I didn’t write about it before, but filing that first wheel centre was like trying to wash a cat – slippery and occasionally painful. There seemed to be no good way to grasp it. Worse, as I was filing bits away, the challenge levelled up! By the time I was at panther level, I was using a combination of needle nose pliers, fingernails and will to keep the centre from flinging itself into a corner beneath my desk. It took a whole evening.
I don’t have the will or the fingernails to do many more in the same way. So, I had to find an alternate approach. I expected I would have to solder the wheel centres to handles for filing, and when the flood came, I put the soldering iron into the box of wheel-making tools for that purpose.
As you know, I’ve had more than ample time to reflect as I honed my casting skills. Along the way, I came up with the trivial aid shown. A steel bar with a hole to accept the hub means I am holding the part by the spokes, rather than by the hub. A second hole along with lines helps to hold the little blighter while I scribe guide lines for the spokes.
Using the fixture, spoke filing went almost two quickly. Each centre took only fifteen or twenty minutes; that was good because my weekend turned into a taxi shift. Even working in stolen minutes between bouts of tween transportation, I had time to do a couple extra so I can discard the ones I don’t like.