It’s kind of a big wheel


For more than 50 years, I watched a complete wagon wheel rot away as it leaned against a rock wall adjacent to the 1726 gambrel-roof colonial home my father bought in 1968. Last summer I hauled the steel hubs, rim, and six remaining spokes from New England to my workshop in Florida so I could rebuild the wheel for yard art.

After researchin­g the original constructi­on methods for wagon wheels, I chose white oak for the rebuild and pinned together the perimeter sections with 1⁄2" steel rods to keep it authentic.

When I completed the wheel two months later, it was too nice to put outdoors, so instead I turned it into a kitchen table. The center hub seemed the perfect place for a lazy Susan, so I designed one as a smaller wagon wheel. The tabletop itself is

1⁄2"-thick beveled plate glass.

I wish my father were still around to see the old wheel; it would have been nice to have him work with me. But I know that his spirit was with me.

—Brian Cote Palm City, Fla.

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