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How to make your own beach wheels #260805
06/30/13 06:04 PM
06/30/13 06:04 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 774
Greenville SC
bacho Offline OP
old hand
bacho  Offline OP
old hand

Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 774
Greenville SC
Every once in a while someone comes along and asks about homemade beach wheels convinced they would be much cheaper than a set from cat-trax.

I decided to make 2 pairs for myself to see if indeed it is any cheaper, I will also share costs and processes.

This project started when I was at the local scrap yard and saw a set of aluminum golf cart wheels that were set aside for sale. I started thinking that these could easily be turned into cat-trax. The next step was to purchase some .5" aluminum plate and some 3" aluminum tube. I paid $25 each for the wheels, $35 for the tube and $40 for the plate that is pictured. The stick of 2" .125 tube for the axle was $140. Smooth tires are $65 each.

[Linked Image]

Here is a general mock of how the tube fits in the wheels (it doesn't)

[Linked Image]

The first step was to cut some 6" hub flanges for the wheels I did this by loading a big hole saw into the drill press. Mark carefully to get the most out of the plate.

[Linked Image]

You will probably need to make your own heavy duty arbor, none of mine where up to this job. (Your obviously using the larger diameter in this picture)

[Linked Image]


Your left with this circle.


[Linked Image]


The next step is to open up the flange to allow it to fit over the 3" tube. I did this with another smaller hole saw. I did not take pictures but it is the same idea as above. After this I cleaned up the rough cut from the saw.


[img]http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f149/black92se/null_zps254d8f4e.jpg[/img]

Next I marked the flanges and drilled and tapped them. I used .5" wheel bolts.

[img]http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f149/black92se/null_zpse9ae3ffe.jpg[/img]

I built a simple jig to help hold the flanges evenly on the tube for welding. Use small tacks to get started.


[img]http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f149/black92se/null_zpsb70edf8c.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f149/black92se/null_zpsa1b8fa15.jpg[/img]

After welding both sides of the plate I chucked the hub back into the lathe to face it up.

[img]http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f149/black92se/null_zpsb8f4f7a4.jpg[/img]







-- Have You Seen This? --
Re: How to make your own beach wheels [Re: bacho] #260806
06/30/13 06:04 PM
06/30/13 06:04 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 774
Greenville SC
bacho Offline OP
old hand
bacho  Offline OP
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Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 774
Greenville SC
At this point I installed some stainless bolts from the back side as studs. I did not want to use bolts with the aluminum threading.

The next step was to make a collar to contain the bearings. I opened up the remnants from the flange centers. (4 of them in the chuck)


[Linked Image]

Installed in the hub here. (I made them a press fit)

[Linked Image]

The next step was to open up the wheel centers. My lathe wasn't big enough for this, I ended up using a fly cutter on the mill.

[Linked Image]

Next the wheel are bolted onto the hubs.

[Linked Image]

I used .303" rod for the bearings, the whole wheel is assembled here. You can see I decided to weld the collar into the hub to try it out. The wheels are basically complete in this picture. I bought an used cutting board from goodwill to make a UHMW washed for the cotter pin in the axle to wear against. It cost me about $300 per pair without cradles to build these wheels. Cradles cost $50 each used or $110 each new.

[Linked Image]


Re: How to make your own beach wheels [Re: bacho] #260811
07/01/13 03:33 AM
07/01/13 03:33 AM
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 4,451
West coast of Norway
Rolf_Nilsen Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Rolf_Nilsen  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: May 2003
Posts: 4,451
West coast of Norway
I dont care how much you saved, they are good looking! Cool project!

What about weight, and how will the rims look after they have been in and out of seawater a couple of years?

Are you a machinist by profession, or is that your hobby workshop we see pics from?

Re: How to make your own beach wheels [Re: bacho] #260812
07/01/13 06:44 AM
07/01/13 06:44 AM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,449
P
phill Offline
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phill  Offline
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There are easier and cheaper ways to make quite good beach wheels but none of them would look anywhere near as good
as your wheels. Your wheels are more like engineering masterpieces.
Really good stuff. Thanks.


I know that the voices in my head aint real,
but they have some pretty good ideas.
There is no such thing as a quick fix and I've never had free lunch!

Re: How to make your own beach wheels [Re: bacho] #260813
07/01/13 07:06 AM
07/01/13 07:06 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 602
Wilmington,NC
Dlennard Offline
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Dlennard  Offline
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Posts: 602
Wilmington,NC
Good job, but they look heavy. do you have a finished photo? Why did you not just weld the wheel to the pipe bearing? It would have saved you weight and time.

Re: How to make your own beach wheels [Re: bacho] #260814
07/01/13 07:39 AM
07/01/13 07:39 AM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 774
Greenville SC
bacho Offline OP
old hand
bacho  Offline OP
old hand

Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 774
Greenville SC
This is all hobby stuff on old worn out machines.

The wheels have a coating on them which I will hope will prevent corrosion, time will tell.

David, I had considered that. The idea was to see if these hubs could be made cheap enough to possibly manufacture the hubs to sell for other home builders to use with their wheel of choice. Opening the center of a rim could be done with a router, dremel or even a hand file if someone was determined enough.

There are several things I found that would make these easier and cheaper next time around.i have yet to weigh them.

Re: How to make your own beach wheels [Re: bacho] #260815
07/01/13 08:09 AM
07/01/13 08:09 AM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 932
Solomon's Island, MD
S
samc99us Offline
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samc99us  Offline
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Posts: 932
Solomon's Island, MD
Good looking wheels, but weight is killer. It's hard to beat the weight of a set of cat trax. Really hard. We were moving a N20 the other day with 2 sets of cat trax on it (owner was originally trying to move it solo), the extra ~50 lbs was very detrimental to our ability to move the boat.


Scorpion F18
Re: How to make your own beach wheels [Re: samc99us] #260816
07/01/13 08:47 AM
07/01/13 08:47 AM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 5,590
Naples, FL
waterbug_wpb Offline
Carpal Tunnel
waterbug_wpb  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 5,590
Naples, FL
how much time away from sailing did acquiring the materials and constructing the set take? smile

I'm figuring a cost/hour of sailing vs. building stuff for an analysis (since I'm not sailing myself, but I do have an evil master plan at work...)


Jay

Re: How to make your own beach wheels [Re: bacho] #260822
07/01/13 10:59 AM
07/01/13 10:59 AM
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 4,451
West coast of Norway
Rolf_Nilsen Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Rolf_Nilsen  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: May 2003
Posts: 4,451
West coast of Norway
A hobby machinist then? Well done! I dig diy projects, especially when the resultat is as good as this!

Re: How to make your own beach wheels [Re: Rolf_Nilsen] #260825
07/01/13 12:18 PM
07/01/13 12:18 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 473
Panama City, Florida
Redtwin Offline
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Redtwin  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 473
Panama City, Florida
All those wheels need now is a set of spinning rims with low profile tires... oh, and some neon lighting.

In all seriousness, those trax look real nice. I can't believe all that was cheaper than buying some cat trax.



Rob V. Nacra 5.2 Panama City
Re: How to make your own beach wheels [Re: bacho] #267591
12/09/13 09:46 AM
12/09/13 09:46 AM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 774
Greenville SC
bacho Offline OP
old hand
bacho  Offline OP
old hand

Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 774
Greenville SC
Finally picked upwd the project again and got around to weighing all of my trax.

Bacho trax 51lbs
Cat-trax 37lbs
Euro-trax 41lbs

All measure on the same scale.

Re: How to make your own beach wheels [Re: bacho] #267592
12/09/13 09:50 AM
12/09/13 09:50 AM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 3,969
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brucat Offline
Carpal Tunnel
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Carpal Tunnel
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Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 3,969
You could probably machine away half of that aluminum and get that weight down quite a bit and still be way over-built.

Mike

Re: How to make your own beach wheels [Re: bacho] #267593
12/09/13 09:59 AM
12/09/13 09:59 AM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 774
Greenville SC
bacho Offline OP
old hand
bacho  Offline OP
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Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 774
Greenville SC
Right now they have 24-9.5 Carlisle ATV tires. The Carlisle website says they weigh 16lbs each, if I switched over to the 20" smooth tires which weigh 11lbs each I would quickly be in the ball park. However my heavy tires were free and my crew will be toting these anyways!

Re: How to make your own beach wheels [Re: bacho] #267606
12/09/13 04:57 PM
12/09/13 04:57 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 12,310
South Carolina
Jake Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Jake  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 12,310
South Carolina
Originally Posted by bacho
Right now they have 24-9.5 Carlisle ATV tires. The Carlisle website says they weigh 16lbs each, if I switched over to the 20" smooth tires which weigh 11lbs each I would quickly be in the ball park. However my heavy tires were free and my crew will be toting these anyways!


Jordanna will not be amused.


Jake Kohl

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