Jump to content
I Forge Iron

Need an opinion

Recommended Posts

This is the drive wheel for the clock I'm working on. It's going to be a Gothic chamber clock, this wheel is only 6.5" in diameter. Before I cut the teeth, I need to decide something about the connection between the wheel and the spokes.

I riveted on the spokes with rivets that were a bit bigger than was probably best. Of course, that only occurred to me after I riveted them on. But, it's not a huge mistake. They hold very tight, and they aren't in danger of tearing out. The thing that really bothers me is that the rivet heads cracked like I've never seen (and I've hammered a lot of rivets-over 170 on one project alone!)

I thought I might heat it and forge weld the spokes to the wheel, then grind the rivet heads off. It would look a bit cleaner, certainly, but the thing I'm worried about is it might make it difficult to straighten the wheel if it gets bent out of alignment.

So what would y'all reccommend? Should I weld the puppy up, or just leave well enough alone?


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nick, I think I'd leave it as is or have a go with new rivets. You could get a decent weld but it wouldn't be very pretty. With no scarfing of the joint it wouldn't blend in very well. Also you would in effect be adding metal to the outer ring so it would not only need straightening but also filing/grinding to get back to round and the right diameter. You've done some nice forging and the teeth are laid out, I'd go with what you have.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, you have a nice, round piece there. I'm afraid that you will get too much distortion if you try to weld it.

If you happen to be one of those obsessive/compulsive perfectionists, you could hang that one on the wall and do another one with better rivets.

If not, use it as-is, if you're sure it'll hold.

And please keep us posted on your progress. This looks to be a very interesting project.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you don't like your rivets, just take them out and replace them. They are easy to remove. It looks to me as though you over-worked the rivets. If you set them cold, it is easy to work-harden or fatigue them.

If you set them hot, did you use an O/A welding tip? If so, back off on the heat and bring them up more slowly, aiming the heat down where the rivet passes through the hole. Often, with such an intense local heat, the outside is burning before the inside is even very hot. Then set the rivet with a few well-place blows rather than pecking it to death.

If you heated the rivets in the forge, good for you. But you have to be quick! It helps to warm up the piece so it doesn't suck all the heat out as soon as you insert the rivet. Again, don't peck at the rivet. Set it and be done.

It is also easier to clean (file, brush, sand, etc) the pieces when they are separate than after you attach them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...