| by Kenneth Chase | 96 comments

Broken Wagon Tire Roller | Review & Repairs | Engels Coach Shop

Well, a number of you have been following
along on this Borax wagon project, and I appreciate it, I really do! There are a few little odds and ends that
need to be kind of wrapped up on this deal. Remember these were the wagons down at the
Harmony Mine that we used as a pattern and then here just a few weeks ago, maybe about
a month ago now, we had an opportunity to take the new wagons down to Death Valley themselves. Well, there’s another set of wagons that are
not so much in the picture anymore. And these are a set of wagons that are at
the Borax Mine that’s still operating in Boron California. These wagons were also used in the filming
of the Death Valley Days and the Alf’s Blacksmith Shop where these were originally built is
still standing today. And part of the machinery that’s still in
tact at the top is this tire roller that we are pretty sure was u sed in rolling the eight
inch wide tires on these blue wagons. Well, here in the shop I have a roller that’s
a similar style and design, but a little bit smaller. This one has rollers that are five inches
wide, whereas the one at the Alf Blacksmith Shop are 9 inches wide. So I’m gonna kind of show you how this particular
style is a little different that the one you’ve seen me use isn previous videos. Now I’ve had this tire roller for a number
of years and I have u sed it on occasion in the past, but I don’t use it so much anymore. The center roller os adjustable up and down
and t his helps contribute to the circumference or diameter of the tires when they are rolled. The roll in front has three different positions
that it can be placed, which also adds to the sizing of the tires. Well this is the roller that I use on a regular
basis here today. And we also found the exact same roller that
was used back in the day when these tires were originally made. How do we know that? We have some photographs that show men using
this exact roller with an eight inch wide tires in this roller. So when Bobby Tanner called me and said, “Hey,
I found the old roller that they used! We ought to be able to use it again!” He was given permission so he brought it up
and lo and behold, it was the exact same roller that I already had here in the shop. It functioned the same. The only thing was that the old roller had
both the handles where I only had one. They are both number two Eureka. But with the years of rolling tires that I’ve
had, I was a little hesitant whether this roller was sufficiently strong to bend one
inch thick iron. So I was pretty cautious and I said. “Hey, I don’t want to break mine, but if we
can use one that was originally used, I’ll use that one, cause the pictures sure don’t
seem to lie.” Everything in the photos seemed to point that
this was the exact sane roller that they used. We even had part of the base and all the joint
work to kind of verify that. Well, I tried it, and I got about six inches
of the tire rolled. Guess what? I broke it. So now my job is to fix it and that’s what
this video is about. And you know, there is the adage, you’ve heard
it said, “You break it, you bought it.” Well in this case, I broke it so I gotta to
fix it. But guess what? It’s not the first time this roller has been
broken. If you kind of look pretty close, as I tear
this apart, the left hand side where the lock is in the photo, actually the right side of
the roller, this roller has been broken several times before, heavily welded, and heavily
reenforced. So. it’s not to say that I didn’t feel bad
about breaking the roller, but I felt better that I wasn’t the only one. So I thought I’d go ahead and take this apart
and in the process of my fixing it you’ll be able to see a little closer just how this
roller operates. Well, this Eureka number two is actually second
one that I’ve had over the years. Both of them were pretty much rust buckets
like this one and I did take them apart and clean em up and repaint both of them. Well, I sold one, but I have the second one
still, and in the process of taking this apart I did weigh the past ones and this roller,
by itself, weighed four hundred and sixty pounds. It has some really heavy cast steel in it. Welding this cast steel is a little different
ball game than welding cast iron. I don’t need to use nickel rod. A lot of time I’ll use brass when I’m welding
cast iron. In the past I used to use 7018 rod with a
DC welder, but I really like how this wire feed works with argon gas. So I chose not to put the real heavy reenforcement
on this ear. like the other side was.. The main goal is to make it stable, it will
function. Oh, if I was gonna roll like some 3/4 inch
iron through it, I would probably put some reenforcement on it, but the biggest thing
now, since this is only a museum piece, is to try to make the least disturbance possible,
kind of keep it semi authentic and original looking, so this is were I’m gonna go, just
this far. Well, all in all, it was a real treat to find
this roller and it’s actually documented in some old original photographs. So even though it has another repair, it’s
still a significant part of history in the building of the original Borax wagons. So I appreciate you following along, maybe
you can see a little more how these old hand cranked roller really worked. I’ve used them for years and I’ll still use
them as long as I’m doing this trade. Once again, Thanks For Watching!


Gary Bensman

Dec 12, 2019, 10:10 pm Reply

I'm looking at the Sparks. . . . . .and it's IRON! Now what?

Nick Edgington

Dec 12, 2019, 10:19 pm Reply

you sir; are an authentic coach maker, any repair you make only add to the providence of the machine.

Joe Jeweller

Dec 12, 2019, 10:19 pm Reply

Cool stuff thanks for sharing


Dec 12, 2019, 10:23 pm Reply

Maybe I missed it, but why did you put it in the forge? Heat treating or to disguise the repair as being old?

John Fox

Dec 12, 2019, 10:24 pm Reply

Interesting, thanks again.

Mark Heaney

Dec 12, 2019, 10:31 pm Reply

Do you have any apprentices? Hope so.

brad beasley

Dec 12, 2019, 10:33 pm Reply

ty for shareing u a true craftsman

Mike Johnson

Dec 12, 2019, 10:33 pm Reply

Great piece of History!


Dec 12, 2019, 10:34 pm Reply

Since you said before that you're mainly a one man operation I'm just curious how much time of your day is taken up by moving the camera around the shop to get all of those awesome simulated multi camera shots, not to mention editing? I'm assuming you're only using one camera since I never see other cameras and tripods in your shots and close ups. Does it interrupt your workflow much? In your last video I saw where you were talking into the camera then turned to your left and edited it like there was a second camera! Very professional looking. Nice work. You really do produce some of the best audio and video quality and editing on youtube, especially since you're in a working shop and not a studio. I'd love to see you get someone to shoot a video of you doing all of the behind the scenes stuff.

Keith Carter

Dec 12, 2019, 10:34 pm Reply

great video.

Jason C

Dec 12, 2019, 10:34 pm Reply

maybe the old tyre irons were more malleable than the iron produced these days


Dec 12, 2019, 10:37 pm Reply

And we all hope you are continuing in this trade for many years to come, Dave!

Stephen Weaver

Dec 12, 2019, 10:39 pm Reply

Wow! The first roller you showed, with the three-place adjustment notches is exactly what we had at the wagon shop at Dollywood. Our roller was powered off our line shaft, so had a flat-belt pulley in place of the crank handle, but was otherwise the same! Wonderful memories!!

Walter Baker

Dec 12, 2019, 10:40 pm Reply

Repair is good for another 50 or so yrs , thanks for sharing and giving a insight of some the tools needed and used to make some of the wheels

yellowdeer 7

Dec 12, 2019, 10:50 pm Reply

Never welded cast iron but one time in Houston in an ink powder making shop. Heated before using cast rod but pipe kept cracking. I kept trying and finally held, but for how long who knows? Had to get rid of all my clothes that day. Ink powder in every nook and cranny!

Russel Allen

Dec 12, 2019, 10:53 pm Reply

Alf's has a lot of really cool old stuff, if only those walls could talk!

Markus K.

Dec 12, 2019, 10:55 pm Reply

Regards from Bavarian, good ole "G". Do you have roots in my homecountry?
Very good work Organisation! IT's a Honor to watch your work and skills. Stay marvelous ?
Kind Regards from Markus
P.s. Sorry for my bad writing or Spelling and any mistakes in my comment ?

Al Ward

Dec 12, 2019, 10:57 pm Reply



Dec 12, 2019, 11:00 pm Reply

Seems to me you're qualified to add yourself to the history of this roller since you have continued the craft of building Borax wagons. Nice job.

Daniel Neumann

Dec 12, 2019, 11:04 pm Reply

Hard everyday use will break this repair pretty soon. Too less of a bevel and no pentration inside the broken crosssection towards the middle. The weld covers maybe just 2/3 of the crack.

Judging by the sparks I would consider beeing cast iron, this is best to weld with nickel stick electrodes after a good preheat.

Maybe brazing would suit the needs on that one even better and still provides the opportunity to reinforce the broken part externally.

Jim Harris

Dec 12, 2019, 11:12 pm Reply

Wow, you're lucky it was cast steel and not cast iron. Your repair disappeared right in front of the camera. Well done sir.


Dec 12, 2019, 11:12 pm Reply

They took the photo just before they broke the roller.


Dec 12, 2019, 11:20 pm Reply

Thank you Enjoy all of your video's.

Axel Brinkmann

Dec 12, 2019, 11:27 pm Reply

Thanks again Mr. Engels as allway very intresting and and Happy 2 Advent

Anthony Wall

Dec 12, 2019, 11:27 pm Reply

Thank you

Mike Dudley

Dec 12, 2019, 11:28 pm Reply

Thanks for taking the time to show us Dave.

Larry Kelly

Dec 12, 2019, 11:30 pm Reply

I appreciate the history you share about the tools used.

Doktor scott Diabolical – Evil Genius

Dec 12, 2019, 11:30 pm Reply

Mr. Engels, thank you for the detail shots in this video! I've been watching your tire/hub-band rolling videos for WEEKS trying to work out the details of the Eureka's removable top roller and side-plates. This video just answered all of my questions! I'm planning to build a heavy roller of my own for a future parade wagon/truck (power-wagon?) project. This helps immensely!


Dec 12, 2019, 11:38 pm Reply

I would like to know how you get your dremel grinding stones to do anything. Any time I try to grind anything the stone melts away like it was made of butter, or the glue holding it to the shank melts and it goes flying off into the stratosphere. Using genuine Dremel stones…


Dec 12, 2019, 11:43 pm Reply

I would have to ask if you were able to actually get wrought Iron for the wheels? No wonder the poor old roller gave up trying to roll 1" X 8" steel flat bar. Iron is way more forgiving.
Also a nice cheeky repair ageing and hiding in the fire.

EFormance Engineering

Dec 12, 2019, 11:43 pm Reply

I'd swear that grain structure looks like cast iron, but your "spark test" says it's steel. Must just be that it had a rather "rough" heat treat (they didn't let it sit in the mold to cool off).


Dec 12, 2019, 11:47 pm Reply

One of a few YouTube channels where I give the video a thumbs up to before I watch it. Thank you, Mr. Engel for your work and effort.

Shawn Strode

Dec 12, 2019, 11:51 pm Reply

What great repair. I have no doubt it would have worked on another tire but good idea not to push your luck. Are there any younger wheelwright tradesmen? Be a shame to have all this knowledge lost.

Zac vaper

Dec 12, 2019, 11:56 pm Reply

I'd love to make and donate a set of wooden handles for that roller but I had to sell my lathe to pay medical bills. Maybe someone else can step up.

Frank Galetzka

Dec 12, 2019, 11:57 pm Reply

Hello Sir
It always good to see how you save this old roller
Welding Cast iron is very difficult
You are a allround Talent but this is what Stellmachers ? are.
When i see what my grandfather build and konstuktet to do his work in his shop.
He was a alround Talent too ?
Greetings to you and your Family
I wish you a good Advent Weekend
Good bless you
Yours Frank

Joseph Sep

Dec 12, 2019, 12:00 am Reply

So nice to see the care you took in preserveing this peice of history, the repair was amazing to watch thanks for sharing

Wayne Shirey

Dec 12, 2019, 12:00 am Reply

Nice work.

Garth Clark

Dec 12, 2019, 12:08 am Reply

Maybe a sample of the steel/iron they used in the day vs. the material we have today would yield more strength ? That is a huge stress bending 8-9" of 1" plate.

Vernon Land

Dec 12, 2019, 12:09 am Reply

Fantastic video, Keith Rucker would be proud.

Ron Colvin

Dec 12, 2019, 12:11 am Reply

Thank you much for sharing, this was a nice video, and although it was broken its great to see it back and usable. I hope you have a great day.

Mike Darr

Dec 12, 2019, 12:19 am Reply

Definitely a significant part of history, as are you and your endeavors.


Dec 12, 2019, 12:22 am Reply

Dave, I, too, like AndyB, had always wondered about your great camera work. When I visited you back in June, I got first hand knowledge on your set ups and I think you learned from my light painting photo work also. I hope to see you this summer on a fishing trip.

Bob Warner

Dec 12, 2019, 12:26 am Reply

The one small grinder sounds like my dentist working on my teeth. Good job.

Robert Kohler

Dec 12, 2019, 12:27 am Reply

I real interesting video to see the old roller I it’s original condition as well as yours in comparison. There nothing worth treasuring like having to maintain the past history of machines that help build the American west! Thanks for sharing.

Robert LaGrange

Dec 12, 2019, 12:37 am Reply

What was the purpose of putting the part in the forge? Maybe you mentioned and i missed it.


Dec 12, 2019, 12:39 am Reply

It ain’t broke if you can fix it!??

warren rubin

Dec 12, 2019, 12:46 am Reply

Thank you

Secret Squirrel

Dec 12, 2019, 12:48 am Reply

That is really neat to have discovered that connection to the past. To actually lay hands on it would have been great. Now Engels is part of the time continuum.

Hector M Carmona Diaz

Dec 12, 2019, 12:49 am Reply

Thanks so much,great video,happy holidays, MERRY CHRISTMAS, I WISH A LOT MORE GOOD THINGS TO COME


Dec 12, 2019, 12:50 am Reply

Oh Dave…my stomach sank when you broke that Museum Piece! An old Cowboy once said 'if it wernt fer Bad Luck…I wouldn't have any Luck at all'. Glad to see you got it all fixed up good as new again. Wonder who did the Previous Repairs, cuz that was some Awesome Welding!

Richard Schmidtendorff

Dec 12, 2019, 12:51 am Reply

Nice anti stress, enhanced age look process used on the repair 🙂


Dec 12, 2019, 12:55 am Reply

Cool that its mounted on the dovetailed end of a log from a log cabin.


Dec 12, 2019, 12:55 am Reply


Ron Mack

Dec 12, 2019, 12:57 am Reply

Enjoyed the video Mr Engel. You would never know that side was ever broken. You eyes will focus on the rough repair on the other side. Very nice repair job. Thanks again for taking the time to produce the video. Y'all take care and God bless.

Dominiek Demaerel

Dec 12, 2019, 1:02 am Reply

I can imagine it is the better (harder) steel quality of today that makes it much more difficult to bend these steel bands? When I do repairs to steel constructions from the fifties, sixties or seventies it is remarkable how much more flexible and soft these materials are. Between technicians we call that "chocolate steel" or "urinal steel".


Dec 12, 2019, 1:04 am Reply

A proper weldment would have required more grind out in the break area allowing for more penetration. Then your root pass with some 6011. Then finished off with 7018. But, like you say it will probably never be used again anyway.


Dec 12, 2019, 1:05 am Reply

Sir, I mean absolutely no disrespect nor would I ever say anythin knowinly to upset you or anyone else. SO I say this with great admiration, Is there anythin that you can NOT do? I really dont believe there is. If so maybe you just havent found it yet. Possibly it dont even exists. I look forward to ever friday evenin to see what video you have posted. It is one of the highlights of my entire week. I like to think I can do a lotta things with very little at all. I've had a lotta years doin all that. But, I want you to know I cudnt hold a candle to you. I hope you take what I say as a compliment for that is the way I intended. Take care, Please be careful and as always God Bless you and Yours no matter where they may be.


Dec 12, 2019, 1:05 am Reply

Nice job on the museum restoration. Have you heard about the cleaners that broke off the beard from king Tut’s golden mask? They stuck it back on with about 1/2 “ of five minute epoxy. It’s hysterically how bad they screwed up . Your repair is a master work. Thanks again for sharing your methods.

Brown Milligan

Dec 12, 2019, 1:11 am Reply

how do you tell cast iron from steel? thanks for your time and a good show.


Dec 12, 2019, 1:23 am Reply

Why would the old timers not heated the 8” band to role it. This would allow for a smaller roller to handle the stress of the 1”


Dec 12, 2019, 1:32 am Reply

Great job Dave, back in working order and safely in the museum! Strong enough! Thanks for sharing with us.


Dec 12, 2019, 1:32 am Reply

Have you ever used CO2 for your weld shield ? I worked as "A" craftsman in Big Spring TX, Cosden Refinery from early 60's to 1976. They updated with a couple wire machines in about 1970, and CO2 is what we used. I'm still tinkering with welding (at age 79) and still using CO2. I've heard of using an Argon-CO2 mix, but never gave it a try. I use Argon with Helliarc for welding aluminum.
Is there any benefit for wire welding using Argon mix ? CO2 is a lot less expensive.
I really am enjoying your videos. You are truly a craftsman and an artist.
Rod Hallmark

Brian Wood

Dec 12, 2019, 1:35 am Reply

Did anyone else remember the dentist's office when he was using the die grinder?

Ray C.

Dec 12, 2019, 1:36 am Reply

I think I see half of that roller is quite original, square nuts. Great job.


Dec 12, 2019, 1:51 am Reply

I believe you said the tyres on the Borax wagon were 1" in thickness. I suppose if the raw stock was heated up to redness you could roll it in a hand-cranked machine. Of course it would be no big deal to build the 25-foot long fire for the 8' diameter wheels, LOL. As far as rolling that thickness material cold, I can't imagine doing that by hand. Yeah, that's how you break the rolling machine.

John Rauschkolb II

Dec 12, 2019, 1:54 am Reply

This content helps to explain in greater depth the workings of the essential tools of the trade and illuminates
the complex heavy metal technologies that were necessary for the fabrication of every element of those early wood and steel vehicles. I very much enjoy it when you share these details of your craft and trade. It gives me a more complete picture of how such tools are made and used. Another fine video production!

C Smith

Dec 12, 2019, 1:59 am Reply

Another great video.

Would you have a use for that second handle, since it's never going to get used where it's going, if you can make use of it, they may let you have it?
It would be nice to soak those long bolts and spacers in oil for a day or two to help prevent them from rusting any more.

Bruce No ya

Dec 12, 2019, 2:01 am Reply

This break is irrelevant because in the archeological think it’s documented. 😉

Eastern Woods

Dec 12, 2019, 2:31 am Reply

Dad's 95 and not from that part of the world. I'm going to have to get him to watch your videos. He's likely to tell me exactly how they were used in his day

Hamilton S. Rink

Dec 12, 2019, 2:39 am Reply

Grease is a lubricant.  It also stops rust in those hard to reach seldom seen places.

shop shop

Dec 12, 2019, 2:41 am Reply

The repair is good as old! You mentioned 460LBS for the old roller, how does that compare to the 'new' one you use? And was the time spent in the coal fire for appearance or structural or both? I enjoyed this type of video.

James Dean

Dec 12, 2019, 2:56 am Reply

how did they join the ends of the tire before welding?


Dec 12, 2019, 2:59 am Reply

Great piece of working history… Nice job on the repair…

Daniel Duncan

Dec 12, 2019, 3:03 am Reply

Seems it never fails…. i borrow equipment and it breaks while in my possession. Lol…. well you did an excellent job repairing the equipment back too original condition. It's really something holding a piece of history in your hands. Thank you Mr Engels for the Friday evening video. Keep'm coming sir ????

James Dean

Dec 12, 2019, 3:05 am Reply

Do you think they might have heatrd the 1.00 Thick X 8.00" Wide bar before trying to roll it in the old days?

Rodney Wroten

Dec 12, 2019, 3:39 am Reply


Jim Willoughby

Dec 12, 2019, 3:43 am Reply

With what little you did to repair it, that roller probably works better than it did far too many years to count. This was a good change of pace video. Instead of repairing wagons, you're repairing the machinery that is used to make wagons.


Dec 12, 2019, 3:51 am Reply

As always good job
It’s great there is still some of the history left a large part of the objects are probably gone it’s good some are still around


Dec 12, 2019, 4:16 am Reply

Curious why you didn't coat those long bolts in some WD-40 or something.


Dec 12, 2019, 4:23 am Reply

Great one again.

Kevin Murphy

Dec 12, 2019, 4:27 am Reply

it would be nice if you could show more old tools that where used in that time pirit

Great Plains Craftsman

Dec 12, 2019, 5:06 am Reply

Very cool tools. Nice fix, surprised to see the mig but I learned something! Thanks for sharing Dave

Mountain View Turning

Dec 12, 2019, 5:23 am Reply

Really cool old

Noel Shah

Dec 12, 2019, 5:51 am Reply

I love to watch your videos

razvan isa

Dec 12, 2019, 7:33 am Reply

Bravo ❤?❤


Dec 12, 2019, 7:36 am Reply

Nice, clean repair.


Dec 12, 2019, 7:57 am Reply

Thanks for sharing that. You know, the borrowed roller will go back in better condition than it arrived as if the top ear hadn't broke, you'd probably not have done a clean-n-grease maintenance on it.

Patman Crowley

Dec 12, 2019, 8:14 am Reply

WOW! Thanks, Mr. Engle.

Christopher C.

Dec 12, 2019, 8:29 am Reply

Invisible mending . Can I see some please ?, Thank you Dave for letting me/us tag along with the excellent repair which is plenty good enough for a static display item .

Rupert Hartop

Dec 12, 2019, 8:36 am Reply

Great video. Were you stress relieving the casting in the furnace. Thanks for sharing

Alfred Richter

Dec 12, 2019, 8:47 am Reply

@20:43 Min.: My Name is Alfred. But everybody calls me just „Alf“. So I finde it very interesting „having“ a Blacksmith Shop in CA. To bad that it is too far away from my home in Germany.

Gerald Knapp

Dec 12, 2019, 9:09 am Reply

Wow never cease to amaze me I'm sending me videos around older fellows I know I'm older by the way. Thanks for the information and the inspiration

Annyai Presoski

Dec 12, 2019, 9:16 am Reply

Great job repairing that. If you can repair as nicely and as cleanly as that, then your welcome to come and bust some of my tools just so I can say they were repaired by you!

Jennifer WhiteWolf

Dec 12, 2019, 9:20 am Reply

Nice old tools…

Gordon McMillan

Dec 12, 2019, 9:36 am Reply

That break looked like grey cast iron to me. What tells you it was cast steel? I've never seen steel break like that.


Dec 12, 2019, 9:51 am Reply

Once again thank you sir !!!

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