Clay, Application to Refinement


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Wheel 1 pt 2


wheel 1   whee1 pt 3

On the page, wheel 1, we dealt with the turning of the rim, here we will continue to develop the scale wheel by turning the wheel center. 


The stock is glued up using the same procedure, glue full segments into two halves, then glue the two halves to complete a solid circle. The overall diameter should be approximately 4" or 100.0mm. This allows sufficient material for turning the blank.






Mount the center blank onto the face plate by means of a paper joint. Once the glue has set, face off the blank to remove any excess glue and to make the face completely flat. Check for flatness with a steel rule.





With a pencil, mark the center of the turning. From the center make a mark for the overall diameter, 1.675", 1 11/16" or 42.5mm, complete the circle by switching on the lathe. This will give the overall diameter of 3.35" or 85.0mm.


Pre-set the calipers from the master drawing and turn down the blank to the overall diameter. Check the dimension with the outside calipers.


Next, from the center measure 11/16" or 17.5mm, mark with a pencil and spin to complete the circle. This will provide the center boss on the underside of the spokes. From the edge of the turning measure down the side 7/16" or 11.0mm, mark with a pencil and spin to complete the line.


As you can see from the photograph to the right, the two pencil lines represent the center boss beneath the spokes and the extent of the angle for the bottom of the spokes.



From the master drawing make a template of the underneath shape of the spokes. This will be used to control the turning. (See top right illustration)

Using the center boss pencil mark and the side pencil mark, turn the excess material away, checking the progress with the template. The end result should look the same as the upper left photograph.


With the main form turned beneath the spokes mark in from the outside diameter 3/16" or 4.5mm, mark with a pencil and complete the circle. Make a second mark approximately 1/4" or 6.0mm to represent the spoke thickness. These two pencil lines will control the turning for matching the shape to the rim.


The photograph on the left shows the turned lip of the spokes that matches into the rim. 


This shape can be achieved by making a template from the master drawing and checking the turning progress with the template. Use a red or blue crayon on the template to mark the high spots on the turning. 


Once you are satisfied with the turned lip the blank can be removed from the lathe ready for the next stage.


To turn the top face of the spokes the blank needs to be re-centralized. This can be achieved by using several methods.


Method 1.

Glue a separate piece of wood onto the face plate and turn out the center to accept the center boss. In my case the center boss is too shallow for this method. you need approximately 1/2" or 12mm for the blank to locate safely, I have 1/8" or 3mm.

The fit needs to be tight, a push fit so that the blank is held securely. The blank can then be adjusted to run true with a few taps of a mallet.


Method 2.

Turn out a shallow indent into the face plate to accept the center boss. I turned out a shallow indent approximately 1/16" or 1.5mm deep, just enough for a good location, then used a paper joint to secure the blank into position. With this method you have to take smaller cuts with the roughing-out gouge so as not to break the paper joint. With both methods particular care must be taken when turning, make sure to wear safety glasses.


To complete the turning of the spokes the center boss needs to be set into the face plate using method 2.


Wheel 1 pt 3


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