Alain Montpied Charronnage
He makes and repairs all types of wooden wheels for horse-drawn teams, antique cars and velocipedes, canons and other items. Established in 1910, this is a family business located some fifteen kilometres from Clermont-Ferrand; it is open for visits by appointment. With the skills of four generations of wheelwrights behind it, Alain Montpied Charronnage is the custodian of a traditional craft that is fast disappearing. Alain Montpied still uses the original machines and working methods that go back to the early 20th century: the conversion and cross-cutting of timber, steam-bending, hooping and so on. The wheels are still made entirely by hand, and the company has researched and developed a method of hooping solid timber for making shafts, folding top bows, wooden wings, rims and special pieces. Alain Montpied exports all over Europe to a clientele consisting mainly of the users of horse-drawn vehicles, collectors, museums and stud farms.