Spoked Wheels

Discussion in 'Gallery & Designs' started by Gil, Nov 6, 2005.

  1. Gil

    Gil Active Member

    Hi All,

    Made enough progress in making spoked wheels to show something. Went through four distinct jigs prior to the one that works. The wheel pictured is sub-par as I used nylon coated, 7-strand stainless steel bead line for the spokes. CA doesn't stick to the nylon coating well and some of the spokes slipped after trimming. I resorted to using this because I kept melting the monofilament repeatedly in nearly finished wheels ruining what was otherwise a perfect specimen. I'm going back to using monofilament as it's easy to tighten by applying heat IF YOU ARE CAREFUL!

    The method uses a hand held jig and a self centering method for the hub (more on this in a latter post). It's not too difficult only somewhat tedius at first. The method allows any spoking pattern and allows equilateral and offset hub spoking arrangements. The major learning item was actually how to make a decent rim and attach it. I mount the wheel on a Dremel tool and true things up and shape the tire at low speed with sand paper. Oh, it's about 2 inches in diameter and it should scale well.


    P.S. Egads, the close up really shows the loose spokes!
  2. Bowdenja

    Bowdenja Active Member

    There is no worse critic than the artist themself!

    Loose spokes........I think it looks fantastic..........knowing you will only get better and better!


  3. EricGoedkoop

    EricGoedkoop Member

    Nicely done, Gil.

    I've been working on a step-by-step tutorial myself and should have it ready in a few days. I think we've done things a little differently . . . .
  4. Gil

    Gil Active Member

    John, The ones that got away were nearly perfect compared to the one shown in the image. I've gotten enough practice in now that repeating the pattern is now second nature. In fact that's the biggest learning curve similar to learning to knit or tie macrame. The other is using the heat gun very, very prudently.

    Eric, Glad you started this! Can't wait to see your method. I, too, am documenting the build process currently and plan to do a step by step tutorial. It will be interesting to see how each method compares. One of the most important tools is a crocheting needle.

    Have to go make some rims now...,

  5. Gil

    Gil Active Member

    A Technique for Making Spoked Wheels

    Hi All,

    Final output image! This is what the technique produces.


  6. Rick Thomson

    Rick Thomson Member

    The mind just boggles...everytime I think that the limit has been reached here, one of you guys pushes it back a bit further.

    Note to self...invest in a optical company...
  7. Willja67

    Willja67 Member

    I think the term limit has been outmoded or invalidated by not only Gil but by many other folks that grace us with their very fine work.
  8. Bowdenja

    Bowdenja Active Member

    I agree with Will.........Yes..... I agree with Will.
  9. Nick L.

    Nick L. New Member


    That is just amazing. Looks just like a real wire wheel.
    Awesome job!
  10. tausugAir

    tausugAir Member

    I can only say .... PURE MAGIC!!!

    Are we going to see the secret in graphics (he,he, he)?!

  11. jasco

    jasco Member


    This reminds me of my dilemma about 20 years ago when making spoked wheels for peanut scale model airplanes I was building back then. Of course weight was of primary concern. I came up with a solution that looked remarkably similar to your wheels, but I ultimately abandoned the project when I could not reproduce the actual tire. I used the plastic insulation off a lamp cord for the rubber, but couldn't make the seam look right. The spokes were what I spent so much time on. I used aluminum discs and an aluminum tube for the hub with fly-tying silk for the spokes. I had trouble with the rim, too! I then threaded the spokes by using one piece of thread for 4 spokes to try to keep the tension the same. All very fiddly work that yielded 2 pairs of wheels that were acceptable before I threw the whole lot in the trash and took up WWII aircraft just to avoid having to make those ?%$#@ wheels! Beautiful work on your part, though! I'm sure that just like the rest of the talented people on this site, you make the impossible look easy!
  12. Gil

    Gil Active Member

    Thank you all for the positive comments.

    For many the spoked wheel is, has been and still is the nemesis of World War I aircraft. I had been playing with ideas to solve this problem for several months before Eric Goedkoop's beautiful Moraine Saulnier burst onto the scene. This essentially provided the impetus to shift into high gear and do something about this once and for all. Even with Eric's photograph and hints it still took about a week to finally progress to a workable solution. The purest out there will be happy to know that it's made from paper, nylon monofilament and of course a little paint. I'm preparing a tutorial currently and should have it finished in several days.

    Once you build one everything begins to look a lot like a World War I airplane!


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