Saturday, 4 January 2014

Making Wagon Wheels - Part 2


Making the Wheels

Cut your wheel rims to the required width. I made mine 4.5 mm wide.
Sand faces of rims smooth and lightly file the sharp edge off rims.    Lightly sand internal and external faces.

The rims need to be reduced in size from 47 mm to 44 mm.   This works out to near on 4'8" in 1/32nd scale.   You need to cut out a segment from the rim so that when closed up, the rim is the correct diameter for the wheel being modelled.   I found if I cut a segment  14 mm out of the rim, when closed up it gave me a circumference of 44 mm.

Using Superglue, join the ends of the rim and clamp.  A little piece of copy paper under the join will stop the rim from attaching itself to the jig.



Fill any gaps with Squadron/Tamiya/Whatever Putty.   Allow to dry and sand smooth.

The completed rims can now be placed on the spoke template and the rim carefully marked off for spoke placement.


Mount your Dremel in the Drill stand just off horizontal to obtain a slight angle to match the dishing off the spokes (when inserted later).   Carefully drill at each marked location, making sure the bit is kept square to the work.

(The alternative that I mentioned in the previous post is that if you do not have a Drill stand, is to jury rig your Dremel so that is on the horizontal and slide the rim carefully into the drill bit.   You would need to clamp your Dremel to a suitable support.



Once you have finished your rims , we can move onto the axle/hubs.
Using the 20 thou sheet, you need to make what is basically a washer.   Mine were 11 mm in diameter.   You will need two per axle.   Using a circle template, I marked out and then roughly cut out the circle, drilled a small hole in the centre suitable for the Dremel mandrel and turned them down to 11 mm, 6 at a time, using files and sandpaper.



Once finished and cleaned up, they will need the centre hole opened out to 1/8th.   

Cut a length of 1/8th rod about 25 mm long (this will be trimmed to size on completion).
Chuck the rod into your Dremel and turn one end to a rounded shape.





Adjust your depth stop so that when your 1/8th axle is inserted (domed end first) a suitable amount is left proud when you place the first 11 mm washer on the 1/8th axle and glued.   

The hub spacers need to be cut next and these are made from the 3/16th tube cut into 3mm widths.  (the 3mm allows a minute amount of leeway when inserting the spokes).
Once they are cut and cleaned up, glue a spacer over the 1/8th rod and flush against the first washer.

The remaining washer can now be glued to the axle/hub assembly.   

The spokes are made up from plastic strip.   The key to success here is the ability to cut all these to the exact same length.   This is where the Chopper is ideal.   

   Wagon wheels differed greatly in the number of spokes, some having 14, others having 12 or 16.   

To obtain the length of spoke, measure the inside diameter of your rim, minus the outside diameter of the hub tube and then halve the resulting dimension.   Place your hub on the nail jig and centre your rim.   To obtain the dished effect you need to file a small chamfer on the outboard end and cut a 45 degree piece on the inboard end.

The inboard washer should be flush with your Pine/MDF jig and you may need to raise the rim slightly with some offcuts of cardboard so that when the spokes are glued in, they assume a slight angle. (See Jig Photo in previous post). 


Cut two spokes initially and test fit.   Make any adjustments and cut remaining
number of spokes (plus a couple to spare!)

Working alternately about, fit and glue your spokes into the rim.   If you have
 measured correctly, they should go in very easily.   I used Tamiya Plastic cement to attach my spokes.   It glues well to the plastic Hub/Axle but only just holds to the PVC rim.  Once your spokes are dry, turn the wheel over and reinforce the joint between spokes and rim with Superglue.   After the wheel has dried completly, use the same diameter drill bit to drill into the outboard end of the spoke just a little so that you can pin the spoke for added strength.     


The 30 thou rod is used to pin the spokes through the rim.    This makes for a stronger assembly and stops any chance of the spokes moving when you lightly shave the Arris edge of each spoke with your craft knife.

Cut and fit a strip of 10 x 100 thou for the iron tyre around the circumference of your wheel.

The last thing that needs to be done is to add, using slices of 30 thou rod, the ring of bolts around the outer edge of the Hub.

The front wheels are constructed in the same manner as the rear wheels, differing in that a piece of 179 .100 x .250 strip is let into the 32 mm conduit, which when filed and cleaned up should give a circumference of 33 mm.   The material for the spokes should be smaller than the strip used for the rear wheels, say, .60 x .80 thou.
The washers should also be proportionally smaller as well.






A couple of notes.

You can obviously adjust the sizes of the wheels by using different diameters of conduit if you can get them.   You can also cut the rim and insert a piece to enlarge the circumference a little and cut and shut to the required size.

     The spoke sizes are just what I have used and again they could be varied.   Some spokes were flared from the centre outward, some were round etc.

When forming the 10 strip thou for the iron tyre, cut roughly to length and then pull the strip over a curved surface (such as a craft knife handle) between your thumb and handle and this will add a curve to the strip.   This make for easier gluing to the rim.




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