Are your Chater-Lea axles really 8mm? I would haveexpected them to be 5/16". Due to production tolerances, and so forth, these will likely measure as the same, although they actually differ by about 3 thousands of an inch. The real difference will be in the threading for the cones and nuts. A true 8mm axle will be threaded at one thread per 1mm (i.e. 8mm x 1mm) whereas a 5/16" axle will be threaded at either 26 tpi or 24 tpi.
So your real consideration will be whether the C-L axles are 26 or 24 tpi. I believe C-L (and most "quality" hubs) used 26tpi - and that 24tpi is only found on heavyweight bicycles.
So - in addition to the caches of parts maintained by CR list members - you should be able to find a complete axle set, new, and individual pieces at a shop that carries BMX stuff.
Fred Rednor - Arlington, Virginia (USA)
> From: David Ross <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Subject: [CR]WTB: smaller nuts
> To: "CR discussion list" <email@example.com>
> Date: Thursday, December 11, 2008, 12:05 AM
> No, this isn't about a Brooks saddle problem. I'm
> rebuilding a pair of '50s high-flange Chater Lea hubs
> and have come up short one cone nut and associated locknut,
> washer, etc. I though I would be able to cobble something
> together from my BH hub collection. Nope. Both front and
> rear axles are a dainty 8mm diameter (and hollow!), and the
> BH hub axles (that I have, anyway) are 9mm.
> It's no wonder these CL hubs are so light (and so
> rare). And yes, I will lace them up 4x with just enough
> tension, not too much. I've never seen so little
> aluminum between the spoke holes and the edge of the flange.
> I'll also refrain from (much) riding on these wheels.
> They are destined for my Hobbs Blue Riband project.
> Does anyone have spares or know of a source for cone nuts
> for an 8mm axle?
> Dave Ross
> Portola Valley, California, USA