Several months ago, we told you about an exciting project to rebuild this magnificent horse-drawn log skidder – thanks to funding from Columbia Basin Trust, Creston Community Forest, Wynnwood Canfor, and many generous local residents.
We took it apart…
…and sent the hubs, axle, and a couple of the best-condition spokes to Grand Rapids, Manitoba.
Why there? Because in that tiny little town is a guy named Brian Reynolds, who just happens to have a lathe big enough to turn the ginormous blocks of wood to rebuild the hubs of the logging arch’s ten-foot wheels.
The hubs are nineteen inches in diameter and twenty inches long. There’s no way we could get our hands on two solid chunks of hardwood big enough for that, so Brian is laminating them out of 3″x6″ slabs of oak. You can see the two stacks on his workbench in the photo above, and if you look closely you can see the circles he’s marked out for the hubs.
Now, if you’re thinking that nineteen by twenty inches isn’t really all that big, take a look at this photo:
There’s one of the hub blocks, all glued up and ready to be shaped. That little round thing in front of it is an ordinary wagon wheel hub.
See? In comparison, the logging arch hubs are HUGE!
Here’s one of the hubs, first roughed out with a chainsaw and then on the lathe, just waiting final shaping. When it’s done, it will look like the bottom photo – just without all the cracks and rot.
Keep an eye on this site for further updates as they come in!
Update 27 February: Brian sent a few more photos this morning. Here’s one of the shaped hub, and another of it with the steel hoops on:
That’s Brian behind it, looking pretty proud of it – and well he should! It’s beautiful!