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Anyone machine their own hubs? (med.long)(11 posts)

Anyone machine their own hubs? (med.long)pappy_d
Sep 17, 2002 7:12 PM
I absolutely love to do things the most difficult way possible- Building it myself. I have unlimited acess to a machine shop- Lathes and Milling machines as well as acess to several varieties of "aircraft" aluminum (6061 and some others) \

Have any of you experimented with machining your own hubs- I'm hoping to start with a front hub modeled after the American Classic micro. I have all of the basic measurements, but I haven't been able to find what bearings he uses. The local bike shop says I should look into 6000 series cartridge bearings.

Anyone know of any good webpages/resources??
Yes, I know I'm crazy. Been told a thousand times. But at age twenty I've already carved hand drums/didgeridoos, started my own small production winery, built a glass blowing studio, built guitars/amplifiers/effects, so I figure I can take road cycling to the extreme as well.
re: Anyone machine their own hubs? (med.long)Atombomber
Sep 17, 2002 9:04 PM
Contact a bearing wholesaler. All you need to know is the inner and outer diameters and the thickness. The bigger the diameter, the longer the bearings will last, and they'll roll smoother. Also, the larger the axle, the stiffer the hub will be.

I haven't made my own hubs, but have had many different designs. I have converted many threaded Shimano headsets to threadless though
Sounds like pics when you're done.Leisure
Sep 18, 2002 3:15 AM
Most of it shouldn't be too hard if you're expectations aren't too high. Building hubs that weigh less than Chris Kings would likely be too high of a goal to do reliably, but more regular weight stuff should give you a lot of designer latitude. I don't think there's anything crazy about it.
Sep 18, 2002 8:06 AM
Not crazy at all if building stuff is your hobby, and you have teh tools available. Just go for it. I am jealous that you have so many tools to work with... hehehe
Mind over matter.grzy
Sep 18, 2002 2:52 PM
You don't mind - it don't matter.

If you have the time, patience and money then have at it. Obviously you're doing it for self satisfaction, but why stop at copying someone else's design? Check out a couple of the machinist hobby magazines at some of the bigger book stores - lots of resources for info. Another good source is hanging around with some old timers and getting a real education about machining. You'd be amazed at what they know and what you can learn.
pick your own, try mcmaster-carrslow-ron
Sep 18, 2002 4:29 PM
Mcmaster-carr is a great resource for these bearings because they ship next day, you can order just a few, and the prices and selection are good for a hobbyist. Look around page 980.

Are you going to CNC these or do it free hand? If you can do it the old fashioned way, I'll be impressed. Don't forget to add radii at every transition to distribute the stress around the spoke holes. No sharp edges. Make sure the alumimun stock you pick is solid throughout. No pin holes or porosity.

I've never machined hubs but I've made tons of other stuff with my lathe in the garage. Good luck.
Sep 19, 2002 5:11 AM
Check out Do a catalog search for cartridge bearings. They have both metric and english sizes.

Also search for AST bearings. They have a good website with all of the dimensional tolerances.

The bearings in the AC micro have to be a lot smaller than would normally be used on a bike hub.
re: Anyone machine their own hubs? (med.long)julio
Sep 19, 2002 4:30 PM
I designed and built hubs and uprights for a racecar for the Society of Automotive Engineers 'Formula' competition when in college. A little different with more advanced loading but the same principals apply. You should call MRC Bearing, they make great bearings and have a huge catalog that includes tons of info and useful formulas. SKF and Timken are also good.
Sep 19, 2002 4:51 PM
6061 is one of the most common Al alloys - don't call it "aircraft aluminum" unless you're in marketing or plan to sell your hubs...

If you can get your hands on Magnesium it's 1/3 lighter and almost as strong if you get the right alloy. 7075 and 2024 are also good Al options.
re: materialspappy_d
Sep 20, 2002 9:28 AM
Actually I planned to do some prototyping in 6061, a little quicker to machine. I've got some of each 2024 and 7075 for the real deal.
Magnesium is really 1/3 lighter than and equal in strength compared to aluminum- why don't your see any road hubs in a magnesium alloy?
i think it's too softslow-ron
Sep 20, 2002 2:29 PM
I too worked on a SAE team car in college and we used a lot to MAG for components. I remember, however, that it was very soft. So soft that you could imprint your nails into the metal. I'd stick with aluminum.