New Carb-i-tool Wheel Cutter

I while back, I was waxing lyrical about the virtues of the Carb-i-tool Wheel Cutter, and more recently again for the wooden vehicle exercise.

Since I acquired my wheel cutters (40mm, 50mm and 60mm), Carb-i-tool have come out with a redesigned cutter to address requests they have received over the years to have a raised hub, rather than a recessed one.

From what I can gather, this new wheel profile will be replacing the old design, so once the original stocks are gone only the raised wheel hub version will be available.

I happen to like both for different projects fwiw.

Old and New Wheel Cutters

Old and New Wheel Cutters

The old profile is shown here to the left of the new cutter.

Please note, as I have pointed out before, that these are NOT for the router, despite the initial appearance to be like a router bit.  They are a large profile, with no anti-kickback features, and are not designed for router speeds.  They are designed to be used with a drill press, and even then if you don’t adequately clamp down the timber they can still grab and spin it at significant enough speeds to really hurt, as my fingers can still testify.

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Old vs New Wheels During Cut

Here you can see the old and new profiles being cut side-by-side. You slowly plunge the bit into the timber, cutting the profile, and when it is fully formed, you stop and flip the workpiece over, and using the centre hole as the guide, cut the wheel from the opposite side until it comes free. (Check out the video on Stu’s Shed TV).

New and Old Wheels

New and Old Wheels

Here are the resulting as-formed wheels.  One thing I haven’t tried which will be an interesting exercise, is to use one profile from one side, and the other profile for the other side and see what sort of wheel that produces.

The rim on the edge of the wheel is very thin and easy to remove.  You can carefully snap it off with your fingers, or sand it off (which is how I’ve been doing it recently) by inserting a short dowel as an axle, and gently rubbing the wheel up against a (running) disk sander, tilting it at  slight angle so it sands and spins at the same time.

In any case, these wheel cutters can be used to extract every bit of use from your offcuts, leaving you with a mountain of wheels, and a bin full of religious waste (very holy). Given the profile is solid tungsten carbide, you will get a LOT of wheels from these cutters before they even need sharpening, and with commercially produced wheels costing around $A0.55 for a 38mm wheel $A1.50 for a 50mm wheel and $A2.20 for a 63mm wheel, the cost of the cutter will be recouped in no time at all. (I’m sure there are other suppliers that are potentially cheaper, but that was the result of a quick Google search finding one of the main Australian suppliers).

Hmm $2.20 a wheel – perhaps I should start making them commercially after all – I’d only have to make 20 an hour to have a reasonable income 🙂  However, before anyone else asks – no – I’m not selling wheels!  If you want some – go buy a cutter and make your own!

The wheel cutters each cost around $A115, or 52 wheels.  Given one of my toy trucks needs 18 wheels, that’s only about 3 trucks worth! (Or 13 toy cars – see – it isn’t that expensive)

10 Responses

  1. One thing I haven’t been able to work out from your posts on these wheel cutters – why does it leave the rim around the edge? Why not just keep driving it in until the wheel separates from the stock, or would that tear unevenly?

  2. The rim gets left because that is the point where the force down by the cutter on the wheel exceeds the strength of the fibres that remain uncut.

    In pine, these are not very strong, so the whole rim fails with about 0.5mm remaining to be cut, which has to be subsequently removed as discussed.

    In Vic Ash for example, the fibres are stronger, so they are almost completely severed before they break, so only a bit remains that can be easily rubbed off by hand

    It also comes down to the way the wheel is being shaped – with the whole surface area being pushed down on by the cutter. If you were using a holesaw to create a wheel for example, only the material in the kerf is being pushed on, so it is more likely to cut through rather than break free (assuming you cut the wheel from both sides). If you cut the wheel from only one side with a holesaw, then you often get a bad amount of breakout if you don’t have good backing, and it is for the same reason – the amount of force on the remaining wood is greater than the fibres can stand, so they break rather than being cut.

    This same concept applies to pretty much every situation where breakout occurs – whether that be drilling, routing etc.

  3. Where I can buy these in Canada

  4. We need 3 1/2″ wheels for our toy carts. Are wheel cutters of this value available?

  5. How much would a st of these cost?

  6. For all the above, contact carbitool.com.au and get their catalogue, including pricelist.

  7. I would like to know where to order the wheel cutter from

    • Contact Carbitool.com.au for a list of retailers

  8. I would like to know where I could purches wheel cutters like the ones you show in your ad

    • No ads here! I use the Carbitool wheelcutter (carbitool.com.au), and Carbatec also stock some carbatec.com.au

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