Step 11: Tiring the Wheel
Pneumatic tires had not been invented during the era of the Penny-Farthing
and I think they are still not available in this size!
So, to add authenticity, you use a solid rubber hose for the tire instead.
The tire measures 1" OD (outside diameter) and has a 3/16" hole down the middle.
You want to cut your tire about 4" longer than the circumference of your rim.
You then measure and cut 1/8" (14 gauge) galvanized solid steel wire to 4 feet longer than the circumference of your rim. Apply a lubricant on the inside of the tire and
insert the wire through. Try to keep the wire straight and roundover the end of the wire to make inserting easier. You may have to use pliers to help it along as the resistance becomes greater as you insert it. 15 ft. of wire is plenty as you need some extra grab the wire by the ends while tensioning it.
With the wire tight and the ends of the tire 3" apart, you want to sand off the galvanized
layer and braze opposite ends of the wire with silver solder.
The tire should then close up to form a seam.
There are several ways you can apply tension on the wire. The easiest I have found is by use of a homemade tensioner.
The homemade tensioner as you will see is the key to making the job easy.
It has 2 bottom bolts which when tightened, will sandwich the wire and hold
it's tension. The top big bolt, when turned clockwise will raise and pull the wire, thus applying tension. Use clamps to hold the wire ends.
It measures 3 inches across and has a window opening for brazing.
You can get the rollers from Home Depot or Lowes and are the rollers found in sliding glass patio doors.
This completes the wheel. Congratulations.