700 x 80 WWI - 1:33 - Spoked Wheel Project

Discussion in 'Gallery & Designs' started by Gil, Jan 19, 2007.

  1. Gil

    Gil Active Member

    An Unraveled Success!

    Hi All,

    I tried something that has been bothering me. It's the unequaled ease of use of single strand silk thread that is coupled with the look of macramé rope when examined closely. My thinking about the subject suggested a simple experiment; why not untwist a length of the thread to see what it looks like. Single stranded silk means that the thread consists of very long silk fibers (~3000 foot lengths). I untwisted it by hand but will use a reversible drill motor next time. Once untwisted the thread was set with water thinned PVA. The PVA is needed to keep the thread from assuming its old twist resulting in rats nests. The real test was the macro test which is shown below (what looks like twist is actually a pixelation effect).


  2. Gil

    Gil Active Member

    Single Strand!

    Hello All,

    Assembled a spoked wheel for all the necessary photographs lacing it with untwisted single strand silk thread. I screwed up the tire alignment making the outcome a total loss. I noticed that even though the silk thread had been untwisted it still appeared too large for the scale. I took a length of silk thread, threaded it into a large needle inserted the needle into a Dremel mandrel and unwound the length. The thread I have is twisted such that the rotation of a Dremel tool untwists it. After untwisting the length I separated one of the two strands which makeup the thread and wound it onto a card. The other strand was treated in the same way.

    The single strand is around 0.05 mm in diamter. This is very near the scale value for the spoke at this scale.

    I'll have another go at it will commence tomorrow.

  3. rmks2000

    rmks2000 Member

    Thanks for the persistence!
  4. Gil

    Gil Active Member

    Finally Found the End!

    Hello All,

    I think you guys must be as tired of this thing as I am by now. It was either finish it or hope it would quietly go away. And then, voila! the build went together exactly as it was designed to. Using the formed tires the wheel was laced with the stripped single strand silk the tire was assembled. Below is the unpainted results. The original intention is also included for the sake of comparison...,



  5. B-Manic

    B-Manic Peripheral Visionary

    looks like your effots have paid off to me. congratulations, looks real
  6. Bengt F

    Bengt F Active Member

    Spoked Wheel Tutorial

    Congtrats, Gil,

    It´s a miniature beauty! I like the natural cardboard color but I understand you´d like to paint it in light gray or black.
    Very nice indeed.

    Bengt :D
  7. josve

    josve Active Member

    I guess you are wrong Gil! I don't think anyone is tired of this!
    You have made a tutorial so good that anyone can do spoked wheels now.
    Thanks for taking your time and effort into this!!
  8. Gil

    Gil Active Member

    Almost There...,

    Hi All,

    We're almost there. The last installment in the tutorial needs to be completed. It should be done in the next day or two. I was going to do the spokes with 2# monofilament but after discovering that a single strand could be extracted from the unwound silk thread I decided to go with it instead. It makes the assembly of the wheel a lot easier than with CA.

    For those who have followed the ups and downs of this development the following photo summarizes the amount of experimental work that went into "getting it right". I call it the "Persistent Aircraft Wheel Works Company"...,


  9. josve

    josve Active Member

    Hello Gil!
    Excuse me for asking this maybe stupid question....
    Why dont you use flytying thread insted of silk?
    I have been doing flytying for many years and the thread we use comes in a lot of different colors and not at least sizes.It's vey strong compared to it's thickness.There are mono threads and twisted threads, silk threads and carbon thread, even kevlar thread for flytying use.
  10. Gil

    Gil Active Member

    Good Question


    I researched the various threads used for fly tying and for making fly rods the old fashioned way out of bamboo splits. It came down to several decision items; One, it needed enough strength to stand up to the abuse endured during the lacing process. Two, it had to be less than .004 " in diameter (0.1 mm) preferably around .002 " in diameter (0.05 mm). Three, PVA or other water soluble glues should affix it to the cardboard with enough adhesion to work in the application. The problem with monofilament is that it's made of Nylon which is very difficult to make a bond that has any real strength. Carbon and Kevlar have downside problems with cuttings and can be environmentally dangerous if not used properly. In the end I decided that single stranded silk was a renewable resource and besides there is a certain pleasure in working with it. What more can be said?

    One thing that should be made clear is that the silk used is made from very long single strands from the silk cocoons which are 3000-5000 feet long (~1000-1500 m ) and are very similar to monofilament when untwisted. A last item was also under consideration and that was the ability to close the split rims together. The silk crushes easily allowing the rings to easily close the gap.

    Best regards,

  11. josve

    josve Active Member

    Thanks for an enlightening answer Gil!
    I have been curious on that subject for a while now :)
  12. Ben Gal

    Ben Gal Member

    Looks great Gil - looking forward to the final part of the tutorial. Then I am going to give it a go.


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