I was in Michaels a few days ago looking for wooden spheres to use in another project ,when I spotted some 3/4″ toy wheels from Lara’s Craft’s that I thought looked much better than the ones I made for my Flat Car project. They cost about $1.60 for a package of 12, plus the cashier had a 40% off coupon that she applied, so I got them for under a buck.
When I got home and took them out of the package, I was disappointed. The wheels were out of round. They seem to be wider across the grain like you’d expect to happen when wood expands. I tried taking a picture to compare the wheels I made (which are pretty round) and the new wheels, but it doesn’t show up very well in a static picture. You have to see the wheel roll on an axle.
Despite the fact the wheels were somewhat out of round, I decided to swap out a set on one of my son’s flat cars just to see how they looked. This required reaming out the axle hole slightly to make them fit over the #4 screws I was using. I thought they looked pretty darn good and it turns out that they roll only slightly worse than my wheels. The real test is if they work on the track though — which they did. The hardest section of track on trains is the tight curved tracks and these new wheels performed just as well as the wheels I made. After I figured this out I swapped wheels on two other flat cars. I definitely will be buying some more.