Hooping a wheel, Lauder

  'Hooping a Wheel. An old country craft that required the cooperation of blacksmith and wheelwright and which is no longer practised. Cambridge Smithy, Lauder, Berwick, 1956.   After being measured, bar iron is being formed into a ring for the outer hoop of the wheel. This is done on a hoop-bender, an old fashioned device which may be fixed onto a post or used on the ground. This is a skilled operation calling for cautious handling.   Only short lengths at a time are dealt with in fastening the bar evenly along the bender, for any irregularity will spoil the circle. When the hoop has been turned, it is essential that both ends meet exactly before they are welded.   One of the craftsmen is seen here carefully running a measuring wheel along the outer circle of the wheel to be dealt with. This is done before the iron hoop is fitted.   In the same way the inside measurement of the hoop is taken When welded this will be roughly one inch less than that of the outer circle of the wheel to give scope for expansion when the heated metal is fitted into place.   The actual welding having been done in the coal fire, the hoop is heated evenly all round, then lifted from the heart with a tool called a 'dog' and carried to the wheel-plate to be fitted on the wheel. After expansion it should fit exactly.   The drawer is used to pull the hoop clear of the edge of the wheel, only short lengths can be dealt with at a time, to avoid distorting the circle of the red-hot ring, while working with the utmost speed to drive it flush before it begins to cool and shrink.   The wheel is now cooled in a kind of trough below ground level which had been filled with water beforehand. Quick cooling will not only prevent the hoop from burning the wheel, but will also compress any slack joints, and drive home the spokes through the shrinking of the hoop.'   Dr Kissling's note, 1978
Object no :
Creator :
Dr Werner Kissling
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Accession number :
PP/KISSLING COLLECTION, Retrospective 1978/67-74
Copyright :
Dumfries & Galloway Council
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