Making a brass hubcap


The White steam car has brass hubcaps on each wheel. These simply screw on, and as poor luck would have it, I lost one on a drive not far from home - but did not realize so for three days. An exhaustive search by bicycle yielded the lost hubcap, but unfortunately it has been squashed by a car or truck in the interim.

Obviously no parts are readily available. The originals were cast brass - which is still a process used, but I decided to make one myself from solid brass.

The first step was to machine out the outer surface from a bar of brass 3 inches wide. This included the tapered portion, as well as leaving enough round stock on top of the taper from which the hexagonal nut would later be fashioned

After the outer side was complete, I flipped it around and put it back into the lathe - griping it by the round portion left for the hexagonal nut. In this position, I cut and then ground out the inner taper. Finally, before removing it from the lathe I cut the thread.

From the lathe I moved it over to the mill and cut out a 1.25 inch hexagonal nut

The final product finished - exactly the same as the remaining original on the other side.