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Making Wheels: A Technical Manual on Wheel Manufacture

Handbook / Manual

By: RA Dennis

160 pages, Figs, illus throughout

Practical Action Publishing

Paperback | Jan 1994 | #41840 | ISBN: 1853391417
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £18.95 $25/€21 approx

About this book

The procurement or manufacture of wheel and axle assemblies is a major problem for rural workshops involved in production of non-motorized vehicles. The scarcity of these components restricts the supply of low-cost vehicles to rural communities. This practical manual gives details of a low-cost techology which will enable workshops to set up their own facilities and manufacture a range of wheels from standard steel sections. The technology is based on a hand-operated bending device, which can form steel sections into good quality wheel rims to suit various types of tyres. Wheels can be made to take bicycle, motorcycle, car, and solid rubber or steel tyres for vehicles such as handcarts, cycle trailers and animal-drawn carts. The other essential component is an assembly jig which ensures that wheels are constructed of a consistent quality. Working drawings and detailed stop by step instructions for construction of the bending device and assembly jig are provided. Construction requires basic tools for cutting, drilling and welding steel, and good metal-working skills in measuring and setting up the parts accurately. Detailed instructions are given for the manufacture of a number of standard wheels, (again basic metal working tools and skills are required). The wheel designs include details of a number of hub and bearing assemblies including hardwood bearings. Details are given of a hand-operated boring machine which can produce accurate, good quality bores for hardwood bearings. The manual has been prepared for workshop and technical staff who are familiar with metal-working techniques. The information is presented in technical drawings and sketches with explanatory notes and all stages of construction are fully illustrated by pictorial views and photographs. The designs can be easily adapted to suit materials which are locally available. The technology described here has been introduced and tested in over twenty-five workshops spread over nine countries. It can be readily adopted and used by small workshops to produce good quality, low-cost wheels on a small scale of production.


Introduction: background; the wheel manufacturing technology; content of the manual; use of the manual; summary of specifications. Rim bending device: construction of the rim-bending device; operation of the rim-bending device. Assembly jigs: construction of assembly jig; use of assembly jig. Wheel-axle assemblies: bearing/axle assemblies; types of bearings; selection of bearing type; axle design; axial thrust washers; sealing of bearings. Manufacture of wheels to take bicycle and motor cycle tyres: design of wheels to take bicycle tyres; construction of hub axle assembly; construction of bicycle-type wheels; manufacture of a wheel to take a motor cycle tyre. Wheels for motor vehicle tyres: wheel designs; hub/axle assembly; construction of wheels; construction of detachable-bead wheel to take a motor cycle tyre. Appendix: construction of a hand-operated machine for boring out hardwood bearing blocks; technical drawings of the rim-bending machine.

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