How to Build a Stand for a Prize Wheel

Written by dustin pitan
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A prize wheel is often found at carnivals or fairs. With it, a contestant spins the wheel until it stops on one of many spaces and they are awarded a prize on that space. The most famous derivation of this can be found on the game show "Wheel of Fortune." The prize wheel can be placed either vertically or horizontally to be used, but a stand must be made for it to spin properly in any orientation.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Large flower pot
  • Sand
  • Piece of wood, measuring 5 feet long and 2-by-4 inches
  • 2 pieces of wood, measuring 1-by-2-by-24 inches
  • Piece of wood, measuring 1-by-1.5-by-32 inches
  • Piece of wood, measuring 2-by-10-by-15 inches
  • Lag bolt
  • Wood screw
  • Hammer and Nails (or nail-gun)
  • Wood glue
  • 2 to 6 washers (2x)
  • Measuring tape
  • Drill

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Measure 4 inches down from the top of your 2-by-4 and make a mark indicating where it is.

  2. 2

    Place your prize wheel onto the 2-by-4. Place the centre of the prize wheel (which should have a hole in it to allow it to spin) on the 2-by-4 and rest the edge of the wheel on the mark. Wherever the centre of the hole in the prize wheel rests, make a mark so that you know where to drill your hole.

  3. 3

    Drill a hole half way into the 2-by-4. The hole should be smaller than the diameter of the lag bolt and should just help with inserting the bolt straight and proper.

  4. 4

    Place two washers down over the hole, then place the prize wheel, followed by two more washers on top of that. Finish by screwing in the lag bolt into the hole, holding all of the materials together. Don't over-tighten it, however, as this will affect the spinning of your wheel.

  5. 5

    Place the 2-by-4 upright into the flowerpot. A bucket or even a homemade box will also work. Simply make sure that it has no holes and will not leak when filled up with sand.

  6. 6

    Add the sand to the flowerpot, making sure that the prize wheel sits straight upright, and that the sand holds the piece of wood securely in place. Add more sand if necessary.

  1. 1

    Place the three strips of wood in parallel lines about 5 inches apart from one another. The 3 pieces of wood should go in this order: the 24-inch long 1-by-2 inch piece, the 32-inch long 1-by-1.5 inch piece, and the second 24-inch long 1-by-2 inch piece. Make sure one of their edges line up with each other (therefore, the middle board will stick out 8 inches further down than the other two boards, while their top edges are all level).

  2. 2

    Place wood glue on the top of each of the three pieces of wood. Don't place it all over though (only place it on the middle 10 inches of each board) and leave 7 inches of unglued wood at the top and bottom of the top face. Once the glue is in place, lay the 10-by-15 piece of wood over the boards. Lay it so that it is horizontally longer, and that the 10-inch side covers all of the glue on the three pieces of wood. Once completed, the layout should look like a ribcage or fishbones. It may be easier to do this one board at a time, if you like. Allow the glue to dry.

  3. 3

    Nail nine small nails into the base board. There should be three nails holding each of the three strips of wood to the baseboard. Use a nail-gun if you prefer. Make sure that the centre nail in the centre strip of wood is not exactly in the centre of the base board. You will need to drill directly into the centre of the baseboard so that area needs to be free.

  4. 4

    Drill a small hole into the centre of your base board. The hole should be less than the diameter of your wood screw and simply be used for a pilot hole for your screw.

  5. 5

    Place two washers (make sure they are very flat and smooth) over the pilot hole of your baseboard. Then place the prize wheel on top of that, followed by two more washers. Screw the wood screw in through all the materials and tighten it slightly. Do not over-tighten it or you might have difficultly turning the wheel. Don't under-tighten either or the wheel will be wobbly. Fine-tune the tightening as you go along.

Tips and warnings

  • Leaving a 4-inch gap at the top of the vertical stand and an extra nine inches on the horizontal stand will allow you to add a flapper.
  • It's fairly simple to make a flapper, depending on your desired style. Simply add a 4-inch piece of 1-by-2 wood so that it sticks up perpendicular to the stand; then screw it in. Once that's done, screw in a flapper. A flapper could be made from anything, but rubber is recommended.

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