A new oak shaft had been bought a few years ago based on the measurements of the outer end of the old one. The biggest piece of oak that could be found was slightly smaller than the original but was judged to be adequate.
It had to be shaped to accept the gudgeons. This involved cutting a hole in the centre of each end about 5" diameter and 9" deep and then four slots had to be cut in the ends to accept the vanes of the gudgeons.
The gudgeons were not very accurately cast and the central shaft and the vanes were slightly bigger (about 1mm) at the inner end. Also they were not exactly symmetrical. This was probably part of the reason for the wedges mentioned earlier - they may not have been added later as the gudgeons worked loose.
Also it was found that the inner end of the old axle was almost 1 inch greater diameter than the outer resulting in the hoops at one end having to be packed out with slivers of oak and iron wedges.
The pictures below show how the gudgeons were fitted.
First the end of the shaft was marked - you can see the bigger gudgeon here.Then holes were drilled 9" deep.
The resulting honeycomb was removed with a chainsaw.
A gudgeon in place but before the hoops are fitted
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©Roy Carpenter & Peter Davis 1999