Here we see steel being used as a tension backing on the bottom side of this axle, with enough wood on the top side to adequately resist compression.  If they are balanced one to the other in the correct ratio, this composite strategy yields an immensely strong, yet supple beam.  The above artifacts are from the Molson Museum in Washington State.  They have a fascinating array, of late 19th. and early 20th. century, farm machinery  out there.

Thank you, old hack buggy that is stored under the leaky shed right behind the old Molson bank building.  You have been very useful in suggesting appropriate ratios of wood and iron for our new limbs.

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