A few years ago my wife Sue wanted a wheelbarrow to use as a flower planter in our front yard. We set out to find an antique wheel; but even with the help of my brother, who is an antique dealer, we were unable to find a wheel that wasn’t broken, bent or missing parts-such as the brackets to hold the axle to the wooden frame. I just didn’t want to build Sue’s wheelbarrow and have a sloppy, cobbled-up mess of a wheel.
Several months later my brother did locate a complete wheel and axle in fine condition and it didn’t take me long to build Sue’s wheelbarrow, just in time for Santa to deliver it on Christmas morning. What seemed to be a happy ending was actually the beginning of another story.
Many of our friends and visitors asked if I could make a wheelbarrow for them, and to each and all I explained how difficult it was to find a wheel and axle assembly. And the nagging thought kept running through my mind that someone should offer an old-fashioned wrought iron wheel.
Developing the first wheel took a year and a half of trial and error, and the purchase of new equipment for cutting and forming and welding metal and building the various jigs and fixtures that could not be bought. The result was a 15-inch diameter, 8-spoke wrought iron wheel and axle, patterned after the antique wheel on Sue’s wheelbarrow, which we now offer along with wheels of other sizes and spoke configurations.
These wheels, and our universal stub axle, are designed for a wide range of uses on ornamental projects such as carts, wagons and buckboards reminiscent of a “Byegone” era. We want you to be satisfied with your wheels; and because great ideas need to be shared, we invite you to send us a snapshot of your completed projects.