Quartering driver axles

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Quartering driver axles

Post by gcarsen » Sun Oct 19, 2008 6:15 pm

I have a diferent way of cutting the keyways 90 deg to each other than the usual sqaure block or dividing head routine.
I turned up my axles to the regular allan prints then,
i drilled and countersunk the ends to fit a 10-32 flat head screw. so that you can seal it up after greasing. and the head is flush with the end. then at the intersection where the threads meet the countersink i recut a set of 60 deg centers so that you can still turn everything between centers and be true.
then i made a triangular piece with a perfect 90 between the 2 sides. drilled a clearance hole for the #10 screw up in the corner.
then bolted it onto the end. set in vise, indicated one leg true. then cut the keyway. loosen vice , index so the other flat is true , then cut the keyway on the oposite end. done! quick , easy, and not a waste of alot of material , or having to lift any heavy or cumbersome atachments.
i keep forgetting that the pics show up in the oposite order that you place them!

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Post by Trainman4602 » Sun Oct 19, 2008 6:48 pm

I use the 45 degree method. I cut the axles key ways in line. I broach the wheel keyways at 45 degrees from the crank.

With this method I eliminate one error. Works for me.

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Post by SBITNER » Mon Oct 20, 2008 10:34 am

I agree with Dave, I broach the wheels at a 45 degree angle, mill the axles straight, It is a lot easier for me do to limited machine capabilities.

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Post by Fred_V » Mon Oct 20, 2008 12:06 pm

neat idea. should work fine. on one engine i used a quartering jig. on my latest one i did the 45 deg. trick. it all works if done carefully.

the most important thing is to get the axles the same distance from each other on both sides. that's harder to do, at least for me.
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Post by Jim_Nolan » Tue Oct 21, 2008 4:15 am

I have an awful feeling I am probably showing myself up here but, and no I have not got round to quartering my wheels yet but. 45deg method do you mean both side of the nominal centre line and what advantage is that over 90deg away from each other.

I have never understood why cutting four key ways, each pair at 90 to each other seems so difficult. Isn’t that what rotary tables are for? There seems to be more folk lore and ideas out there on this subject than most others.
Is it just a case of most model engineer’s work without loads of gear and the folk remedies out there are get rounds?

What is puzzling me at the moment is generally one side will have the key way aligned with the centre of the balance weight. What’s the clever way to get the first keyway aligned correctly and how do you replicate it. I am thinking get the two bores lined up then give it a spin on the rotary table the required amount?

Another surprising thing I just noticed looking at the drawings again is you would have thought the offset for the balance weights would be the same on all wheels, well I would. Checking my drawings I see they vary, leading and trailing are 5deg intermediate is 7deg and driving is 9deg. For one horrible minute I thought I had got my drawings wrong but checking the originals and I am OK.

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Post by Trainman4602 » Tue Oct 21, 2008 5:11 pm

I have made a Video on the quartering fixture as son as it is uploaded to you tibe I'll post it

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Re: Quartering driver axles

Post by dnevil » Mon Dec 10, 2018 6:02 pm

Just to follow-up, Dave's 45 degree method video is linked from here:


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Re: Quartering driver axles

Post by Asteamhead » Mon Dec 10, 2018 7:09 pm

Hello gcarson,
what about using those clamping parts? Please see:
Best regards

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Re: Quartering driver axles

Post by Bruce_Mowbray » Tue Dec 11, 2018 9:46 am

With the 45 degree method, you only need one broach fixture. Make all wheels with the same fixture - no need to reset anything. You do have to make sure the key slot is as close to 45 degrees from the crank pin as possible. All of the axles get a slot in line with each other. When assembled, the 90 degree pin set up is automatically generated. A few shots from my old web page
Axle slots in line
Simple fixture. Fits over crank pin and in axle hole
On the press
Finished wheel
Bruce Mowbray
Springville & Southern RR
TMB Manufacturing & Locomotive Works

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Re: Quartering driver axles

Post by cbrew » Tue Dec 11, 2018 10:00 am

I quartered the axles on the mill using a woodruff cutter and end mill during a single setup.
i know some do not like this method, but it was the only way i can be sure of the quartering using the tools in my "tool box"
Left side.jpg
Right side.jpg
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Re: Quartering driver axles

Post by Bill Shields » Thu Dec 13, 2018 9:04 pm

if it works...what is there not to like?
Too many things going on to bother listing them.

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Re: Quartering driver axles

Post by Trainman4602 » Thu Dec 13, 2018 10:26 pm

The problem with the method is that you have to reset the cutter for each axle not only slow but more chance to screw up.

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