Mansell Wheels

Discussion in 'G3' started by Jon Nazareth, 1 June 2016.

  1. Jon Nazareth

    Jon Nazareth Western Thunderer


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  2. Jon Nazareth

    Jon Nazareth Western Thunderer

    Not sure what happened but it posted without the text :)

    I'm making up some 3' 4" Mansell wheels for a possible coach project. The wooden inserts are box and I've placed the centres in the 'centre' of the growth rings to try and keep things looking balanced, if you see what I mean. I know the inserts should be in sections but I would have found that an impossible task.
    1. Facing off the end in the three jaw. It's a bit of a large piece of wood but, that's all that I had.
    2. Between centres.
    3. Turned down to about 1 3/4"
    4. Parted to as far as the tool will go.
    5. Sawn off and sitting on a very clean lathe.

  3. Jon Nazareth

    Jon Nazareth Western Thunderer


    Here are the wheel rims with their inserts ready to be glued together. These are the backs of the inserts with the most knots. I was hoping to have the best faces showing but that didn't quite work out, hey ho. As you can see, I've stepped the inserts and they will sit back on a shoulder in the rims. Still a long way to go though.

  4. Jon Nazareth

    Jon Nazareth Western Thunderer


    Four rims with boxwood inserts glued in place with four retaining rings and four hubs, phew! I won't bore you with the number of mistakes that I made indexing the score lines and the number of times that I had to skim the inserts. It was a case of, when all else fails, read the instructions and when I did, light dawned. I was able then to use the indexing fingers but, I still made a couple of mistakes as I found that one still had to concentrate entirely without any distractions at all, not even the radio. The next thing is to glue in the hubs and the rings and leave overnight to set. Tomorrow, I'll have a go at drilling for rivets and I expect to break a number of drills but I do intend to take it very carefully. From the photographs I've seen of full size mansell wheels, the heads of the bolts in the rim are larger than those in the hub. The ring will be drilled 0.5mm and the hub 1/32", fingers crossed. Once the drilling is finished, I'll face off the backs where the hub protrudes. The next thing is for the wheel to be held via soft jaws in the three jaw chuck, face outwards, and drilled for the axles, I'll also turn the rims as well at the same setting hopefully keeping all true.

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  5. Jon Nazareth

    Jon Nazareth Western Thunderer

    P.S. The scores are about .004" deep.
  6. JimG

    JimG Western Thunderer

    It's when you complete dividing round a circle and advance on to the first mark and pray that it lines up. :)

  7. Jon Nazareth

    Jon Nazareth Western Thunderer

    I know. The first pointer that I used, was ground free hand on the bench grinder and although I managed to divide the wheel perfectly, I couldn't work out at first why the score lines had the look of a spiral :D. The second pointer, I machined on the lathe and cured that problem. You are quite right, getting back to the start and finding, in my case, that I had miscounted and on several occasions.

  8. Jon Nazareth

    Jon Nazareth Western Thunderer

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    Managed to put them together and finish drilling the holes today. The outer holes are 0.5 mm and I'm very pleased to say that I didn't break any drills. I tried to use the wooden inserts without knots but I made so many mistakes that this is what I've ended up with. One problem I did have when drilling the hubs is that one hub got very hot and broke down the glue. As it started to spin, I stupidly enough put my finger on it and I've now got a nasty blister on one finger. Needless to say, it didn't happen again as I allowed the hubs to cool right off between centring, drilling and reaming. To stop excess heat building up, I used four drills of varying sizes before finally reaming. The wheel with the rivets is just a dummy run as I wanted to see how they would look with 'bolts' in place. The 0.5mm holes all needed opening out slightly and I used this little tool, whose name escapes me at the moment, to accomplish this. I'm quite pleased with the overall look, just a about the knots. Over the next few days, I'll open out the other 0.5mm holes and fix all of the rivets in place. This won't be an easy thing to do as the holes are so tiny getting glue into them will be a little difficult. I'm just hoping that I'll get enough epoxy in the right place to hold the rivets in place. If anyone has any ideas on how to fix these in place then, I'd be pleased to hear from them. The next problem is to blacken or not to blacken. My initial thoughts are to blacken the rivets but simply to let the wheels develop a film of rust which, after cleaning with some fine wire wool, may take on a grey appearance, I hope. Shame there aren't any steel rivets this size on the market as this would make things easier. I didn't want to soak the complete wheels in a blackening solution as I'm not sure how the epoxy and the wooden inserts would react to being immersed other than disastrously.

  9. JimG

    JimG Western Thunderer


    That wheel looks excellent. On gluing the rivets in, what about using a slow setting cyanoacrylate glue and dipping the end of the rivet in the glue before inserting it in the hole. There should be enough glue transferred down the bore to hold the rivet in. Or if you are opening the hole out with a tapered broach, don't open the hole out fully but leave the far end tight so that the rivets are a push fit. You could find out the depth of insertion required for a good push fit then mark the broach at the depth with a bit of paint, or even turn up a collar with a locking screw to fit on the broach.

  10. Dikitriki

    Dikitriki Flying Squad

    A lovely wheel indeed, and it shows the advantage of using the correct materials in the larger scale.

  11. jamiepage

    jamiepage Western Thunderer

    They look absolutely superb, Jon.
    Very inspiring,
  12. Mike W

    Mike W Western Thunderer


  13. AndyB

    AndyB Western Thunderer

    I'll echo the comments above, lovely work - and I really would not worry about the knots.

    Have you considered using Gun Blue? This does not need full immersion - it can be applied to one side only of the steel components before assembly. Applied lightly, it can give a grey-black appearance which should match your blackened brass rivet heads.

  14. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Awesome wheels :thumbs:

    In hind sight, would it not have been easier to have all steel wheels with a rebate front and back for a thin wood veneer insert? Rather than a complete wooden centre, I know it wouldn't then be authentically constructed but visually no one would ever know.

    It's not a criticism as what you've done is really very good and the path I'd probably have taken...for the first four, though I'm afraid after that I'd probably opt for the method above if I had a whole rake of coaches to do ;)

    Mick D
  15. unklian

    unklian Western Thunderer

    Very nice wheels, is this what the thick walled tubing was for ? I think I would have gun blued all the metalwork separately, it tends to stain the wood black as well, although that might be OK in this case. I think Mickoo's suggestion for the wheel construction would make for a much stronger wheel , although you would have to insulate them electrically perhaps. I hope your wood was well seasoned, because it will shrink radially in time. The real wheels are made in segments with the grain running from hub to rim for a reason :thumbs:
  16. Jon Nazareth

    Jon Nazareth Western Thunderer

    A Broach, that's the name, thank you. Yes, I did try the dipping method, I just hope all is fine. Mind you, if any fall out, I'll just stick them back in. The smaller rivets were a push fit but the larger ones were an easy fit.
    I experimented with gun blue and Carr's blackening for brass. The gun blue stained the wood only slightly wereas the Carr's blackening very badly. I chose the gun blue and, I quite like the way that it as stained the wood taking away some of the yellow from the boxwood. I did find this morning that there was rusting on the wheels but I simply brushed this off with a brass wire brush. On the rivets, I used the Carr's blackening treating each rivet one at a time. A time consuming way but this allowed me to blacken just the head as I wasn't sure how the glue would react on the blackening.
    I did think about different ways of constructing these wheels but I chose the final method as it gave me a decent chunk of wood as an insert.
    Yes, that was the reason for the heavy duty tube. I did think about blueing the metalwork first but, as explained above, wasn't sure how the glue would react with the staining. I've had the Boxwood in excess of twenty years, probably nearer thirty so, I should think that it's pretty well seasoned by now.

    These wheels are 3' 4" and are being reserved for a 1st Class Carriage that I'm hoping will be in the offing. I've enjoyed making them but they are very time consuming and so, the next time that I need a set of Mansell wheels, I shall use the commercial variety.

    I've posted two pictures as the lighting is quite different for each but the steel has taken on a nice grey colour and look very good to my eyes. I'm thinking of oiling them too which will tone down the wood even more.


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  17. Ian_T

    Ian_T Active Member

    Very good Jon - I don't remember seeing this at the time but I may have been away.

    This post should drag it up the list a bit.


  18. simond

    simond Western Thunderer

    Absolutely excellent!

    at risk of accusations of heresy, is it worth taking a silicone mould off them, so resin castings can be made?
    They’d need steel tyres but they’d be a quick and convenient alternative.

  19. Tim Watson

    Tim Watson Western Thunderer

    An S gauge vicar I know well, had a parish at Wolverton. When he visited his parishioners he often found that the garden paths were made up with very attractive patterns made from wedge shaped wood blocks...

    Super wheels btw.

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  20. Jon Nazareth

    Jon Nazareth Western Thunderer

    When I built my SER wagon, JimG very kindly printed some 3' 1" overlays to go with some 3' 1" spoked Slaters wheels that I had. Slaters sell 3' 7" Mansell but not 3' 1" hence the need for some overlays. They worked very well indeed and can be seen in my build of the SER wagon. The wheels were fixed permanently onto the axles some while ago so, a mould may be a bit difficult now. Mark Wood Wheels supplies some 3' 7" Mansell wheels in cast iron. they are very detailed, I have two sets and shall use them on the next models that need them.

    I wonder where the parishioners found so many wedges. Maybe they had a source of scrap Mansell wheels.