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Peter Seager-Thomas
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1,219 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's now seven months since my last post on this matter, mainly because not much has been done!

I'm afraid from my point of view the AutoCAD progamme I use is actually quite complex with all the various protocols. Thus, progress is never made until I have the right combination of encouraging factors, primarily state of mind. In the last month these factors have manifested themselves and progress has indeed been made.

My previous intentions for this new batch of wheels were way too ambitious, and probably prompted by not having done any drawing for almost a year. Thus it is alas only 6 cars which are being catered for, though two of these have a combination of types.

Virtually all have now been drawn, with just 3 etches still suffering from problems. I'll be completing the layout soon, so will have an idea of numbers available.

Types are for:

Alfa Romeo 8C2300 and 8C2900. These have three rows of 24 spokes each. Made by Borrani they were of course fited to other cars. 19"

Auto Union and Mercedes. 28 outer spokes, 56 inner. Only fitted to these cars. 19"

Lago Talbot. Three rows of spokes, 24 spokes each. 5 different etches are being made to permit the three different types of wheels fitted to these cars. I think the originals were from Borrani. 18". The image below shows two of the three types.



Alfa Romeo P3, Alfetta etc. Three rows of 24 spokes. 4 different etches are being made to permit a variety of styles. These, combined with the Talbot etches, should permit most 18" Borrani wheel types. 18".

Austin 7. Sorry, not Jo-jo this time, but the Jamieson twin cam racer. 18 outer spokes and 36 inner, made by Borrani for Austin. 16".

ERA, 20 outer spokes, 40 inner. Dunlop wheels fitted to many late 30's British racers from the period.

Apologies for the vast delay, and greater apologies to those who hoped for certain wheels which have not been included.

The last parts to be drawn up are the vented/lightened brake drums for some types.

With luck the drawings will be submitted in about a fortnight, turnaround will be a good month. The big Alfa wheels will be ready immediately, the others will take a little longer, prototypes excepted.

Peter.
 

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Jon Grainger
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3,825 Posts
Hi Peter

I'm looking forward to seeing your wheels, these latest sets should prove as popular as the previous ones! Are the Auto Union/Mercedes 19" sets the same as the AU ones I bought from you a few months back for my D Type?

Regards
Jon
 

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Peter Seager-Thomas
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1,219 Posts
Hi Jon.

No, is the answer. You may recall that the wheels on you car were not purpose made, but look similar. The new ones are purpose made for Auto Union and Mercedes.

The image below is that of a D Type Auto Union, below that is a picture of a Mercedes 154 wheel. You may note that apart from the wheel nuts, these are pretty well identical.





Here is a picture of the wheels you now have. The general appearance is of course very similar, but the spoke pattern is different.



These cars used a variety if sizes from 18" (17") right up to 22" for circuits like Avus, or at least, so I have read. The wheels you have are 18", the new ones will be 19" and will have the spoke pattern of the prototype.

As far as I can ascertain, the only great differences between the prototype wheels, apart from diameter, are the widths and the rim types. I hope to do two widths, as yet undecided.
A look at all three images I have posted above show the wheel rims to be aluminium. Early cars, eg A Type Auto Union had rolled steel rims. The image below shows a similar rim. The edge is round section and has no flange and is thus quite different in appearance to the later wheels.



I trust this answer was not too long winded enough for you!

Peter
 

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Peter Seager-Thomas
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1,219 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Having pulled the plugs out to get these etches done, todays' recent enquiries suggest that (since the etching company shuts down for summer holidays) it is not worth sending the etch document off until early next month! Oh well...

Final etch drawing has now been completed, layout is 75% done, and I have a gap of 8mm. It isn't much, but I hate to waste it. Ideas for easily drawn items are welcome.

Quantities are as follows though will be reduced in some areas;

Alfa 8C 2300 and 2900 12 sets.

Auto Union/Mercedes 12 sets

Talbot Lago 16 sets in total maximum

Alfa 18" types 16 sets in total maximum.

Austin 7 twin cam 18 sets maximum

ERA B Type 18 sets.

Where I have stated 'maximum' these are the areas which will be depleted in order to provide space for brake drum etches.

As each type is ready, I will contact those who have expressed an interest.

The balance of wheel types proposed will almost certainly be completed in the future.

Peter.
 

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Peter Seager-Thomas
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1,219 Posts
A potential last minute addition.

Some interest has been shown in wheels for the V16 BRM, such that these wheels have been added to the drawing. Whether they are made in the present batch depends on the interest shown. The problem with these wheels is that the rear rims are 17" diameter, one of the lesser used sizes, thus these wheels will cost more than others. I cannot gauge the cost until I know the numbers.

Please PM if interested.

All new types, where the prototypes were fitted with vented drums, will have etches supplied to suit.

Peter
 

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Premium Member
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1,922 Posts
I must confess to being awe-stricken by this thread and it's predecessors. I hadn't been following it and was intrigued by the 'Rolls Royce' approach - make the best and make a tiny number. I've just spent about an hour wandering through these five huge threads and I could never even get a hint of what it would cost to buy a set of such wheels! As I'm pretty much all spent-up for 2011 I don't think that I want to know ...... but they are quite simply the best I've seen since Henri Baigent and Michele Conti in the 60's slot car mags, who wove them out of wire, used much larger scales then stuck the cars in glass cases!
 

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Peter Seager-Thomas
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1,219 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Progress at last. delays due to all manner of problems, not least those where an error has been discovered and put right. Better than not discovering the error! A few additions have also been made, most related to the wheels in question. The drawing for the etches is now complete and includes the following:

19" Borrani 3 row 72 spoke. Specifically for the 8C Alfa, suitable for others. NOT 100% correct for 2900, which apart from odd examples have the outer and centre rows of spokes cross laced. Yup, the only decent photo I had was of such a car. Except for the number of spokes in each row, these will be identical to the earlier Alfa 19" wheels already made. These will be available as soon as the new etches arrive.

19" 2 row 84 spoke for Mercedes and Auto Union. New centres will be needed for these wheels. Those in a hurry may use Alfa centres and extra spacers. Wheels supplied for mercedes will include brake drum etches with 10 holes apiece.

18". 3 row 72 spoke. This is where things get very complicated. parts are being made to produce the three types of wheel used on the Talbot Lago, which I believe used Borrani rims, together with three types of Borrani fitted to Alfa Romeo, Maserati etc.
Talbot sets will include drums with 6 holes apiece unless 8 holes are required. wheels for alfetta will be supplied with differing front and rear drums.

16". ERA 'B' Type. 2 row 60 spoke.



16" Austin 7 Twin Cam. 3 row 54 spoke. Supplied with front and rear drums + front backplates.



Quantities projected are;

19" Alfa - 15 sets

19" Mercedes/Alfa - 12 sets

18" Borrani - 26 sets of all types

16" ERA - 15 sets

16" Austin Twin Cam - 14 sets.

Additional parts made will include just 2 sets of spoke etches for V16 BRM. These have 18" front wheels, which tie in with other types, and 17" rears, which do not. If another batch of frets is worthwhile, I may have some 17" turned parts made.

The BRM front etches are the same pattern as the ERA 'C' Type. Just one set will be available.

Other than wheels.

STEERING KNUCKLES. As with the etches, these will be made in 8 thou stainless. They are designed for beam axles, though could be used for many applications. untested, these will not be sold, but I'll be happy to include a set to all those members who have previously supported the project.

I am delighted to announce that the project is now £6.59 in profit! That is to say that I have spent just £6.59 less than I have received. Time has not been considered, neither have the samples sent out to so many of the hoped for trade customers. Those who suggested that it was not a commercially viable project have been proven right, though as I have said before, the project was launched because I was not satisfied with the alternatives.

Fret 3 will be completed, probably far sooner than this one, though some of the associated parts will take a while. ost of the drawing is already started, and most of the turned parts will have been already made. XK120/C type, DB2/3, HRG at one end, with Bentley 4.5, 4.5 S/C, Delage Straight 8, Invicta 4.5 and SSK/L Mercedes.
In between are A7 s/v racer, Mrs Jo-jo, MG K3 and a few Borrani types up to the early 60's for Ferrari and Maserati.

Peter.
 

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Peter Seager-Thomas
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1,219 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Only seven months late...

At long last progress can be made on a few new wheels. The first types, all 19" are either the last of the first lot, as they use the same rims etc as the first Alfa types, or the first of the new lot, as the etches are all new.
Whatever. The first wheel is that for the pre-war Mercedes GP cars, an example of which is shown below.

This wheel features an outer row of 28 spokes running to the outer rim and an inner row of 56 spokes running to the well.



The 1/32nd wheel shown below replicates most of the features or the original, though no effort has yet been made to include the valve and the raised area on the rim opposite the valve. (Combined join reinforcement and valve balancing?). Wheel nuts are for earlier cars.



The car is a Penelope Pitlane 154/163.



The tyres are Scalextric Ferrari 375. Ok but something stickier at the rear would be good.



In the near future I hope to post pics of the Auto Union version.

Peter
 

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Kitbasher
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4,376 Posts
Those look superb, maybe I need a set for my Auto Union (kitbash from the Matchbox kit)... Do you have a set of AU 'D' type wheels available? If so consider them sold


Looking forward to receiving the ERA wheels at some point for my George Turner resin.

Keep up the amazing work.
 

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Peter Seager-Thomas
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1,219 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Peter, the Matchbox Auto Union is my reason for making these wheels, as well as the PP Merc. If I can complete the work tomorrow you will see the painted shell with a wheel carefully placed in front of it, unlike the Mercedes which actually has a chassis. Also, further to an earlier comment of yours, the latest GTM ERA cars now have resin brake drums which can be opened out to fit my wheel bosses.

This latest wheel is one where a few earlier problems have been eliminated, all regarding fit of associated parts. Kits from the earlier issue all required a fair bit of fettling; some parts prior to inclusion of kits, a vast amount of fettling, all to do with my having great faith in accuracy of contracted parts.

The etched parts were actually quite accurate, but I was unaware of just how much 'flash' would exist where etching of both sides had taken place (most areas!). Thus whilst the face of the etched part would be to size, the point halfway through the etch might be perhaps a couple of thou oversize. Thus, if only a one thou clearance allowance has been made, a degreee of cleaning up was required. Members who went for a set of 18" Aston Martin wheels may note that every etch was machined to size as the problem was excessive.

The Mercedes wheel in the images might be described as a production prototype, since all parts are actually production parts. This 'test' wheel has shown up just one machining operation required per wheel, otherwise, all went very well, though as with previous wheels, it is likely that painted etches will require the paint removed from the etch edges. Clearances will be most important when the see through wheels come to production, thus I wish them to remain tight.

As mentioned, the Auto Union version should be featured tomorrow, followed fairly soon after by the new Alfa wheel.

There will then be some delay before Talbot Lago, Alfetta and ERA are featured.

Peter.
 

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Peter Seager-Thomas
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1,219 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The newest wheel I have all but completed is not as expected that for the Auto Union which is being painted, but another Borrani type for my 8C Alfa Romeos. Not very different to the last Borrani, but rather more spokes. The earlier wheel used by Alfa was fine for the 1750 6 cylinder cars and it would appear also to have been fitted to the earliest of the 8C cars, but it seems that a move was quickly made to the stronger wheels and these were certainly used for the Targa Florio of 1931.



The first car I am working on is the Lord Howe car from Le Mans in 1932 and 1934, similar to the above image. This appears to have been painted in his regular blue livery and is the sister car to the Hawthorn 8C on which the Airfix model is 'based'. Thus it is that the first set of wheels has been finished in this colour. There seems to be a multitude of spoke patterns and rim types fitted to these cars, with many now running flanged rims, presumably alloy?



This model wheel is, like the 1750 example, the most complicated to assemble with a total of 9 parts. All parts requiring painting were finished prior to assembly, with the paint on the brake drum being skimmed off prior to assembly. The wheel shown above will require correct aligninment of the spokes before it goes together for good. When finally assembled I will look to mounting them on the car and post a picture.



The above diagram shows the assembly of the rear wheel. The front wheels are similar, but are for fitting to a 1/16" axle and have on the rear a raised boss to simulate the brake drum.

Peter.
 

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Peter Seager-Thomas
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1,219 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
QUOTE (Ecurie Martini @ 24 Sep 2011, 02:32) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Peter:

With the stacking of tolerances on all the parts + any variation introduced by painting, does one need to use a press and a die set to assemble the wheel so it runs true?

EM

Hi Al.

The answer is a definate yes. I paint the wheel turned pieces part assembled, that is, with both spacers fitted together with the centre, thus should have no paint on the mating surfaces.
The etches will inevitably get paint on the mating surfaces. I have just measured up a set for another car I am doing and the paint adds a thickness of 2-3 thou, that is, just 1 thou variation in thickness.

The potential problems come with the fact that when the etches are heat treated, they always warp a little, and after forming into their conical shape, will inevitably return to their slightly disorted shape when removed from the dies.

I use my small milling machine as a press, though of course a small pillar drill would have done the job equally well. The image below illustrates.



The 'tool' in the drill chuck is in fact a threading tap, used because it has a slightly domed end and will allow an even pressure all round. That is the theory anyway. The mill has a spindle clamping facility, so can be locked up whilst I dribble the adhesive in.

The only problem I have encountered doing the assembly this way is that if close attention is not paid, the spokes may move out of alignment.

Peter.
 

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Al Schwartz
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3,396 Posts
Thanks, Peter - not a problem - I have a small lathe and a mill/drill - will turn up dies to fit the rim and wheel center and use them to press the parts home. Absent other specifications, I would most likely use Loctite (Blue) as an adhesive - it is typically used for close fitting but non-threaded applications.

EM
 

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Peter Seager-Thomas
Joined
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1,219 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Auto Union.

These wheels are pretty much the same as the Mercedes except for the nuts. I wanted to try and catch the appearance of the originals and eventually ended up modifying some whitemetal nuts to provide the 'ears', painted black for the 'D' Type, with the centres being machined/filed from aluminium. Despite a few hiccups, they turned out ok in the end.

An original wheel is pictured below.



Looking at contemporary photo's is seems earlier cars had plated nut ears. Some earlier wheels also had rolled edges to the steel rims, rather than the later ally rims with turned 'flanged' edges.

Below is the model front wheel.



This was an experiment with a different paint to that which I normally use. I'm not impressed. A rear wheel is also shown.



The tyres are Scaley Ferrari 375. They stretch to fit without problems, but the grip is pretty poor. I believe G.P. Miniatures are doing a sticky version now or in the near future.

Peter.

Peter.
 

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Peter Seager-Thomas
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1,219 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
At long last my latest set of prototype wheels are all but finished. These wheels are a 16" centre laced type, and this particular set is destined to be finished in yellow and will be fitted to the car they are supporting in the later pictures, one of George Turners ERA 'B' Types, this particular car being finished as Remus, Bira's less successful ERA mount.
The picture below shows a front wheel from Romulus, instantly recognisable from the colours and the De-Ram shock absorbers.



Front wheels take 5.25" tyres, rears take 6.5". The model wheels are made a little wide with 5mm fronts and 6mm rears.



The tyres used are the Scalextric Sharknose front and rear. I may also try the higher profile Ferrari 375 tyres. I believe G.P.Miniatures were going to do sticky versions of both of these tyre types. Perhaps Graham can confirm?



With this car I thought I would make a proper attempt to do the brake drum fins. They came out ok, spaced at 0.015"



I was pleased with the general result of these wheels, which is just as well, it takes about 4 hours to make a set on my ancient Myford.



The next stage is to make up a set of drawings after which I will have a batch made. The parts as delivered will not be finished however, as all are unlikely to go on ERA's. Front and rear for example will also go onto a Testa Rossa, though with a set of different spoke etches, whilst the wheels centres will be used for the Austin Twin cam and a variety of othe 16" wheels.

The wheels featured will have a bit of honing, then I will cross fingers for a day suitable for spraying. It's about time I actually finished a car........

Peter.
 
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