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Old World Wool Seal Making

Wool felt front wheel seal

Wool felt front wheel seal

Today Peter created new bearing seals for the 1934 Lagonda M45 Rapide. The seals of the day did much the same job as today’s plastic over steel equivalent. The main sealing surface is wool felt that, soaked in oil, does a good job holding most of the oil and grease in place. The tools of the trade are pretty simple ones: a spoon, a ball-peen hammer, scissors and a razor blade. The thick wool felt is traced and cut via razor blade.

To make the wool a bit “proud” – to stick out like the chin of a duke – paper gasket material can be cut and built up behind the wool. A spoon and a ball-peen hammer are all that is needed to make an imprint to cut out.

This twenties automotive seal technology was used in agricultural equipment for decades such as wheel seals on an Oliver or Cockshut tractor.

Using the ball-peen hammer to trace the inner lip on the gasket

Using the ball-peen hammer to trace the inner lip on the gasket

A spoon has a nice radius for tracing the outer edge of the seal

A spoon has a nice radius for tracing the outer edge of the seal

Lagonda M45 Rapide front brake shoes and axle with hub removed

Lagonda M45 Rapide front brake shoes and axle with hub removed

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