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Panoramas / Tradition craftsmen

Wheelwright

Zăbala

In parallel with the spreading of the machines, playing an increasing role in the people’s life, the products of the rural and country town artisan classes are vanishing from our environment. Trades that were indispensable through centuries are now transformed or entirely disappeared. The wheelwright’s trade is one of these.

The main products of the wheelwrights were the vehicles pulled by animals: carriages, carts, sledges. The Szekler farmers, experts in drilling-carving, can prepare several components of their carts but the wheels were always made by the wheelwrights, who also made: cart ploughs yokes and share-beams.

The three main components of the wheel are: the hub, the spokes and felloes. For the hub the most suitable tree species are: the birch, the ash and the elm. After the hub is lathed to the necessary size, the wheelwright marked out the places where the spokes were to be mortised into the hub, then used a brace and bit to cut the holes, and chiseled them out using a “buzz”. The spokes were then shaped by axe and saw, and then driven into the nave with a sledgehammer.

The wheelwrights most important tools are: carver axe, hatchet, plane, hammer, tree stick, chisel, auger, curlicue, saw, graters, compass, circular saw, planning machine, band saw, joiner’s bench, templates.




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