these and your narrations and monologues are both informative and entertaining. I've chuckled a few times at the comments; "someone needs to learn how to weld".

  3. Q: on the leather washers? Did you treat them with some kind of oil to prevent rot or just cover them in grease when you did the final assembly?

  4. Watching your videos directly from Sao Paulo – Brazil. I have a great deal of admiration for the work he does, and in some ways perpetuates the mode of transportation that drove this nation. I am 77 years old and receive my compliments. Fraternal hug.

  5. This is the 1st video I was kinda disappointed in you……You bashed whomever made the wagon,but perhaps the original fabricator had no idea about how "traditional" wagons were made,or maybe they were to poor to pay a shop(if there were even any around).Perhaps when built,they were way out in the country where parts weren't available(other than a welder),or they just didn't know about the use of leather washers(I didn't),or had none around thick enough to use,so they used metal,and went back to work.The point is,they DID build a wagon that functioned for "apparently" quite some time the way it was,and got by with what they had on hand(including the bad welding)that saved at least the wheels/axles from a burn pit/dump……..

  6. interesting…can a small wagon be built using a car axle and pulled by a quarter horse? or would it be too heavy? about how much weight could a healthy quarter horse handle in fair weather conditions?

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