I installed the finished tracks and wheels. They look good. Note that I didn’t put the bolt in to connect the ends, as I am currently working on the rear idler for adjusting track tightness.
Here you can see the nice meshing of the the drive sprocket and the track:
I finished the 2nd track, which is a great milestone. But before being able to actually install the tracks and really test them, I had a laundry list of detail work to do. Including: Adding spacers to the bogies for proper alignment, shaping the drive sprockets to the redesigned template, and making the wheels look like real wheels instead of just weird black discs.
So, I decided to make a wheel profile basically like a hub cap, where it would just be attached to the black UHMW wheels, to give the look of an actual wheel and tire. I first cut out plywood discs with a large holesaw. Then I drilled the holes, and coated them all with fiberglass resin:
Then I hung them and sprayed them with self-etching primer:
Then I painted them green, and attached them to the UHMW wheels with hex-head screws (to give the impression of bolts), and then did a quick spray to make the bolts match. They turned out pretty awesome:
Once the cleats were done, track assembly went super fast. And the results are fairly stunning. I test fit it on the chassis, and will be doing alignment, and adding spacers to the bogie/suspension components. And of course I wanted to see what it looked like.
After days .. and days .. of using a bandsaw and router, I have finally finished cuting out all 120 cleats. I used the band-saw to precut out the top area, so the router had much less work to do.
So now I am countersinking all the holes (and drilling them all the way through), so I can then begin screwing them onto the treads.
And here they are being attached to the track treads.. I’m pretty stoked how awesome they look:
First, I made a bunch of 1-3/4″ x 6″ pieces of 3/8″ UHMW. Then I setup a guide on the table saw to cut all the corners off.
I made a template for the cleats out of plywood and aluminum diamond plate, which I then used to cut the other area out with the router (flush bit). This yields a nice cleat, with pre-marked holes (where I will countersink a screw to attach them to the treads).
This isn’t the fastest process, so it will be a few days before all the cleats are finished, and then a few days to attach them all.