Making Trike and Quadcycle Hub Flanges Without a Lathe

Picture of Making Trike and Quadcycle Hub Flanges Without a Lathe
First of all, I would like to thank all of those who visit our forum and help others with advice and offer their great tips and tricks. There have been two alternative ideas posted in regards to creating the hub flanges that I use on trikes and quads such as the DeltaWolf, Kyoto Cruiser, Street Fighter, Gladiator, and Lode Runner. One alternative to the machined disc is to cut the required flatbar or plate using the appropriate sized hole saw. The other alternative is to source out precision made washers of the appropriate size. Often these washers are called "fender washers", "dock washers", or "aircraft washers".

I would like to present another alternative to the machined discs that only requires the use of an angle grinder, and hand drill. This procedure takes about 2 hours for all four discs, and is very effective if you don't mind spending a little quality time with your angle grinder. Since the hub flanges required in the plans vary in size, I will not be posting measurements here, but the same procedure will work on all trikes that use the hub-axle system I have developed.

To see some of the trike and quadcycle projects that these hubs are used on, please visit .
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Bob Gray1 year ago

There's a much easier way to make your discs perfectly round and ensure the center hole is truly centered. Simply drill your center hole first before you clean up your disc. Then put a tight fitting bolt through the center hole tighten it down with a nut and chuck the bolt up in your drill. Then with the drill spinning, apply the edge of the disc to the grinder and grind away until the disc is perfectly round and correctly sized.

rsteele31 year ago
Spend a little extra money and get a countersink bit made for steel, which will give you the required bevel much more cleanly than an oversize bit.
rsteele31 year ago
Again, connect all four flanges with a bolt through the center hole, and then drill four holes at a time. Not four times as fast, but at least twice as fast, and all the flanges except the bottom flange will have very clean holes. Also, with this method, you need only pre-punch one flange.
rsteele31 year ago
To make this step easier, drill the center hole on all four pieces after the first rough cuts, then bolt the pieces together. Then you can grind all four discs at the same time, spreading out the heat somewhat, and helping to ensure all discs are the same.
mpintovsj3 years ago
how thick is the flatbar?
pineola3 years ago
Very nice work.I recently finished a motorized trike using a 3/4 live ONE PC AXEL.The major problem that occurred was "how to mount the stock factory 20in bike wheels.Problem was solved by machining a steel hub and flange which was then press fit into the stock factory wheel.Naturally i had to remove the guts first.The hub was bored to 3/4 before leaving my lathe.The flange I made was drilled to bolt to the factory flange.Result was a removable wheel with NO WeLDING nor any spoke holes to drill .Anyone familiar with trikes knows you can't have a live axel (both wheels under power) cuz' it won't steer.I solved this by letting one wheel freespin.Nice work but I still prefer to use my well equipped machine shop.
alexpuffs3 years ago
Very nice and brilliant job!
But I have some questions about it,
I think it's a bit complicated because,don't you think it was easier to take 2 wheels and weld them together with an axe ?
I thought about it but i never tried then I think it might exist a problem I can't imagine.

And the other question is : How did you put the gear on the axe ?
Because i'm really intersting about making a tricycle but I don't know how to make the rear transmission.

Thanks a lot and congratulations again for your job'
guy903 years ago
Thanks for the upload!
But, What about ball bearings?-

I mean, Its a great work, and I'm new on this Trikes on Quadcycle matters.
And I dont know, This long bar is welded to hub and then this same flange is welded to the other hub, Or What did you connect both to the frame??.
First, the bearings. You use "pillow bearings" bolted to the frame to hold the axle. You'll need 2 bearings per axle segment, which brings us to your second question. The axle is cut into 2 parts. One will be the drive wheel, the other wheel will be free spinning so as to act as a differential. This is how most commercial trikes work. You'll have to figure how to attach the rear sprocket and fabricate a brake system. I'm not associated with them (other than being a fan and customer) so I don't feel bad saying you should check out the website on the author's page.

Did you know a way to make at home the tip ends of the spokes??.

I mean, I make my own spokes, I buy the Stainless rods, and I made the threading with a threading die. And I make bend the other side, for put on the Hub.

But I like the way the commercial spokes looks, the circular shape of that spokes ends is beautiful.

Or exist a machine similar to the Spoke Theading machine?
T_T_4 years ago
This is exactly the instructable I was looking for.
carlitos4 years ago
Liked the idea of using photo software as a template for the holes in making your own flange. I'll likely use this approach for an Ordinary Bike. Thanks.
karlpinturr4 years ago
Nice work! - As others have said, I couldn't figure out how to drive the rears of a trike (not without LOADS of chain & stuff, anyway!). Just one question - what size bit do you use for the spoke holes?
ElvenChild4 years ago
any chance someone could pm me the plans for the quadracycle for a in need did I spell that right
duckman6334 years ago
hi I realy wan to make a tricycle but i can´t weld cause i don´t have the stuff so i am realy sad right now
 I'm gonna do this step wit a bench grinder.
st34d5 years ago
hi i think this idea is great i couldnt get my head round the drive of 2 wheels from one crank using push bike wheels its great but how would you mount it to the back end , i mean the whole axle is gonna spin so i guess you'd need to get a brace complete with bearings to keep it rolling...... any ideas ?
Dark Solar5 years ago
how did you accomodate the turn differential between the drive wheels?
glorybe6 years ago
Dropping those flanges in a good rock tumbler would create a really professional finish. Also there are some very short drill bits that have heavy walls just above the cutting area of the drill bits that produce greater accuracy than typical drill bits. They also are much less prone to breaking.
jeff-o6 years ago
Here's where a drill press would definitely come in handy. Kudos for doing it with a hand drill!
KoolKat (author)  jeff-o6 years ago
Thanks. We do things the "old fashioned way" to show everyone that you don't need special tools. Hope to encourage more young people to get into garage hacking by showing them that anything is possible with basic tools, the desire to make something and be creative. We need more "out of the box" thinkers. Everyone's trying to stretch the mighty dollar in so many ways already, but you're right that a drill press could certainly do the job, if you have access to one.
You could try a drill bit wrapped in duct tape. Or just a metal spoon.
rimar20006 years ago
WOW! That's awesome! You did an amazing job, all by hand.
knife1416 years ago
Excellent instructable!! I've been searching for a way to make these axels, and this is exactly what I've hoped to find. Thank you!!!
jeff-o6 years ago
Hmmm, I wonder if the discs could be fastened to a hand drill, perhaps with a large bolt, and slowly turned as the angle grinder smoothes the edges. That way you can hold your hands in place and let the machines do the work for you.
Very nice. I also love hand work, but as a precursor to actual machine work. Many fine Swiss and German machinists were only allowed to use hand tools during their first years of apprenticing. The ingenuity one can find in machine work is astonishing. Questions: Is this supposed to be one big axle or two stub axles? If it is one axle how do you install it? I imagine one installs the bearings and sprocket before welding on the last two flanges but how does one avoid side play? If this is two separate stub axles how are they engaged with the main axle? How do you keep the flanges square to the shaft during welding? With a $400 7"x10" mini lathe you could make hundreds of these and many other things. I think you might like machining if you gave it a chance. Harbour Freight and Busy Bee have fantastic sales and there is lots of info on