Tuesday, October 13, 2009

DIY: Building a Kick Wheel

A kick-style pottery wheel can be very simple and relatively cheap (under $60) to build. All you’ll need is: wood, saw, sanding materials, bolts, screws, steel stock, bearings, fittings, and cement.
Building Materials

(1) 30 foot 2x4 lumber

(1) 14 foot 4x4 lumber
(2) 1x12x30 plywood

(1) 1x24x24 plywood

(4) 12x5/8 in dowel rod

(2) 5x3/8 bolts

(32) 6x1/2 bolts

(8) 7x1/2 bolts

(4) 9x1/2 bolts

(4) 5x1/2 bolts

(4) 3/8x2 lag bolts

(4) 1/4x4 lag bolts

(16) medium weight 2in wood screws

(1) 1x36 steel stock shaft

(1) 1in pillowblock bearing

(1) 1in flange bearing

(2) pulley wheels

(4) 2in “U” bolts

90 lbs. cement

Building the Frame

Begin by cutting the lumber into 30 inch pieces. Create the bottom frame by making a square from (4) 30 inch 2x4s. Next (4) 4x4 pieces are attached upright in the corners, using the 6 inch bolts. One 4x4 is placed longwise in the center of the bottom frame and secured by 4 small blocks using more 6 inch bolts.

Next cut (3) 28 ¾ inch 2x4s. These will be cross supports with the front left open and should be placed at a level for resting the feet of the individual who will be using the wheel. Attach with 6x1/2 bolts.

Take (4) 30 inch 2x4s and attach them with 7x1/2 bolts to the top of both sides of the front and back uprights. This will support the seat and work table. Attach the 1x12x30 pieces of plywood to these supports using the (8) wood screws.

Next you will secure the flange bearing in the center of the bottom crosspiece using 3/8 inch lag bolts. Make a support for the pillowblock bearing using 2x4s. Then find the center of the work top and center the bearing structure here, dropping the plum-bob to the center of the bottom bearing. Next you will insert the shaft through the bearings. Use the 9x1/2 bolts to secure.

To cast the flywheel you will want to find the center of the 24x24 piece of plywood and make a 23 inch circle using a compass. Cut this out and drill a 1 in hole in the center. Next, attach the pulley 2 in from the bottom of the steel shaft with an arc welder or epoxy glue. Use to “V” bolts to secure the plywood circle to the shaft.

Drill (4) 5/8 inch holes in the plywood. Use tar paper to make a 7 in high mold around the plywood circle. Cut the dowel rod into 12 inch pieces and insert them into the holes. Mix the cement and pour 5 inches into the mold. Pull the rods up and down as the cement hardens to keep them loose. When nearly set, replace with 5x1/2 bolts. It may take up to two days for the cement to fully dry and harden.

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