Making Deep Dish Wheels - Round 2
A few weeks ago I showed you how to make BBS Style Deep Dish Wheels for your 1:64 scale diecast cars and although the results were amazing, the process itself was riddled with flaws and using the grinder was well, it was nasty.
I actually made an entire set of BBS wheels without any problems but then when I attempted a second set I had all sorts of issues, mostly related to the wheel itself losing its shape or the axle hole becoming too large - all a direct result of the friction and heat build up.
Needless to say it was time to look for an alternative method of making deep dish wheels, one that did NOT INVOLVE A DREMEL!
How to Make Work Meister Style Wheels.
First things first, the tools of the trade:
- 1 extremely sharp blade/scalpel/Exacto knife.
- Super Glue
- Half an axle (go with me here)
- At least one set of MBX (Matchbox) Wheels*
- One set of dragway style Real Rider Wheels**
- Drillbit - 4.0 - 4.5mm
- Medium to Light Grit Sandpaper
*The type of Matchbox wheels we use are very specific but are also quite common across a large range of MBX models. After reading this post you will start seeing them everywhere... unless Murphy shows up of course! Stay away ya bastard.
**The Real Rider Wheels I use are available on a few models but I can only confirm where I get mine, and that is from the Plymouth Belvedere that came out as the Tommy Boy Retro Entertainment model.
Now Let's Make Some Wheels!
Before I take you through the process let me explain in a nutshell what we are doing.
Basically we are cutting the centre out of both wheels and inserting the matchbox coloured 5 spoke insert into the space.
We will be doing all the cutting with our exacto blade. There is no drilling, no grinding, and no cutting with a hacksaw. Now you might be thinking a hacksaw is safer and wiser option over using a scalpel/blade, and one of my mentors and good Instagram friends said the same thing:
Chris aka @78Toy4Dr on Instagram, and the originator of the stretched tyre look and one of the pioneers of the custom Hotwheels wheel made the recommendation that I use a hacksaw (Jewellers blade) to cut the centre out as it was far safer, and that my future fingers would thank me for utilising this method over my own. And he has a bloody good point LOL.
Testing has revealed that the saw cuts too small a circle and the insert simply falls through the Real Rider centre. Using the scalpel allows us to purposely go as close to the edge of the MBX wheel as possible. The added bonus to this is that by cutting with a scalpel we naturally create an uneven star shape, a pattern that actually gives us something to work with when inserting it into the real rider.
OK right, now that that's sorted... on with the show.
Take your knife and cut the centre out of the matchbox wheel... basically.
- Treat this as if there are layers to the wheel.
- Cut gently but firmly into the first of the five fingers (of the wheel - not your own fingers!)
- Keep as close to the edge as possible and be mindful of the angle at which the blade goes into the wheel (try to go straight down)
- Work around until you have a visible cut line all the way around.
- Repeat the process until you are all the way through.
- After about three laps you will find you can push the blade all the way through and apply more force.
- When the wheel centre drops out clean up any obvious bits sticking out but DO NOT trim the edges yet.
Now we need to repeat the process with the real rider wheel. I actually tried reverting to the drilling method as I used in the first deep dish wheel method but found that because of the real rubber wheels it was hard to make the wheel stay firm in the vice. Truth be told I was also concerned that the drill would damage the chrome finish of the lip/dish and as such decided that precision was the better choice.
- As we did with the MBX wheel, start firmly but gently, cutting around close to the edge.
- Once you have done two laps you need to turn the wheel over and cut from the other side. I only do one lap just to get the cut neat and clean from that end.
- It is better to concentrate the force and effort from the back as 1: you can hack a little more since it is out of sight, and 2: going from the front you again risk scratching/cutting the chrome dish.
- Once the wheel centre falls out, take your knife and run it around the inside of the lip so as to clean up any stubs remaining.
- DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT take your sandpaper and drill bit yet as I did this and the MBX centre fell straight through as I had sanded it too much!
- Now insert the MBX centre into the hole you just made.
Check the insert will fit - and from here its just a case of sanding, smoothing and making it fit - but know that it won't take much to do so - maybe a minute of stuffing around at most.
Push the centre in until, well until you are happy with how much dish you have (there is actually a little lip inside just where the old spokes sat - I recommend pushing your new centre to that point. This also tends to make the back tabs flush with the wheel edge (you will see what I mean when you do it, but dont concern yourself with that fact right now).
- Step 3: Now we need to superglue the wheel into place permanently. Now when it comes to superglue and custom hotwheels I usually run screaming for the hills, but in this case we have no choice... which is why we need half an axle 😉
- Take your half axle and use it to apply superglue to the back of the wheel where the insert meets the real rider. Dab tiny bits of glue ONTO the edges. Try to avoid dropping the glue in the holes.
- Basically, superglue dries white and/or horribly and we dont want it anywhere near our wheel. Using the tip of a cut axle gives us the precision to only apply small amounts of glue that basically dry upon application. WINNING
See slider below for image examples of process and correct wheel fitment
Variety is the Spice of Life
Here are some of the wheels I have since acquired, and where I remembered, the car from which the wheels came...
And today I found a MBX Coyote 500 with orange chrome wheels like the green in this example... so dope!
And here are just some of the cars I used as wheel donors.... I'm loving the ATV as I get extras LOL.
Making Custom Wheels - Conclusion
So there you have it - a new method for making Deep Dish wheels that involves no grinding or drilling. Gotta be happy with that!
I am also going to take all the chrome wheels from the ATV above and paint them in various colours. Some I'll even paint the same colour as the car they will go on - or something. Regardless, the possibilities for customising using this method are truly endless, and that's only using one design of insert!
On that note, I have been searching and searching and so far have not found another wheel design that allows itself to be cut out as easily - all the others are solid and as such a pain in the you know what to attempt to cut.
As always I ask that if you enjoyed this article that you share it 🙂
I'll leave you with a couple of sliders with images showing off how these wheels look under a car. In most cases I was too impatient and only had one or two wheels to work with - but meh, whatever. you get the idea - and you know you love it 😉