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Flobalop Little Wheel

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  • Flobalop Little Wheel

    Yes, a brief non chemically assisted flashback to the BBC and Bill and Ben the Flower Pot men. Shit I'm old...

    Apart from fast and beautiful sickles, industrial quantities of Chardonnay, girls in black stockings and trying to bash some panel shapes, I actually quite like building machines. So when the youngest suggested he turn his vintage Kawasaki ZXR250A (19,000 rpm 250cc 4 cylinder) into a track bike and asked how could we make a single seat conversion, I immediately ceased drinking, ditched the girls, parked up the sickles and went all dilated pupils into more machinery mode. With a new locally made tube bender we could whip up an alloy subframe to replace the current steel item, but the curves required for the alloy panelwork would be beyond the limits of my rather Brunelian home made wheel that I have for car stuff. Bramley tube bender duly arrived (great local stuff - I'm still using a pair of their superb screw top axle stands from over 40 years ago) and it's not actually a kinking machine like the Chinese thing I'd previously bought.

    I'd been having machine envy of my metalshaping God mate, Mike Roberts after he finished his small wheel a couple of years back, specifically to tackle some of the epic stuff for his Mercedes Silver Arrow (1938) inspired Austin 7 Special.

    And so it came to pass that the good people of Steel and Tube, despite the bullshit Covid lockdown, did deliver unto me via multiple deliveries, an appropriate quantity of 4140 shafting, a sheet of 5.0mm MS plate and a length of 100x5 FMS. I also picked up a large bag of bearings, a set of castors and a PU 200x50 upper, a bunch of fastenings and a length of 1" UNF screwed rod and nuts.

    I've then proceed to munch some lower anvil axles from 1045 and the upper wheel from a chunk of 200x50 4140. Machining the upper blank went OK and when reversed in the 4 jaw to face to 50mm width and pocket the second side for the bearing, it went pretty well I think with the width variance being less than 0.01mm measurd on the periphery. Theoretically should run pretty true when I get it on an axle.

    Blinging up the upper with some racing lightening holes got fairly sketchy in the Mill, but got there in the end without it doing 3 laps around the shop.

    Lower anvil axles were turned from 25mm 1045 in the whizzo 3 jaw the Graziano Lathe came with (worth apparently as much as the 1960's lathe itself the salesman explained to me) with the trick being that each end was held in the 3 jaws, but then trued to within 0.01mm with the cunning auxiliary adjusting screws, before machining the bearing shoulders.

    Shafts were then set up in the mill and dividing head, an indexing flat munched in the middle and then the shaft held between centres and set up perpendicular to the mill table before machining the end at the tailstock on 3 sides to create the indexing square. The idea being that the lower anvils can be dropped into the cradle into slots which prevent the axles turning, but that they are flat side down, permitting shims under the flats to tip the anvils if required. My big machine has an adjuster in the cradle to tip the anvil, but it all adds to the width of the cradle - the enemy of significant shape as the shape clouts the carrier sides. Axles were then reversed in the dividing head, set up with a square from the table and the opposing end munched on 3 sides.

    So far so good.

    I can't drive CAD, so it was down to my apprentice boilermaking exposure, chalk, centre punch and a trammel to lay out the shape (I didn't know what the exact dimensions should be until I laid it out full size) and then chopped it out with the gas axe, a straight edge and the trammel. Straightened up the blanks where they had pulled from the gas cutting, tacked them together and leveled the edges and blended the radii. A nice couple of hours with the big 9" grinder yesterday (Sunday). I figured the neighbours would all be at Church.

    Cut some packers to 98mm and tacked to one side, flipped everything over, indexed the side using my milling angle plates and tacked the second side.

    Tonight I've added the outside filler strip with some fairly sketchy use of clamps and hot tacks with the old mig.

    Whilst the outside strip pulled around manually, the inner will need to be rolled. A quest tomorrow then to find somebody local with some small plate rolls.

    Mike Roberts and his small wheel
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    PU Upper and casters Ausie Ausie Ausie!
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    Solid upper ready for munching
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    Nothing like boring with a big stiff one
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    The recess was a pain - upside down boring bars and machine in reverse etc...
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    Last edited by skintkarter; 11-06-20, 12:29 PM.
    Cheers, Richard

  • #2
    Photos continued....

    Sketchy setup in the Mill for bling holes
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    Outer rounding-over end mill - bit blunt, but nothing a lathe file and emery won't fix
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    Final polish ready for the bearings
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    Axles all machined with 3 flats
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    4140 Lower anvil blanks
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    Attached Files
    Last edited by skintkarter; 18-05-20, 11:51 PM.
    Cheers, Richard


    • #3
      Photos Continued

      Old school boilermaking memories
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      Side dressed up with a grinder
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      Packers tacked up
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      Top side tacked to bottom
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      So far so good
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      Cheers, Richard


      • #4
        Outer filler strip tacked in
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        Cheers, Richard


        • #5
          Nice work Richard!

          Cheers Charlie


          • skintkarter
            skintkarter commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks Charlie. Made the main axle 3 times now. Doh! Had to send the inner filler strip out to get rolled, but hoping to progress this weekend.

        • #6
          More Progress

          Got the axle machined up and threadcut (err 3 times - so a jolly good job that I bought a full length of 35mm 1045...) Mounting plates are a 0.02mm press fit up against the shoulders​

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          Couldn't resist installing the bearings and checking the runout. Pretty chuffed that it dialed up at 0.005mm

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          Didn't have any way of forming the inner filler strip, so sent the whole lot out to local shop Auram Engineering - run by a proper old Boilermaker, Richard Rua. They do all sorts of forming on rounds, tubes angles, flats etc... Perfect job.

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          My name is Jed... Jed Clampett. Walked the strip into place and got all tacked in. Ends have pulled very slightly, but not too much at this point. Will try to weld in sections doing the same process on either side to hopefully minimise any further pull.

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          Attached Files
          Cheers, Richard


          • #7

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            Got the spindle installed. Protected it from gashes with a bit of PVC tube.

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            The last bits of the frame boxed and profiled

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            The plinth chopped out and welded, castor mounting plates added and the upper structure plonked on top

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            Back and front seams welded and dressed. Think I'll do the side seams with the tig - but tomorrow when I'm fresh.

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            Last edited by skintkarter; 30-05-20, 04:38 AM.
            Cheers, Richard


            • #8
              Looks really nice cobber!

              Everything you make, looks really nice!

              Cheers Charlie


              • skintkarter
                skintkarter commented
                Editing a comment
                Thanks Charlie. Years of being a pedantic old git.

            • #9
              Great job. Very nice fabrication work.


              • skintkarter
                skintkarter commented
                Editing a comment
                Cheers Chris, but you wouldn't want to be billing the hours

            • #10
              Bit more progress. Work has been busy so only bits and pieces in the workshop.

              Clamping up the lower cradle for tacking
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              Slitting the post clamp
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              Mocking up the heights
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              Completed post clamp
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              Completed anvil cradle
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              Cheers, Richard


              • #11
                Getting closer, but made some scrap along the way...

                I couldn't easily source some fine thread metric screwed rod during lockdown here in NZ, so settled for a chunk of 1" UNF. Idea was that I could weld this to a hunk of 25mm shaft to extend down to the the kick adjuster and lower support bearing (Y type self aligning flange bearing) left over from our Cadet Karting days with the boys. Unfortunately I ended up with some runout from the weld which I had difficulty in chasing out in the press. The end result was that the top of the adjuster wobbled around slightly drunkenly.

                I'd decided to overly complicate the adjuster with a small deep groove ball race in the end of the post to create some radial support and a thrust bearing on top of the adjuster for the axial load. The resulting slight wobble played havoc with the smooth raising and lowering and by the time the keyway was introduced, the whole deal was pretty horrible. So I threw the shaft away and machined a new full length from 25mm, thread cutting the 1" (25.4) x 12 tpi UNF thread in the lathe. The threaded rod was 20.20mm diameter, so I finished up with probably a 90% thread depth. Turned out nice and snug. Touched up the keyway which I'd unwittingly machined with a chipped end mill and then redesigned the keyway thingie.

                Smoother than a smooth thing now.​

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                Last edited by skintkarter; 15-06-20, 08:13 AM.
                Cheers, Richard


                • #12

                  New shaft one-piece and threadcut this time
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                  New keyway thingie
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                  Last edited by skintkarter; 15-06-20, 11:31 AM.
                  Cheers, Richard


                  • #13
                    The E wheel turned out OK, Well done ! Let us know how it preform
                    Peter T.

                    PS The only thing that I would personally change would be to cut the lower shaft and put the turning wheel right up as far as you can,without interfering with the rest of the frame, that will allow you to be able to turn the adjusting wheel by hand ( you get a better feel of the pressure applied that way) also if possible fill the frame with sand , and take those wheels off , the last thing you need is for the machine to move or walk about while working .... BUT !.... as I said..... that is only my personal preference . Also try to use a coarse square tread for the ram
                    Last edited by Peter Tommasini; 15-06-20, 02:47 PM.


                    • #14
                      Looks good, Richard. Thanks for the in-progress pics.


                      • #15
                        Thanks Peter and Cliff.

                        I'm used to this kind of adjuster Peter, as it's what I built for my large machine and the front casters do lock. Plan to move the locking ones to the back of the machine as my buddy Mike did - there is a slight amount of movement due to the pivot point. Mike has the fixed ones at the front for that very reason I suspect. Need to be able to move the machine out of the way when it's not in use as the shop is starting to get tight with all of the gear. The wheel is only meant for light high crown work (bike stuff in the main) and I have the large machine for any grunt stuff and large flat panels. I have flats on my large anvils (which I know you hate) but am going to machine the ones for this machine as a full radius and give them a try. Still plenty to do and no doubt the anvil storage trays planned (down low and either side of the upper frame) with oil baths will take me twice as long as I think. I did make one for the large machine and I'm pleased that I did. Keeps all the shop crap away from them and there is no issue with surface rust as I find on the swage dies.

                        Got the adjuster support welded up tonight, but I'll wait until I'm fresh before I weld it to the machine.

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                        Cheers, Richard