Taper Bore | Borax Water Wagon Hubs | Cast Iron Sleeves | Axle Boxing


As you walk into the shop, to the left
you see a bolt bin and on the top I have an assortment of boxings. Boxing’s are
the cast iron sleeves that are pressed into the hubs that is the bearing
surface that runs on the spindles of the axles. There’s a wide variety of boxing’s
and lengths and tapers and diameters. This is what makes it impossible
virtually to interchange wheels from one wagon to another. So just like today, when
Ford doesn’t interchange with Chevy, doesn’t interchange with Kia, doesn’t
interchange with Dodge, so in those days Wynonna doesn’t interchange with Bane or
John Deere or Weber or Owensboro. They all have their machining to fit
their axles. Well this boxing on the right is the
boxing we used on the borax, and the one on the left is similar boxing used on a
civil war style cannon, and although different in size, they are similar in
style. And these are a few boxing’s that came out of farm wagons or box wagons.
They might have different styles on the backside but most of them have these
little fins that are cast in to help them keep from spinning. However not all
of them do. Well this is a style that comes out of more like a mountain wagon
or a heavy spring wagon. This is a different style, just a different maker.
You can see the completely different style. It doesn’t have the smooth body. Then
this one has four fins on it. It’s a more of a lighter carriage type boxing. Anyway
these are the different styles of boxing’s, and there’s a variety, even way
past these when it comes to boxings in wagon wheels. Well last week we got the
hub for the water wagon kind of centered up where we think we’re gonna run pretty
true, so now I’m gonna bore the center for the boxing for the water wagon axle.
I’ve taken a piece of inch and a quarter 1045 tool steel,
about 24 inches long, and made the boring bar that I’m going
to use for this boring process. I only have six inches of travel so I have to
do this step by step, and even though my boring bar is 24 inches long I still
can’t reach clear through the full length of the hub, so I’ll start from one end, get
as far as I can and then we’ll turn around and come in from the other end. This first step is going to be for the
collar that’s on the axle that the boxing will bump up against. The tapers in boxing’s will vary from
wagon maker to wagon maker and often times it has to do with the application
of the wagon and many times they will range from one to two degrees. This borax
wagon is actually in the one degree area it was designed to run in relatively
flat country, out in the desert, so there wasn’t a lot of side stress, so the
spokes only come out of the hub at one degree also, which creates the dish in
the wheel. When we turned these hubs a couple years
ago we left them a little strong because we knew we’d have to true them up, so
this was kind of the process of getting them all uniform. Next we need to put the
hub bands on before we can press the boxings in. We’ll do that next week. Thanks
for watching!

100 thoughts on “Taper Bore | Borax Water Wagon Hubs | Cast Iron Sleeves | Axle Boxing

  1. If I was 30 years younger, I'd make a 24" travel compound for your lathe. With it, you could bore for your boxings in one go. You'd still have to detail the opposite end but not having to match taper and concentricity far down an accurately fitted bore counts for something.

    But since I'm old and decrepit, I can publicly express a desire to do good and pave just one more brick in my personal road to Hell. In the meantime, your viewers can laud my benevolent intentions without my having to do anything for reason of infirmity. Life is good.

    Seriously, matching long tapers can a huge PITA. Im certain a long slide made up of cold rolled steel flats is within the making of a clever coach builder. The question is: does the need justify the making?

  2. Golly gosh an old man with "working hands"…
    Whatever next…?
    (This was the norm until only a few years ago) …

    Hi from England.
    A craftsman keeping old time skills alive…
    We have a few here in the UK also…just a few mind..

    It's nice & easy on the eye and you come away with a bit more knowledge for having watched….i like it..

  3. Truly an art form – thanks for the hard work and dedication to record this craft – no one can do this again – your dedication to the craft is above the new norm – you're truly an artist -thank you for the time and dedication as i couldn't. Commit the time and effort that you have

  4. If you had a taper follower you would have the length of the ways for how long a taper you could cut with out turning the part around. Find a local machinist and ask them to show you how to cut long tapers. As lathes of that size used to cut the taper on the outside of field artillery.

    Found a video of what I am talking about. It is the second variant theis vid describes.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnBgZ6iwIGI

  5. Mr. Engels, really enjoy your videos, a tapering accessory for your lathe would be fairly easy to find . They are easy to set-up and very accurate, allowing you with a long enough boring bar to machine hubs in one set-up.

  6. this goes to show that these wagons didnt come cheap and fast and that it must have been everything to the owner. not like the movies, just letting burn down or get stolen. they muste have had the deluxe or simple one for the ride. a lot of time and work goes in these things, and its a complicated looking process.

  7. "Keep'em wanting more." So now we hold our breath for a week waiting, at least the next one won't be boring. Thank you so very much for posting. (-:

  8. Yep very Boring video! Giggle. I do wonder how many people cringe every time they see you use a large old metal lathe to turn wood.

  9. Far from it , another episode in the working life of Mr Engels ,i was just getting used to your very interesting content and it ended, what a pity,would those large splits in the hubs have a detrimental effect on the structural strength even with the steel bands on them? I would imagine back in the day a lot more men would have been involved in the manufacturing process ,are those the original cast iron bearings?What is the make of your lathe ? All the best Ron,UK.

  10. Just a thought, you could set up a line boring bar driven by your lathe chuck and supported on your tailstock. Make a carrier for the hub on the lathe carriage and then use the longitudinal lever to move the carriage and cut the bore you should have enough travel to complete the cut the full length of the hub. Might be a bit of head scratching, it will be a bit of a pain to sort out all the fixturing but once it is completed I think it will save you some time in the long run. It is doable the only problem I see is the condition of your lathe carriage is it tight, and if the longitudinal travel works.

    Check Keith Fenner’s channel he goes through the making of a line boring bar. Search: My go to bar part #1 & #2.

    Work Safe From Elliot Lake Ontario Canada.

  11. Sir, don't call your videos boring. They are far from being boring, because you master so many skills that i can't keep track of them.

  12. A truly boring video. I sit and watch you work and feel that I am, in a small way, a part of the things you make.

    We've all seen wagons roll by in parades and there are even handsome carriages in the larger cities, but being of, and by choice, a collection of people who wonder if all of the technology hasn't robbed us of the simple pleasures of life. I find that the things of the past, the things that allowed us to grow as a country, are being well cared for by an artisan and jack-of-all-trades who would have slipped into a fireside conversation one hundred years ago without a fuss.

    I thank you for your wonderful work, and also for making the past come alive again.

  13. Excellent piece, as always! A couple of questions – any idea where the name "Boxing" comes from? Have you ever considered some kind of taper attachment for your lathe? Thanks again for sharing your experience and craftsmanship.

  14. Maybe for some but your videos are sure not boring to me. That looked like some complicated stuff on those hubs. Thanks for the video. Y'all take care and God bless.

  15. I'm from northwest Missouri. In 1981 I traveled from Sheridan, Wyoming to Red Lodge, Montana. Would I have been close to Joliet? Were you there at that time? I was 23 years old at that time. You can do the math. Love your videos.

  16. As always a skill very few possess. Even though I've got years of schooling & a lifetime of experience, the trade of mechanics has not changed much. It still requires grease, oil & a strong back. And the finesse to make it work. Some more than others. I'll always respect your ability !!!!!

  17. Love your old South Bend lathe you guys use to do your work on. Really like the old Hendy tieback lathe in the back ground.
    Enjoy learning the art of making wagon wheels. Very impressive! Keep the videos coming! Ken S. from Texas.

  18. Hey there.
    Just a quick tip from an old machinist.

    On long bores, I put a 3/8 socket adapter in my cordless drill and use it to power the cross feed.

    If you always start inside and cut out, you don't have to worry about hitting anything. Or set a hard stop to run into.

    Thanks again for the entertainment.

  19. Dave How were the wagon axle bearings greased when the inserted bearing goes into the Hub several inches, was there a way to keep the grease within the bearing.?

  20. I love your channel. I can't wait to visit your shop, perhaps next year. I didn't notice in the video but I was wondering: When you turn the hub around do you not also have to invert your taper? I'd think that if you were +1 degree going in then you have to be -1 degree coming out from the center on the reverse side.

  21. Never realized just how much work went into getting a wheel onto a wagon. Thank you for showing and explaining how it is done.

  22. Oh my goodness Just sat down to watch and enjoy and it all over, never knew that 12 minutes could go so fast.. lol awesome… an hour video be very nice, maybe get a pee break lol Cheers

  23. Love the caption at the 0:09 mark. Fits with my comment from the last video. 😁😁

    With you boring the taper from both sides and matching up in the middle is like digging a tunnel from both sides of the mountain and meeting in the middle.
    After watching you modify the new Grizzly mortiser I am thinking the next thing you need to create is a compound for your lathe carriage that will give you more than 6” of travel.

    As always Dave, your boring videos are definitely not boring and I eagerly look forward to the rest of this series.

  24. Maybe I am wrong, but it looks as if your lathe has a taper attachment. You could use this to bore out the taper "in one go".
    Thank you very much for sharing this! Excellent!
    Harald

  25. EXCELLENT STUFF AS ALWAYS. I notice your lathe is fitted with a taper turning attachment, could you not hook that up for these long tapers and bore them in one hit instead of using the top slide? regards and keep up the GREAT vids!

  26. "Another Boring Video"

    At the end of "Blazing Saddles", Sheriff Bart remarks to the Waco Kid that he's going "no place special". Waco Kid replies "No place special. I always wanted to go there." That's sort of how I feel about your videos. No loud, pounding music, no idiotic commentary, nobody screaming at each other, nobody getting hurt for laughs, nobody talking down to me. Just someone showing his craft- one that I couldn't begin to learn- in a bucolic, quiet setting. Please continue making boring videos, Dave. I really appreciate them.

  27. +EngelsCoachShop: As usual, NOT a 'boring' video!
    Look forward to all of yours. Many thanks for excellent content. Keep 'em comin'!

  28. Another wonderful video. Every time I watch one of them I learn something new or a different way to do something. As you said your boring bar doesn't go all the way through the hub, when you turn the hub around do you have to reverse the cutting angle 1*? I am asking as it is early morning, only had one cup of coffee and can't seem to get my head around cutting the taper from both ends. Thanks for making the videos.

  29. Now I know all about boring I feel inspired. I’m going to be boring all afternoon and probably boring most of tomorrow. My wife asks what’s new about that!

  30. I never find that learning things is boring. I think an explanation of how things were done before power machinery was available would be interesting too.

  31. I like your steady rest. If you were to fabricate a taper attachment for your lathe you could turn the taper the entire length of the bore in one operation using your power feed on the carriage vs being limited by your compound travel and having to flip the part and losing concentricity. Would be a nice project 🙂 ~ Richard

  32. Thank you for bringing your skill and art to those of us that are thirsty for knowledge of those old skills !!! THANK YOU SIR !!! I love every minute of your videos and look forward to the next as soon as I"'ve watched the latest !!!! Great work !!!

  33. How cow! To state the obvious…. lots of wood to remove. About how long does it take to make one hub? Love the videos! Thank you!

  34. Another great video. The tooling you have is amazing, looks like your shop is a real treasure. Thanks for sharing Mr. Engels

  35. Good pun and great video. I found myself subconsciously trying to figure how I would do the bore to get a good continuous 1 degree taper if I had to do it from both ends as you did. I didn't even realize I was trying to solve it and when I did I had to laugh at myself. And then once again admire your skill. That's no mean feat! And then all the various depths that have to be just right. Must take forever. I'm always amazed by the skill and patience and attention to detail. No wonder so many of us tune in! Nicely done, as always.

  36. Just love these videos so much. I tell everyone about them. But 12 minutes is too short! I can't imagine how much work goes into them. Thanks so much.

  37. Thanks for the video Dave. Noticed the crowned pulley and leather belt. Wonder if it was driven by an overheard line shaft and steam at one time.

  38. Why don't you make your steady rest mount on the bed ways. Than you could bore using the taper attachment and the power feed on your lathe. You could also bore half way in one shot and save the wear on your hand with cranking the handle on your compound slide. Just a thought.

  39. As I was enjoying your video, as usual, I was trying to think of a way to mount an adapter for your follow rest to the bed so you could take advantage of the full travel of the cairage to cut all the way through. But I was unable to get a good look at the bed so I have no suggestion other than to build a new one with a smaller overall diameter. Perhaps in your spare time when you have nothing better to do. Thanks for sharing !

  40. Your pile of sawdust on the floor brought back a lot of memories in 2000 when my wife and I built our log cabin home. We had plenty of sawdust during that project. I had to laugh, when I was boring a hole for the sewage pipe, my dad arrived in the middle of the job and said, "Hang on I got a bag of termites out in the truck." I sure miss the wise old man. He never failed to make me laugh.

  41. Once again a fascinating video and full of individual ingenuity to cover all contingencies. thanks for posting.

    PS, time to refill your oiler glasses.

  42. Is that oak you're using for the hubs? Is there a preferred variety for wagon hubs? I thought I read or saw somewhere that elm was often used for hubs because it resists splitting. Don't know if my memory is faulty. What's your professional opinion/experience? Just curious.

  43. You could use further stick out on that boring bar if you put lifting pressure onit by hoisting it up from ceiling with block and tackle just so it can't say down from cutting forces. Use rope and you can still slide in and out keeping pressure on the bar.

  44. Wikipedia says the water wagon held 1,200 gallons…that about 9,600 pounds…almost as heavy as one Borax wagon…very interesting reading the history of the 20 mule team…and the even larger 24 mule team…and due to excellent engineering…no wagon ever broke down…

  45. Not only can Mr. Engels weld, blacksmith, fabricate, wheelwright, upholster, turn, machine, invent, teach, he is now an experienced videographer!

  46. Why don,t you look at making a taper turning attachment for your lathe. This links longitudinal and cross feed screws just set your angle and lengths. You can then do the full hub taper in one go. Saves multiple sets ups

  47. Thank you for taking the time to make a great quality video. You make the lives of me and thousands more a little better every week! I learn and look forward to every video. You're amazing my friend…….

  48. Thanks for the glimpse into this process. Very interesting!
    Hope you have several apprentices you can pass on your craft to, before it becomes a lost art.
    Take care.

  49. You have a hybrid of a steady rest and a traveler rest, which is why you only have six inches of travel. Adapting the follower rest to the bed of the lathe instead of the carriage will allow you to bore in one operation, given that your carriage is long enough.,

  50. Your videos are as finely crafted as your wagons. Have you had training in videography or did you develop your skill on your own? They're always such a pleasure to watch — both for their content and for their presentation.

  51. all the videos are really cool, but lately I've been thinking about who you're going to give it to. no one frame there is not a helper not a student and this craft need to learn more than one year.. I understand that for you it is still early and you're young but how about the fact that there was someone who can continue what you are doing. to preserve this craft

  52. Well done. Definitely an engine lathe for this type of work. No planned obsolescence here. Just real work arriving at real function.

  53. I notice that your lathe has a taper attachment. Why aren't you using that instead of the compound? Seems that with the taper attachment you can bore out that hub in one setup.

  54. Dave noticed a few tiny splits on the hubs,if they're not ''stress related'' do you use 2 pack wood fillers as a cosmetic cover? I have,on some of my hobby work but the fillers do not take kindly to the stains and oils,here most fillers are only available in 2/3 shades.Cant see the cracks on your finished hub! Well done sir

  55. 8:06 Why is the 16" mark highlighted? It's the same on my tape measure, every 16" is highlighted. I've been trying to figure this one out for decades

  56. In my life I've had three people that I said I would give a year to work with to gain their knowledge. Now I have four. The only problem is, I'm seventy six years old. I love to watch you work. Your a true craftsman.

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