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Posts: 61
Reply with quote  #1 
We can't buy toy wood wheels in NZ and they are too expensive to import so I make my own. I have just invested in a 40mm shaped tungsten wheel cutter from Carbatec for my drill press.

Does anyone have any experience in using one of these cutters. They seem to chip the grain and leave a wheel looking nothing like the advertised wheels for sale, and need a lot of sanding. Is there a correct speed to run these at, or is there something I'm doing wrong? Carbatec couldn't help me.

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Reply with quote  #2 
Even the commercially produced wheels will some times have rough areas that need sanding. Commercial wheels are cut on the end grain. I'm guessing that this is to help the wheels stay round. When you cut a wheel from a board the cutter cuts with the grain (good) part way around and against the grain part way around while the rest of the time it's cutting across the grain or something in between. In this situation Ii don't think you can get a perfectly smooth wheel. The best you can do is try diffrent woods to see what works best for you. Woods that plane easy it will probably work best. Here in the US I probaly would try poplar. 

I have made a few hundred wheels and I never did it with out lots of sanding no matter what method I used. The easiest method for me to grind them out with a belt sander and some coarse sand paper. 

Advanced techniques are the basics perfectly applied.
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Posts: 159
Reply with quote  #3 
I have a full set of these from Carbatec and they work extremely well. The trick is to use a low speed - say 300rpm and a close grained (hard) wood.

I have used rock maple and merbau with great success - the latter has the advantage that its dark red and will easily stain to a 'tyre' colour.

In my previous posts I also mentioned that I use "artificial wood" used for decking. This is excellent and since it has no grain and quite dense it works every time. You could either get an off-cut from someone who makes decks or just buy an offcut from Bunnies or similar.

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Posts: 171
Reply with quote  #4 
I too have the full Carbatec set of wheelcutters and agree with the comments above - slow speed is essential.

Once cut I used to mount the wheels on my lathe or in the drill press and go over them quickly with some 120 grit paper.

I say 'used to' because I just buy my wheels now to hasten production [thumb]

All the best from Australia,

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