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Hole saws for toy wheels

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Forum topic by boomerk posted 03-17-2018 01:59 AM 620 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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boomerk

10 posts in 473 days


03-17-2018 01:59 AM

Topic tags/keywords: hole saw wooden wheels

Hi all,
This is my first post here so please bear with me. If I get out of line or post to the wrong group please let me know so I can learn the site.

My problem is with hole saws. I really don’t want the hole I want the center of the hole. Like a doughnut hole. Specifically I an trying to make 1 1/4” wheels for a toy train. I have a 1 3/8 hole saw that was recommended to cut the wheels out with but it yields a 1 3/16” wheel. After sanding it down it is really smaller that that and I hate to use the smaller wheels. My hole saw is a bi-metal which seems to have a thicker side wall. The old cheep Harbor Freight saws that I used for the first 2 sets of trains worked but I can’t find the old saw in my collection on junk. Harbor Freight doesn’t seem to have the wood hole saw in that size any more. At least not in a kit. Any recommendations as to where I can get a new kit. (Cleaning out junk and starting over. I think). Any help would be seriously appreciated. It’s a while until Christmas but I have a lot of kids and grandkids that want stuff. Most of it has wheels and I need the off sizes for a lot of it.

Thanks in advance
Byron

-- Poppy's Woodchips - I don't need therapy. I need my workshop.


20 replies so far

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

487 posts in 1642 days


#1 posted 03-17-2018 02:03 AM

Hmm, if the size is only 1.25” OD, why not buy a dowel rod same diameter and cut it? Woodcraft link shared lists several wood species. Can cut to length and drill center hole what ever size you want.

Another way to cut circles is using a router jig, but rounds smaller than 2” can be difficult.
Can also consider using an infinitely adjustable circle cutter to cut circles. But these tools use a large center hole like hole saw.

Lots of options available to make toy wheels!

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

1378 posts in 310 days


#2 posted 03-17-2018 02:08 AM

Byron – forget the hole saw and get a CIRCLE CUTTER and you won’t look back.
but, if you want the middle, there will be some sanding required to get the smooth outer rim.

for the circle cutter to cut out a smooth center, like you need, you will have to grind the cutter
on the other end in the opposite angle. then you will not be limited to a specific size.

Heavy-Duty Circle Cutter, $15 – $30.00

wouldn’t it be cheaper and less hassle to buy a bag full disks already cut and sanded
from an online craft store ??? then you can drill the center hole the exact size you need.

.

.

-- I started out with nothing in life ~ and still have most of it left.

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2682 posts in 3070 days


#3 posted 03-17-2018 02:19 AM

Just buy the wheels

-- No PHD just a DD214 Website> craftingcouple.com

View boomerk's profile

boomerk

10 posts in 473 days


#4 posted 03-17-2018 10:57 AM

CaptainKlutz – I tried to send a picture of the wheel I want but couldn’t figure out how to get it in the post. When I make the wheels for a project I first use a smaller hole saw to make a 1/8” deep kerf to for the edge of the rim. For the 1 1/4” train wheels I use a 3/4” hole saw. Then I use the pilot hole to guide the 1 3/8” hole saw to cut out the wheel. I can use put it on a 1/4” bolt sandwiched between a couple of washers and 1/4” nuts. Chucked into a drill press I can take a file or sand paper to clean up the rough edges. The 1/4” dowel for the axel then gets glued into the pilot hole.

The 1 1/4” dowel rod sounds like a good idea but I would still have to form the rim after getting the hole in the dead center.

Jim – I guess I could buy the wheels, but what’s the fun in that. Also I’m not crazy about the look of the store bought wheels. They just don’t look hand made.

John – I will look into the circle cutter you mentioned. Sounds like a good idea.

Thanks for the replies so far. I will keep checking back to see what else pops up.

-- Poppy's Woodchips - I don't need therapy. I need my workshop.

View ohtimberwolf's profile

ohtimberwolf

862 posts in 2500 days


#5 posted 03-17-2018 12:19 PM

You might want to watch this as they can be dangerous if you have not used them before. You can skip up to 3:00 to get to the meat of the video. larry

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkEnKcEoJ4U
One comment from the video site said:

Frans Santos
3 months ago
I have one one and the danger is if you dont tighten the two blade holders to the hex arm they fly off especially at high speeds. Some solution would be to use lower speeds possible or make a metal circular guard around the perimeter. I tell you these things can really fly off dangerously! Be careful!

-- Just a barn cat, now gone to cat heaven.

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

487 posts in 1642 days


#6 posted 03-17-2018 12:48 PM

Sounds like too much work to make a wheel to me? LOL

How many do you need?

If you want to make hundreds of them consistently, would suggest buying a 2-3 circle cutters and thinking about tooling complete process with them. Nice thing about those cutters is you can replace the standard square tip and grind a custom cutting shape with bench grinder or Dremel tool.

Set one cutter for final OD, using a radius at end of cut to reduce edge sanding
Set one for inner rim OD, using a round tipped cutter to make small groove
Then you can machine the outer visible surface from a wood panel in two passes.
If you want rounded edge on inside, then after shaping outside, flip board over and use the radius’d cutter to free the wheel from panel. If wheels are thick, might need extra pass, using a regular cut off to tip to separate the wheel from board.
This kind of process would remove need to play with sanding each wheel individually?

+1 on use circle cutters safely.
Keep speeds slow, clamp down wood, and do not rush when using them.

PS – Adjusting those things to an exact size is royal pain. I used to have a need to regularly make some 2.125, 3.10, 3.95, 5.54” plywood discs. Took so long to set prefect size, I finally dedicated a cutter to each size, used Loctite on adjustment screws and never changed them.

Best Luck.

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

1378 posts in 310 days


#7 posted 03-17-2018 04:04 PM

Captain – what kind of circle cutter are you using ?
I find that if I draw the required circle with a compass first,
then set the cutting bit to where it needs to be,
it takes less than a minute to get everything in order for an accurate cut.

here is my cutter and it is well over 40 years old. with routine sharpening, it is a work horse !!

.

-- I started out with nothing in life ~ and still have most of it left.

View jbay's profile

jbay

2681 posts in 1047 days


#8 posted 03-17-2018 04:12 PM

I threw mine away, not worth it to me. Hate them…

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

1378 posts in 310 days


#9 posted 03-17-2018 04:43 PM

J. that is very strange to hear you say that about such a common tool.
may I ask what you find negative about it ? with the high caliber of your work,
I would think you would have several in your box. (I have 3 for wood and one carbide for tile).
~ just wondering here ~

-- I started out with nothing in life ~ and still have most of it left.

View Jack Lewis's profile

Jack Lewis

326 posts in 1226 days


#10 posted 03-17-2018 05:00 PM

It would seem to me that a circle (fly cutter) would become a real knuckle buster with that small of circle. They are generally used when you want the hole and not the disk. It is hard to believe that a hole saw of the needed diameter is that hard to find. Go metric for a chance.

-- "PLUMBER'S BUTT! Get over it, everybody has one"

View Jack Lewis's profile

Jack Lewis

326 posts in 1226 days


#11 posted 03-17-2018 05:00 PM

It would seem to me that a circle (fly cutter) would become a real knuckle buster with that small of circle. They are generally used when you want the hole and not the disk. It is hard to believe that a hole saw of the needed diameter is that hard to find. Go metric for a chance.

-- "PLUMBER'S BUTT! Get over it, everybody has one"

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

5086 posts in 3391 days


#12 posted 03-17-2018 05:39 PM

Being they are “toy” wheels, how much of a difference does 1/16” in diameter make? That difference would hardly be noticeable, especially to a child.

View hairy's profile

hairy

2765 posts in 3680 days


#13 posted 03-17-2018 05:50 PM

If I was going to do what you want, I’d make a crosscut jig for the bandsaw and slice pieces off of a dowel rod.

Then make a jig to hold each slice for drilling. A hole in a board the same size as the wheel would do that.

-- My reality check bounced...

View Jack Lewis's profile

Jack Lewis

326 posts in 1226 days


#14 posted 03-17-2018 08:14 PM



Being they are “toy” wheels, how much of a difference does 1/16” in diameter make? That difference would hardly be noticeable, especially to a child.

- MrRon


Are you saying good enough is good enough? If that is the case he could BUY wheels or even buy the whole toy.

-- "PLUMBER'S BUTT! Get over it, everybody has one"

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

6948 posts in 2347 days


#15 posted 03-17-2018 08:20 PM

Get a lathe – it will give you an almost unlimited range in size and shape and open up possibilities that you haven’t even thought of. Even a super cheap used one will work great for that purpose.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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