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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

    PU Upper and casters Ausie Ausie Ausie!

    Solid upper ready for munching

    Nothing like boring with a big stiff one

    The recess was a pain - upside down boring bars and machine in reverse etc...

    Last edited by skintkarter; 05-18-2020, 09:50 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; 05-18-2020, 09:51 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

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

            The last bits of the frame boxed and profiled

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

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

            Cheers, Richard