Saving our heritage
Wheel-maker and blacksmith still busy
TREVOR Pincotts’ fingers are used to getting hit.
The Monto wheel-maker and blacksmith dedicates every bit of his spare time to projects using the old techniques but he said he always knew his fingers were going to get hurt in the process.
“I’m just thinking “how many times am I going to hit my fingers?” he said, with a laugh.
“You never bloody grow out of it.”
Despite the battery, Mr Pincott believed learning the skills was important and he would like to see more people work to preserve them.
“It is very sad more people aren’t preserving these skills,” he said.
“Because they are how this country was built. We are fighting to save our antique heritage. It’s an art really.”
The first step in building the wagon wheels, which were once on carts to pull timber, gravel or even the old cream cans around Monto, was to collect wood from the bush.
“You just wander around in the bush until you find it,” Mr Pincott said.
“Sometimes you walk around in the bush for days, other times you find it right away.
“Then you just ask the owners if you can have it and nine times out of 10 they say yes.”
His latest creations had featured yellow-box timber, but he said iron bark and blue gum worked well too.
There was not a lot of room for error in building the hubs and spokes, and the Monto craftsman said he had to start from scratch on more than one occasion.
“It takes about a week to make one once I get started,” he said.
“Then I just finish them up with decking oil.”
Although the demand for wagon wheels slumped a long time ago, they were still popular garden ornaments and for historical memorabilia.
“I learnt a bit from old Spook (Harold Ware) at the historical society over the years,” Mr Pincott said.
“The rest just from books and teaching myself.”
He hoped his next project would be restoring a huge cart used to haul timber that would require between 32 and 64 horses to pull it, depending on how loaded up it was.
“I got it up at Pine Mountain from Alf Myles about five years ago,” he said.
“I’ve got to make four of the massive hubs to begin with and they are big buggers.”
Between working as vice president of the historical society, second in command of Monto’s driver reviver, a member of the cultural centre committee and carting cardboard and plastic, Mr Pincott was already good at keeping busy.
But he welcomed the new project just the same.
“I suppose, it will keep me hopping, keep me out of mischief,” he said, with a laugh.
It is very sad more people aren’t preserving these skills.
HISTORY LIVES ON: It's because of people like Trevor Pincott that skills such as blacksmithing and wheel-making are preserved.