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Old 03-01-2012, 10:50 PM   #1
Hamtastic
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I love Wodent Wheels and use a lot of them for my hams, who love them too!

What I don't love is the rattly and at times grinding noise they make. I used to solve those issues at least partially by oiling (vegetable oil preferred over vaseline, which accumulates dirt fast and leaves black residue on the metal rivets on front and back panels) and re-assembling and tweaking the tilt when positioning my wheels.

My two latest wheels have too-tight metal rivets, causing the wheels to make a grinding metal-against-metal noise when rotated, especially noticeable if any sand gets onto the axel and sticks to lubricants like vaseline.

I was recommended Teflon tape! And what an ear-saver it was! So this is a guide to making your Wodent Wheels quieter by using Teflon tape (which is a stretchy white tape you can get very cheaply at a hardware store, and it's normally used for plumbing to make pipe joints leak-proof) and proper assembly.

This is an example of Teflon tape (also known as "pipe tape" and under a few other names):



1/2 in. x 260 in. PTFE Tape-017850 at The Home Depot

It's white and stretches quite well. It's very thin and filmy and sticks to itself a bit, so unwrap it carefully and use about a 20cm long strip for your Jr. axels and maybe 30cm for Sr. axels.

  • You do not need to use lubrication when using Teflon tape. In fact, I would discourage it, as it might increase wear on the tape, requiring more frequent re-wrapping, by having particles stick to the axel and grind the tape off between the rivets and the axel.
  • Using sand such as play sand will increase wear on the tape if your hamsters frequently run through the sand and bring it on their feet into their wheels. It's not an issue for most of my hamsters except for my Campbell brothers whose wheels have particularly tight rivets.
  • Re-apply tape when fully disassembling your wheels for thorough washing or if you don't disassemble for washing that often, when your notice that the tape is wearing out.

The Guide:

Step 1: Disassemble and clean your wheel parts:



Step 2: Wrap a ribbon of Teflon tape over the axel



Start at the angle end, making a few revolutions around the part before the protrusions that keep a washer in place to secure the tape, and then keep going in a spiral toward the front end of the axel. The important parts are those that will be under the metal panel rivets, so you don't need to layer the tape over anything else. I just wrap in a diagonal spiral all the way to the end, making a few circular revolutions at the end to secure the tape.

Fully wrapped axel:



Step 3: Assemble your wheel:
  • Connect the track
  • Insert the track into the back panel in such a way that the clear connector does not interfere with plastic protruding spokes on the sides of the panel, as shown on the photo

  • Attach the front panel in the same manner, avoiding the spokes being too near the clear track connector.

    Step 4: Put the first washer onto the axel

    If it goes on tightly, make sure to rotate it as you insert it, as if screwing on a nut onto a bolt. Rotate it in a direction that will not unwrap your Teflon tape.



    Step 5: *Insert the wheel onto the axel in the same way you inserted the first washer: by gently rotating ("screwing it on") it onto the axel. This is so that the Teflon tape does not get too stretched out / scraped off by the metal rivets, as they can be quite tight on some panels. If you see dents in the tape after insertion--it's fine, the tape is very stretchy and becomes thin as it gets worn out.



    Step 6: Insert the outer washer and then use a skinny pin or a needle to puncture a hole through the tape where the hole for the securing pin is located. It is to make inserting the pin more easily.



    Step 7: Insert the securing pin and your wheel is good to go!


*Note: Your wheel might be rattly from being a bit loose between the front and back washers. It will rattle about when rotated. You can help by inserting an additional washer between the white back washer and the back panel. I used an additional metal washer on two of my latest wheels, wrapping them in Teflon tape in a spiral through the central hole.



Also note that older style Wodent Wheels were made with metal washers instead of white plastic, thus if you have such a wheel, wrapping those washers in Teflon tape will also help making your wheel quieter in addition to wrapping Teflon tape over the axel.


Enjoy!

To add to the first post, I now also do the following if my wheels still rattle. I substitute the original white plastic washers with other white plastic washers I get from a hardware store. These new washers have a larger radius of the inner hole, which allows me to do 2-3 rounds of Teflon tape wrapping--enough for the hole to become snug around the axel but not too tight. This cushions the wheel on the front and back and makes it rattle less or not at all--results vary wheel by wheel.

I recommend plastic washers, as metal ones will probably wear out the Teflon tape faster.

Note: this is only good for wheels that are slightly loose between the front and back washer and rattle because of it. If you try it on a wheel that's already tight, it will become harder to turn.

Original washer on the right and my new washer on the left:


New Teflon-wrapped washer at the front of the wheel:


New Teflon-wrapped washer on the back of the wheel:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg P1020799.jpg (31.2 KB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg P1020800.jpg (35.3 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg P1020802.jpg (17.4 KB, 9 views)
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Last edited by Fluffy; 03-08-2012 at 11:39 PM. Reason: Merged posts
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Old 03-02-2012, 04:54 AM   #2
souffle
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Default Re: Guide to making Wodent Wheels run smoother and quieter.

Wow - thank yoo so much Hamtastic. Fantastic resource.
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Old 03-02-2012, 02:46 PM   #3
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Default Re: Guide to making Wodent Wheels run smoother and quieter.

Brilliant thankyou so much May have to do this with Batmans x
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Old 03-03-2012, 03:21 PM   #4
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Default Re: Guide to making Wodent Wheels run smoother and quieter.

Thank you so much for posting this. I've followed these instructions on Taylor's wheel and the difference is amazing - it's so much quieter!
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Old 03-31-2012, 05:26 AM   #5
roundeye
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Default Re: Guide to making Wodent Wheels run smoother and quieter.

I don't mean to sound dumb but is this wheel popular? what are the special characteristics about it. I'm trying to find a quieter wheel without having to dish out 15 bucks for a silent spinner
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Old 03-31-2012, 05:29 AM   #6
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Default Re: Guide to making Wodent Wheels run smoother and quieter.

Instead of being open, the hamster goes into the wheel through a series of holes. It supposedly makes the hamster feel safer, as it's like running in a tunnel.
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Old 04-02-2012, 02:29 PM   #7
kiania
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Default Re: Guide to making Wodent Wheels run smoother and quieter.

Not sure that Nimh is the perfect example, but I just had a Wodent wheel shipped to the UK. She's had a flying saucer since we got her in Feb, and she does use it, but in brief bursts (perhaps 30 seconds of running max, before she stops, looks around or hops off). We popped her in her playbox with the wodent wheel (bought for her new cage, as currently I'm worried about cave-ins in her current one). She hopped in. She hopped out. She then spent 5 minutes running on it, trying to stick her head out of each hole as it passed (I was more than a little worried about decapitated hamster!). Then for the next 10 minutes, she just ran...and ran...and ran. She didn't even do that on a silent spinner we got 2nd hand. I am really impressed with the wodent wheels. Mine is silent (quiet whiring noise is all I can hear, and it is quieter than my computer fans), she obviously thinks it is the most awesome thing since puffed millet came into vogue, and even shipping it from the US to the UK wasn't hideously expensive (nor did it take very long at all - I was shocked with how speedy it got here!).

I am thoroughly impressed with it as a wheel (more so than I expected to be - I bought it because people thought it was good, but also because I'd never owned a wodent wheel before, and like trying new things so I can then compare them to things I already have tried - for future advising of others), and their customer service was perfect.

I can understand the idea of wall-huggers, and how the wheel would make such animals (like hammies) feel safer while out jogging.

I think mine is about the same in silence as a silent spinner, but mine is brand new, so I can't comment on whether it will stay so quiet.
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Old 04-02-2012, 05:49 PM   #8
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Default Re: Guide to making Wodent Wheels run smoother and quieter.

Yes, all of mine absolutely adore Wodent Wheels--my robos and other dwarfies. In fact, every single time I see them use a Wodent Wheel vs. another wheel, they seem happier with WWs. Good latest example is Hamilton. I took his WW away and gave him a quiet wooden wheel (9" Trixie). Then I barely saw him for 4 days. I thought he fell ill... he's normally out a lot in the evenings and night. I thought it was something in his food or another reason.

Then, when I was moving Isabel's aquarium to a more convenient spot and putting in new platforms, I gave her Hamilton's wheel (which she doesn't mind), and Ham got his WW back. Let me tell you, he came out to check out the noise I was making, hopped in, and he ran and ran and ran! And he would not stop running for almost an hour. Never taking it from him again!

This is a video I made of him to commemorate how happy he was:



These wheels also helped make my initially extremely timid Lucy a lot more confident and have made my robos happier.
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Old 05-18-2013, 12:08 AM   #9
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Default Re: Guide to making Wodent Wheels run smoother and quieter.

Thank you so much for this ours was really squeaky and rattly, now it's quieter than my silent spinners.
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Old 05-18-2013, 10:27 PM   #10
Hamtastic
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Default Re: Guide to making Wodent Wheels run smoother and quieter.

Glad to hear it . I still wrap my wheels, not too regularly, but maybe a rewrap every couple months. As soon as the tape starts tearing inside the wheel. Lucy likes to rip hers off, so I don't use it on her wheel anymore, but others ignore their axels.
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