How to make homemade wagon wheels for a school project

Written by antonette ellertson
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Students in schools in the United States spend time in history class learning about pioneers who headed out West in the 1800s. Sometimes this lesson is accompanied by a project that involves re-creating this westward exodus. This might seem like a daunting task at first, especially when it comes to making homemade wagon wheels, but with some simple tools, making wagon wheels for a school project becomes a relatively easy task.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • 1/2- to 3/4-inch plywood
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Drill
  • Jigsaw
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint (optional)

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  1. 1

    Consider the type of plywood you want to use for this project. If you want the project to last a long time, choose a thicker plywood (e.g., 3/4 inch). You also should determine whether you want the wood treated or not. If it's going to be used in an exterior setting, you'll want to get treated wood.

  2. 2

    Purchase the wood that will work best for your project. Consider the grade quality of the exterior laminate (higher grades require less sanding). Consult with an employee at your local retailer to determine your options.

  3. 3

    Draw a circle on a piece of paper, depicting how large you want the homemade wagon wheel to be (this is going to be the pattern for your wheel). If you're making a wagon also, make sure that the wheel's proportion lines up with the rest of the wagon.

  4. 4

    Cut out the pattern for the wheel and place it on top of the plywood. Lightly trace around the outside of the circle onto the wood, giving yourself a guideline for cutting. Draw in some spokes if you want to have spokes on the wheel.

  5. 5

    Drill a hole that's large enough for the jigsaw blade to fit through directly outside your wheel's outline.

  6. 6

    Use the jigsaw to cut out the wooden wheel. If you want to cut out spokes, drill more holes into each area surrounding the spokes, then use the jigsaw to cut out the areas between the spokes. Avoid making the spokes too thin or they may break.

  7. 7

    Drill a hole in the centre of the wheel so that you could put a screw or other connector through to attach the wheel to a wagon. Sand the entire wheel so there are no rough edges. If you didn't cut out spokes, consider painting the wheel and adding spokes with paint.

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