1/32 Alternative wagon wheels to Slater's

Discussion in 'G1/32' started by Marc Dobson, 12 October 2020.

  1. Marc Dobson

    Marc Dobson Western Thunderer

    Does anyone know of a different supplier of G1 1/32 wheels? I'm currently working on compensation units and I'm aware that, in 7mm, different suppliers wheels are slightly different and I don't want to design something that will only fit slater's wheels and no-one else's.

  2. Bill Campbell

    Bill Campbell Western Thunderer

  3. David Halfpenny

    David Halfpenny Western Thunderer

    You are right to be wary Marc.

    I can't give you as good an answer as I would like, because all my wheels are boxed up for a house move.

    1) To start with, Slaters themselves make two ranges of wheels, F series and S series, which have different tyre widths and rear bosses.
    Slaters themselves offer three Back-to-Back measurements, 40mm for S wheels, 41mm for F wheels on Standard track, and 42mm for F wheels on Fine track, and they sell packs of etched washers so that people can adjust-up when converting from Standard track to any of the Finescale tracks.
    (All this has come about through pressure from small numbers of enthusiasts, without reference to G1MRA or anyone else.)​

    2) Secondly, Slaters journals are not only very short indeed, but also heavily and often crudely rounded over by hand.
    which means they need the bearings to be very close to the faces of the wheels

    which vary in their distance apart because of (1)
    I have replaced many Slaters axles with Tenmille ones because they were simply to short to fit a specific model.
    However I haven't heard of anyone else doing this.
    3) Slaters journals are 1/8" diameter
    some other manufacturers also use 1/8",
    some use 3mm,
    Roxey are unusual in using use 2mm
    If you are using rolling bearings, I suggest offering 3mm and 1/8" options.

    If you are using plain open bearings, boring 1/8" would allow almost all G1 wheels to fit.
    (opinions may vary on whether a 3mm journal in a 1/8" bore is a good idea)​

    If you are using plain cup bearings, allow a bit more depth than is necessary for Slaters,
    AND allow a bit more 'spring' so people can get longer journals in and out.
    4) Be aware that various manufacturers have different bosses on the fronts of wheels.

    The manufacturers that I use myself are:
    Walsall Model Industries 10mm wagon wheels
    Northern Finescale
    Mark Wood ​

    all of whom use slightly different dimensions.

    All in all, some adjustment in the unit is a Good Thing, and traditionally people have bent a bit of brass this way or that to achieve it.
    If your methods preclude that, then by all means make them specific to Slaters.
    Bearing in mind the variations between Slaters wheels, Slaters wheelsets, and Slaters axles.​
  4. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

  5. David Halfpenny

    David Halfpenny Western Thunderer

    Thanks, Adrian, that company's new to me.

    Weird as their initial wagon wheel looks to my eyes, they could be a very useful resource for us.
  6. Mike W

    Mike W Western Thunderer

    I knew Brian Rodgers of Ultrascale 30 years ago and he is a superb engineer. One job he did for me was to make some driving wheels for an LNWR Bill Bailey 4-6-0 which had been built by Trevor Wilkinson for 16.5mm gauge using Romford wheels and a crank axle. Brian made some wheels for EM gauge having a special boss so they fitted the original 16.5mm axles but give 18.2mm gauge. A push-in plug covered the Romford nut and represented the end of the axle. Brian's biggest failing was that for all the additional work he refused to accept more than the price of his standard wheels! I still have the engine today.

    In short - I recommend Ultrascale!

  7. Stewart

    Stewart Western Thunderer

    Sadly, I believe, Brian Rodgers of Ultrascale, passed away recently.