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brucek

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hello, I'm recently retired and new to wooden toy making. This forum has been so much help already. My question is about mounting wheels/axles. What are the pros and cons of using dowels with the wheels glued to them and axles turning freely in the vehicle frame/body vs. axle pegs glued to the frame with the wheels free to turn on them.

Thank you to all on this forum for sharing your knowledge.

Bruce
Bucko

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Reply with quote  #2 
Good question Bruce, I do both ways that you mentioned but if the wood blank is thick I try to avoid drilling completely through to allow the axle glued to wheel use as the thicker the blank the more likely the hole will be drilled crooked meaning it will come out at a different location on the other side . In a thick piece let's say 1 1/2" I prefer the shallow drilled hole for a glued axle, remember if you hear a squeaky noise while drilling your hole is going crooked at that point.
Peter B

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Reply with quote  #3 
You are right on the mark Bucko, cause for every 3 or 4 that you might get straight there will be the 1 or 2 that will be crooked. With all the axle holes i have been drilling to date i have a pile were one axle hole is straight and one is crooked
BadBob

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Reply with quote  #4 
If the toy has four wheels I usually use pegs. In my unscientific testing I found that independent wheels roll better. If the toy has 6 or more wheels like a tow truck with two rear axles I find that it is difficult to get all the axles to align perfectly so on these I use dowels with axle holes that are a little loose so it will sit level. Sometimes the design will just look or work better with one or the other.

I've not had much problem drilling the holes straight using a drill press provided the sides are parallel and square to the edges. I usually use a good quality sharp bradpoint bit.

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ed357sw

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Reply with quote  #5 
just my 2 cents here, I have done both although i tend to use full axle for my builds.
I read on one site where the guy liked using pegs for one major reason... It kept the kiddos from breaking the wheels off by grabbing the right wheel in one hand and the left wheel in the other and then twisting them in different directions (why they would do this is still a mystery to me LOL )

Anyway with the pegs they can spin the wheel any way they want since the axle does not turn. That was his story and he was sticking to it.....LOL

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brucek

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Reply with quote  #6 
Thank you all for the information. You make me consider issues that I didn't even think about. It's great to have you all as a valued resource.
PaPa Jack

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Reply with quote  #7 
Hey fellow toymakers !  I use the full axle dowel for the same reasons mentioned above.  Can't seem to ever get the opposite side perfectly squared and at perfect right angle.  I use an 5/16 brad bit to give me an oversized hole so my toy rolls well.  Axle pegs are not cheap eithor.  While I think they do make the toy look better, a train, for instance, would use 18 pegs!  On the cases where i really want the peg look I have found a better solution to the chance of out of alignment is to DRILL the same size hole as the axle peg BUT DRILL it COMPLETELY through the toy.  Improves that the toy will be level and roll well !?  In addition, I always sand the edge of the axle peg at an angle to allow for a better glue seal of the peg.  Give it a try and see if that helps.  Happy toymaking  
PaPa Jack

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Reply with quote  #8 
Hey fellow toymakers !  I use the full axle dowel for the same reasons mentioned above.  Can't seem to ever get the opposite side perfectly squared and at perfect right angle.  I use an 5/16 brad bit to give me an oversized hole so my toy rolls well.  Axle pegs are not cheap eithor.  While I think they do make the toy look better, a train, for instance, would use 18 pegs!  On the cases where i really want the peg look I have found a better solution to the chance of out of alignment is to DRILL the same size hole as the axle peg BUT DRILL it COMPLETELY through the toy.  Improves that the toy will be level and roll well !?  In addition, I always sand the edge of the axle peg at an angle to allow for a better glue seal of the peg.  Give it a try and see if that helps.  Happy toymaking  
BadBob

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Reply with quote  #9 
Your bit needs to be sharp. A dull bit will wander around trying to follow the grain. I have some high quality brad point bits that I like to use but they don't come in all sizes and I some times use twist drills for wood. If they are sharp I can drill good holes with these.

Let the bit cut at its on speed. Many people seem to thing that you need to force the bit through the wood.

Drill slowly and clear the chips often. Drill a short distance and back it out so the chips can clear. The thicker the wood the more important this is.

Square!

  • Everything has to be square.
  • On you drill press the bit has to be square the the table surface.
  • The bottom of the toy has to be square to the sides.
  • The sides of the toy must be parallel to each other.
  • Cheap squares usually are not square test yours to be sure.
 

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Martin L

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Reply with quote  #10 
I have found when drilling axle holes it is important mark out where you need to drill the hole. I use  marking gauge and mark out the measurement from either the top or bottom of the base of the toy and use spike or a marking knife to mark the place to drill as Bad Bob says use a brad point bit.  If one has a drill press use it as well as a drill press vice to hold your piece of timber firmly in place and drill half way through then turn the piece of timber over and drill the rest of the way through.  then you will have an accurately drilled hole for your axle.  If you don't have a drill press one can purchase an attachment that your drill gun can fit into to become a portable drill press.
BadBob

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Reply with quote  #11 
I set up my drill press, so the point on the brad point bit protrudes a tiny amount. I turn the piece over and use the hole to align the bit. I don't clamp the piece down. I loosely hold it and let the bit find its center. I have drilled thousands of holes using this method. If you do it right, it will produce a small disk that you will need to knock out of the hole. 

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