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Hello all worldwide friends,

I am planing to make metal model steam locomotives and I am facing a problem of weels production. The thing is that I don't have any detail instruction in any archives of weel production base on that I follow.

What I know is in order to produce metal weels, we need some machines such as CNC, drill, milling, lathe...Making weels with round shape, to drill round holes...it's easy, but making some others parts on it ( bars from rim head to weel center, counterweight...) is difficult.

If anyone has any archives, movies, images showing the process from A thru Z for this kind of production, please help me. I am hungry for it.

Thank you in advance!

DMD
 

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Hello there

That is a HUGE question.
First of all i strongly urge you to buy them. they are available from various manufacturers.

if you need to ask then i can say for certain that you definatly dont have the skills to produce them. first of all you would need to produce a 3D CAD drawing. this is not an easy task as the spokes vary in shape, size and number from loco to loco.
next you need to decide upon a production method. again this is an occasion where if you need to ask how to do it then you are far from having the skills or knowlage to take on the task. if i was doing ot for myself i would have the mould professionally spark eroded into a fairly soft steel to produce plastic wheel centres.

then you need to get the tyres turned. this is a farily easy job for a good CNC lathe.

Tehn just press the 2 together.

most UK wheels are available off the shelf. but it would be nice to have some more continental wheels especially some of the boxpop wheels from Russia and China.

Peter
 

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Hi Mr Peter

According to what you recommended and explained about technique as well as steps of execution, I may have some options for my weels . These option can be feasible or infeasible, I can figure out:

Option1. Buy from where you urge me to. Buy from UK or somewhere then transport to Vietnam
Option2. Produce them by myself.

The opt 1: feasible

a. I can, but I am just wondering if the manufacturer(s) or the dealer(s) have exactly the weel set I need or not ( for example, now I need the weel set for steam locomotive branded BR 52 Kriegslok, the main big 10 weels with the size I need). It is crazy if I buy weels of Bavarian S3/6 loco to install in my upcoming BR52 Kriegslok.

b. Do they also sell other metal part accordingly ( axles, rods, levers...) to install with weels ? This must be a WHOLE SET. I dont want to have weels only, I cannot make my loco moved with weels only.

I am highly concern about the integration of the moving components of a model as I mentioned above. All the other fixed parts ( boiler, steam pipes, cab, valves, evrything...) I can make it myself.

The opt 2:
According to your technique explanation, I think I should stop thinking of producing those weels by myself due to lack of knowledge, skills and machines. So this is infeasible

So, I will try to go with the Opt 1. How do you recommend next? Or you can make weels set by yourself? Can I buy them from you?

Thank you and I look forward to your reply soon

DMD
 

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the purchase of wheel [sets] has two problems......firstly, what scale..or size, do you work in or want? Secondly, even wheelsets in HO scale...[let alone the much larger scales] are very expensive....

For the larger scales...[your Bavarian model we agreeed was to a scale of 1:36] wheels invariably come in a state which requires assembly and finishing..ie rough castings, etc.....and arfe heavy and expensive, mainly due to low volumes of production.

scratchbuilding wheel sets isn't a problem if one has access to either a small lathe..or some method of turning metal which doesn't wobble.

the tyres..[the edge which has the flange and wheeltread profile] are simply shaped out of suitably sized round bar..steel, or nickel silver perhaps.....then the centre portion is machined out, leaving one with a ring, with a flange.
the spoked wheel is also easy, but tedious to make...simply again being round bar, parted off for the thickness, then using perhaps a piercing saw, mark out and remove the triangular wedges that would be between the spokes....leaving a wheel[but without the flanged tyre]....the two bits are then joined together....[the real thing is heat shrunk over the wheel]

axles can be steel or brass or N/S rod, of a suitable diameter to fit the hole in the centre of one's wheel....proprietary model wheel makers use standard diameters of rod for the axles.

As you seem to like modelling the crank axles..then again these are easily made....but may not be necessary.

boxpok wheels are easier to make....and if you really don't want the hassle, combine the tyre and wheel centre as one turning.

rods and valve gears again can be easily made......cutting, shaping drilling holes...etc..maybe riveting or bolting together.

ALL really depends on whether the sizes you want can be matched from commonly-used scales that makers cater for.
 

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QUOTE (DMD @ 28 Feb 2009, 06:33) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I think I should stop thinking of producing those weels by myself due to lack of knowledge, skills and machines. So this is infeasible

I think you are very wise there. its really not easy and can be a very expensive process.

QUOTE (alastairq @ 28 Feb 2009, 10:57) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>ALL really depends on whether the sizes you want can be matched from commonly-used scales that makers cater for.

I agree

If you can give us an idea of what scale you are working in then we would be able to advise you much better.

by far the most popular scales in europe are OO and HO. if you use a scale where the gauge is 16.5mm then the vast majority of wheels are readily available.

Peter
 

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Hi

If it were me I would buy them but if you want custom wheels machined, it can be done in 2 ops on a 4th axis CNC lathe. You turn OD and ID and profile of wheel and then the 4th axis which has a milling head macines out the slots as required. You can use a profile cutter if you want the slots tapered. Failing that turned on a CNC and transferred on to a CNC machining centre.

To give you an idea and I have made components in small batch runs like this I would charge you about 700-900 GBP for 6. Sounds expensive, but consider design, setup times, programming, material etc.

Buy them thats the path I would go down.

m
 

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Thank you all for your valued advice and web archives,

So, it's not easy to buy the exact wheels I need from oversea vendors or manufacturerer. It looks like their product list hardly match customers' order, especially less quantity order or customized product. I know they can make and sell them to me, but, price would be very expensive then.

If they don't have the exact wheels I want ( BR52) , there're 2 choices 4 me:

- Stop BR52 plan.
- Check the wheels set in the manufacturers' product list, define clearly the wheels belong to what train ( bigboy or santafe or something), buy them, then I change my plan to the other train(s)


However, I will hire local machanists to produce the wheels for me with all the advices from you ( give them the size, scale, detail instruction with photo of the real loco as proof...) hope they can do.

Thank you all for your kind help
DMD
 

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QUOTE (DMD @ 28 Feb 2009, 14:32) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>If they don't have the exact wheels I want ( BR52) , there're 2 choices 4 me:

- Stop BR52 plan.
- Check the wheels set in the manufacturers' product list, define clearly the wheels belong to what train ( bigboy or santafe or something), buy them, then I change my plan to the other train(s)


....or you can purchase a "Trumpeter Kreigslok" and motorize it


Baykal
 

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"Plastic kits"/ another story
I prefer building models base on accurate drawings than cutting, glueing ready plastic kits bought from shop.

I will make 52 done, absolutely done with metal.


No pain no gain
 

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Hi Peter

You are so smart to advise me to get metal wheels that way. Let me clarify your advice as below:
1- Buy plastic kits of br52.
2- Take out all wheels
3- Give the wheels to local castman to make mound or pattern.
4- Castman will cast the wheel of brass or steel.
5- I do drilling, milling and filing with the wheels > done.
Is it right?

Good idea, but as far as I know, all the casting workshop in vietnam ( oversea as well) don't accept small quantity order. they don't wanna make 2-10-0 ( 12 pcs), they only make at least 2000pcs > difficult for me while I cannot shallow whole 2000pcs.


Do you know what website sells the exact thing I need to buy? 12 wheels of br52. Iam heard that 1pcs somewhere they sell with price around 20$

br
dmd
 

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hmm. i know your problem. there are very few foundries in the uk willing to do small quantities.

But. i suspect the culture in vietnam is very similar to china. you need to go into the foundry and offer the bloke xRMB to do the job for you. he will see the money and say "ok no problem"!
ask him to do you 40. then you have enough for 3 loco's and a couple of spares. remember that each wheelset on a 52 is different. so you need to check the position of the balance weights. it may only be 3 pours but 10 different moulds! as opposed to 40 copies fo the same wheel.

I dont know of any ready made wheels for that loco in that scale (but thats not to say they dont exist, just that i dont know about them)

Peter
 

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if the small 'quantity' is a problem, why not have a go at casting yourself?

ok, it gets smelly and messy, but......brass isn't so hard to heat up to melting point......making the moulds requires thought, I don't think you'll get away with silicon rtv, for example.

however, a thought...if you could get the 'tyres'..or rather, the wheel RIMS produced..ie 'turned'out of, say steel, then it may be possible to produce the wheel CENTRES out of a type of epoxy or plastic, creating your own moulds from the wheel masters of the plastic kit?

fix the two together and off you go.#

Many of the loco drivng wheels made for working models ...for electrical reasons, consist of a plastic-type centre [ie, spokes, boss, etc] glued to a steel or nickel silver rim.

just a thought?

For casting small quantities of brass, for example, why not try a jewellry maker rather than a metal working shop?
 

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BR52 have total 5 types of wheels:
- pair of leading wheels
- the first pair and the fifth pair of the 10 driving wheels
- the second pair and the fourth pair of the 10
- the middle pair of the 10
- tender's wheels
total I have 5 mounds in which 3 have 3 different shapes of counterweight for 10 driving wheels
What do you mean: "xRMB"?
 

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QUOTE (alastairq @ 1 Mar 2009, 11:35) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>if the small 'quantity' is a problem, why not have a go at casting yourself?

ok, it gets smelly and messy, but......brass isn't so hard to heat up to melting point......making the moulds requires thought, I don't think you'll get away with silicon rtv, for example.

For casting small quantities of brass, for example, why not try a jewellry maker rather than a metal working shop?

Hi Alastairq

You are talking about the melting point of brass, I pay attention on this issue.
Have you any idea about methods of brass welding? I mean I need to weld brass with brass, or brass with steel or brass with alu. I saw jewellers use torch light with a wire looks like solder or lead to weld brass. What is the principles for welding brass? temperature? solder or lead to weld brass or only brass to weld brass?

I really need to know this technique.
 

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I'm no expert.....but...brass can be affixed to other metals using solder...[like plumbers do]

this isn't welding [which is the fusion of two similar metals..ie one melts the adjoing surfaces to fuse them together....]

soldering is simply using a soft, easily-melted metal to ''glue'' two other metals together.

Ideally, one uses a 'solder' metal which melts at a much lower temperature than that of the metal one is soldering, or 'joining'....the solder simply bonds to the surface of the subject metal.

providing cleanliness of working surfaces is adhered to, soldering is perfectly strong enough for modelling purposes.

Solders can be found with a variety of melting points....varying from the very hot [and strong] of 'silver soldering', to the very low temperature solders used perhaps, for soldering whitemetal bits together..[melts in boiling water, for example, or even cooler]....not too strong, but adequate for whitemetal bits.

aluminium and soldering don't work together.

to fix aluminium to other metals goes into the realms of adhesives..and brings problems with ''corrosion'', etc.

http://www.finescale.org.uk/finescale/ds003.pdf

will give you an insight into soldering.

regarding the casting of wheel [centres]...another technique is known as ''lost wax'' casting.......a jewellry maker may be able to help there?
 
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