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Old April 22nd, 2015, 01:00 PM   #1
mmmm_bacon
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Question Wheel Turning Machine Shop Recomendations

I'm needing to get bids and therefore looking for positive referrals/references for any machine shops that have a proven ability to turn soft urethane without ruining it.

I have a set of 45mm wide center-hub 78a wheels that I need approximately eight millimeters of the inside face removed, effectively moving the hub closer to the inside edge of the wheel by reducing the wheel width to 37mm.

I took them to my friend who owns a very high-end precision gear making shop who can usually do anything for me, but in this case he didn't feel comfortable working on 78a's, noting that his tooling would just gum up and make a mess of the surface instead of cutting it clean. Instead he recommended using a shop with the proper tooling and experience turning such a soft material, even if that meant shipping them out of town/state.

So any referrals/references are greatly appreciated.
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Old April 22nd, 2015, 01:21 PM   #2
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Thinking just a hack saw blade and a spinning wheel to cut the excess, a drill clamped to a bench, preferably the wheel clamped to an actual lathe.
I've got one and I use really soft wheels, the stuff chunks, but just making a straight cut with a hacksaw then removing the material would do it, cheap.

You could contact armadillo he cuts down soft urethane all the time, again, cutting it should be easy, trying to put grooves in would be problematic...
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Old April 22nd, 2015, 01:35 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ursle View Post
You could contact armadillo he cuts down soft urethane all the time, again, cutting it should be easy, trying to put grooves in would be problematic...
I don't really need grooves, a clean/smooth face instead of a grooved face would be fine - I just need the wheels' widths narrowed.
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Old April 22nd, 2015, 02:53 PM   #4
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Does anyone have any experience with this outfit by chance?
www.gallaghercorp.com/

Update: Never-mind about this shop. Their min order is $250. That would work out to $31 per wheel!
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Old April 23rd, 2015, 03:39 AM   #5
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If you decide to DIY, a fine-tooth 32 TPI hacksaw blade makes a smoother cut. Use dish washing soap to lube the blade. Motor oil might work even better, but I havenít tried it. You need a lubricant; otherwise the urethane melts from the heat and binds up the blade. It also helps to lock everything down as tight as possible when making your cuts. Use a vice for the drill and a solid blade rest. Just be aware that your finished sidewalls will not have a smooth, transparent appearance. They will have a rough, matte finish.
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Old April 23rd, 2015, 07:41 AM   #6
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I have a machinist that does my wheels for me as resurfacing goes. I don't have grooves cut in mine. I get mine ground down where the wheel becomes a slick. Your wanting to narrow a wheel by trimming the side. I'll ask about it this Sunday. The key to cutting down urethane is a VERY sharp bit. nothing else is going to do for this job. Well you can grind through it but that takes forever. Dillo cuts wheels down. Not sure what he charges though.

What wheels did you get?
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Old April 23rd, 2015, 02:42 PM   #7
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(Deleted-double post)

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Old April 23rd, 2015, 02:44 PM   #8
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Not sure where you are at, but I am a machinist by trade (38 years). Would love to help if nothing else pans out. Have to turn rubber regularly for our test tools. Shouldn't be a problem.
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Old April 23rd, 2015, 03:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mort View Post
I have a machinist that does my wheels for me as resurfacing goes. I don't have grooves cut in mine. I get mine ground down where the wheel becomes a slick. Your wanting to narrow a wheel by trimming the side. I'll ask about it this Sunday. The key to cutting down urethane is a VERY sharp bit. nothing else is going to do for this job. Well you can grind through it but that takes forever. Dillo cuts wheels down. Not sure what he charges though.
I know people can and do cut their wheels with saws and finish with sandpaper/disks/etc. But I'd really rather have these done on a lathe. And yep, you got it, I'm needing the interior sidewall taken in to bring it closer to being flush with the hub.

Quote:
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What wheels did you get?
I got Sunset Flare Cruisers. They're for my young daughter's new indoor/outdoor build.

Here's a pic:
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Old April 23rd, 2015, 03:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by okcskater View Post
Not sure where you are at,
Not too terribly far from you in northern Missouri.

Quote:
Originally Posted by okcskater View Post
but I am a machinist by trade (38 years). Would love to help if nothing else pans out. Have to turn rubber regularly for our test tools. Shouldn't be a problem.
Sounds like a plan! I should know next week so I'll let you know, thanks so much.
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Old April 24th, 2015, 12:50 AM   #11
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OK!
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Old April 24th, 2015, 01:41 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmmm_bacon View Post
I know people can and do cut their wheels with saws and finish with sandpaper/disks/etc. But I'd really rather have these done on a lathe. And yep, you got it, I'm needing the interior sidewall taken in to bring it closer to being flush with the hub.

I got Sunset Flare Cruisers. They're for my young daughter's new indoor/outdoor build.

Here's a pic:
I can narrow wheels with clean shiny cuts using a lathe and a special tool.

IMO, the wheels in your PIC are not worth investing in the labor cost to do this narrowing process - even if you get them for free.

Because they do not have a proper full cylindrical hub going out to the sides of the wheels, they are likely to perform poorly, both indoors and outdoors.

Plus they look rather heavy for a small person from all the excess urethane that results from having only a partial hub.

I normally charge $25 per set of (8) wheels, but lacking full hubs, these wheels might present some issues relating to their having more squishiness and greater depth of cut causing tool to be pulled away from 90 degrees to wheel axis.

How lightweight of a skater is your daughter who will be rolling these wheels?
I say start out with better SIDE SET wheels first, and then remove most of the OUTER LIP for a contact patch of 28-30mm.

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Old April 24th, 2015, 06:09 AM   #13
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Old April 24th, 2015, 07:29 PM   #14
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It definitely takes more than just a machine and a tool to cut this material! I am new to all the technical stuff with skates. But at the same time, there is a lot of personal preference involved in the choices as well. Looks to me like taking the back off the wheel will give it more support on the hub, and keep a wide track good for a less experienced skater. JMHO.
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Old April 24th, 2015, 09:40 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by okcskater View Post
It definitely takes more than just a machine and a tool to cut this material! I am new to all the technical stuff with skates. But at the same time, there is a lot of personal preference involved in the choices as well. Looks to me like taking the back off the wheel will give it more support on the hub, and keep a wide track good for a less experienced skater. JMHO.
My mini lathe with an optimally ground knife edge cutting tool is all it takes to make the mirror smooth facing cuts needed to narrow soft urethane (78A) wheels.

It is not about getting better support on the hub, though that may well occur.
Rather it is about preventing the wheel's inside urethane face from hitting the truck's cushion platform.

This wheel appears to be a center set (hub) skateboard wheel, and of a design that is not so well suited for use on quad skates. Aside from the needed urethane removal of the inner faces to provide truck clearance, the style of hub does not give very good roll with quad skates. IMO a larger hub with spokes and a cylinder supporting the full width of the urethane material is what optimum outdoor quad skating performance demands.

BTW, the pictured wheel may be a super small diameter like 59mm or less, in which case the weight and spoke commets may not apply.

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Old April 24th, 2015, 09:58 PM   #16
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These look like wheels for a kiddo, with the lights and all, and should be fine by my guess.
For an older skater I would agree with needing better, but.........(I like the lights myself!)
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Old April 25th, 2015, 04:51 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmmm_bacon View Post
I took them to my friend who owns a very high-end precision gear making shop who can usually do anything for me, but in this case he didn't feel comfortable working on 78a's, noting that his tooling would just gum up and make a mess of the surface instead of cutting it clean.
I have never had a problem with just a lathe and a cutoff tool. Sometimes the speed needs some adjustment but I have never had anything "gum up".

If you are still looking shoot me a PM. If these wheels light up when spinning I'd love to see that on my lathe! Might even post a pix...

.
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Old April 25th, 2015, 11:15 PM   #18
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A lot of times people will try to cut softer materials with 'regular' carbide tooling. That doesn't always work well, especially on softer stuff. Good edge on a HSS cutter works wonders.
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Old April 27th, 2015, 01:42 PM   #19
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All that seems like overkill for those wheels. Bandsaw those things. Clamp a block on the right side so you get a straight even cut on all wheels and just get it done. You aren't even cutting the lip side so profiling doesn't even come into play. 78A has a real tendency to catch even with the right bit. It's just gummy. Like the urethane version of 6061.

I had to do the same for the Sims that had the conical board profile. No issues and no nail biting that they would get trashed on a lathe. Not a big fan of the softer duros, but they do kick ass on sport court.

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Old April 28th, 2015, 07:26 PM   #20
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So "okcskater" took up the challenge! Can't wait to get them back. Hopefully he'll post his thoughts/observations.
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Last edited by mmmm_bacon; May 13th, 2015 at 08:44 AM.
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