DIY Homebuilt Wheel Truing Jig using Alumaweld rods

I'm calling it a jig because it's really not a wheel truing stand. I've been wanting something to check the runout on my wheels. And, maybe tackle a wheel building project one day.

I had heard about Alumaweld rods and found some on sale at Eastwood for $5.00 shipped. I bought them and put them in my tool chest for some future project. Because of this, I decided to build my truing jig out of square tube aluminum.

Bought a piece of 1" square tube aluminum (36" long) at a home store for $11 and cut it to size.

Image

Image

I welded the 90 degree section and then flipped the jig to weld the 45 degree section. 

Image

The Alumiweld rods are like brazing rods. You're supposed to be able to use a propane torch to heat up the work enough for the rods to flow into the joints. I couldn't get the tubing hot enough with the propane so I switched to a tank of map gas. Bad thing about map gas is you can cut through aluminum pretty darned quick if you don't know what you're doing. And, I don't... Most of these welds look sub-par. Reminds me of the first time I used a stick welder. Oh well, it is a learning experience, right?

Here's one of the better welds. I'm not showing a close up of the worst one. Some of them look pretty cold...

Image

I drilled a 23/64" hole and then used a jigsaw blade clamped in a vice grip to cut out the notches for the dropout.

Image

Here it is clamped up to my vice and setup with the dial indicator.

Image Image Image

Turns out the wall of the square tubing is too thin for the quick release to grab hold. I just added a washer to the mix and it clamps up nicely.

Also comes in handy when adding sealant to my tubeless tires.

Image

Not bad for a $11 truing jig (cost of the tubing).

Lessons learned: I'm not skilled at heating aluminum to the right temp for the alumaweld rods. And, I need to add some additional aluminum or maybe just epoxy the washer into place on the top of the jig.

All in all, I'm content with it. When I'm not using it I can toss it in the tool chest without taking up too much room and it will serve it's purpose nicely.

Alumiweld information here: Aluminum repair kits, repair any aluminum metal by welding with a Propane Torch - Alumiweld

The $5 packs of rods I bought from Eastwood don't appear to be on their website any longer.