A hollow tree trunk
In the trades room at Market Lavington Museum, we have various objects relating to the the making of cart wheels at Gye’s Yard. These range from enormous bellows, used by the blacksmith when making the metal tyres for the wheels, to a hub, an unfinished wooden wheel and a hollow tree trunk.
Yes, this section of an oak tree trunk was a useful piece of the wheelwright’s equipment. We are fortunate in having a photograph of it in use and a description of its purpose. (See Wheelwright memories.)
The cart wheel being worked on was placed on top of the hollow trunk and firmly held in place by a long threaded rod set in the floor. This ensured that the wheel could not move at all.
Tom Gye felt that this tree trunk support had been in use for one or maybe two hundred years.