Source for Wheels & Axles

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BigDumbDinosaur
Posts: 850
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:19 pm
Location: Midwestern United States

Source for Wheels & Axles

Post by BigDumbDinosaur » Sat Oct 19, 2019 3:22 am

I am in the process of building up some new Blomberg B trucks and have run into a snag.

In the past, I had gotten Diesel-sized wheels (scale 40 inches) from Tom Bee and had a local machine shop who was a client of mine produce axles to my drawings. The machine shop went out of business two years ago and Tom Bee recently sold his business to someone who doesn't seem to be interested in custom work. I spoke to Tom in August when he was at the Illinois Live Steamers and explain what I needed. His response suggested that he could arrange to have the necessary parts made for me. Since then, I have contacted Tom several times to follow up, including supplying him with drawings.

Recent feedback from Tom suggests that it isn't going to happen, which has essentially put my truck project on indefinite hold. Although I have extensive machining skills, I do not have access to machine tools suitable for producing these parts. So I am putting out a call for help on this. Ideally, it would be a local shop (Chicago area), however, out-of-state is okay. My main requirement is that the shop can work to close tolerances. If anyone can help me track down such a shop please advise.

Thanks!
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I'm an old guy. What's your excuse? ☻

rkcarguy
Posts: 1342
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:33 am
Location: Wa State

Re: Source for Wheels & Axles

Post by rkcarguy » Sat Oct 19, 2019 1:31 pm

8 pieces of 5-1/2" rounds of 1" plate (to turn 40" wheels for 1.5"/1.6" scale, will fit in one large USPS flat rate box which is less than $20.
You need not limit yourself to the Chicago area in my opinion.

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BigDumbDinosaur
Posts: 850
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:19 pm
Location: Midwestern United States

Re: Source for Wheels & Axles

Post by BigDumbDinosaur » Sat Oct 19, 2019 3:02 pm

rkcarguy wrote:
Sat Oct 19, 2019 1:31 pm
8 pieces of 5-1/2" rounds of 1" plate (to turn 40" wheels for 1.5"/1.6" scale, will fit in one large USPS flat rate box which is less than $20.
You need not limit yourself to the Chicago area in my opinion.
True that, and I said as much in my post.

As for material, C1045 or C1144 rolled rounds is my choice for wheels, with Stressproof® being ideal due to its metallurgic properties and good machining characteristics. As many of us are running on aluminum rails, wheel wear is a concern due to the abrasive qualities of the aluminum oxide that develops as the rail weathers. Hence the material choices. Unless plate is Cor-Ten® or a similar high-strength, low-alloy steel, it will not have good wear properties and will also have undesirable creep tendencies, which will make it difficult to maintain a long-term press fit on the axles.

Incidentally, 5-1/2" rounds would be below 1.6" scale for a 40" wheel, assuming the IBLS-recommended 0.188" flange height—the finished wheel diameter over the flange if machined to IBLS recommendations would be 5.708".
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I'm an old guy. What's your excuse? ☻

rkcarguy
Posts: 1342
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:33 am
Location: Wa State

Re: Source for Wheels & Axles

Post by rkcarguy » Sat Oct 19, 2019 4:31 pm

I've been making mine from A572-Gr-50 plate, most of it comes in around 60-65KSI or better on the certs. That's not good?
The actual size isn't a big concern, more of an example. The USPS box is 11-3/4 x 12 x 3 so I can fit 8 wheels at nearly 6" inside it.
Our local shop wants $60 a wheel to machine them, so I can only offer laser cut blanks from 1" plate.

LIALLEGHENY
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Location: Bohemia, NY

Re: Source for Wheels & Axles

Post by LIALLEGHENY » Sat Oct 19, 2019 5:06 pm

I chose to use 4140HT for the pilot, trailing and tender wheels and tires on my Berkshire build. High strength and a hardness of 28-32Rc, so the rail will wear before the wheels do. I'm in NY, which is not exactly close to Chicago, but like rkcarguy stated, shipping is not bad. I have a CNC turning center so holding tolerances is not an issue. If you are interested I could send you a quote. If you want I can quote any alloy of your choice.

Nyle

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BigDumbDinosaur
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Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:19 pm
Location: Midwestern United States

Re: Source for Wheels & Axles

Post by BigDumbDinosaur » Sun Oct 20, 2019 1:49 am

LIALLEGHENY wrote:
Sat Oct 19, 2019 5:06 pm
I have a CNC turning center so holding tolerances is not an issue. If you are interested I could send you a quote. If you want I can quote any alloy of your choice.
Contact me via PM, please.
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I'm an old guy. What's your excuse? ☻

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