Easing wheels tight to gauge

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steve howe
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Easing wheels tight to gauge

Postby steve howe » Thu Jun 11, 2020 1:40 pm

I am wondering if there is a solution to easing locomotive wheels out without having to dismantle the chassis... recently I built a Branchlines 'Terrier' chassis as part of my light railway project using Gibson wheels. Although all seemed well during setting up, I now discover all three wheelsets are slightly under gauge, enough to make going through crossings a bit bumpy. Is there a way the wheels can be eased out without taking the wretched thing apart? I know GW does a 'wheel puller' but I don't know if its designed for this sort of job.

Steve

FCA
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Re: Easing wheels tight to gauge

Postby FCA » Thu Jun 11, 2020 2:11 pm

This is what the GW puller was designed for. And it's pretty effective.

As a cautionary note it sometimes helps to file an axle sized slot in a brass plate to fit between the back of the wheel and the frames for the puller to engage with. It should be a little wider than the wheels. This spreads the (considerable) force of the push screw across the wheel rather than concentrate it on the hub.

Richard

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Easing wheels tight to gauge

Postby grovenor-2685 » Thu Jun 11, 2020 2:13 pm

Don't you mean to avoid concentrating the pull on the tyre thus pulling the tyre off?
The screw should be pushing on the axle end not the wheel hub.
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Keith
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FCA
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Re: Easing wheels tight to gauge

Postby FCA » Thu Jun 11, 2020 2:25 pm

You may well be right though the pull (at the tyre) and the push (at the axle/hub) are equal, surely?
Whatever, this is a useful bit of kit which does the job.Just like Mr Watt's other tools.

Richard

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steve howe
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Re: Easing wheels tight to gauge

Postby steve howe » Thu Jun 11, 2020 2:41 pm

Thanks Richard,

Looks like I'll have to get an order off to Mr Watts!

Steve

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Easing wheels tight to gauge

Postby grovenor-2685 » Thu Jun 11, 2020 2:46 pm

What the back plate is trying to do, if you can actually get one in given the limited clearance behind P4 wheels, is to transfer the force applied by the claws of the tool from the tyre rim to the hub which is the bit you need to move.
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Keith
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myoxall
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Re: Easing wheels tight to gauge

Postby myoxall » Thu Jun 11, 2020 3:52 pm

The backing plate gets held against both the wheel and tyre. The two grips from the GW wheel puller hold the backing plate tight in place whist the screw and spigot force the axle from the wheel. More of an axle pusher outer than a wheel puller offer when used in conjunction with a back plate. In either case, wheel puller or axle pusher, it is a really useful piece of kit and I wouldn't be without it. :D

Regards,

Martin

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Re: Easing wheels tight to gauge

Postby FCA » Thu Jun 11, 2020 5:27 pm

It can be tricky to line up the claws so that the spigot engages with the axle end especially as the claws move independently. It occurs to me, though I've never done it, that filing two slots in the plate edge at 180 degrees to seat the claws might be helpful in orienting the spigot.

Richard

nigelcliffe
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Re: Easing wheels tight to gauge

Postby nigelcliffe » Thu Jun 11, 2020 6:20 pm

Alternative method, which may work in some cases if it doesn't get tangled in frame details and brake gear:

Two pieces of angle, which can have one edge filed thin enough to slide between wheel and frames. Arrange so they are about opposite, and support across the jaws of an open vice. This supports the wheel rim, and to an extent the back of the wheel. If the back of wheel is recessed behind rim, then a packing shim to the wheel centre may be a good idea.

Then a method to push down on axle. This could be:
a drift (or old nail) hit gently with a hammer. But have a means to catch the mechanism if the hit is hard enough to knock the wheel off the axle.
a drill press with a shaft pressing on end of axle, with the vice below the drill. Ideally a drill press with a screw feed (like a milling machine), which can apply a controlled amount of pressure.



- Nigel

davebradwell
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Re: Easing wheels tight to gauge

Postby davebradwell » Thu Jun 11, 2020 7:31 pm

My wheels are never so tight that a hammer is required. If they are narrow to gauge there is a good chance that the axle will be protruding slightly. Hold chassis on its side and place flat piece of metal - I use the handle of some tweezers - on end of axle. With fingers between frames press on metal with thumbs and axle should move a little, the soft wheel centre being supported by the axlebox in just the right place. Safe and simple.

DaveB

Julian Roberts
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Re: Easing wheels tight to gauge

Postby Julian Roberts » Thu Jun 11, 2020 9:18 pm

I've got lots of loco wheelsets around 17.55 that are absolutely fine going through crossings. 17.47 is the narrowest possible on the straight route. How undergauge is your Terrier? I'd be looking for other explanations of bumpiness if it's not actually derailing. The small wheels exaggerate any bumps compared with big ones. If the chassis is compensated in the old standard way with one wheelset in fixed bearings that makes things worse. I'd leave well alone if it's running ok otherwise. Adjusting the wheels is likely to wreck the set up and quartering or make them looser on the axle. Been there done it! !

Philip Hall
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Re: Easing wheels tight to gauge

Postby Philip Hall » Thu Jun 11, 2020 10:00 pm

I have a GW wheel puller, but more often than not I use a small hammer and a pin punch. When I have used the puller, the grip of the wheel on the axle is such that when it moves under the action of the puller, it ‘springs’ backwards, often a bit too much. Carefully supporting the wheel on vice jaws or maybe with a small tool clamp held in a vice, and then gently tapping usually works.

I have never found that a direct pull, or tap, shifts the quartering. Years ago, I would often put a line across the wheel and axle end with a marker pen so that I could easily see if anything had moved. But since they never have, I stopped doing it.

Philip

David Knight
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Re: Easing wheels tight to gauge

Postby David Knight » Thu Jun 11, 2020 11:37 pm

There is another way to shift wheels without resorting to brute force. I posted an article to Scalefour News 145 (December 2005) P9 describing how to make a wheel puller from a cheap G cramp (clamp). It works in the same fashion as the as the GW one but instead of pulling at the rim it applies the force to the centre of the wheel rather than the rim. It works best on wheels without gears as clearance is limited.
IMG_0142.JPG

The tool is shown on a spare set of drivers that were lying around but it will fit inside frames.

HTH

David

Julian Roberts
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Re: Easing wheels tight to gauge

Postby Julian Roberts » Fri Jun 12, 2020 3:20 am

I wonder why slight bumpiness is an issue on a light railway. I'd be looking to adjust the flare of the checkrails if it was a concern.

"Let not the ideal be the enemy of the good"!!

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steve howe
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Re: Easing wheels tight to gauge

Postby steve howe » Fri Jun 12, 2020 8:27 am

All good stuff, thank you chaps. Embarrasingly, sorting through one of my 'bits' drawers last night I found I already had a GW wheel puller :? must have been an impulse buy at a show! anyway, deployed it last night and amazingly got it to work, pulled the first wheel a touch too far and had to push it in again, otherwise the other two went fine. Checking with the B2B gauge confirmed the wheelsets were well below the tolerance (it wouldn't fit!) now a nice sliding fit and running much improved. Moral of story: get the gauge right first time round!

Thanks again


Steve

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Mike Garwood
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Re: Easing wheels tight to gauge

Postby Mike Garwood » Fri Jun 12, 2020 11:22 am

Fair play David - that is a stunningly simple idea. Which I shall copy. ;)

Mike

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Paul Townsend
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Re: Easing wheels tight to gauge

Postby Paul Townsend » Fri Jun 12, 2020 2:58 pm

steve howe wrote:All good stuff, thank you chaps. Embarrasingly, sorting through one of my 'bits' drawers last night I found I already had a GW wheel puller :? must have been an impulse buy at a show! anyway, deployed it last night and amazingly got it to work, pulled the first wheel a touch too far and had to push it in again, otherwise the other two went fine. Checking with the B2B gauge confirmed the wheelsets were well below the tolerance (it wouldn't fit!) now a nice sliding fit and running much improved. Moral of story: get the gauge right first time round!

Thanks again


Steve

I am glad you found it before buying another one!
Mind you, a spare could fetch silly money on fleabay.

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Tim V
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Re: Easing wheels tight to gauge

Postby Tim V » Fri Jun 12, 2020 7:12 pm

Just had to do this on one of my engines! Here's how I did it, using a GW puller and a clamp. Wheel and axle for demonstration purposes.
IMG_0654[1].JPG
Tim V
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Paul Townsend
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Re: Easing wheels tight to gauge

Postby Paul Townsend » Sat Jun 13, 2020 3:48 am

Doubtless because the axle was 9 mm too short

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Steve Carter
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Re: Easing wheels tight to gauge

Postby Steve Carter » Sat Jun 13, 2020 9:13 am

Paul Townsend wrote:Doubtless because the axle was 9 mm too short


;)
Steve Carter

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steve howe
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Re: Easing wheels tight to gauge

Postby steve howe » Sun Jun 14, 2020 11:42 am

Tim V wrote:Just had to do this on one of my engines! Here's how I did it, using a GW puller and a clamp. Wheel and axle for demonstration purposes.
IMG_0654[1].JPG


So did you drop the wheelset out first, or use the clamp between the frames?

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Tim V
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Re: Easing wheels tight to gauge

Postby Tim V » Sun Jun 14, 2020 12:50 pm

I always try to build my engines so that axles can be dropped out. In the case of this engine, I did just that, moved the wheel by about 0.3mm, as the BtoB was out by that amount.
Tim V
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peterbkloss
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Re: Easing wheels tight to gauge

Postby peterbkloss » Mon Jul 20, 2020 9:56 pm

I have a GW models wheel puller and I had the problem of it dragging the tyres off the wheel centre instead of shifting the wheel on the axle the first time I used it. So to mitigate the problem I took a large steel washer, about 1mm thick, (in this case about 22mm diameter for the 18mm wheels I was trying to adjust) and cut a slot from the edge into the centre hole to slide over the axle to go behind the wheel. This spreads the load from the puller's jaws nicely and as long as there is at least 1mm between the frame and the back of the wheel works fine. More recently I discovered another wheel set tight to gauge on my Bachmann Jinty conversion, found when it was jumpy going through some point work. Here I was able to just use the washer without the wheel puller as the Bachmann chassis was so solid I could lever the washer with my fingers between frame and the wheel back to move the wheels on the axle the fraction of an mm that they were tight.

wheel-puller.JPG

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steve howe
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Re: Easing wheels tight to gauge

Postby steve howe » Tue Jul 21, 2020 12:10 pm

Very useful solution, and washers are easy to come by :thumb

Thanks Peter


Steve

peterbkloss
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Re: Easing wheels tight to gauge

Postby peterbkloss » Tue Jul 21, 2020 8:08 pm

Just a very simple replacement for Tim V's clamp .... I just don't have one of those! It has the advantage that it can be used in situ if there is enough clearance and/or the frame is solid enough (in the case of my levering dodge)

Kind regards, Peter Kloss


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