The wheels on the top secret project go round and round, round an…....
Ok, I’ll stop that since the one I’ve worked on so far isn’t going around too well.
I (William) am making a seperate post on the wheels since it has been my biggest fiasco of this project thus far. We (KTMM and I) changed the design of the wheels from the plan to use the material we had. I had this grand idea on how to true the circumference up balance it on my lathe. This post will start with the nightmare that has turned into for me.
This is the wheel that KTMM so carefully cut out and I glued up back towards the beginning of this project. Laid on it is one of the bearings. What I’m trying to do is to make a piece on my lathe that hold this wheel, with the bearings inserted, so it can be tuned on the lathe.
Here is my faceplate for the inboard side of my lathe. It is sitting on the piece of wood I originally started with this morning. Notice anything? I’m no expert woodturner, but even I should have caught this mistake. I was told once that it’s never ok to turn small wood like this unless the grain is running parallel to the lathe. I figured that since I was only making a sort of jig though, that it would be ok.
I figured out otherwise when I hit a small knot, but a bigger void, and this piece of wood blew apart. I was going to shoe the pieces, but since I had it balanced well and it was turning at about 3500 RPMs, I didn’t find much of it.
So after I went to check my britches, back to the drawing board.
I think because I was a little shaken up, I took no photo for a little while.
Here though, I screwed a new piece of wood to the faceplate and started over. I worked it down till the splindle was just a hair larger than the inside race of the bearing. Then I slowly worked it down from there with emory cloth until I had it so the bearing would just slide all the way up to the larger part.
I snapped a photo of the wheel mounted on here, but it didn’t turn out.
I installed the bearings on each side of the wheel. Then I slipped the wheel with the bearing onto the spindle. I put in screws from the back side through the larger part of my spindle piece, into the wheel to hold it on. Then I took a large dowel rod and drilled a one inch hole into one end of a small section for a cap on the ouside to keep the outer bearing from moving.
Now let me back up.
Before all this, I had to drill holes for the bearings into the wheels.
Because we done them different than the plans, the wheels are too large to do on my drill press like I’d hoped. So, I set out with my handheld drill trying to drill the holes as straight as I possibly could. That didn’t work out so well.
As I tried to start the hole, the forstner bit walked all over the place. I caught it before it got too deep though to figure out why.
The quarter inch hole in the center we used for the router circle cutter, and to line up the pieces for glueup, was just large enough that it was allowing the center point of the bit to go crazy.
I inserted a piece of dowel into the hole, trimmed it flush, and this gave something for the center point to bite into and the hole drilled fine.
It doesn’t look like it in the photo, but this bearing actually is pretty tight in the hole. It’s just the very beginning of the hole that is messed up.
I figured this would work. It was too late to do much about it anyway. So, onward I pushed.
I made sure to insert and trim a piece of dowel flush and this side drilled beautifully.
Now, after getting the bearings to sit flush on each side, I wanted to drill the center of the wheel out at a smaller diameter so the bearings would stay flush with the outside of the wheel.
The bit went through the first layer fine. Then it hit the middle layer and it was like trying to tame an angry bull. I think it was trying to follow the grain or something, but I’ve never had a bit try to do this in plywood. Anyway, the hole, from the middle piece on, went at an awkward angle.
When done, the bearings sit the way they should though, so I hoped I would be fine here.
On to the lathe.
I am coming into a couple of issues here.
At first, the way the wheel acts once it’s up to speed, I figured the hole isn’t perfectly center. I’m still not sure this isn’t exactly a fact.
However, I then noticed the entire lathe was vibrating worse than it normally does. So maybe the lathe is the problem.
Anyway, this isn’t working out. I see it could be one or more of several problems:
1. center hole not centered correctly. If this is the case, maybe if I added more speed and used a sanding block carefully.
2. too much weight. Without the wheel already pretty true to begin with, maybe it’s just too much weight to do on my lighteweight lathe.
3. it’s possible that my drilling problems in the beginning is now causing an out of balance problem.
So here is where I’m at.
I removed the wheel from the piece I made to recheck everything. It now has more out of balance motion than it did before I put the wheel on it. I’m wondering if the weight of the wheel put enough force on the spindle part of this piece to actually make the wood “bend”?
At this point, it’s back to the drawing board.
I think the wheel might can still be saved. I’ll wait for a second opinion on that from KTMM. I wasn’t supposed to be doing this anyway. I agreed last time he was here to let KTMM handle the wheels.
I haven’t given up, but at the moment I’m waiting on re-enforements.
KRUNK, YOU’RE UP!
So, I explained that KTMMhad an idea to make the wheels work. Now that I know it worked, I’m back to show you what we done.
The problem has been the wheels are too large to go on the drill press, the holes aren’t perpendicular to each other, and it appears a little bit maybe just shop gremlins giving us a headache. KTMM told me he had a fool proof plan though, so here it is.
The wheels are too thick as we’ve built them to put flanges on each side like the plans call for. However, we can put the bearing straight into one side like we wanted, and add a flange to the other side in order to give us the adjustablility to get the wobble out of the wheels. In order to do so though,the flange has to be inset into the side of the wheel. So, using the circle jig I made, I spent a better part of today hogging out material.
First though, just in case, I started with my latest recut wheel. That way, if this didn’t work, I wouldn’t be messing up too much material. We are starting to run low on the oak ply by the way.
Now remember, I’d already messed this wheel up. The larger hole for the bearings were already cut, wrongly, but cut. So I had to use masking tape and line this wheel up with one of the other wheels to give me my center quarter inch pivot point.
Then, using my circle jig, I started on the outside of where I wanted to hog out the material. I set my router to only take one layer of plywood off. After making the first pass with a half inch bit, I just moved over four holes in my jig and made another pass. I kept doing this until I had hogged out enough material to insert a bearing inset into a flange.
Because taping this wheel to another wasn’t actually as stable as I’d have liked, this process left a pretty rough bottom to the hogged out area. That’s alright. KTMM sharpened up my latest find the other day, some Stanley No.40 chisels. He done a heck of a job, because they made short work of smoothing this up.
Here is the cleaned up wheel and the flange with the bearing in it. The circle jig allowed me to get the holes just right so that the bearings have to be drove in with a piece of wood and a hammer. This is how we wanted them.
I drilled holes in the wheel so that I could get clamps on the flange and hold everything to get it lined up.
The shaft has been cleaned up with emory cloth and is clamped up in a Shop Mate.
After trying several clamps that I had, the only ones that would fit through the holes were so long that they were too cumbersome. I wound up using the shortest clamps in the shop, which belong to KTMM. I couldn’t get the pins out of the end to remove the head so they’d go through the hole. So in the end, they got grinded off. I hope KTMM doesn’t get too upset. If he does, I’ll have to replace his clamps.
I tried several methods of getting the wobble out of the wheel. None worked with the wheel spinning like I’ve seen other people do. I just couldn’t get it. So I wound up using my dial guage and slowly working the wheel around to find the area that needed adjusting.
Also in this photo, you may notice the shaft is now in the lower wheel block, which is then clamped to the Shop Mate. I found out the Shop Mate alone wouldn’t hold the shaft well enough.
I also learned that after a lot of work cleaning up the shaft, if you let it fall out of the Shop Mate and hit concrete, it will take time to clean it up again where the corner of the end hit hard on said concrete.
After getting the wheel to where there was less than ten thousands of an inch of runout on the outer edge (don’t think I’ll get any better than that on a wooden wheel) I screwed the flange to the wheel. I then removed the wheel from the shaft, took the flange off, used the screw holes as reference points, and glued the flange back on in addition to the screws.
And we FINALLY have a wheel that is ready for truing, with so little wobble that it is not noticeable.
This photo was taken with the wheel spinning as fast as I could get it going by hand.