Master Wheelwright Phill Gregson

Traditional Wooden Bone Shaker, Hobby horse and Velocipede Wheels.

1860's French velocipede with its new wheels.

British and French style Boneshaker, Hobby Horse and Velocipede wheels.

I have always enjoyed the challenge of making and repairing old Velocipede, Hobby Horse and Bone shaker wheels. The accuracy required in the production of these wheels ensures I must be at the top of my game.

Not only do I enjoy the challenge but I love the look of the finished article, A stunning piece of historical technology and a joy to make.

Often dating back as far as the 1860’s both French and British Velocipede and Boneshaker wheels, Hobby horses dating back even earlier.

Even today, enthusiasts and collectors ride these ancient contraptions, our wheels are taken on journeys that would be daunting on even a modern bicycle. There are events for enthusiasts such as the Paris-Avignon and other charges that are worthy of recognition as both a show of skill, determination and eccentricity.

Built using traditional techniques and the correct materials, Oak, Ash and Elm these wheels are built to stand the tests of time and the a abuse of use.

As a wheelwright these days it is necessary to work in all areas of the trade, everything from these delicate wheels through to heavy haulage wheels, gun carriage wheels and alike. It is lucky to have the experience of previous generations when it comes to spreading the skill base.

The tolerances required when fitting a Boneshaker tyre are minute and it is so easy to damage a wheel by putting the tyre on too tight. In the case of a velocipede wheel, if the tyre is 1/16″ too tight it is possible to warp the wheel, once warped theres little chance of it ever running true again.

Unlike most traditional wheels, these wheels aren not dished, instead the spokes come to a centre point like a modern bicycle wheel, therefore if the tyre is too tight the only way for the pressure to escape is by pushing the rim out sideways.

1860's French velocipede with its new wheels.

1860’s French velocipede with its new wheels.

French velocipede

French velocipede

 

British Boneshaker wheels unknown maker.

British Boneshaker wheels unknown maker.

Oiled Boneshaker Wheels

Oiled Boneshaker Wheels

Freshly hooped Boneshaker wheels

Freshly hooped Boneshaker wheels

Boneshaker wheels ready for hooping.

Boneshaker wheels ready for hooping.

Velocipede wheel after hooping.

Velocipede wheel after hooping.

Velocipede wheel fixed on the hooping plate.

Velocipede wheel fixed on the hooping plate.

Spoking velocipede wheels.

Spoking velocipede wheels.