Wednesday, 23. May 2012
Hello Everyone, here is the wheel tutorial I promised. It may be a long post but don’t worry about that. The steps are quick and easy. Here are the materials you will need for this project (materials pictured are for one wheel).
Two handy panels or one sheet of 1/2 inch plywood.
Two flat, plain, steel strips 1 1/4″ x 1/8″ x 48″
Two 1/2″ bronze flange bearings
Decide what you would like your wheel to look like. I looked online until I found a look I liked and would be easy to reproduce for my first woodworking project. I wanted my wheels to be 15 inches in diameter so I set my trammel to 7 1/2″, half of 15″, to draw my circle on the plywood ( pictured below).
My wheel design called for six holes (spokes). A quick and easy way to get perfect spacing is to use a protractor. I drew a line across the circle. I then placed the hole in the protractor directly over the hole created by the trammel in step one and lined my line up with the line on the protractor, mark the 60 and 120 degree marks. Now take a yard stick and draw lines on your marks through the circle.
I used a compass to mark the center of my little circles (spokes). I set the compass at 3 3/4″ because that is where I wanted the center of my circles. Place the point of the compass at the junction where each straight line meets the curve of the circle and mark with the pencil end on all six lines.
Now you have all the markings you will need, time to start cutting. Use a jigsaw or coping saw to cut the perimeter of the wheel. I used a 3″ hole saw attachment on my husband’s drill to cut out the holes (spokes). I placed the drill bit directly over the mark I made with the compass in step three. If you don’t have a hole saw attachment, you could draw the little circles with the compass and cut them out with a jigsaw or coping saw. Drill the center hole with a 3/4″ spade drill bit, use a bit of epoxy and glue the 1/2″ bronze flange bearing in the center.
Once everything is all drilled and cut, it is time to wrap the steel strap around the wheel. To find out the length of steel needed, multiply the diameter of your circle (15″ in my case) by pi (3.14). My steel needed to be 47.1″ long. It is best to cut the steel a little long and trim the excess after it is wrapped around the wheel center. This will produce a tighter seam. After the steel is cut, mark a line down the center of the steel on one side. On the opposite side mark two lines. Each line should be marked 3/8″ from the outer edge and run the length of the steel. These two lines will help you keep your wheel centered on the steel as you bend the steel around the wheel. The single line goes on the outside to help keep the screws centered. Drill a 5/32″ hole in this single line, 1/2″ from the end. Drill the rest of the holes every 3 inches. Using a countersink bit, widen these holes into an inverted cone shape. This will allow the #6 x 5/8″ screws to sit flush with the outer rim. It will probably be easier to have a partner help you with this next part. Drill a 3/32″ pilot hole through the steel counter sink hole. The plywood center will split if a pilot hole is not used. Now use screws to secure the steel to the wheel. I used wood screws and a screwdriver. After each screw is secure, bend the steel around the wheel. After the steel was bent and secured around the wheel, I used my husband’s air grinder to smooth down the screw heads that were not level. You may also use a file or a Dremel for this. The holes in the screw heads were then filled with autobody spot putty. Let the putty dry and then sand smooth.
Paint. If you have any bad spots (knots etc) fill them with wood filler, dry, and sand smooth. I didn’t prime this wheel. If you want to take that step, it will help hide the plywood texture. I used a textured spray paint to hide the plywood texture on this wheel. I used Rust-oleum multicolored texture in Autumn Brown. I also used Rust-oleum in a flat black. I layered the two together. This is where you can get a little artistic depending on the look you want to achieve. I wanted a fairly uniform, rusted look.
This one wheel cost just over $18. I think we could have saved a little money if we had got a sheet of plywood. I think we could have got the price down to around $14.50 per wheel. Of course price depends on what supplies you have on hand. We had all the tools and hardware on hand. My husband also had the bronze flange on hand (these are inexpensive and can be found at any hardware store). The steel was $7.34. The plywood was $7.40. Both of these were purchased at Home depot. The spray paint was purchased at Wal-Mart. Each can was around $3.50. I think the two cans can easily cover two wheels.
I strongly suggest that you hop on over to my husbands blog and read through his tutorial for making this wheel. Thanks for stopping by. Hope this tutorial helps! Feel free to contact us if you need further tips or assistance. And please, share your results with us.
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