Spoke filing fixture

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.

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4 thoughts on “Spoke filing fixture

  1. Well I must commend your perseverance but I am sticking happily to 1/4” scale. Your jugs and casting experiments do give me hope to try building a live steam loco one day. I see a lathe in the future.

    Neil

    1. I wonder if some of the engineering resins would be up to the task of supporting a live steamer? I didn’t choose them due to the higher viscosity. I don’t think I would use them under heat and bomb-like pressure, though.

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