How to Make a Large Spinning Wheel Game

Written by misty barton
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Spinning game wheels, like the ones seen at carnivals or on Wheel of Fortune, have been used in games of chance for a long time. These wheels are an exciting addition to birthday parties, school carnivals or church functions, and are relatively easy to make. They can be made either to stand up or lie flat, and can be decorated differently for different games.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Pencil
  • Plywood
  • Saw
  • Drill
  • Drill press (optional)
  • Lag bolt
  • Dowel rod
  • Wood glue
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Sealant
  • 2 x 4-inch wood board
  • Washers
  • Wood screws
  • Screwdriver
  • Large bucket or flower pot
  • Sand or concrete
  • Piece of heavy plastic
  • Scissors

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    Assembling the Wheel

  1. 1

    Trace a circle the size you want your wheel to be on a sheet of plywood at least 1/2 inch thick.

  2. 2

    Cut the circle out of the plywood using a saw.

  3. 3

    Drill a hole into the exact centre of the circle. This hole should be just large enough for the lag bolt to pass through without touching.

  4. 4

    Divide the wheel into pie-like sections. Draw lines to divide the wheel into these slices.

  5. 5

    Drill a hole about 1 inch in from the outer edge of the wheel on each dividing line. These holes will be used to fix the dowel rod sections into as pegs. The holes should be the diameter of the dowel rod and should not go more than three quarters of the way through the plywood. It may be easier to reach the appropriate depth with a drill press than a handheld drill.

  6. 6

    Cut pegs 2 inches long from the dowel rod using a saw. Cut one peg for each hole in the wheel (except the centre hole). Place wood glue into the holes and then glue a peg into each hole.

  7. 7

    Sand the edge of the wheel and the ends of the pegs to remove any rough spots or splinters.

  8. 8

    Paint the wheel as desired; then apply a clear coat of sealant for protection.

    Assemble a Standing Base

  1. 1

    Cut a 2 x 4-inch wood board for the main post. It should be as long as you want the wheel to be tall. Cut a shorter post if you intend to set the wheel upright on a table and a longer base if you will stand it up on the floor.

  2. 2

    Mark a spot in the centre of the board's width and 3 inches down its length.

  3. 3

    Lay the wheel on top of the board, lining the hole in its centre up with the mark you just made on the 2 x 4-inch board.

  4. 4

    Put two washers between the post and the wheel, and two on top of the wheel. Put a lag bolt through the wheel and all four washers, and screw it into the 2 x 4-inch post. It should not be screwed in completely. The wheel must be able to spin freely.

  5. 5

    Set the post in a bucket filled with sand or concrete. A concrete base is permanent. A sand base allows the wheel to be broken down for easier transportation.

    Add a Clacker

  1. 1

    Fine-tune the lag bolt's position. If the lag bolt is too tight, it will not rotate freely; if it is two loose, it will wobble when it spins. It is important that it is spinning correctly before the clacker is added.

  2. 2

    Screw a small square of scrap lumber to the 2 x 4 post just below the wheel. It should not touch the wheel.

  3. 3

    Saw a slit into the centre of the square.

  4. 4

    Cut a long flapper about an inch wide from a heavy plastic, such as a diaper wipe box.

  5. 5

    Slide the flapper into the slit. It should be long enough to catch on the dowel pegs on the wheel. Screw it into position.

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