I set everything up to turn the rims in the lathe, just as I had done with the prototype. PROBLEM! With the face plate, wooden backing board and wheel rim, the whole thing was too wide to fit in the gap of my lathe. At the suggestion of a friend. I decided to use my small milling machine, with the wheel rims set up on a rotating table. This arrangement is probably best shown in Fig 1.
The table is rotated by a small hand turned wheel at the front. It is turned against the rotating mill cutter so that small amounts of wood are being removed as it turns. The rotating mill cutter stays in the same position. If you were wanting to make some wheels like this and have a larger lathe than mine, I would suggest that the lathe would be far better for the job.
Turning the rims on the rotary table was slow, but in fact did a very good job. You may note in the photograph that I had an extractor set up - owing to the large amount of sawdust generated by the milling process.
The main problem was going to be getting the spokes into the wheel rim and the hub - because the rims were already glued together. I believe that wheelwrights fix everything at one time and then hold it all together with a metal tyre which is shrunk on by heating and cooling. Not something which I wanted to have a go at.
My plan was a hub as shown in Fig 2. I do not have any pictures of the process, but I did it all on the lathe using a dividing head for milling out the slots for the spokes.
I then did a dummy set up to see how everything went together, which looked fine - Fig 5.
I did not want plain rectangular spokes, so I shaved them to an oval shape. I have owned a couple of spoke shaves for about fifty years and although they have been used for many jobs, this was the first time that I had actually used them to shave spokes Fig 6.
Building the cart was quite a quick job compared to the wheels.
I had a supply of 1/2” Birch Ply which was easy to use. I inset the bottom sides of the cart so that the wheels were level with the sides rather than sticking out.
At first I reused the wooden handle from my old trolley, but after noticing some rather ominous creeks and groans when I tilted the cart to turn a corner, I changed it to Aluminium.
The axles were made from some 5/8" steel rod which I had, with the ends turned down to fit in the 1/2" bushes in the wheels. The end nuts were turned from some 1" hexagon brass which I found in my junk drawer - the ends were domed and threaded to suit the axles - Fig 8.
In fact, the only thing which I actually had to purchase was the rubber for the tyres and aluminium for the handle - so a very economical exercise.