Burrell Front Axle

front axle

I made the Burrell front axle from a piece of 3/16″ square mild steel. Each end was turned 4mm diameter to work directly in the front wheels. The front wheel hubs were machined from brass so that they could directly run on a steel axle.

The square axle has a taper of 6° from just off-centre down in size to the axle at each end. At each end there is a 12mm diameter steel hub that was soft soldered to the axle. These act as a thrust face for the wheels.

front axle and smokebox
Smokebox, front axle and wheels

The indexing feature built into the table support for the Unimat 3 Pillar Drill allows me to easily drill 3 holes around the circumference of the inner wheel hub caps. These inner caps have a 4mm hole through the centre and then 3 countersunk 10BA bolts that fix them to the inner face of the front wheel hubs.

blank front wheel hub cap

The front wheel hub cap is a brass top hat in form. Thus covering the 6BA bolt that locates the wheel on the front axle.

Originally I thought about etching a design onto these hub cap centres, but now I’m looking at them they are rather small.

The outer hub caps were also indexed using the Unimat 3 Pillar Drill, but this time fixed with 10BA cheesehead bolts.

front wheel hub cap bolted to front wheel

The finishing parts for the Burrell front axle are the two steering chain locating brackets.

About Nigel 380 Articles
I've been making models since I was around 7 years old and using a lathe from the age of 11, a self taught engineer with a passion for making model engines.

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