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Spoked wheels made from Maxx Prod wheels

Old 10-28-2012, 07:14 PM
Bill G
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Default Spoked wheels made from Maxx Prod wheels

I recently broke down and made a set of spoked wheels for a 1913 Avro Type-F build, which really set off the model, versus using Williams Brothers covered spoke wheels that I had initially planned to use. The greatest effort in making the wheels was fabricating the rims. While there are countless ways to make rims, the simplest method is to find a pre-made useable rim. Looking at a set of 3" Maxx spoked wheels, I realized that the rim and tire would look decent, after cutting out the molded plastic spokes and removing the tire, so I would have a bare rim to work with. I used a Dremel cutting disc to remove the spokes and hub, then cleaning up the hub with sandpaper at the spoke bases. The tires were glued on, so I had to carefully insert an exacto blade and cut through the glue, against the rim, before removing the tires.

The first set of wheels I made for the Avro are about 2", which are a bit tedious to spoke. The larger 3" wheels (actually 3-1/8") were considerably easier. This post by Leo Smith (Vintage 1) shows the winding process. I used .3mm nylon coated beading wire for spoking the wheels.

The wire is first tied in a double knot, and slipped through the hole drilled in the rim at location 1Front, from the tire side of the rim. There are 16 holes drilled in the rim, although the principle can be used for higher spoke counts also. The windings wrap around the hub, against the hub flange, and back through the next sequentially numbered rim hole. This hub wrapping method is simpler than having to drill holes in the hub, although not quite as scale in appearance. When the number changes from Front to Rear, this is what determines if that winding will wrap around the front or rear of the hub. The rear hub flange is the one against the fixture that you are winding the wheel on. Pay attention to the diagram, to determine how the winding wraps around the hub. The challenge here is to make sure that the windings do not slip off the inner hub tubing, while wrapping them around it, which is most difficult when winding the rear wraps, where you cannot see them well. Leaving 1/16" inner hub tubing sticking out past the hub on either side of the wheel will provide ample length to keep the windings from jumping off, as they will pile up a bit. Another tip is to make sure the drill bit is drilled deep enough into the building fixture block, such that no flutes are showing. The flutes will tend to grab the wire when wrapping the rear wraps around the hub tubing, possibly pulling it off of the hub. In any case, keeping the hub pressed tight against the fixture when wrapping around the hub will help prevent that from happening.

After winding a few, you will develop techniques for holding the wire taut, while weaving it. The rim and hub have to be held tight against the fixture, so as to not have an out-of-true wheel.
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Old 10-28-2012, 07:55 PM
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Old 10-28-2012, 09:47 PM
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Wow is right! You've got more patience than I do, that's for sure

Those look great!
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:43 PM
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+1 - or 2, actualy. You think ou could make me a pair for my 1913 Eastbourne? Seriously, you're going to have a lot of request from the scale guys; those are realy nice.

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Old 10-29-2012, 02:30 AM
Bill G
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Thanks for the comments. They're really not too difficult to make, but are just one of those things that we never get around to trying. I finally built the right plane that pushed me to try it. An Eastbourne is similar, as they just don't quite look right without real spoked wheels, which really set the model off. If I make more, I'll probably try to make some quantity, to make the process more efficient. I now have my mind fixed on keeping my eyes open in search of the perfect plastic rings that could be used for rims. Prepping the Maxx wheels wasn't too bad, but I'd love to have the rims in ready to use form.

I always get a kick out of the patience comments, as I have no patience either. If I can't get fast at something, I'll lose interest and won't want to do it either. I'd say these are a good bit easier than when I was remotoring GWS EDF30 fans for 12mm Feigaos, which I had those down to about an hour each. The last wheel was strung in about 15 minutes, so not too bad.
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