The Bedford Volunteer Firefighters Association graciously donated a hand drawn hose reel to the Regional Firefighters Interpretation Center a number of years ago. The received it from Moirs Mill and Box Factory in Bedford, NS.
After inspection, we decided that the wheels would not last much longer! One was nearly disintegrated already, and the other was rather wobbly!
We started our research and found that Master Wheelwright Mike Hardigan would be the best choice for the job!
After taking the wheels to Mike, he is overseeing the reconstruction at the Le Village Historique Acadien De La Nouvelle- Écosse , in Pubnico, Nova Scotia.
We have been lucky enough to receive an update from Mike, and we wanted to share it with you! New hubs have been turned, and spokes have been cut. Mike is now almost finished the wheels!
All that is left is to put on the "tires"... A flat metal ring that will be heated so that it will expand to a size bigger than the wheel. Then, after fitting it around the wheel, water will be used to cool it and shrink it to size!
You will see in the gallery below, members of RFIC were lucky enough to be present when the tires were put on the wheels. They started with the set up, building of the fire, a tire in the fire, carrying the tire to boards to round it out, installation by pounding and weight on the wooden wheel, and the finished wheel being rolled away!
We are not yet done with our hose reel restoration! Painting will be done at out museum site and we will ad some more pictures as we progress!