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Large Flywheels

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One of our casting sets was short of a flywheel and Graham offered to get one cast for me. When it finally arrived I could only describe the parcel and its contents as a "heavy lump".

--- Quote --- Hi Jo.
Yes a heavy lump indeed….
It was the final addition that made Vincent’s engine run smoothly. The pattern was made from a Vee belt pulley with three rings of flat bar rolled and welded to form the rim. If you can find a spare half hour perhaps you’d machine it and let me know if it’s sound?
--- End quote ---

Its not going to take half an hour to turn up  :hellno: It took 1/2 hour to file off the flashing from the inner edge of the rim in between three spokes so I could try to see if it could be held on a three jaw chuck. I decided no it could not be held safely on the three jaw chuck. So this is how I machined it on the faceplate.....

This flywheel is not massive, only rather heavy  :paranoia: One side of the flywheel was better than the other so I have clamped that "good face" against the faceplate and roughly centred the flywheel by eye using the edge of the tool as a reference. Its within about 3mm of centre.

I started with the obligatory chicken stick making sure it stayed put against the faceplate, selected slow speed and turned Big C on  :paranoia:

Slowly hand feeding the cross slide, listening to the chink, chick as the tool cut the nasty uneven lumps off. Another 2 cuts and:

As you can see I have a flat surface but it is not yet smooth and it will do for now, that extra cut that needs to come off is going to save me a potential problem shortly  ;)

You can see how big the faceplate is relative to the cross slide position and how I have had to angle the tool post to enable the tool to cut the surface:

Time now to test my muscles by turning it round ready for the main part of the turning ::)


Hello Jo,

That looks to be a big heavy lump of iron. Whats it's weight and diameter? It's appears to be about at the diameter limit for your lathe, so I hope it stays safely in place on the faceplate. 

What does the cryptic message on the tailstock refer to?

Stay safe


That is a big lump of metal. Impressive!

Alyn Foundry:
Hi Jo.

Good to see the flywheel on the lathe.

I’ve definitely got one “ waster “ here. We just discovered that they’d run one into the rim and “ risered “ the hub. This has left a very porous looking ingate. Only time and machining will tell.

I have my fingers crossed for phase two.

Here’s one I prepared earlier, much earlier…. :)

Cheers Graham.

Mike: The post-it on the tailstock is to remind me that the DRO X-axis read head had been skipping - I think I have fixed it but to be aware of it.

I think they risered the hub on this one and then broke it off  :facepalm:

Before I put the flywheel back up I thought I would capture a quick picture of the edge:

While it looks horrible the wider edge seems to be on only one side so I will be cutting on the smaller diameter side.

I had to use the uneven centre where the riser had been broken off while remounting the flywheel, not easy as it was all over the place:

So first job was to face that off and centre drill:

Now to position the tool to cut the rim... First off set the top slide so I can get round the back:

Zero the DRO while the tool is touching the faceplate as I don't want to cut into that  :hellno:  Then check, yes as suspected  :ShakeHead:

I cannot use the chuck guard as it hits the tool post and of course that means it needs to be up and..

then it blocks the Z axis readout  :Doh: Now that I am aware of those time to check the available movement of the tool, first to the outside facing edge:

And check that there is sufficient space to move in without hitting the tailstock:

With tailstock support we can now finally we can face the outside of the rim.

The outside of the rim will have to wait until tomorrow, I have some important watering and cross stitching to do  ::)



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