Author Topic: How to assemble wheels on pointed axles?  (Read 1090 times)

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nickelplate759

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How to assemble wheels on pointed axles?
« on: June 29, 2018, 10:32:39 PM »
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I just got a batch of NWSL wheels and pointed axles. I need to assemble them.  I've done blunt axles before, but this is different...

I would like advice on what technique(s) to use to press the wheels on the axles without damaging the pointed ends.   
For tools I have a Panavise (I would use that if the axles weren't pointed), as well as an NWSL puller (if I push the wheels in too far).  I also bought an NWSL "tombstone" that's supposed to be helpful somehow, but I've no idea what to do with it. It seems to be a hunk of soft-ish metal (but harder and lighter than lead).   Pressing the pointed end of an NWSL axle into the tombstone dulls the axle :(

Advice please!
« Last Edit: June 30, 2018, 12:05:14 AM by nickelplate759 »
George
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I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.

nkalanaga

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Re: How to assemble wheels on pointed axles?
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2018, 01:51:45 AM »
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Drill a hole about half the diameter of the axle in a metal block, then drill a larger conical hole on the same center.  If you can drill, or machine, the cone to match the end of the axle, so much the better.

The idea is that the axle point will go in the center hole, so it won't be taking the pressure.  Ideally, only the point touches the truck frame, so if the rest of the axle end is roughed up, it shouldn't matter.

If the metal is a little softer than the axle, it should "flow" to match the axle cone.  If it flows too much, you might have to clean out the center hole.  If you can match the taper to start, you can use a harder metal for the block, and it shouldn't damage the axle at all.

If you want to use the vise, make two of these, align them carefully, and you shouldn't have any problems.
N Kalanaga
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Maletrain

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Re: How to assemble wheels on pointed axles?
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2018, 09:10:35 AM »
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If I correctly remember the info in a previous thread, the points are 50° and the holes are 60°.  So, a standard 60° countersink bit is not going to make a hole that matches the point taper, and the pressure would still be on the point. 

So, I am wondering about casting a mold of the point in something like hard epoxy.  JD Wled comes to mind.  Then, to be extra careful, drill-out a small hole for the point, so that even the epoxy does not press on it.  Greasing the point should provide the necessary mold release when doing the casting.

peteski

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Re: How to assemble wheels on pointed axles?
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2018, 11:58:30 AM »
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I'mnot familiar with the "thombstone" NWSL sells, but if it is soft metal, it should not dull the axle points.

Whenever I have to apply pressure to a pointy axle I use a piece of aluminum between the axle and the end of my arbor press ram (which is steel).  The point makes a depression in the aluminum, but since it is harder than Al, it does not get deformed.

I think the axles I work with are steel (probably stainless).  Those are Kato, Atlas, and Bachmann wheels (for locos and cars). with pointy axle ends.
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nickelplate759

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Re: How to assemble wheels on pointed axles?
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2018, 12:16:40 PM »
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The NWSL axle isn't steel.  Bronze maybe.  I'll try some of these ideas and report back.
George
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I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.

peteski

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Re: How to assemble wheels on pointed axles?
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2018, 12:25:41 PM »
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The NWSL axle isn't steel.  Bronze maybe.  I'll try some of these ideas and report back.

Sounds like a plan.
Also, why not ask NWSL about their recommended assembly process?  They make and assemble those things.  :D
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Chris333

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Re: How to assemble wheels on pointed axles?
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2018, 12:39:15 PM »
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NWSL will probably tell you to buy one of their sensipresses:
https://www.modeltrainstuff.com/nwsl-50-4-the-sensipress/

Or you can just try an arbor press:
https://www.harborfreight.com/1-ton-arbor-press-3552.html

mmagliaro

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Re: How to assemble wheels on pointed axles?
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2018, 01:06:59 PM »
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If you are just pressing two wheels onto an axle, get two pieces of tubing that will just slip over the wheel treads and will seat up against the flanges.  Put the wheels on the axle a little bit by hand, then place the axle with wheels between the jaws of the vise, with the pieces of tubing on the outside faces of the wheels (the vise jaws only press on the tubing).

nickelplate759

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Re: How to assemble wheels on pointed axles?
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2018, 01:29:01 PM »
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If you are just pressing two wheels onto an axle, get two pieces of tubing that will just slip over the wheel treads and will seat up against the flanges.  Put the wheels on the axle a little bit by hand, then place the axle with wheels between the jaws of the vise, with the pieces of tubing on the outside faces of the wheels (the vise jaws only press on the tubing).

I thought about that, but  since one is insulated a plastic bushing and one is not I'm pretty sure the wheel with the bushing will go on easier and thus the insulated wheel won't go on at all.   Pressing with tubing is my plan for putting on the second (insulated) wheel after I get the first one on.
George
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I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.

peteski

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Re: How to assemble wheels on pointed axles?
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2018, 01:39:19 PM »
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Another question coming to mind is why in the world did you buy unassembled wheelsets?  :?  I didn't even realize or remember that NWSL sells those.
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nickelplate759

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Re: How to assemble wheels on pointed axles?
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2018, 02:15:55 PM »
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Another question coming to mind is why in the world did you buy unassembled wheelsets?  :?  I didn't even realize or remember that NWSL sells those.

good question.  Because these will have 42" wheels.
George
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I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.

atsf3751

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Re: How to assemble wheels on pointed axles?
« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2018, 04:05:17 PM »
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good question.  Because these will have 42" wheels.


42" wheels? Sounds like a locomotive set.
Marty Young
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nickelplate759

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Re: How to assemble wheels on pointed axles?
« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2018, 04:14:21 PM »
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42" wheels? Sounds like a locomotive set.

Yep - steam locomotive trailing truck.   Really should be 43", but that's not available.
George
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I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.

atsf3751

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Re: How to assemble wheels on pointed axles?
« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2018, 04:21:52 PM »
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Yep - steam locomotive trailing truck.   Really should be 43", but that's not available.

Ah, that is why they came disassembled. Usually intended for diesels and adding a geared axle between the wheels.
Marty Young
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nkalanaga

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Re: How to assemble wheels on pointed axles?
« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2018, 01:14:53 AM »
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Does the truck pick up power?  If not, you could make assembly easier by using two insulated wheels.
N Kalanaga
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