Tender wheel parts

The tyres for 1120’s tender have been plopping unceremoniously onto the lathe bed for the past couple of weeks. I had thought to make them in two batches – one per truck – but wound up getting several extra tyres and wheels out of one blank, albeit not enough for the whole tender. In the end, I have enough extras to make a second car of some sort.

I’m planning to keep the original tender trucks with their nice pickups. These take axles with 1.2 mm journals, and so, I had to make axles up as well. I spent several days trying to come up with ingenious methods to hold onto the 1.5 mm rod for the axles. However, I finally gave up and just chucked the material straight into the lathe. It’s about as small as the machine can hold, but hold it does, which is better than any of my ingenious solutions.

This might be the last time I turn wheels for a bit. So, I’ll leave some photos here for future Rene’s use. This method was far quicker and more accurate than the one-at-a-time method used on 622’s wheels. The 12/64″ drill for the tyre centres seemed like a good idea, but is imprecise; I’ll have to make the wheel centres to match. Good luck with your next batch!


9 thoughts on “Tender wheel parts

  1. Hi Rene,

    Fascinating. I appreciate the series of photos.

    So you machine a whole series of wheel profiles from the same blank, bore out the centers and then cut them off one by one?


    1. Exactly. I didn’t do this with 622 because the lathe was barely able to drive the form tool in stainless steel. So I removed as much material as possible with other tools first. This lead to far more tool changes and a lot more time and imprecision. 12L14 free-machining steel cuts like butter in comparison, giving me the confidence to form the shoulders of the tyres too.

  2. I’d appreciate you saying something more about the imprecision with the 12/64″ bit, and making the centres to fit. I know you covered it with the drivers, but I haven’t grasped it yet. How do you measure where the imprecision is so you know how to make the tires fit? Im imagining wheel centres that do not put the axle at the centre, and a motion that looks more like a camel walking in the desert. But I know you have it figured out . . .

    1. Hi Rob, I’ll measure the holes before printing the wheel centres. Those are cheap, so I can make extras +/- .001” or so.
      Honestly, I don’t really know where the imprecision comes from, but I’m not surprised, given that massive drill bit flopping around wherever it wants to go.

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