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Author Topic: Looking for Spoked Wheels manufacturer  (Read 1096 times)
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benjamin
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« on: January 02, 2018, 08:25:58 AM »

Hey guys,

Was wondering if a there is some manufacturers of spoked wheels (for small models of course)? I remember NS Wheels but it seems that they are not active anymore.

Thanks
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F F modeller
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« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2018, 08:57:57 AM »

I do a limited amount of wheels in two sizes .. approx. 25mm and 31mm dia.
Weight is less than 1g each for all wheels.

I think NS wheels are available still in some places?
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TheLurker
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« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2018, 01:49:40 PM »

Quote from: F F modeller
>I do a limited amount of wheels in two sizes .. approx. 25mm and 31mm dia.
If it's not giving away guild secrets and depriving you of your livelihood would you mind telling / showing us how you make them?  Inquiring minds need know. Smiley


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F F modeller
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« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2018, 04:28:52 PM »

Here's a photo of a pair of the wheels. These are in a presentation case I made .... just developing a card box at this time.

Lurker,
There are a couple of aspects of the wheels that I would like to keep to myself .... you'll have to send the Spanish Inquisition around  Roll Eyes .... at a time that I would not expect of course.
Flip side to that is that they are that labour intensive that I could give every detail and still only the foolish such as I would contemplate production!
It is all down to jigging .... I did give a glimpse of the spoking jig a couple of years ago. It is this aspect that takes the most 'cracking' and I have another version in mind.





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F F modeller
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« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2018, 04:32:44 PM »

One thing I should mention .... the 'tyres' are rigid, ie. not foam or rubber.
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lincoln
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« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2018, 05:46:20 PM »

Just checked my books. W.F. McCombs' book "Making Scale Model Airplanes Fly" has a short bit about how to make wheels. It's a wonderful book with a whole lot of information. Just don't be surprised that it's a bunch of what look like mimeographed pages stapled together. You may need a magnifying glass to read it. I think these days it can actually be found on ebay or Amazon. Don Ross, in one of his books, writes that there are articles on wheel making in the January 1976 and February 1977 Aeromodeller. Also, unless I'm mistaken, there are articles in issue 103 (May 1985) and 187 (May 1999) Flying Aces Club News. You can find an index and downloadable issues here:
http://www.flyingacesclub.com/FACAbout.html
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F F modeller
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« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2018, 06:14:37 PM »

Lincoln,
I've heard the McCombs book referenced several times over the years .... by no means just for wheel making.
Would love to have a look through one  Smiley
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F F modeller
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« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2018, 06:26:10 PM »

The first 'Peanut on the Runway' magazine pack has a good article on wheel building too ... using a completely different technique to the one I use.

The extent to which you jig up for the wheels is quite key to the method chosen .... I have jigged quite extensively so not really a method for a one off pair of wheels, but does suit a repeated process better.
It's for this reason I would point to other methods if only doing one or two pairs. The various tool set-ups I use only really kick in if I do repeated operations of say 100 plus.
I'm also using a lathe, OH mill/router and even CNC machinery to make the process more repeatable and economically viable.
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lincoln
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« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2018, 07:20:27 PM »

Something tells me you won't be able to pay for all that machinery with the proceeds from miniature wheels! I'm sure people appreciate your wheels, though.

--------------

I was searching the other day for places to buy prop blanks when I ran across a site selling spoked wheels. I don't remember what it was called, but I think the name began with an H.
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F F modeller
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« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2018, 07:40:26 PM »

Thankfully all the machinery has at least paid it's way collectively already ... mainly from the CNC router though I would say  Smiley
Funny, but the CNC was the cheapest of all the machines mentioned ... virtually given to me by a family member!

I also set a target of producing wheels for below £14 per pair when selling direct ... I have achieved this, but I am a man that has learned to live a poor existence!



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flydean1
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« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2018, 10:46:50 PM »

I sat transfixed in the garage of the great Fulton Hungerford many years ago, watching him stitch together both silk and stainless steel spoked wheels.  Saw each step with my own eyes.  Totally unable to duplicate.
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TheLurker
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« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2018, 01:49:00 AM »

Quote from: F F modeller
.... you'll have to send the Spanish Inquisition around  Roll Eyes .... at a time that I would not expect of course.
*Nobody* expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our three chief weapons are....  Cheesy
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dosco
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« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2018, 07:27:37 AM »

Here's some thread necromancy for you.

This conversation reminded me of Thayer Syme, who personally gifted me a pair of spoked wheels - many moons ago - for my efforts arranging indoor flying in some interesting venues in NorCal.

I still have them in my hobby box, waiting patiently for a model in which to install them.

Cheers-
Dave
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TheLurker
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« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2018, 01:43:08 PM »

Here's some thread necromancy for you.
That's very handy.  Thanks.  Looks like a relatively straight-forward, albeit fiddly, process and the resulting wheels look very good to me.
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Pit
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« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2018, 11:30:21 AM »

Hobby Specialties (NS wheels) website is still active.  Allan makes the wheels to order, thus does not have them in "stock".  Just shoot him an email with your requirements and he should get back to you with the price and time-frame.
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Pete Fardell
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« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2018, 01:12:45 PM »

Here is my rather rough and ready method. You don't get such a polished result, but it's possibly a bit quicker than some ways. I've made smaller ones since, for my Antoinette and Caudron. These were fiddly and required taking the wheel off the jig after only a few spokes were in place, just so as to get the line through to the other side. The smaller I go the more rustic and less... er ... round are my wheels! They're okay if viewed from a distance though, and fortunately page two of my thread has some more details of Russ's wheels (as they were still being developed back in 2013) and links to others' too. If you are going to buy a pair, I don't know why you'd look further than Russ's to be honest. They look like little gems.


(And he didn't pay me to say that!)
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Tim Horne
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« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2018, 02:35:21 PM »

If you are going to buy a pair, I don't know why you'd look further than Russ's to be honest. They look like little gems.


(And he didn't pay me to say that!)

I'll second that. If Russ's wheels are the right size for your project then they are worth every penny. I have a pair and they are very very good Smiley

Tim
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F F modeller
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« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2018, 04:03:26 PM »

Thanks guys.
I had a conversation with Alan in about 2005 re. The spoked wheels on my Pietenpol
(These were the czech made ones). I can’t say that this is where the seed was sown for Alan, but it certainly was for me.
Alan was much quicker off the mark than me and I have admired his approach.
My approach has been to match the value for money of the Czech product with as high quality as I can manage at that price point. This is why I can only supply them direct.
I am looking at developing a more sophisticated range (like Alan’s) but it is very hard to hit a target price.
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Don McLellan
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« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2018, 08:46:34 PM »

I have some spoked wheels made by Hobby Specialties (as mentioned by Pit) and they are very nicely made.
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ChrisH
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« Reply #19 on: January 06, 2018, 01:41:46 PM »

I have made wheels from about 40mm to 12mm diameter.   The same method works throughout, but it just gets fiddlier as the diameter reduces.   I use fishing monofilament line for the spokes and worked out how a single thread can make a pair of spokes, bending through an angle around a plain tubular hub.   I looked at a bike wheel to spot the pairs, then made a jig with numbered stations guiding where the spokes enter and leave ...ie start at 1, bend round the hub, then leave at 2...etc.

I made rim and tyre from balsa, by laminating rings of balsa to form a tube, then gluing it to a metal disc which can be held in a small lathe (or mini-drill).   Then turn/sand the tube to the inside and outside diameter that you want.   Then make the end of the tube look like a rim and tyre profile (you can only profile 1/2 of the rim/tyre), then part off this half rim...and then repeat and repeat until you have enough half rims.

A half rim is dropped in the jig with the flat surface upwards.    A thin piece of aluminium tube, just big enough for your axles but much longer than finally required,  sits at the centre.   The spokes are added, at a light but even tension, and lightly glued to the balsa with cyano spots....but no glue at the hub.    Then repeat for the other half of the wheel.

A larger concentric tube is cut which forms the hub, that is visible between the spokes of the finished wheel.   Choose a wheel half and slip this fatter tube over the thin tube.

Now the fiddly bit.   The other wheel half is brought down onto the first, and the thin centre tube wiggled through the fat hub, so that it pushes the thin tube of the other half away, and successfully slides through the spokes.   It helps if the end of the tube is sanded to a cone, and a wire is passed through the centre of both thin tubes, to avoid 'dropping a stitch'.

The jigs will now each hold a rim and flat disc of spokes, separated by the length of 'fat' hub tube.

Now just add some more cyano, and press the two halves together.   You can then cut the fishing line where it is anchored in the jig, and separate the jig halves exposing the wheel.

Now you can trim the excess fishing line, soak some more thin cyano into the seam, then sand and paint.
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lincoln
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« Reply #20 on: January 07, 2018, 06:06:55 AM »

I just had an idea. Make a Styrofoam "flying saucer" shape, i.e. two cones glued back to back. Put a hollow tube in the center as a hub, or maybe you had it in there when you were turning the cone shapes. Wrap the thread around it in appropriate places for spokes. Glue the tire onto that, and melt out the foam with acetone. Obviously the tire can't be made of Styrofoam, but you could use balsa or maybe rigid urethane.
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F F modeller
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« Reply #21 on: January 07, 2018, 06:44:21 AM »

Lincoln,
I'm fairly sure I have seen Robert Pajas employ a similar technique to good effect.
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