View Full Version : Threads on old wagon spindle??

12-06-2012, 06:44 PM
Someone brought in these old wagon wheels


with spindles like this


They have a tapered thread on the end like this


It's very close to eight threads per inch. The OD at the small end is 1.615", and the OD at the large end is 1.715". It's approximately 1" between the places where I took the measurements.

I'm going to make adapters to mount the old wheels on a wagon that's got regular tapered roller bearing hubs. (It's for static display only.) I need to duplicate the thread that's on the spindles so I can use the original nuts to hold the wheels on the adapters.

Does anyone recognize this thread? It's almost the same size as a 1 1/4" pipe thread, but coarser.

I'm planning on using a 13" Cincinatti Tray Top lathe with a taper attachment to cut the threads. Any suggestions?

12-06-2012, 06:49 PM
Looks like they are worn out... we have a set just like that on a cannon and one is LH and the other is RH threads and they are just normal threads. The nut looks like a flange nut.


12-06-2012, 07:13 PM
Any Amish Machinist's Here??? Lol

12-06-2012, 07:36 PM
I would guess that any taper is purely unintentional, either from wear or poor machining originally, possibly a combination of both. Having tapered threads would serve no purpose that I can see, as this nut needs to be adjustable to adjust the fit of the wheel on the tapered axle.

What do the threads in the nut look like?


12-06-2012, 07:58 PM
There is a nut in the first photo...


J Harp
12-06-2012, 10:12 PM
Something makes me think that those wheels didn't originally go with that type "spindle". The object in the second picture is called a wagon "thimble", and is used used on the end of a wooden axle.

The wheel mounted on the axle is made of wood, with a steel tire and a cast iron lining in the wooden hub. This cast iron lining was called a box or boxing when I was a lad. The hub is usually made of elm, which has contrary grain, and is difficult to split. The hub is further reinforced with steel bands. I don't think there was any user adjustment for the fit of the hub on the thimble. On my dad's wagon the nuts were flanged and were run up tight against the shoulder of the thimble, The left side had left hand threads.

The steel wheels in photo 1 look like they might have been the front wheels of a manure spreader, or some such horse drawn implement.

12-06-2012, 11:10 PM
Why are you concerned about sticking to a "standard" thread diameter? Cut new threads in the nuts then cut the adapter threads to match the nuts.

12-06-2012, 11:52 PM
J Harp is correct. What I called spindles were made for wooden axles, because there was some wood remaining inside around the big lag screw used to secure them to the axle. There was no provision for adjustment. The nut was fully bottomed out against the shoulder when we got them, and REALLY tight.

The nut seems to have tapered threads, too. It will easily thread on by hand in the normal position all the way down to the shoulder, but only the first two threads will engage if I turn the nut around.

It looks like the tapered ID of the wheel rode directly on the tapered section of the spindle. Lots of congealed grease was in the recesses where the spokes meet the hub.

I'll post a picture of the adapters as I get them assembled. Here are the parts I've cut so far.


I won't be doing anything else on the project (except thinking about it) until I get back in the shop Monday.

12-07-2012, 12:04 AM
Are the threads forged?

Can you get us a better picture of the nut?

12-07-2012, 07:26 AM
The nut seems to have tapered threads, too. It will easily thread on by hand in the normal position all the way down to the shoulder, but only the first two threads will engage if I turn the nut around.

So much for my memory and we had them apart not a month ago... the axles and wheels we have are exactly like yours so they must have been pretty common. I'll take a nut off and look again.

Are yours a RH and LH thread?


12-07-2012, 10:23 AM
The two nuts I've seen are both RH. He's going to bring in the other two next week.

In the picture in post #8, you can see four short pieces of 1 3/4" round bar. I'm going to weld those to some pieces of 1 1/4" pipe. I'll chuck the pipe in the lathe to cut the threads on the short piece of round bar. That way I won't have to thread up to a shoulder.

The other end of the pipes will be welded to the rings with the small hole in the center. Those OD of those rings fits nicely into the inside of the wheel hubs.

One end of the 4" pipes will be welded to those rings, and the other ends will be welded to the rings with five holes which fit on the hubs of his wagon.

I'll post some more pictures when all the welding and machining is done.

12-11-2012, 04:24 PM
I chucked the pieces of pipe in the lathe, and squared the ends. I left a little shoulder on one end to fit into the flange that goes on the wagon hub. I trued up the other end and cut the OD to fit into a little recess in the end plate. Then I welded the pipes to the flanges.


Turns out the other two wheel assemblies had left hand threads. I welded the short pieces of round bar to the pieces of 1 1/4" pipe, and cut the threads to fit the nuts.


Then I used the wagon wheel hubs as a jig for welding the other end of the pipe to the end plate.


Then I welded the end plate to the other end of the pipe.


12-11-2012, 04:29 PM
Here's the completed adapter.


Installed on the wheel.



And all of them ready to go.


12-11-2012, 04:57 PM
Great problem solving Winchman!! Good fix!!

12-11-2012, 05:46 PM
Nice fix!


Jon Heron
12-11-2012, 05:50 PM
Nice job!
Is that a custom made supper sucker or 2 I see in the back of your shop there?

12-12-2012, 02:21 AM
Nice job!
Is that a custom made supper sucker or 2 I see in the back of your shop there?

Nah, that's the school's grill and the rack for storing propane tanks for our upcoming smoker projects. Here's a better picture.


When we had the flood at the school back in the summer, all the tanks floated out in the parking lot. We were lucky they didn't do any damage, but I built the rack to prevent a recurrence.

That project also gave me a way to get rid of some heavy (4x5x3/8") curved angles that had been here way too long.


I did manage to use some of it on them in the rail-torch table I'd built earlier. There's really not much you can do with twenty-foot pieces of that stuff.


I've got one stick and a part left. Any ideas on what I can do with them?

12-12-2012, 11:27 AM
A call to the scrapper should take care of the bowed angles, but can you guys explain what a 'super sucker' is?

I thought I knew, but now????


12-12-2012, 11:36 AM
I've got one stick and a part left. Any ideas on what I can do with them?

Welding table legs, grinder stand columns (back to back to create a flare), Ditto style vise stands, curve rails for model railroads (club nearby?), guard rails

, sculpture.....

Jon Heron
12-12-2012, 03:24 PM
Nice job on the racks. How long does it take to get the stench out of em for smoking though? I tried washing my 500 gallon propane tank out with bleach, glycerine and water a few times with no success, it made my shop reek for far too long, until I got the fittings welded on it and sealed it up. Once I had it built the first batch of biodiesel done in it completely removed the stink, not sure where it went cause the batch didn't stink either... :)

can you guys explain what a 'super sucker' is?
Its just a tank that you draw a vacuum on to collect waste vegetable oil (WVO) with, I have also seen them used in factories for cleaning out coolant tanks etc... They work great because there is no pump to plug or jam, just draw a vacuum on the tank and away you go. I can drain a 55 gallon drum of gelatinous, cold WVO in under 5 minutes with my sucker tank. :cool:
Here is a pic of the one I made for collecting WVO:

12-12-2012, 04:41 PM
Darned nice looking job Jon!! Thanks for posting the pic.

12-12-2012, 05:34 PM
We usually remove the valves and gauges, and leave the tanks outside for several months before we do anything with them. Most of the smell is gone by then. If we need to start building right away, we'll fill the tank completely with water before cutting into it. During the build, we'll remove all the residue we can by scraping and wire-brushing.

We also tell the buyers to bring the smoker up to operating temperature for several hours before putting any food in it. We haven't had any complaints about foul odor or taste.