OK, this isn’t a solid rear axle like a 1960’s muscle car. This is an actual solid round phosphor bronze bar that supports both rear wheels on the Burrell traction engine.
The rear axle is fixed and the wheels then rotate independently on each side. Inboard of each wheel there is a gear that is driven by the differential that sits on the layshaft.
The layshaft sits between the crankshaft and the rear axle.
The axle was made from 1/4″ diameter phosphor bronze with the outer 14mm each side machined down to a precise 6mm diameter. This allows each wheel to slide onto the axle and rotate. An M4 thread was tapped in each end of the axle so that a bolt and washer could be used to fix the wheel to the axle.
Hopefully this solid rear axle should make more sense once you see the next stage when the inner drive gear is fixed to each wheel. Follow me on instagram to see more of what’s going on in the workshop.