Tip Truck

The first project out of the workshop is proving to be fun (aren’t they all?) being a tip truck that I am making (and designing as I go).  It is meant to be for a magazine article, but with the combination of trying to get the shed functional, demands of work, and family, I might have missed the deadline.  Never-the-less, it was good to be ‘forced’ to get back to what the workshop is really about.  Murdering electrons while making sawdust.

It has been a great little project to commission the SawStop on, and that has been fun in itself (as my previous post eluded to).

truck-2A number of blade tilts (guard removed for clarity, and in this instance to stop the project hanging up on it, but note the riving knife instead, which worked perfectly).

saw-1

Making something out of your head is always an interesting evolution – lots of contemplation working out what is needed next, some false starts, but all in all, successful

Given (from the title), it is a tip truck, I needed wheels, and although you can make a round wheel on a tablesaw, I don’t see it being a good practice.  SawStop or no, I’m not sticking my hand that close to any spinning blade.  Instead, I went to my old trusted solution – wheel cutting bits from Carb-i-tool.  I initially made them all the same size, but the front just looked wrong, so they were made with a larger diameter cutter.  The rear wheels were made thick (about 30mm thick), so after the drill press, I headed over to the bandsaw to roughly cut the wheels free, then to the Comet lathe and the pen mandrel as it happens, to finish the job.  As a system it worked well, and the tip of a skew chisel was used to cut grooves around the circumference as tread.

truck-3

The truck is still “rough and ready” – it’d take about the same amount of time to finish it (which is normal for a project, I find).

I stuck with my standard principle (that I try to apply as often as is practicable) that it is only wood and glue (axles and all).

truck-1It is a good size – about 400mm long, 130mm across, and about 180mm high (to the top of the cab).  Functional too – wheels turn, the tray tips, tailgate swings open.

It will be pretty durable too, but as the weakest component are the axles (both on the wheels and also the tray), and they are simply dowel, easily repaired.  I think it is always good to consider damage and repairability when making kids toys – you want something that will last the distance, even if there are a few repairs required along the way.

The Mesopotamian Advantage

It was not invented in Mesopotamia by any stretch of the imagination, but it was there that the oldest known version of the wheel was found, dating back around 5500 years.

Wheels have not really come a long way since those days.  Sure, they have pneumatics now (mostly)

tweel-airless-tire-2

bearings, treads.  But they are still round (usually!)

0Ok, so they may be the exception to the normal rules, the mainstream wheels are more like this

DSCN4299and as a pretty good rendition of the wheel, this

Hummer-Wheel-clipped-webIt is the last wheel that is of particular interest, for obvious reasons.  If you need to do a double take, go ahead.  Yes, it is a toy wheel, and what’s more, you don’t have to buy it – with a few typical workshop tools, you can easily make a set with a tablesaw, bandsaw, router table and disk sander.

If coming up with the steps required to make such a fine looking wheel looks a bit beyond you, the Toys and Joys DVD provides almost 40 minutes of step by step instructions on how to make them yourself.

Video_1_clipped136357461751467f59e7ffe13669327855179bd32005ccI watched it this afternoon, and now I’m really inspired to go out and make some myself (and the vehicles to go with them!)

FirefoxScreenSnapz002Yes, an excuse to show that Humvee again!  Of course if you want to get ultra-modern, you could make one like the tyre at the top of the post!

The same steps to make these wheels will also make tractor style tread wheels as well.

farm tractor plans

You can get the DVD from Professional Woodworkers Supplies, and I was a little dubious – a whole DVD just on making a wheel?  But I did find it very interesting – a whole range of jigs they use (and show you how to make and use) to produce whole sets of wheels easily, to get all the different chamfers, treads, inserts etc from the gentlemen who are “Toys and Joys” in the US.

So there is no need to buy wheels like this, or compromise your realistic wooden toy with wheels from a wheelcutting bit.  With a few steps, and jigs, realistic wheels are definitely achievable, and it may be that manners maketh man, but it is wheels that maketh the toy.

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