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Jodywright

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Reply with quote  #1 

Remember, I am just a beginner, and I am sure that the more experienced woodworkers in this site will be able to see all sorts of flaws in my methods.

1.  I have access through a friend to a band saw, but it does not have a fence and therefore I made Jig #1 to get a standard width on the wheels.  To do this, I butt the dowel against the jig which I have set for 3/8 of an inch from the blade.  If your band saw has a fence, you will not have to make this jig.

2.  For safety sake, and to make sure that the cuts are straight, I made Jig #2 which runs in the miter slot of the bandsaw.  The dowel is placed in the slot, butted against jig #1 for width, and then is advanced into the band saw to cut.  Take your time and let the saw do the work.

3.   You now want to put a hole in the middle for the axel.  Once again, I have a jig (#3).  This is made by cutting a shallow round the sizes of the wheels you might want to make using a Forstner bit or a Spade bit.  Using a regular bit the size of your axel, enlarge the hole in the center; you can drill it at least partially through your jig wood.  On your drill press, clamp the jig so that the drill is centered in the hole. Place the wheel into the jig hole and hold it with a pair of pliers; you really should keep your hands away from it as they will get burned if the wheel catches and turns in your fingers.  Now you really have a production line; drill out the axel hole, take out the wheel and then put the next one in.  Always a good idea to check now and then that your bit remains centered.

4. You now have a rough cut wheel which needs sanding.  I use the jig (#4) which, I believe, either Udie or Doc suggested to me and attaches to the side of my sander.  This sands the bottom of the wheel, and the flat sides are sanded on the top of the sander.

5.  Now you want to round over the sides of the wheels to make them pretty.  I have a router, which I placed into an inexpensive router table and attached a 3/16 inch round over bit.  I have two sizes of wheel jigs, both made from scrap materials in my bin (Jig #5).  The smallest is made for the small car wheels and is made of 3/4 inch medium density fiberboard.  Cut the central area so that you will have lots of room to guide the wheel around the router bit.  Make the top strap so that it has a little pedestal and drill a hole slightly larger than the bolt you are going to use which should be slightly less than the size of the axel. I mix metric and imperial here so that I do not have to struggle to get the bolt in and out of the wheel, but the wheel remains centered.  Put a small washer on the bottom.  Use a wingnut for the top; I use a nut with spikes (name?) that I drove into a reject wheel. Make sure it is tight or the router will grab the wheel and cut out chunks.  The jig for the thicker wheels is made just the same, but allows for the increased thickness of the larger wheels.  Now take your jig assembly to the router and adjust the bit so that it is set just to round off and not to edge over.  Then, turn on the router and advance the wheel jig in the appropriate direction (with the turn of the router bit), circling the router bit.  Turn off the router and then take away the jig.  Keep your fingers away from the bit by placing them only on the outside of the jig.  Flip the wheel over and do the other side.

Perfect wheels!

Seems like a lot of jigs, but remember, you use them over and over again and they will actually save you a LOT of time. jig #1.jpg  jig #2.jpg  jig #3.JPG  jig #4.JPG  jig #5.JPG 

  wheels in dev.JPG 


john lewman

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Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Jodywright,

You are obviously not a beginner at solving difficult problems! I've thoroughly enjoyed your post on low-cost wheel making. It has a lot of detail and that detail has helped me to understand how to quickly make really nice wheels. This post is greatly appreciated.

John
Muskokamike

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Reply with quote  #3 
Great post and lots of info! I like the comment "low cost router table" know what my low cost router table is? I piece of melamine with a hole cut in it lol....because really, that's all you need! (the melamine is nice and slippery too). I've since upgraded it with a cart underneath, shelves, storage, rails for a fence but still, it's a basic sheet....

Your router wheel clamp reminds me of a grabber (brand name of push stick type thing), but I bet yours was cheaper lol.....

As I mentioned in the other thread, what you can do to save the step of sanding, you can increase the height of your router jig, install a template or "master" with the production one bolted underneath. Then the bearing of the router bit follows the perfect master and you've got a perfectly round (as long as your master is) and nice and smooth. What would really increase production is if you had TWO routers, one with the round over and one with a pattern bit....

I worked in a shop and during my first week I asked "why do we have 20 laminate trimmers and 25 routers"? Well, for time saving each laminate trimmer was specific for a type of bit. 1 had a 45 deg bevel, one had a flush, one a chamfer, one a 1/8" round over , one a 1/4" round over, one a 3/8" round over etc. The boss said: it takes you about 45 minutes to get the router, find the bit, take the old one out, then set up the new bit....that's $15.00 each time. I pick them up used for $45.00. When you want a particular edge treatment? You grab that router...do the trim then put it back....all in 5 minutes.

At one point I had 5 laminate trimmers and 6 routers...when I was doing production.....still have 3 laminate trimmers and 4 routers.....
Udie

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Reply with quote  #4 
Jodywright - Excellent post describing your jigs as well as you photos. The photos clearly show what they can produce and how to use them.
Jig 2 with the v-grove for holding dowels is perfect and adding the u-channel and the slot in the band saw is perfect as well as the fence in Jig 1.
I'll have make one of those for my shop.
Jig 3- Axle hole jig with the various sizes on one board - another keeper of a jig.
Jig 4- Rough cut sanding, love it.
Jig 5- Round over bit for the wheels using the router bit and router table, again another excellent jig.
For some reason flat wheels with a rounded edge are always more expensive to purchase, even in bulk quantities when compared to contoured wheels, beats me why.
With this jig of yours you can really whip of dozens in no time at all.
Not all projects suit contour wheels and really need the flat sided ones for the look you are looking for.
Thanks for taking the time to present this and support it with photos.
I am sure that many of our members and guests have made you jigs since you posted them.

mlusk123

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Reply with quote  #5 
Hi Folks. 
I have a link that shows how to make wheels yourself. Basically it's pretty easy. It shows some big wheels however I think it can be the same for smaller wheels. Check it out, it's not very long but pretty detailed. 

 
Hope you enjoy it...
mlusk123
 

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Michael Lusk
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Bucko

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Reply with quote  #6 
Nice video, who wouldn’t like to see wheels made ?
mlusk123

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Reply with quote  #7 
I really can't think of anybody that wouldn't want to see wheels made. 
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Michael Lusk
Springfield, Tn. 
Disabled Vet Woodworking Hobbyist



 
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