This post shows how I have used the NWSL tools to dismount a driving wheel and re-install it while ensuring the proper quartering.

CASE 1 – Re-quartering a Driver Wheelset

Here we have a surplus traction-tired driver (without gear) from a Broadway Limited Imports 4-6-4 J1 Hudson.  As I don’t care for traction tires on my locomotives, this was a very convenient item to practice on.  We see it mounted in a Puller frame with V-plate support under the wheel and installed in the Sensipress+.  As the axle diameter on this import model is 3.00mm, I have the 3/32” adaptor mounted and centred on the axle.  It is prudent to check to ensure that the press will only be applying force on the axle and not the wheel.


It doesn’t take much force to turn the cross handle and the wheel is dismounted from the axle.


Both drivers have a 1.4mm crank bushing installed.


The wheel/axle assembly is mounted in the Quarterer 2.  Note that the axle is resting in the axle carrier cut-outs and the crank bushing is inserted into the index slot.  This set-up will produce a right-hand lead on the driver set. That is, the crank on the right driver will be forward 90 degrees to the one on the left driver.


The movable body plate is installed and then the driving wheel with the crank bushing inserted into the opposite indexing slot.  Also, the driver centre axle hole is seated in the spring-loaded cone.


The ram on the Sensipress+ is reversed so that the adaptor end is pointing up; the opposite end is solid.  This will provide a better surface to apply a load on the Quarterer wheel press cover.


When installing a wheel, one needs to know how far to press.  I modified the NMRA gauge on the left by removing a portion with my Dremel tool and a cut-off wheel.  I had to do this in order to use it for checking the wheel gauge while the Quarterer was still in the press.


It doesn’t take much force to install a wheel either.  I choke up on the cross handle as shown below.


I went slowly in short presses; after each one I checked the wheel gauge.  Here is the final result:


This is a fairly simple operation and is super easy with these tools.


CASE 2 – Removing a Gear and Installing One

In the picture below an MTH 4-8-2 Mohawk wheelset already has the drivers dismounted.


The Sensipress+ makes short work of removing the gear from the axle.


The tool on the left is one half of the Aligner (the other half looks like this, but only has the centre hole).  The gear removed from the driver is at right – a new gear would normally be installed, but for practice, I’ll re-install it.


The gear is placed over the offset hole (I don’t know why, but that’s how it is done).  Then the axle is pressed lightly and as perpendicularly as possible into it.



This is where I encountered a problem.  The 3.00mm axles on my models (MTH/BLI) do not fit into the 3.00mm holes provided.  The axle ends have four crimped slots co-axial with the axle centreline.  These crimps make the ends slightly bigger and I assume that they bite into the wheel bore for an improved press fit.  The trouble is, they are too tight fitting for the Aligner holes.  A 3.00mm hole is .118” diameter and I had the holes opened up a little by re-drilling them with a #31 drill (.120”).


The .002” increase in diameter is just right.  The axle with gear is inserted into the centre hole of on Aligner disk and the other is applied on top.  Then the top one is lightly tapped with a brass hammer.  This action sets the gear to be perpendicular to the axle centreline.  The purpose of this is to reduce gear wobble to a minimum.  Gear wobble can be the cause of a cyclical hesitation in a locomotive model’s motion.

I feel very good because I have learned much from this exercise.  Now to get that mis-behaving NYC Mohawk…