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Sep 21, 2018

Peterbilt 379 Truck, & Trailer Wheels..


Hi folks.. just a little nod to those of you who are considering in building this beaut. Wheels.. they're hard to master and I am by no means pro at them. That being said I do prefer to make my own when the build warrants it. Purchased wheels are okay for generic models/toys but with this sort of model i think it requires the same level of attention and detail. First off is wood choice.. Most would use a hardwood but if you've not got an abundance of it it's going to be costly. The truck requires 10 wheels, the lowboy trailer 12. So 22 wheels in total requiring around 6' of 1" thick x a little over 3" wide timber.


I have a lot of good solid pine which we all know is problematic when working with a tendency to mark or dent easily and awkward to machine its not my first choice but were going for it none the less. Next issue is the method of cutting the round blanks. Hole saws rarely leave you the required measurement. I have every conceivable size from 6" down to 1/2". However my 3" hole saw doesn't leave a 3" blank! it comes in at just 2 3/4". Another option is to use a larger metric hole saw and sand down, but if we were going down that route then we may as well use the a similar option which is to use a compass, cut shy of the line and sand. I've done this many times. I've also been known to cut larger and use the lathe to get down to the required diameter. Which ever way you choose to do it expect it to take you some time. The key to them is uniformity. Without that its going to look ridiculous. Lloyds plans give you two options, A less complex version and a complex version. In basic terms the less complex version requires multiple pieces that make up a wheel hub easily achieved using a drill press and sanding station. The more complex version requires a lathe. I have limited experience on the lathe so I'm going for a middle of the road approach, I'll use my lathe but I wont go for the full complexity.

So here it is.. a little under 3" in diameter, in pine. It needs some final sanding and the axle will require some finishing to make it look right but i'm pleased with the outcome so far.

Oh and before I go.. this truck and trailer requires a lot of Dowel which here in the UK can be costly. I managed to get some in Ash which was a fair price. But if your a pro on the lathe i'd consider making it your self. I'll post more photos as I go.. Regards Mark :)

Sep 21, 2018

hi I can speak a little English. Wheels can be made of rubber instead of wood and can be easily controlled by a lathe or a drill and it will seem more realistic. for Dowel make this tool by this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGVmEOAMiPk&t=351s i'm made one



Sep 21, 2018

Excellent link.. I've seen many like it, although smaller dowel is cheap to obtain. The Peterbilt model requires dowel in excess of 1 1/2" and one part a shade under 2" . I'm sure rubber wheels would be very nice, but i like to stick to all wood.. and my customers love this.. I only include metal washers which are rarely seen too. it's all about the wood for me.

Sep 21, 2018

Yes I agree with you wood better I think something spiritual. I used wood only and when I allowed myself to suggest using rubber I thought you were looking for something easy.

Sep 22, 2018Edited: Sep 22, 2018

Fantastic post and the wheels look fantastic to. I know not many people like to make the wheels i love to make them, The wood dowels i did make my own as Mark says in England they are very expensive and for the 3/4" dowels i used a brush handle it was a lot cheaper and for the small dowels i drill a hole in a 3" pipe and pushed the wood thru.






The wood dowel i made on these pictures was for the Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost head lights and was 1/2" dowels.



Sep 22, 2018Edited: Sep 22, 2018

What you can do for the 1-1/2" or 2" dowels. cut the pieces out with the hole saw and glue together. When i lived in England i did have a Myford super 7 lathe and do miss it very much but this is the way i would go now. And really looking forward to seeing more pictures of this build.




Sep 22, 2018

Excellent replies thank you. Smaller dowels or 'craft sticks' from 3mm up to 20mm are relatively cheap and in many cases ive used lollipop sticks which make great axles lol In any case I have all the dowel i need now and ive been concentrating on getting the wheels down. I've done 5 so far.. a little more sanding is required but I only need 6 faced wheels for the main unit and a further 4 wheels with just treads. Looking forward to getting on with the main body


Sep 23, 2018

The wheels are looking very good and lots of detail in them. They are going to look beautiful on the truck.

Sep 23, 2018

Excellent post on a favorite subject of everyone- wheels. With a build of wheels such as this at times it’s beneficial to carry on another part of the build then later resume the wheels. Sort of helps maintain stress and enjoyments.

well done on on these wheels and the Pine looks a quite we’ll.

Sep 23, 2018Edited: Sep 23, 2018

Yes that is true wheels and some times the biggest part of the build. I am thinking about doing a plan set just for wheels all sizes and different designs. And give for free when people buy the plan sets.

Sep 23, 2018

Thanks folks.. Wheels are integral and demand a lot of attention. They can be the making of a model or the ruin. I agree though they are demanding and can be laborious. The biggest thing/addition to my shop that enables me to make better more realistic wheels was my lathe. Its a 20" Clarke. Without the lathe its a monumental struggle. I was previously using my pillar drill on its side, but that , whilst okay for less detailed wheels, cannot do this models wheels justice at all. along with that though is the ability and know how of using a lathe. Previously i was using a mini lathe but this of course is for smaller parts so my experience is limited. I'm slowly bettering those skills and my tools. I want to get at least the main units wheels done today.. 6 face and four tread should be done today and we can start working on the main body. Choice of wood is paramount. I have pine, meranti and oak at my disposal. Most of which are sourced for free. I do odd jobs here and there and recently stripped out an old kitchen. All the doors are solid oak. I have several solid mahogany doors too and my pine comes from a stair manufacturer. I also have spruce from a window manufacturer/fitter. They rip out old windows and replace with plastic. I get there rubbish for free. I purchased my Ash dowels online. I think the balance of wood choice is key also. Too much of one and the other wont look right. Also grain is key too. There is much more to a build than some might think. But this is what i love about building models/toys and I have to say what makes it much more of a pleasure is good workable plans. Lloyd i want to thank you for producing excellent plans. Your;'e always on hand and happy to answer questions, that my friend is what makes you different from the norm. Keep up the good work and i'll endeavour to do it justice in mine. More to follow

Sep 24, 2018Edited: Sep 24, 2018

Hi Mark can you redo the upload for the video this one seem to be dead

Sep 24, 2018

Awesome video this is what the forums is all about to share idea and skills like this video. And very well put together. The forums is not really about me it's about everybody sharing idea and skills like this video and finished photo's of the models people make.

Sep 24, 2018

Thank you Lloyd.. it's time consuming as i'm sure you know, but worth it. I'm about to start the main body... really enjoying this build

Sep 26, 2018

Evening folks.. I received some black wood stain and got on with staining the wheels. Of course the difficulty here is the capillary action that any liquid will have in wood. Liquid can travel unhindered in wood because of the anatomy of wood it self. Each cell is a hollow elongated spindle so I had to think of a way of stopping it.

Long story cut short, I couldn't. So I very carefully allowed seepage, left them to dry then remounted them on the lathe and shaved as much as I could off without altering the overall look.

Well they're done except polyurethane... What are your thoughts on the look or can you think of an effective method to stop the capillary action....


Sep 27, 2018Edited: Sep 27, 2018

i like the look of the wheels gives them a old worn effect and i think we stand out with the polyurethane.

Sep 27, 2018

Yes I thought that too Lloyd. One of my followers said they look real.. i'm not so sure about that , but they do look rather good.

Oct 10, 2018

Looking good, should work out quite well when mounted to the Truck, How’s the build coming along Mark ?

Nov 25, 2018

Thanks Nemtor, the truck for now, as with all my other builds, are on the back burner for now. My health hasn't been very good and I ended up in hospital with sepsis unfortunately. I'm due for another operation on my ankle in January. At present i'm making xmas gifts, Religious crosses, tea light holders and another rubber band gun, I have both of the new trucks and two trailers so once my op in January is out of the way and i've recovered ill get back to them. So watch this space lol

Nov 26, 2018Edited: Nov 26, 2018

I did wonder to my self i not hear from you for a long time. I did have a bit of a turn over myself about 7 weeks ago i had a stroke down the left side of my body and face and it did take it out off me for a few weeks that is why i stopped make the clock but will make a start on it again maybe after Xmas.

Nov 26, 2018


You know I do not speak English very well .... but call on God to heal every patient and live with those who love happily


Nov 26, 2018

I'm on the mend gentleman, fear not. Lloyd I hope you're recovery is a speedy one! The Kenworth Road Train looks awesome!! I've just purchased it.. i have all the big rigs.. 2019 is going to be awesome!! Excellent work as always Lloyd, keep up the good work :)

Nov 26, 2018

i'm glad to hear that you are on the mend. Nat and Me laugh now about the problem i had but it was not funny at the time. I like a beer at night time when stop work but every time i would take a drink of the beer it would just run out of the other side of my mouth so Nat would hold my mouth closed at the left side to stop the beer coming out. Things she does for me Good Women take care of me. And Thanks Mark look forward to seeing the trucks made.

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