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Old 06-22-2011, 06:35 PM   #1
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making wooden wheels


I picked up an old 1,000 lb. floor scale a while back (don't ask me why; I just did), and it now has a place in the shop. Problem is that it's heavy, so a bit hard to get to things hanging on the wall behind it. Then it dawned on me "oh yeah, those holes at the corners are for wheels", so that I could simly roll it out as needed. So, I will be watching for some old cast iron wheels for it, but in the mean time, was thinking that I could make some wheels out of oak or maple, as I have some vintage, well aged selections of both in the barn. So, I need to make 4 wheels, something in the range of 2-4" O.D. and bored for a 3/4" axle, and my questions are a) which would be best, maple or oak, and b) it's only going to move something like 3' out and 3' back, so do I need to make a bronze or other bushing, or should the wood on the shoulder of a bolt be sufficient for maybe a couple of years until I find some period wheels for it? And just for the sake of a bit of history, for anyone under, oh I don't know, maybe 40 or 50 or so, maybe older, the intrigue of this scale to me is that it seems they used to be in about every other store up and down main street. My wife and I grew up in a town small enough that it got it's first traffic light during or after the time we were in high school, and we counted at least 6 scales like this that we can remember in our little town. Anyway, enough of that; just wondered if anyone had any thoughts. Thank you.
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Old 06-22-2011, 07:19 PM   #2
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making wooden wheels


Maple would be the best---oak splits more easily. No need for bushings on that,just a little lithium grease after varnishing them.


If you don't have a lathe to shape those--consider using a drill press--drill hole---rough out circle--add a bolt and nut--chuck that into the drill press.

File or rasp and sand paper----fancy.----Mike----
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Old 06-22-2011, 08:15 PM   #3
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making wooden wheels


Thank you, Mike! I appreciate it. Maple it is; I was leaning that way, but was thinking that some of the wooden wheels that I have seen on things like kids wagons and so on looked more like oak, so decided to ask. I have a metal lathe, but unfortunately no wood lathe yet. I do have a drill press and band saw though, so was thinking that I would drill a center hole for one of them, then set up a jig on the band saw, and see how that goes. Then, as you said, dress them up as needed with a rasp and sander. Of course you know how the next step goes; I'll get them done and installed, and stumble into some old cast ones the next day!
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Old 06-22-2011, 08:26 PM   #4
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making wooden wheels


A blacksmith I use seems to have cast wheels in all sizes on hand for some reason. Have you checked with such folk in your area? Have you tried a "wanted" post on Craig's List or something?
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Old 06-22-2011, 08:41 PM   #5
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Hey, thank you sdsester! So far anyway, I'm as keen on Craig's List as I am on Face Book, i.e. they don't exist in my world, but the blacksmith is a different story. We have a guy who comes to one of the local fairs each year, who I usually spend a fair amount of time watching if/when I have time to go, and yes, he makes some very nice looking wheels. Now I just need to find his card, but if not, I know a gal I can call who would have his information. You're alright!
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Old 06-22-2011, 09:06 PM   #6
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making wooden wheels


May I suggest wrapping the circumference of the wheel with a metal band, to prevent pebbles, sand, etc. from becoming embedded in the wheel?
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Old 06-22-2011, 09:24 PM   #7
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That is a great idea foz, and I may give it a try if I end up making wooden ones. Reminds me of when I was a kid, helping my dad make a bob sled for us kids; that's exactly how he made the runners, wood wrapped in flat stock. Getting them fairly flat and tight on this small of a circle might require some patience, but yes, it's a good idea, and could be done. Hmmmm. My initial thought was that the wood wheels would be temporary, until I could find some old cast ones, then sdsester got me thinking that I may be able to have some cast ones made in relatively short order, and now I'm thinking how maple ones wrapped in flat stock would look. Sheesh. You guys are almost too much help this evening, because now I'm not sure which way to go! Nah, just kidding. I really appreciate everyone's help. Great input. Now I just have to decide. Thank you.
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Old 06-23-2011, 03:30 AM   #8
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If you wrap the wheels in metal won't you want to use some sort of axle bushing after all? I am asking not suggesting by the way.
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Old 06-23-2011, 06:29 AM   #9
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Wouldn't casters mounted under this thing be easier? Rotating casters would make it much easier to maneuver then inline wheels.
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