I need opinions on using vintage flat wheels on a yard meat smoker

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seattlepitboss

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Aug 28, 2022
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Kirkland, Washington
I'm designing a horizontal offset around an 80 gallon air tank. This is not going onto a trailer. It will be on wheels in a yard, hardly ever moving. I restore machine tools as a hobby and a side benefit of that is I have a couple of pairs of flat wheels from the old overhead line shaft days. These wheels were typically mounted right next to each other on a shaft on the machine. One was made fast to the shaft and the other was loose. (Now can you guess where the expression "fast and loose" came from?) In use, the belt was shifted from one to the other. This acted to start or stop the machine.

These wheels are cast iron and I believe they are strong enough to take the weight. If not, I will have broken wheels and a meat smoker to fix. :-)

One pair is about 8" diameter and the other about 6" diameter. Here are two wheels set against a wall so you can see them:

flatWheels.jpg

So I'm asking for cosmetic advice? Use them? Don't use them? What, are you nuts?

Please let me know what you think.

seattlepitboss
 

chopsaw

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Those are cool .
Just an opinion , I think the most stress would be on the hub when moving and trying to turn .
Horizontal load at the shaft on the fixed axle . Shear weight maybe not a problem ?
Just thinking out loud , but those are way cool .
 

indaswamp

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Hmmm....I'd check for hairline cracks. If that checks out, then I'd use them. If you can design a way to turn the front wheels for a radius turn when moving, then that will alleviate torquing on the hub.
 

Lonzinomaker

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They weren't made to be weight bearing, but I am sure the should support your smoker unless you go way overkill on the frame.
Would be great talking point if you do use them and had of picture of them in place of use.
 
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bill1

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Apr 25, 2015
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Those look awfully strong to me, hairline cracks or not. With any luck you can find some IPS pipe or rigid conduit that will work for low-cost axels for the large hubs on these. Pipe that can be welded or bolted to your smoker frame.
 

Chasdev

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Jan 18, 2020
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If you're going to park and roll it around on grass they will sink into the dirt.
I would go for some solid rubber wheels and larger diameter at that.
 

chp

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Sep 30, 2020
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I think the wheels would make a great touch. They certainly seem stout enough to function as wheels. If you have other vintage parts to tie in to other parts of the build, it would be even better (handles, counterweights, etc)
 

seattlepitboss

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Aug 28, 2022
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Kirkland, Washington
If you're going to park and roll it around on grass they will sink into the dirt.
I would go for some solid rubber wheels and larger diameter at that.

That's a great point. But the patio where it will go is paved with bricks.

I'm actually contemplating making some rustic looking steel wheels quite a bit larger, like 15-18" diameter.
 

Winterrider

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They would look pretty cool, but as stated they will want to cut into the grass when moved. Will have to lift front end to turn if not pivoting on front.
Pics please when done. . .
 

bill1

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Apr 25, 2015
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...check out the selection at Caster City.
Wow, I've never seen such a selection. But they're not cheap and the poster had free ones (!).
I re-cycle casters as much as I can. My son threw out a couple of crushed Harbor Freight furniture dollies and I harvested some pretty decent casters from those...four immediatly went onto my table saw.
 

radioguy

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Jan 12, 2013
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Columbus, Ohio
I made a reverse flow of similar size. Take my advice and build your axles over kill. Lefty weighs in at about 900lbs. I used 3/4" rod for the first axle. I used similar cast wheels, they had heavy duty ball bearings and high weight rating. They were about 1 1/2" wide at contact area. They were fine until it got off the hard surface those thin wheels sink in the lawn. The axle developed a bend as I used the smoker. I had a major problem getting it on the trailer at a competition. At that point I put it on a trailer with 14" wheels. I rarely tow it bit I have the ability to to that. Use a 1" axle or larger.

RG
New shoes for Lefty
 

pit 4 brains

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Maybe one thing to consider is using them as decor and not necessarily functional. Use another set of wheels for mobility and those at rest. Behind the wheels you can easily sneak in screw jacks made from all thread and stabilize the rig that way. I think they are cool, nostalgic, and I would definitely incorporate them into a build. Get a little steampunk but not too much.
I think the wheels would make a great touch. They certainly seem stout enough to function as wheels. If you have other vintage parts to tie in to other parts of the build, it would be even better (handles, counterweights, etc)
How cool would a counterweight be on a pulley system. Maybe an old, small diameter piece of fire hose for a belt.
 

indaswamp

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Maybe one thing to consider is using them as decor and not necessarily functional. Use another set of wheels for mobility and those at rest. Behind the wheels you can easily sneak in screw jacks made from all thread and stabilize the rig that way. I think they are cool, nostalgic, and I would definitely incorporate them into a build. Get a little steampunk but not too much.

How cool would a counterweight be on a pulley system. Maybe an old, small diameter piece of fire hose for a belt.
I like the way you are thinking!!!
 

seattlepitboss

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Aug 28, 2022
17
21
Kirkland, Washington
Hate to disappoint, but I decided against using the wheels. I already sold them to a guy in my metalworking club. I am fabricating my own wheels. The rims are made from 1/4x2" flat formed into 12" circles. The hubs are cut from 2-1/2" round hot rolled. I am using 5 spokes per wheel each 4-7/16" long cut from 1/2" black iron pipe.
I should have them done enough to post pictures tomorrow. I already formed the rims and welded them and ground the welds, cut and machined the hubs, and cut and deburred all the spokes. I am going to use 3/4" schedule 80 pipe for axles. Why these dimensions? These correspond to what I have on hand. If I can use steel I have in my shop as opposed to buying new, it will save a ton of do-re-mi.

I am motivated to have this cooker done enough to cook for a dinner party on November 3rd.

seattlepitboss
 
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pit 4 brains

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Very nice. Your on a roll there.....:emoji_laughing:
You are a fabricator so I know there is a little artist in you.. Damn. You make me want to get a new welder and build another one. I left my build in AZ when we moved.
Keep the posts coming and Daveomak is a good source for info..
 
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OldSmoke

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Nice work! Keep posting photos of your build.

I was just in Seattle at Bell Harbor a week ago. Caught a Mariner’s game. Great weather, great fun! Nice view from the boat.

77A3D15B-A07E-4C3E-9AF1-E889535A0E8F.jpeg
 

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