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Steel tyre suppliers


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Stuart Davies 607/04/2020 16:08:40
6 forum posts

Hi all, just wondering if anybody could recommend a supplier of large, thick-walled steel tube so that I can make some 5" gauge locomotive tyres? Finished OD is about 6.75" ID 5.75"...many thanks!


Weary07/04/2020 19:26:49
305 forum posts

Hello Stuart,

You might like to have a word with M-Machine and see what they can supply. They list steel tube 180mm OD x 140mm ID per inch - amongst many other sizes. They may have something closer to your requirements to reduce machining (and wastage/cost), or perhaps you could adjust to something 'off the shelf?

I think that I got my tube for steel loco-tyres from Benteler Distribution (It was a long time ago). They cut it into 25mm slices for me. was really horrible tough vile steel to machine! And took an eternity. Of course there are other similar suppliers.



Stuart Davies 607/04/2020 19:42:17
6 forum posts

Many thanks for this Phil, I will have a look at those suppliers. Cheers

Nigel Bennett07/04/2020 19:57:57
337 forum posts
11 photos

I got some from Malcolm High at Model Engineers Laser. Obviously the current virus situation will affect any purchasing decision, and I don’t know if he is still able to supply.

duncan webster07/04/2020 20:44:50
2549 forum posts
49 photos

Search for plasma profilers in your area, then tell them no QA paperwork required when you ask for a quote

Stuart Davies 607/04/2020 21:03:33
6 forum posts

OK many thanks, no rush on getting these as I have plenty to do on the rest of the wheels! Hope you are all keeping well. Regards Stuart

Stuart Davies 609/04/2020 13:43:40
6 forum posts

Anyone know what the CDS from m-machine is like to machine? I'm going for the 180mm x 140mm stuff...

Weary09/04/2020 16:40:28
305 forum posts

Hello (again) Stuart,

You can try asking m-machine as to my knowledge they have (part) machined their own steel tube for other people for smokeboxes - so they may have some insight if they have machined the 180 x 140. But, of course they may be using large industrial lathes that tackle heavy work without noticing!

I got some large diameter steel tube from them (250mm OD x 230mm ID) and it machined fine. But, that may be from a different supplier or batch etc., to your requirement so not really comparable.

I doubt that you have a lot of choice in the matter in the final count, so ……….

best of luck,

& regards,


Stuart Davies 609/04/2020 17:33:37
6 forum posts

Hi Phil, as you say there may not be that many sources to get this from! M-Machine sent this response about machineability...hope they don't mind me posting it here but it could be useful to someone else...

CDS machines similar to most tubes in that it is rather tough going with long strands of blue swarf coming from the (carbide) tool, I’d describe it as being a bit ‘chewy’ to machine. It is fine as long as you keep it lubricated and cool but I would compare the experience to machining some harder black bar stock such as S355J2G3.

It is normally fine to get a decent finish as long as the surface speed is quick enough and the tool has sufficient clearance to allow the swarf to clear. For machining tube I sometimes hammer a wooden or nylon dolly into the centre to reduce the chatter that you’ll get and to stiffen it up a bit in the jaws.

It would be rather slow going if one were to use HSS tools in which case using a slower speed with a tool ground to a larger radius and smaller cuts could produce a decent finish with loads of lubricant and polishing cuts.

Stuart Davies 621/04/2020 15:44:53
6 forum posts

Update... Tyre material arrived just now (ordered yesterday!). Threw it straight in the lathe and took a trial cut with an HSS tool... Machines fine, very free cutting with no tough spots. This was on a Raglan 5" in back gears, though would probably even cut OK on one of those daft little Myford things 😉. Excellent service from M Machine, would highly recommend.

not done it yet21/04/2020 23:28:49
4509 forum posts
16 photos


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