Jump to content

Old wagon wheels and wrought iron


Recommended Posts

Hey all,

    I hope you’ve had a good Saturday! Was out this morning cruising some antique stores with the family. We drove by one that specialized in outdoor decorations. They were some old wooden wagon wheels with metal rims. Never having really been up close to one before it surprised me how thick the rims were. They were a good 3/8 thick.  I know I’ve read on this form that the rims are a good source of wrought iron. Is there any kind of parameter to look for in buying old wagon wheels for the wrought iron rim? I guess if it’s an old wooden wheel and it has a metal rim what are my % of it being wrought? 
      I don’t know what they were wanting for these. But there’s 2 not to far for me on marketplace for $12. 
     Thanks 

Aaron 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Around here, wagon tires have a 75% chance of being wrought IF they're old.  Look for the welds and look at the rust patterns.  If you see lines running parallel to the edges, it's wrought.  If it's uniformly pitted, it may or may not be wrought.  If it's arc welded or gas welded, it's probably not wrought, but check for the rust lines.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

As always Allan, that’s super helpful! What kind of price are any of you willing to pay per wheel? 

Link to post
Share on other sites

For just the tire, I'd be willing to go $20 maximum. But then I have several already.  If it's the whole wheel with hub and hub bands, I'd go higher, because the hub bands are also wrought iron and are usually cleaner stock than the tires. Assuming the wheel is old enough, of course. After around 1915 the use of wrought drops to almost nothing. Of course, by the 1930s, so does the use of wagons, which is why the tires are usually wrought.

Link to post
Share on other sites

2 cents! FYI,  if you buy one be careful when you do your initial cut. All the ones I've cut seem to be under tension, so when you cut it pinches the saw blade and when cut through tends to spring together and over lap. 

Also grain runs with the rim circumference. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Vlegski! I will remember that. It makes sense but not necessarily something you would think about or through first time around! 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Over here, or at least in South Africa, wrought iron is now selling for the equivalent of US$60/Kg.......at least so I've been told.

Link to post
Share on other sites

At that price, it's almost cost effective to smelt your own!  :huh:

 

Here in the USA, if it is in bar stock or anchor chain it sells for more than as wagon tire for some reason.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was at a Peddlers Mall yesterday burning some time between meeting with clients. One of the little booths actually had a wrought iron wagon wheel rim for sale. They were asking $35. Another day I may see if they would come down on their price some.  This afternoon Im going to look at a wagon wheel listed on Facebook marketplace about 10 minutes from where I live. We’ll see if it seems to be wrought for not. I was actually given the latch from a old KY tabaco barn last week. The kid where you have a strap with a loop on both doors. Both pieces were wrought. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

So I went ahead and bought a complete wagon wheel today. The smaller bands around the hub I could see the scarf welds. I couldn’t locate any indication of welding on the main rim. I’m at home now and have the rim off of what remained of the the wooden wheel. Still can’t locate any forge welds on it. Couple more questions for you all. Number one any idea what kind of steel the shaft in the middle of the hub is? Also he had 2 old little cultivators. They look like they would of been horse drawn. I was wondering if they might also be rought iron. If you look at the picture of the one that is pretty rusted out it seems to be rusting in lines and layers. 

C8511D0F-54C9-4A42-B061-66932A17DB7A.jpeg

B6881504-B29E-4607-AA9C-1FC127D6CAD0.jpeg

770BFE5D-A683-43C1-B935-6BAE92206982.jpeg

Edited by Aaron Gouge
Link to post
Share on other sites

The hub lining is usually cast iron.  As for the cultivators, those are usually Bessemer steel, but that rusty bar sure looks wrought.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks once again Alan! That would make sense that the hub lining would be cast. I might offer them 10 bucks apiece on the cultivators. If they turn out not to be wrought then hopefully I could at least resell them for that much :-)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I cut into the wheel rim yesterday. I did a beak test as well as etched it. It is not a wrought iron rim! :-( so that’s aggravating!! 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...