Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Spoke Flanges part 2

This week I've been drilling and tapping some holes, quite a lot of holes actually. Which in itself is an interesting question, how many spokes does a geared facile have? There doesn't seem to be an easy answer. I've conducted a survey on my own original sources which includes original photos, catalogues, adverts and machines that I know have original equipment. I've disregarded restored bicycles where I either don't know or suspect that the equipment is reproduction. Front wheels can have 50, 56 or 60 spokes with 50 being the most common, rear wheels can have 24, 28 or 30 with 30 being the most common. Also bear in mind that wheel sizes varied, with the front wheel offered in 36", 38" and 40" throughout the 5 years of manufacture, The rear wheel size varied with age, earlier bikes having a smaller rear wheel of 22", later bikes 24". I don't yet know if the rear wheel size varied with front wheel size. The machine I am copying has 40" front and 24" rear wheels with 60 spokes front and 30 spokes rear, this is a pneumatic bike though and Ellis & Co. may have felt that the new fangled tyres required a  stronger wheel. I have decided on 50 front and 30 rear, which is a common combination, it also has the advantage that both wheels have the same spoke spacing at the rim. Aesthetic reasons and all that....

So the next question is what gauge are the spokes? Fortunately this is handily stamped on the flanges.

60 x 13 gauge spokes. 

The remains of the original spokes measured 0.093" x 56tpi they are also (fortunately) straight gauge with no butting. I have made butted spokes before but it adds a considerable amount of time to a project. So all I need to do is get some 13 gauge wire of a decent tensile strength and roll some 13 gauge threads on one end and head the other end. But what thread do I use for the tapped holes? 13 gauge spokes are a very good fit in #3x56 UNF threaded holes. For the record 14 gauge spokes are #2x56 UNC.

The first job is to make a mandrel with a keyway to securely hold the flanges whilst I drill and tap them.

I used a chunk of aluminium just because I happened to have it lying around. 

The important bit is to not take the mandrel out of the chuck after it has been turned, this ensures that the flanges will be true to the register and the holes will all be centred on the flange with no wandering. The dividing head is invaluable for the drilling and tapping operations.

First centre drill the flanges, then drill the through holes and finally tap the threads.

The second flange requires a little thought since the spokes holes must be timed correctly relative to the first flange, spoke holes falling between opposite spoke holes and all that. I've been indexing at 1/25 of a circle for the holes, so If I advance 1/50 and then continue at 1/25 this will all work out.

The rear wheel flanges were easier when I realised that I didn't need to make a mandrel at all since these flanges are not keyed and the holes are aligned at the time of assembly.

First bore through for the cones and then cut the mounting recess 
and the inner profile. I've tried to catch the shower of chips 
that comes off when machining gunmetal, it really is spectacular.

At this point I can remove the chuck with the work still 
mounted and remount on the Myford dividing head and drill...

 ...and tap the holes as for the rear wheel.

Then remount in the lathe and cut the outer profile and part off.

Next week I'll polish and nickel plate all of the hub components made so far at which point I can then think about rims.

In other news, today is the last day of summer. We haven't had much of a summer at all really and the mornings are decidedly cooler and definately darker. The commute this morning was quite chilly.

My daughter celebrated her birthday on Sunday, she invited a gaggle of school friends to come around and practice make up and do some shouting and other such stuff. My son and I decided to go out for the evening and watch one of the star wars films in 3D which was wasome. He wants me to make a podracer in my shed next. I bet they don't use 13 gauge spokes.

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