Wheel profile for "groovy track"?

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rkcarguy
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Wheel profile for "groovy track"?

Post by rkcarguy » Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:54 pm

I'm building my 12" gage railroad using my own version of the groovy track method and 3/8x1 steel flat bar. Do I want to use a 2-1/2* or less angle on the wheel surface, or have it pretty much flat so it contacts the entire top of the flat bar rail?
I'll be running wheel loads of up to 250#'s per wheel, so I'm thinking more contact is a good idea for longer wheel and rail life, if there is no negative to having less angle?
I'm looking at IBLS wheel specs for the 15" gage stuff, they show a max tread angle of 2-1/2*, and a flange angle of 10* which I'll obviously need.

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FLtenwheeler
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Re: Wheel profile for "groovy track"?

Post by FLtenwheeler » Wed Nov 08, 2017 3:20 pm

The angle is actually 2 degree 50 minutes. Or all most 3 degrees. This angle is to keep the flange from contacting the rail and keeping the wheels centered between the rail. These reduces flange and rail wear. There is a lot of information about this for prototype track and wheels on the internet.

Tim
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Harold_V
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Re: Wheel profile for "groovy track"?

Post by Harold_V » Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:33 pm

rkcarguy wrote:I'm building my 12" gage railroad using my own version of the groovy track method and 3/8x1 steel flat bar. Do I want to use a 2-1/2* or less angle on the wheel surface, or have it pretty much flat so it contacts the entire top of the flat bar rail?
As has already been suggested, the angle should be maintained, as it performs a required function.

While you might find flat bar to be square, it generally is not. All depends on the source. You obviously should avoid cold rolled material, which tends to be more expensive, and, typically, has sharp edges. Instead, pursue hot rolled. With luck, that which you acquire will have the desired corner radius, and may or may not be flat. By careful selection of the edge, and its orientation when installed, you may find that the profile comes close to the configuration of a railhead.

H
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rkcarguy
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Re: Wheel profile for "groovy track"?

Post by rkcarguy » Wed Nov 08, 2017 7:21 pm

Ah that's right, minutes of an angle is in 60th's I forgot about that....therefore called minutes duh:)
Yes I have built 20' of track and have enough flat bar for 20' more, and used hot roll. One side wasn't quite square and seemed to have a sharper corner, the other side was more square and had a little more radius on it, so I installed the FB so that side was up and inward.
The radius is pretty small, something a flap wheel on my angle grinder would produce quickly if I need to.
Through work, I'm able to order the hot rolled stuff pretty cheap. I think it was $52 for 80' of it if I remember correctly.
Thanks for the info on the angle. They call for that 2* 50min angle as a max, so I think I'll shoot for 2-1/2* just to make things easy. I'm thinking about making a fixture to toss each wheel-set into with the angle grinder mounted so it will swing into the "cut" so I can finish my wheels at home. I can set an adjustable stop on the swing to account for grinding wheel wear.

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Builder01
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Re: Wheel profile for "groovy track"?

Post by Builder01 » Wed Nov 08, 2017 7:35 pm

You are going to "machine" your wheels with a deck grinder?

David

rkcarguy
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Re: Wheel profile for "groovy track"?

Post by rkcarguy » Wed Nov 08, 2017 7:52 pm

I have done worse lol, but possibly. I am having my wheel parts laser cut and am welding/brazing them up. If I use my calipers to make sure they are centered within a few thousandths and fairly true on the axles there shouldn't be a whole lot of material to remove.
We had an emergency job come in years ago, a large pipe flange that needed a big bevel weld prep cut on it. And it didn't fit in our lathe. We had to hand grind it in close, then made a fixture that pivoted an angle grinder around a hub we tack welded into the center. The grinder had those handle holes in the metal portion, so we threaded bolts into those and welded up a little cobbled together frame to hold the grinder. The hard wheel bounced around a bit and didn't leave a nice finish but moved the metal. Then changed it to a flap wheel and it turned out really nice.
I have lathe access but it's very limited at work and my dad's is very beat up because my uncle crashed it(chuck doesn't hold parts very true anymore), so I have to see how things go when the time comes.

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Re: Wheel profile for "groovy track"?

Post by Glenn Brooks » Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:23 pm

If it were me I would profile the wheels to be as close as practical to the traditional standard radius.

Three reasons: firstly, as mentioned, the 2d 50" radius will help keep the trucks centered on the rails. Also, should you ever decide to operate the loco on another track (or put up for sale) standard design wheels will be much preferable over any non-standard wheel. Might even be a deal breaker to have square profile wheels. And finally, shudder to think, what if the groovy track idea doesn't work out, and you end up going with traditional rail? Ideally, you will benefit from building standard wheel profiles in all three cases. (+ the downside is very small)

Glenn
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Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

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rkcarguy
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Re: Wheel profile for "groovy track"?

Post by rkcarguy » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:51 am

I don't see why the flat bar won't work, I decided upon 7/16 depth into the ties for the grooves, leaving plenty for flange height yet enough to securely support the rails. Glenn, you're the only one I know of that is 12" that is anywhere close, and I'm following your gage of -1/16th on the wheel sets and +1/8 on the rail spacing. I'm also going to stay 40' radius or bigger on the curves. If I'm off on any of that let me know, now is the time!

rkcarguy
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Re: Wheel profile for "groovy track"?

Post by rkcarguy » Thu Nov 09, 2017 1:18 am

I went out and measured my track. The two 10' lengths measure 12-1/16" to around 12-3/32" between the rails. Pretty consistent considering the rude router fixture I built out of scrap wood.

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Re: Wheel profile for "groovy track"?

Post by Harold_V » Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:10 am

rkcarguy wrote:I don't see why the flat bar won't work,
Anyone who thinks it won't isn't paying attention, as it is used by more than one club, and functions just fine. The only real negative is that it isn't prototypical in appearance. It is far cheaper than buying model track, and allows some to have a track when they, otherwise, might not.

I seem to recall that the track in Burnaby uses flat bar, as does the Pacific Northwest Live Steamers.

H
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Builder01
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Re: Wheel profile for "groovy track"?

Post by Builder01 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 5:28 am

I'm sure flat bar will work just fine for rail. I've seen it done many places.

I'm am just surprised that your wheels will be "machined" with a deck grinder and then the wheels will be welded to the axles.

Have you considered buying a lathe to make proper fitting parts that actually run concentric?

David

rkcarguy
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Re: Wheel profile for "groovy track"?

Post by rkcarguy » Thu Nov 09, 2017 1:46 pm

No no, I will be welding the wheels to the axles first, then either turning them or grinding them. Otherwise they would wobble all over the place. Even with the TIG welder and some careful tacking and tapping, things always pull when welding.
I'm dealing with $4000 in coinsurance on medical bills from a kidney stone, so any budget for purchasing a lathe just went down the toilet, I had been looking :( There was a nice little 9x36 in an estate sale with all the tooling I'd need that I had my eye on.

Looking at real track and rail sizes, I find that the flat bar isn't that far out of scale overall, it's actually pretty close to yard and siding rail in my scale, and is oversize for the 1-1/2" scale guys. Where it lacks, is that because it's sunk into grooves in the ties and isn't on top of the ties it doesn't look the same. I'd say If I went to 3/8x1-1/2 flat bar, the look from the END would be much more prototypical, but then the rails would be very thick from the sides and the cost per foot would go way up. I'm running 17 2x4 ties per 10' section, so there is a 2-1/2" gap between the ties. It's very strong, I'm 260#'s and can point load the rail between ties with myself standing on one heel and it doesn't even phase it. The 2x4's are largely oversize for the scale, real ties aren't 12"x24". In my case I see the larger ties providing more support and being less prone to rot than using 2x2's. I'm building this to be on a tight budget and perform actual work. Prototypical looks are something I'm doing my best to attain, but will have to compromise on here and there.

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