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Custom wheel hoops made on Taig mini-lathe


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I build day-two "Streetmachine" versions of Muscle Cars. These typically have wider rear tires and mags all around. Up until this point, I always had to sacrifice some other kit's rims to get deep dish rings to get the look I have been going for. Once upon a time, I ordered some aftermarket rims from Hobby Design for a (yet unfinished) project. They came with aluminum hoops and styrene (or resin) centers. I like the concept a lot. Ever since, I always wanted to make my own aluminum hoops. Especially since I have a boatload of nice rims that do not necessarily fit properly in the full model boxes of tires I have. I came into some extra cash around last Christmas, so I purchased a Taig mini lathe. Lathes are very messy and generally take up permanent bench space. My tight 2 car garage always must have two cars in it and I do not have a shop or basement. I made a fold down work bench and mounted the lathe on a base that can be stored on a shelf. This week I finally got to actually use it. I successfully made two pair of custom hoops for the Magnum 500 wheels for my 1969 BOSS 429 Mustang. I look forward to making more for future builds.

Bench folded up.JPG

Bench down.JPG

Taig mini lathe.JPG

Cut 1st chunk of aluminum tubing.JPG

Turn down lip of kit rim.JPG

Inside step to set center depth.JPG

Separating rim pair.JPG

Wheel center test fit.JPG

Test fit in tire.JPG

Polished left hoop.JPG

First pair ready for lettering.JPG

Front hoops one polished.JPG

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Posted (edited)

That is some mighty fine work! I have a cheap Chinese one. I have very little experience with it, but it sure has come in handy more than once.

Edited by NOBLNG
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13 hours ago, 89AKurt said:

Very cool tool.  Lathes do make a mess, my dad had a large one for doing rifle barrels, he had a bus for a shop.  Those look great!

Thanks Kurt. BTW I made a serious attempt to move to Prescott. It didn't work out. My wife could not afford my pay cut.

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5 hours ago, NOBLNG said:

That is some mighty fine work! I have a cheap Chinese. I have very little experience with it, but it sure has come in handy more than once.

I was all set to buy one of those for a decent price. The ebay seller told me it all of a sudden was not available and then relisted it for $60 more the same day. It soured me on the whole deal.

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9 hours ago, Dodge Driver said:

I'm going to have to break down and buy a Taig.  I'm sold, seeing what you've achieved here.

Thanks for the valuable information. 

It may not be able to do everything a bigger lathe can do, but I needed portability as I do not have the room to keep it permanently set up.

It definitely does what I wanted to do very well. It also has 6 speeds that you can change in about 5 seconds due to the belt drive design.

I even made mine reversible.

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Posted (edited)

Nice job on those rims (hoops).  Very clever marriage of kit's plastic centers and custom made aluminum rims.

I've owned Sheline lathe for over 30 years, and it comes in very handy for many modeling (and other) tasks.  About 10 years agoI also bought Sheline mill, and that is also very useful tool.  Both American made, and fully supported by the manufacturer (spare parts, and accessories).

Edited by peteski
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Cool project and an excellent result

I have a Unimat 3 which is about the same size and it certainly has added another dimension to my modelling. It has a drill/milling attachment that I have used on occasion as well 

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20 hours ago, bill-e-boy said:

Cool project and an excellent result

I have a Unimat 3 which is about the same size and it certainly has added another dimension to my modelling. It has a drill/milling attachment that I have used on occasion as well 

I like the idea of adding an end mill. Just do not have space where I currently live.

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