Snagged a new wheel!

I managed to get my hands on a used wheel, cheap. It is a gigantic banding wheel: wheel head is 50cm across and the whole thing assembled weighs 60kg. It looks like it might have been someone’s homemade wheel, made from acquired parts and put together.

It is an oddly constructed wheel, no bearings at all. The top of the shaft accommodates  a pin in the wheel head like my kickwheel, but there is no bearing in the bottom, just tapered sleeve on the shaft that engages the bottom of the wheelhead shaft, heavily greased. It requires a very fine setting of the tapered sleeve. Engage it too much and the wheel doesn’t turn well, not enough and there is a waggle in the wheel.

It arrived pretty rusty and dirty, looks like it saw a lot of use at some point, then got left in a corner somewhere for a few years. I got a wire brush disc for my angle grinder and spent quite a while getting the accumulation of clay, gunk, paint, and rust off.

Removable wheel head shaft
Removable wheel head shaft
Base shaft
Base shaft
wheel head
wheel head
tapered sleeve
tapered sleeve
The whole shebang, still dirty.
The whole shebang, still dirty.
wheel head assembly oiled and ready.
wheel head assembly oiled and ready.

Finally got the wheel head assembly cleaned up and oiled, and with some experimentation found the ‘sweet spot’ for the tapered sleeve when engaging the wheel head shaft, and the wheel spins quite nicely. Click on the link below to see it spin:
Wheel spin test

My plan for this wheel is to weld arms to the base of the wheel head shaft and mount a wooden fly wheel, and add a wooden wheel head onto the current steel wheel head. The resulting kickwheel should be great for onggi style coil and paddle work.

2 thoughts on “Snagged a new wheel!”

  1. Nice wheel, Mike.
    I picked up one from Nishiura for about 7,000. It is about 70 cm. or so in dia. Instead of the center axle taking all the pressure there is an auxiliary support ring that is filled with bearings.
    I like your idea to turn it into a kickwheel. Will watch for photos, maybe I can do the same.
    Dave

    1. Dave, hi! Just out of curiosity, are those sealed bearings or loose bearings? On this wheel, the aux support ring has what looks like a bearing wear pattern in the bottom, matching a similar wear pattern on the bottom of the wheel head shaft. I assumed bearings were used, but could not find any catalog with sealed bearings that would fit the inside and outside diameter of the space. What do your bearings look like? Diameter, amount, etc… Any info will be much appreciated!

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