Turning wheels

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Tom Bee

Shows the usage of Tom Bee's custom designed wheel turning fixture that he built for use on a lathe many years ago. This is a one of a kind! It can be used for any diameter or width, having a 3/16" tall flange. This is only the demonstration, without an explanation. Published on Nov 5, 2012



Shows the usage of Tom Bee's custom designed wheel turning fixture that he built for use on a lathe many years ago. This is a one of a kind! IT can be used for any diameter or width, having a 3/16" tall flange. Published on Nov 5, 2012


Auto Tread Turner

Bill Laird posted on Narrow Gauge Builders Yahoo Group:

The last thing finished, in conjunction with fellow builder Terry McCauley, were two 2-1/2 inch scale Gramps tank cars (see photo below). I have several other projects, and one worth mentioning is, again with Terry, an automatic wheel lathe. Started with an old automotive brake drum lathe. Added stepper motors and electronics to follow the IBLS wheel profile standard. Some of us Texas narrow gauge builders got together and made a generic 2-1/2 inch scale freight car wheel pattern and had a local cast iron foundry cast 100 wheel castings. Turning that many wheels is a daunting task. The automatic wheel lathe takes alot of the drudgery out of it. Process is face off the back of the casting on an engine lathe, drill and ream the axle hole, clean up the rim, face off the front of the casting, and turn the casting to final wheel thickness. Then it is put on the automatic wheel lathe for turning the tread profile and flange. The automatic wheel lathe can handle any wheel up to about 12" diameter and 3" thick. To date it has turned well over a hundred wheels.

Dave Sclavi Method

Axle Material

Harry Hungate wrote on the Fitchburg Northern Yahoo Group, March 2017:

For axles use 12L14 as C-1018 will never give you acceptable surface finish. I purchase my metal from On-line Metals and Speedy Metals.

On-Line Metals provides the following information for 12L14:

Cold Drawn Round 12L14 Carbon Steel Bar/Rods are best known for their excellent machinability due to its added Lead content. 12L14 Cold Drawn Steel Rods are frequently used to fabricate high speed machinery. It has very high machinability and low weldability, but it can be bent, riveted or crimped.