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pewter

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smokebox

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HIYA Everyone..


I was wondering if you could machine pewter and use it for model train wheels?
Also how would it hold up?
The reason??
Low melt temp and no lead..

Smokenox
 

Tin Falcon

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Hmm availability is good you can buy ingots
Price a bit high current price 16.50 a pound
yes low melting point relatively easy to cast.
I just paid $ 4 for brass .
Pewter is mostly tin, considered by some as a poor mans silver substitute.

So what kind of train ard you going to ride on it? Will it get a lot of use?
if the wheel are mostly decorative say a display model probably ok if there will be any significant load IMHO a lot better choices out there.
Tin
 

smokebox

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Hiya..

I was thinking some 1.20 scale cars..
The reason I thought of pewter is, I can melt it with a bullet casting type furnace. And do it on the shop counter indoors.


Smokebox
 

kuhncw

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Would bearing babbit work? I've not checked the price, but would guess it is less costly than pewter.

Regards,

Chuck
 

smokebox

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Hiya..

I was actually thinking of putting a small babbit section where the wheel axle makes contact with the truck frame.
Again, working indoors is an issue hence the need for low melting temp's.
Well also because I can get a new Lee melting pot for 69 bucks..
I don't think I would want to melt down brass or steel at the kitchen table.... My wife gets mad at me enough without lighting her table on fire.....


Rob Wright
 

RonGinger

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I think pewter is very UNsuitable for a wheel. It is very soft, will not wear well, and may even distort just under pressure of handling. Think of its ''normal' uses as a decorative casting material for jewelery. The stuff used for harder items like beer mugs or plates I suspect is a much harder alloy.

Either machine your wheels from a solid like brass or steel, or look for commercial wheels.

If you really want to cast them look for a jewelery casting business. I use one in Rhode Island, but he will no longer take new customers. I make a master pattern he makes a rubber mold for usually $25-$40, then cast parts in bronze are $2 -$10 based on weight. A model train wheel would likely be in the $2-$3 range.
 

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