Hi Folks! 2 carts found there way home this weekend when a friend's boyfriend decided he wanted them out of the yard NOW. He knows nothing about them other than the guy he got them from called them "cocking carts." (The photos of cocking carts google pulled up for me were a lot more elaborate.)
I was hoping the COTH sages could help me identify them!
A cocking cart is VERY similar to a dog cart except it's got a single seat. I understand though that often in the USA what we call a dog cart is often there called a cocking cart even though it's seat would sit two.
Dog carts and cocking carts were both used for transporting animals under the seat and so the box there is always either slatted wood or else open cane. When they're called "cocking carts" then specifically they were used for taking fighting cocks to a match. They were prominent over here at the turn of the 18th century but then cock fighting was banned.
From what I can see in the photo it's solid metal. Isn't it?? Or is what I thought was just a pattern actually an open weave slat arrangement? If so then it would be known as a Cocking Cart. But it's a very basic reproduction one.
The one you posted actually don't look that old and I'd take a guess on about 20 to 30 years.
It's just a very basic trap. You may call it something different to a trap over there though because I'm in the UK and that's what it would be here. Here the difference between a trap and a gig is in the main that there is no adjustments and it's more basic.
I notice that the tyre is no longer on the wheel so that will need doing before you shake your teeth out! or fall out the back where the back rest is missing
Looks like a metal reproduction of some other cart (probably seen from a photo)
The shafts look very long and Im guessing that its possibly heavy in the shafts as much of the body is forward of the axle. Though the seat is directly over the axle
It has all the pieces of what could have been an elegant vehicle, but the workmanship is more workman
The wheels look like "farm wheels" all metal with flat metal fellows/rims. Probably never had rubber as they do not look channeled
If you've got the time and talent to work with it, this could fix up into something. Otherwise, it is what it is - an older repro metal cart
A hay rake rides on a field though and as such that's right for a hay rake.
However the vehicle in the OP was never built for that.
I'd be VERY surprised if they were recycled agricultural vehicle wheels. To tall and too light weight - though obviously I'm looking at a photo only. But perhaps the OP will come back and tell us their diameter and also if the box has open slats or open weave?
Why do you think it's not just missing it's clincher rail and tyre? Take a look again at the link I provided with the nicely restored American Cocking Cart. You'll see on there that they have the clincher rail fitted onto the wheel rim. That's no different to how I make them nowadays onto steel wheels.
Trust me that one is missing it's tyre. Take that on the road and it's a bone shaker and you'll loose your teeth!
The entire cart is metal, except for the seat. The base of the seat is the only wood on the whole thing. I suppose the uprights had a wooden backrest, but that's about it.
The metal on the floor and the mud/kick guard is diamond plate steel. The spokes I believe are metal (haven't tapped on them, but I'd bet this cup of coffee on it...) and the rims are flat metal with no relief/lip/curl. The frame is made of square stock. The trace guide is on a drilled and tapped bolt with a drilled R-type cotter pin.
The hubs look, for all intents and purposes, sealed. The only area where lube might be introduced could be on the interior part of the hub where there is a small, 1" to 1-1/2" opening where the inside of the hub connects to the square shaft frame.
The rear "axle" such as it is (it doesn't move, but that's what I'll call it for now) is complemented by a pair of safety chains affixed to the underside of the seat.... just in case all that metal came unglued. Guess someone went for a ride without wheels once...
The two carts, side by side, are identical in all respects, except for a bit more rust on the one with the looser trace guide; plus some of the weld work on the shafts were done for slightly different body sized horses. The shafts are all metal, tubular steel, with welds at the various bends. They look like electric welds. Somebody built this to a plan and some safety-oriented specs with some awfully modern materials. It was definitely built to work.
Glad to hear those may not be the finished product on the tires! How does one go about fitting tires to it? And before I forget, what manner of lubrication should be done on the hubs? heavy machine oil? tractor grease? What ever is handy and effective?
Thomas, Husband looked at the OPs photo, also thinks the wheels are implement wheels or someone copied implement wheels for putting on this cart. Never had rubber or wood on them. I have never seen older tall wheels with metal looking spokes, except on light old implements. Or even any metal wheels on carriages until more recent vehicles, after CDE came along. Odd looking hubs, sure not the common style found on carriages. He figures someone copied some pictures to make this repo vehicle quite a while ago. It does NOT look like a comfortable ride on those wheels. Wonder how much torque they would take on a sharp turn back?
Quote"The rear "axle" such as it is (it doesn't move, but that's what I'll call it for now) is complemented by a pair of safety chains affixed to the underside of the seat.... just in case all that metal came unglued. Guess someone went for a ride without wheels once..."Quote
I am only seeing one axle on the cart, so am thinking you mean "axle in the rear of vehicle, under seat" not a second axle behind a front axle. The chains were not to prevent losing the axle, but to AID the horse in pulling at a lower angle for more efficient use of his power. The chain set-up is shown in the Cocking Cart photos that Thomas posted. The singletree, which is where traces on horse are attached to cart, pulls from the suspended chain amd crossbar. Everything down there is part of the system, not just put on for looks.
With the metal vehicle being so old, the wood singletree could have rotted away, chains removed, leaving no trace to see the system. Pulling with singletree and chains to the axle is called "Axle Draft" in describing how Cart is set up. The metal cart shown now has a singletree mounted on the crossbar. Maybe they didn't like the suspended style with chains or axle draft pull, removed it all.
Thomas' photos shows black curved things down under cart, by the axle. Also a yellow bar hung from the crossbar between shafts by black straps. The lower bar is the heavy singletree suspended, with chains attaching in the center, run up from the axle. Chains are black leather covered so maybe not instantly recognized for what they are. Second photo shows chains, singletree, hanger straps, best. All that yellow really blends together! However this is a very classy vehicle, good name maker, restored correctly, including the axle draft chains and singletree.
The old builders had their reasons for proportions, which people looking at photos, may not understand when trying to build reproductions. Even 30 years ago much information was not available to a builder, and sure were not a lot of original Cocking Carts around to measure off of when copying. Even now you often don't know why that odd item is on a vehicle, until someone tells you.
If I can get out there before dark, I'll get a couple pics of the back end and of the hubs, as well as a measure of the wheels and confirm they're metal spoked. Maybe with my wife's camera instead of my iPhone, too!
Very interesting stuff...
I'm not certain the cart will ever see road use. Too many crazies try and use our road as a commute shortcut/rally. But it would be nice to have the capability. Especially since the farm roads are anything but smooth... Real tires are definitely on a "would be nice" list.
Was not out there at the same time as the camera this weekend, but the box is fully enclosed with no airlets, so definitely not for any kind of living creature. I guess that makes it a Gig Cart, not a cocking cart. Still no measurements on the wheels, but I'd definitely appreciate those tips on tyre fitment etc. My teeth would downright adore it.