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Old May 06, 2003, 06:47 AM
Over Engineered
Robert Hoffman's Avatar
Michigan
Joined Jul 2002
1,991 Posts
Scratch Built Spoke Wheels

Here is the challenge. Does anyone out there have a way of building lightweight scratch spoke wheels for vintage aircraft.

They need to be between 3'-4 1/2" dia. and be strong enough to support a 4-6 pound aircraft.
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Old May 06, 2003, 12:33 PM
Trampling out the vintage
Joined Feb 2002
1,892 Posts
Bob,

I have been wondering the same thing myself.

I know Dare makes a spoked wheel kit but it is small. Also I believe there was an article in RC Microflight on spoked wheels, again for smaller sizes. I may have a copy and will look for it.

Arizona Models sells some bigger ones but they are fairly expensive. Also I don't know how light they are.

I am building a 72 Morane Saulnier L and would like some 5" lightweight spoked wheels myself.
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Old May 06, 2003, 01:44 PM
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dottney's Avatar
United States, NY, Fairport
Joined Jun 2000
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Guys,
Here's some I made. I'll get back to this thread tonight.
http://home.rochester.rr.com/dottney.../myplanes.html

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...ighlight=rapid

and check this thread for info
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...ighlight=rapid

Dave
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Old May 06, 2003, 03:14 PM
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Idaho
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If you can, find the plans available from RC Microflight. I used the plans kinda sorta and built some 4" wheels for my Demoiselle. The smaller wheels (3" and under) can be built out of balsa. Anything larger needs a 1/64 or 1/32 ply stiffener to keep the wheels from breaking. The building is rather tedious, but the results and price are fantastic. Plan on building at least three sets of wheels, one set to use, two sets to throw away!

JT
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Old May 06, 2003, 05:14 PM
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radfordc's Avatar
Lansing, KS, USA
Joined Jan 2002
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Peter Rake wrote an article on how to build scale WWI type wheels...not open spokes, but with the "covered spoke" look. Is this what you are after?
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Old May 06, 2003, 05:47 PM
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Hoppers Crossing Vic. Australia
Joined Nov 2002
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Peters wheels are great, nice and simple and look good for our size aircraft. I used Hoover Junior belts for my N28 but just made up O-rings for the Avro.

Pete will send you the article if you ask him nicely or I have it if I can find it.
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Old May 06, 2003, 05:58 PM
D.G.B.
KOMET 44's Avatar
Southington, Connecticut, United States
Joined Jun 2000
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Bob do a search here.The is a ezoner who was offering them a while ago.Can't remeber his name but I think he is from Texas.Also he has web site.Good luck,stefanP
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Old May 06, 2003, 08:41 PM
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Here's a quick summary of how to make wire wheels. Drawing are attached to following posts/
In short there is an aluminum tube hub with washers expoxied to hold the "spokes" that are wound around them. The spokes are monofiliament fishing line. The tires are made from three pieces- the rim a 1/32" cirle of lite ply or bass wood, two "tires" made from blasa (at least 1/8") which are glued to the rim after the spokes have been strung.

Make a jig from a hard wood block. Put a hole in the center of the block to hold a peg which will hold the tire's hub during the spoke stringing. Make this a tight fit. Use a compass to draw various diameters around this hole for various sized wheels.
Press the peg of music wire in the center of the block. This should be the same diameter as the axle on the plane. Around this peg you will put 4 L shaped jigs that will hold the rim of the tire. They can be glued or pinned in place. They form a platform for the rim to sit on. The vertical inside edge of the L should line up with one of the wheel diameters you drew with the compass.

The rim is made of 1/32 bass or lite ply. slots are cut in the outside edge around the rim to hold the fishing line. Put a minimum of 12 slots in the rim (looks like the hours on a clock). 16 is even better.

The hub is then placed on the wire center peg. The rim is then placed on the jig. Be sure that the center of the hub lines up with the rim.

Now you begin stringing the spokes. Tie a loop in the end of the fishing line and loop it over the top of the hub on the outside of the washer. Pull the string to the 12 o'clock slot on the rim going under the rim and cover through the slot over the top. Pull the line from there back to the hub, winding it around the lowerside of the hub on the outside of the washer.
I usually work in a clockwise direction so that the line will come from the rim around the right side of the hub. Pull up and over the next slot in the rim at the 1 o'clock slot. The line come out from under the 1 o'clock slot up to the top of the hub. It winds around the top of the hub and moves to the 2 o'clock slot, going under the rim. It exits the rim from the top and goes to the bottom of the hub again just like the first time.
You proceed around the rim pulling tension in the line as you go. You generate a nice spoke pattern which is surprisingly strong. I think the clear monofilament line I'm using is something like 15-20 pound test.
As you move along pulling in the tension be careful not to deform the rim. When you reach the end, tie of the line at the hub. Remove the finished rim from the peg and put it on a piece of axle stock. Spin it to check for a concentric circle. If things a a bit wobbly (Australian term right?) you can grasp the edge of the rim and kind of push and or pull to try to straighten it out. I think I've only made one perfectly straight tire. As long as it not too wobbly it will look ok.
Once its straight put a bit of CA on the line where it winds around the hub.
Now Epoxy the balsa tires to the rim. After the expoxy has dried sand the correct contour to the tire ouside edges. If there is a noticable gap around tire where the rim and tire edges meet fill it with some epoxy. Try not to use too much the whole point is to keep the tires light.
Now paint the tires flat black or dark grey. Paint the inside of the tires and spokes the color of your choice-I usually use aluminium or glossy black.
Continued in next post---
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Old May 06, 2003, 08:47 PM
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This is a rather labor intensive project. Don't get upset if you goof in the stringing. Its easy to unwrap things and start again (I know from experience). After you do the first one you'll become more adept and the subsequent tiers will go better and faster.

I'm attaching a simple drawing of the parts. Hopefully by looking at them you be able to follow the directions I've written.

This is essentially what the a mag article ( I think MAN) had. The April 1999 article is a different method. It uses three rings made from aluminum tubing to make the hub. I've used this method also but for larger models and heavier wheels. If you're something something like a Peter Rake or Pat Trittle design the balsa wheel method outlined here is more appropriate.
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Last edited by dottney; May 06, 2003 at 08:50 PM.
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Old May 06, 2003, 08:49 PM
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United States, NY, Fairport
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Last pic- tires.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or can improve on the method. I'm more than willing to spread more fairey dust and tell some more tall tales.
Dave
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Old May 06, 2003, 08:50 PM
Over Engineered
Robert Hoffman's Avatar
Michigan
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Thanks guys!
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Old May 06, 2003, 08:57 PM
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dottney's Avatar
United States, NY, Fairport
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Here's a photo of one of my jigs. The piece of circular balsa on the peg is there to stabilize the peg a bit more. The jig brackets that hold the rime are movable because I pinned them.. This way I can use this jig to do different diameter wheels by just rearranging the brackets.
Again I hope this helps.
Dave
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Old May 06, 2003, 09:04 PM
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This is a pic of wheels made use the April 1999 MAN article. 3 aluminum tubing rings are used to make the rim-center one is placed on a jig like the balsa method and strung with fishing line. Then two additional aluminium tubing rings are epoxied to this rim. Hose from a home center is used for the tire and epoxied in place. They are just as labor intensive. They make very strong wheels also but are quite a bit heavier. These are on a 62" 5.5lb Saito .50 powered scratchbuilt (from old plans) Bleriot.
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Old May 07, 2003, 06:19 AM
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Norfolk, England
Joined Sep 2001
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Robert,
There you go mate. Those last ones of Dave's look almost identical to the article I sent you. Certainly proves that they'll take the weight of the model you have in mind. Now, what can it be I wonder. Come to any decisions yet?

Pete
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Old May 07, 2003, 02:41 PM
Over Engineered
Robert Hoffman's Avatar
Michigan
Joined Jul 2002
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Pete
This one, like the others, will be decided by the dimensions of my car "Bob's Car Scale". It's narrowed down to two but one fuse is longer than the other. Plus Battery pack position and getting it to fit the fuse are a factor. Will measure the inside of my car and fuse and let you know. How about making the cylinders out of the cells!!! That would get some weight forward.
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