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Thread: Making Wheels

  1. #1

    Making Wheels

    I need to make wheels. About 3 inches in diameter, material is oak. No problem making 3 inch circles, I use my bandsaw. But the edge (or tire?) needs to look nice. I don't think a router would work, the circles are too small. I don't have a lathe either. I have a drill press and am thinking about using it somehow. So any ideas would be appreciated.

    DKT

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Kansas City, Missouri
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    13,427
    What is the width of the wheels? If 1/2" - 3/4" you could use a round over bit on the router for the edges, then use a jig with the bandsaw to cut treads around the wheel.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    ABQ NM
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    30,002
    Assuming there is a hole in the middle of the circle, you could probably put a bolt through the wheel and lock it in place with a nut (and a pair of washers). Then you could chuck the end of the bolt into your drill press and do your final shaping with sandpaper. (Or if you rigged a stable rest for it, something like a rasp or file.) I'd do it with caution and eye (or better yet, face) protection, just as if it were on a lathe.

    It could also be done on a router table using a jig to mount the wheel on (a board with a nail the same size as the hole in the wheel would work), with the jig clamped in place to keep the center of the wheel a fixed distance from the router bit.

    Another option would be to see if one of the turners here would be interested in a little skew and parting tool practice. Probably more workable if you need four wheels, and not forty.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  4. #4
    Another option with a drill press.....would be a hole saw.

    There are also tools that have adjustable radius for cutting wheels/circles with a drill press.
    Ken
    ------



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Abbotsford, BC Canada
    Posts
    22
    Kens talking about a fly cutter, be careful with those, they can really bust your knuckles. I think cutting the wheels on your bandsaw will be your safest bet for such a small diameter cut.

    I like Vaughn's suggestion of bolting the wheel and turning it in your drill press. 100 grit folded should give you nice little groves for the tires. Before you turn the wheels in the drill press, just mark your locations with a pencil (heavy mark is best) and when you turn on the drill press, you'll be able to see where you want to cut your grooves.

  6. #6
    I make wheels all the time for my Custom Wooden Models.

    I use a bandsaw to cut the circles, then use a router table to round over the edges or make the profiles inside. You can route small parts on a router table, the key as you mentioned is holding it. I clamp my wheels in those wooden adjustable hand clamps. You have to reposition the clamp a few times, but its easier then any other method. Its also faster then trying to set anything up to do the same thing.

    By the way, whatcha making?

    If you need some help making tractor tires let me know. By using an indexing head, a radial arm sound equipped with a dado blade and by having the blade elevated and set at 15º, you can make some staving rear tractor tire wheels.

    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
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    To make wheels for toys, I first cut the circle using a hole saw in a drill press:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Airplane Shelves 03 -Producing wheels using a hole-cutting thingy on the drill press -small.JPG 
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    Then I round over the edes on a router table.
    Cheers, Frank

  8. #8

    Making wheels

    As I stated in my original message making the circles is not the problem. Putting a nice edge on the circles (to make it look like a tire for example) is a problem. Somebody replied to use a hand clamp to hold the wood and use a router with a round over bit. I'm talking 3 inch diameter circles, isn't that a little small?
    The wheels are for a doll cradle for my grand daughter.
    DKT

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
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    2,332
    Quote Originally Posted by Dietrich Trenner View Post
    As I stated in my original message making the circles is not the problem. Putting a nice edge on the circles (to make it look like a tire for example) is a problem. Somebody replied to use a hand clamp to hold the wood and use a router with a round over bit. I'm talking 3 inch diameter circles, isn't that a little small?
    The wheels are for a doll cradle for my grand daughter.
    DKT
    I would only do such a thing on a router table and, with that set-uop, I would use something other than my fingers to hold the wheel.
    Cheers, Frank

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Waterford, MI
    Posts
    773
    Just curious. Do you have a disc sander or edge sander with a tilting table?
    --------------------------------------------
    Link to my ongoing ClearVue DC Install on CV's site: http://www.gallery2.clearvuecyclones...s-Mini-CV1400/

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