How to Make Axles For 1:64 Scale DieCast Cars

Today we will be tackling a slightly more advanced area of customising, but one that is still a basic requirement if you are too grow your skills. 

As I understand it, there are two methods you can employ to create your own axles, one being to buy tubing to insert the axle into - which requires drilling of the axle well to accommodate the larger tube... and other stuff that I am sure is easy once you get the hang of it. I clearly never did.

I chose door number 2 (or was that 1?) and opted with the much simpler method of creating new axles of the same size as the original Hotwheels axle. Today I will be taking you through that process.

What You'll Need:

The first and most vital requirement is the axle rods themselves. 

It needs to be made of brass because it is soft enough that you can create end caps, and it needs to be 0.8mm in diameter - because that's the standard Hotwheels axle width.

how to make axles - brass rods

You will also need the following tools:

  • Good quality pliers that grip well and hold firm
  • A Hammer (smaller head the better)
  • A fine file
  • wire cutters (avoid using the ones on the pliers - get a decent pair)

tools you will need to make your own axles

Making the Axles - The Process

Step 1.

We need to make an end cap so take your brass rod and hold it in the pliers so only 1 - 1.5mm is poking out the end. You literally only want a small amount poking out -anything around 2mm and over is too great and instead of creating a nice head you'll bend the top of the axle (trust me - been there, done that)  - see slider below for image examples

Step 2.

Now take your pliers with the brass rod poking out the end and place them in a vice or somewhere with a small gap that can:
A) Allow the brass rod to hang down freely, and
B) Where the pliers can rest so that excessive downward force can be applied

Step 3.

Take your hammer and gently but firmly tap on the 1 - 1.5mm of brass rod poking out the end. I recommend increasing the force as you go, starting lightly and then by the 4th or 5th tap becoming a solid hit.

You should now have a small round(ish) head on the end of the brass rod.

Step 4.

Take your file and remove the (ish) so you are left with a nice neat round end cap.

  • Make sure only the smallest amount of brass rod is pokng out the top.
  • It is better to do too little than to make the mistake of trying to do too much
  • I space the vice just wide enough so the pliers rest on top.
  • Then I start gently tapping with the hammer
  • Increase the tempo until the brass rod is flush with the pliers - make sure to hit down as straight and evenly as possible.
  • not sure if you can see it in the image - but I'll prove there is an end cap there...
  • ha! Perfect end cap doing it's job
  • You can see the fruits of our labour here.

Finishing off Your Axle

Now that we have created the end cap you simply need to put your second wheel on, make sure the length is correct and set the wheels with your second and final end cap.

A couple of things to keep in mind though

  • Make sure your wheels are pointing the right way!
    Last thing you want to do is finish  your axle only to find you've got one of the wheels facing inwards!
  • Get the length of your axle right by measuring it against the car base NOT the existing axles!
    Don't make the mistake of using the old axles to measure your new ones. I did this for ages and quite often my new axles were either too long or too short to even get on the base. What the?! Finally it dawned on me that each real rider and custom donor wheel was different in design and width, meaning the length of the axle and new wheels were only relevant when you looked at them against the base of the car they are about to live on.

 

 

 

Have you got an even better method for making axles - perhaps you chose door number 3?

Let me know in the comments, and as always if you enjoyed it, share it 🙂

 

 

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