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Thread: Car axles?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Car axles?

    Title is probably a bit misleading. But I want to make a few reasonable simple toy cars for Christmas gifts for kids. I have a couple of plans for some glue up race cars that are pretty neat but they have a rather elaborate axle design. Actually the whole care is but I can fix that. So I want something I can make reasonably quick, will still allow the car to roll and is cheap. Preferable something I can buy locally too.

    The simplest idea I have had is (Making my own wheels BTW) is to simple bore a hole through the car body. Put in an undersized dowel and lube the heck out of it with paraffin wax. Then glue the wheels on the dowel. I need to try this and make sure it will roll that way but I think it will.

    Creativity is not my strong point. So someone may have a better idea. And it doesn't have to free. But I would prefer something on the cheap side and simple to do. I would like to make several of these to be given out to underprivileged kids and I the cheaper the more I can make.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
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  2. #2
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    Dec 2006
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    San Antonio, Texas
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    Jeff, I've used everything from wood screws to all thread. They all have their advantages and disadvantages. Kids today (when I was young we cherished our toys and took care of them) can be pretty rough on toys and wooden dowel axles sometimes don't last very long. Wood screws did okay, but they tend to be weak as well. Allthread works well, but it is heavier, and the threads have tendency to "chew up" the inside of the hole. Aluminum rod works quite well and the ends can be threaded so a lock nut can be used to cap the wheel.

    If your goal is to stay with all wood, a dowel is your best bet. Just make sure that the length is such that you don't get a lot of play in the axle. The more dowel you have sticking out, the greater the leverage against the dowel at the body, and this can lead to breakage there. Does that make sense?

  3. #3
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    Makes total sense and I agree on all points. Especially the not taking care of part!!

    As I side note if I can get this built quick enough, they will be going to Moldova to kids in the orphanages there. There are lots of good causes in this country but after listening to Phillip Cameron tell of the story of the orphans in Moldova I was heart broken and I have a burden on my heart for those kids. They have nothing! The dead line is Oct 31 so they can get them to Moldova for Christmas. It's sort of last minute thing but I thought I would see if I could make a few in time. They are asking for shoe box packages and we are going to put a few together and I wanted to include some toy cars too.

    If anyone else is interested in doing something you can go to his web site or just ask me for it.
    Last edited by Jeff Horton; 09-03-2007 at 05:31 PM.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  4. #4
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    Dec 2006
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    Lake City, Florida
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    Hey Jeff -- I always put a washer between the wheel and the body --- keeps the wheel from rubbing against the body.

    Tony, BCE '75

  5. #5
    Jeff,
    I made a couple trucks and a series of small cars for my Little Man. I used the conventional wood wheel with the wood peg axle. The cars were rock maple, but the trucks are poplar. He sits on the trucks and rides them (35lbs) and they still work fine - no adverse effects to date. Note the holes for the axles.

    Wes

  6. #6
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    Good idea Tony!

    Wes, I want a Postal Truck!! That is way kewl!
    I like the little ones. That is probably what I will make after these first two fancier ones. I was just thinking that I could scroll saw out some simple shapes from pine pretty quickly like that. I was thinking fancier but I think this is a case of more simple ones would be better.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    SE Minnesota
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    How about something like this:





    Oops, I think I hear my mother calling. Gotta go!
    Last edited by Dave Richards; 09-04-2007 at 01:41 PM.
    Irony: The opposite of Wrinkly

  8. #8
    Jeff,
    The little ones are about 1-3/4" wide - because that is the stock I had. The wheels stand proud versus the TV and mail trucks where they are recessed. Water based dye with a few coats of 2LB shellac - Scotchbrite pad between coats.
    My little guy and his friends have plenty of play time with the simple cutouts. I think they are just as good - if not better for play as the graphics laden large trucks. (which took a bunch more time to make!)

    Wes

  9. #9
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    Jeff, there is fellow named Dick Grage over at TWW that has made close to 4000 cars to give to needy kids in his area.

    Attachment 12205

    Dick's cars
    <- Link to one of many threads over there

    He has been doing it for YEARS and has it down, I suggest you search there for more info, and even contact him, tell him Stu in Tokyo sent you!

    He also makes a tractor trailer thing and some other stuff.

    He has had adults come up to him when he was handing out new toys to kids and tell him that they have on that he gave them 20+ years ago.

    I'd say Dick has the design worked out
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
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