Sunday, June 20, 2010

Wheel Pain

When we bought Tilley it was decided to store her in the garage.  What we found is that she is 2" too high and so each time we would go to park her Pat would have to take quite a bit of air out of her tires and then we would have to pull her in on flat tires.  Of course the opposite would happen every time we needed to take her out again.  Not good for Pat or the tires.

So Pat found a brilliant solution online, which we will talk about a little later. First he would have to remove Tilley's original tires.  Suddenly there was a problem.  There was a wheel lock on each tire.  A wheel lock that needed a key.  A key we did not have. Pat was optimistic that there would be no issues since the locks on the spare tire came off easily without the key.  But of course that never happens in real life.

This was the state of the tires -  flat and locked on.

Pat worked hard on removing the wheel locks all Saturday and some of Sunday as well. He ran out of removal options.  He even bent the pliers. He ended up pounding them off with a cold chisel and hammer.  Finally he was victorious!
 Pat looking tired but with a sense of great accomplishment after having defeated the evil wheel lock.

The wheel lock did not come out looking so good.... (sorry about the blurring)

Now that they were finally off, we decided we might as well spruce them up.  I like to spruce things up, so I took on the job of making them spiffy.

Before sprucing up - they were dirty and basic white - they really needed a new look.

After cleaning all three tires and prepping them, I got down to the business of painting them.  I used the same paint and technique that I used on the stove top to make them look antique and worn.
Here is after a primer coat and the first gold coat of paint and then after a few layers of gold and charcoal coats of paint for the final distressed and antique finish.  Much better than glaring white!

Now that the original tires were off (and spiffy) Pat could do the impressive and creative part of the wheel saga.  Pat found online what were described as "storage wheels".  They are wooden wheels, made smaller than the original wheels in order to store one's trailer indoors more easily.

Step 1 - Lay up a panel of recycled 2 x 4s.  They are glued and pinned with dowels.

Step 2 - Measure, draw and cut the wheel disk.

Step 3 - Ta Da - circles of wood...

Step 4 - Cut the hole for the hub. Drill the holes for the bolts. Route away excess wood and test fit.

And the grand finale - Add a couple of reinforcing strips a la Asterix!  And once again.... Ta Da!

The new wheels give Tilley the right height so it will now save Pat's time and the life of the regular wheels, but Pat accidentally found that they also roll a lot more easily on concrete than the regular wheels - beware of unintentional movement and be sure to use chocks.

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