• Philip Pratt
    Has anyone got any experience with treating dry wheels or been told their wheels are dry and need to be treated with anything?

    There seems to be mixed advice online, generally with product manufacturers suggesting treating timber is necessary, but it seems to be primarily aimed at aesthetics, to timber-framed building companies suggesting their buildings do not need treating with anything providing the timber is kept dry to avoid rot and insect attack.

    As wheels are in a similar environment, sheltered, and generally with external weather conditions should we be aligning to the timber-framed building advice for wheel treatment of do nothing?
  • John Beresford

    As I have posited elsewhere different timbers need different approaches. Oak generally does not need anything doing to it either internally or externally as it is pretty robust. However softwood is vulnerable to the weather and to vermin. Whilst oak can normally only be attacked by Deathwatch Beetles, softwood can be attacked by a whole range of wood boring insects.

    In the building industry the general approach is to keep softwood timber dry and to treat it against woodboring insects. Providing this approach is followed rigorously, it works very well.

    My only reservation is that the wheels, stays, sliders etc: are of small section wood and may be more vulnerable as a result. Regular treatment with wood preservative seems to me to be sensible.
  • Tim Farnham
    I don't know what wood our wheels are made of. It is very hard and I don't think it looks like oak. The wheels are 90 years old, don't look as though they have ever been treated with anything, at least in recent decades, and show no sign of insect attack. We have replaced a slider that had woodworm and the floorboards have patches of woodworm attack. Could they be elm?
  • John Beresford

    There are various woods used in the construction of wheels, I believe the traditional timbers are oak for the spokes, elm for the shrouds and ash for the sole. Current wheels are constructed entirely from hardwoods.
    My understanding is that modern wood preservatives are often water based and as such can be applied sparingly to the wheels if required.
  • Susan Hall
    We rubbed linseed/teak oil onto our 1923 wheels.
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