How to Make a Wagon Wheel for a Carriage

Written by adam raphael
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How to Make a Wagon Wheel for a Carriage
You can make a wagon wheel as a woodworking weekend project. (Wagon Wheel image by Jess Munro from Fotolia.com)

Wooden wheels have a great advantage over metal wheels in that they can be replaced for a lower cost because it is easy to make them yourself. If you have a carriage with wooden wheels, you can perform any needed wheel repairs with just a few items and some basic woodworking tools. You can also use wooden carriage wheels on decorative garden carts or even for making toys for children. Just apply the same steps as you would for a carriage wheel and adapt it to the size you need.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • 1-1/2 inch thick wood
  • Pencil
  • Jigsaw
  • Wood block
  • Lathe
  • Chisel
  • Hole saw
  • Dowels
  • Wood glue
  • Vice clamps

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Cut out a paper circle with scissors to the size you want the wheel to be. Cut out the middle of the paper circle so the outer band is as wide as you want the wheel to be.

  2. 2

    Cut the circle in half so you have a semicircle band, then again so you have 1/4 of the circle. Use this 1/4 as a template for making the wheel frame.

  3. 3

    Trace the 1/4 circle of paper onto a piece of 1-1/2 inch thick wood with a pencil. Cut out 4 of these shapes with a jigsaw.

  4. 4

    Place a wood block on a lathe to round the edges for the hub. The hub block should be 1/5 of the size of the wheel. For example, a 15-inch wheel should have a 3-inch hub block.

  5. 5

    Turn the wood on the lathe and chisel the edges until you have cylindrical block.

  6. 6

    Drill down all the way through the hub block with a hole saw. The hole should be wide enough to accommodate whatever axle it will be attached to.

  7. 7

    Drill holes for the dowels around the middle of the block. Stand the block on its end and drill along the horizontal middle line. The number of holes will depend on how many dowels you are using.

  8. 8

    Fit the dowels into the holes in the hub and lay it on a table.

  9. 9

    Lay the wheel frame pieces around the dowels and make a mark with a pencil at each point where a dowel needs to enter the frame pieces.

  10. 10

    Drill a hole at each mark on the frame pieces.

  11. 11

    Remove the dowels from the hub and put wood glue in each hole around the hub.

  12. 12

    Press the dowels back into the holes in the hub. Use a mallet to make sure the dowels are firmly in place.

  13. 13

    Apply glue to the holes in each of wheel frame pieces. You should also put glue on the ends of each piece.

  14. 14

    Press the frame pieces onto the dowels, using the mallet to bang the frame against the dowels.

  15. 15

    Put the wheel in vice clamps to hold the frame pieces together until the glue dries.

Tips and warnings

  • When one wheel needs replacing, make enough new wheels to replace all of the old ones to give the carriage a new look.
  • Use high quality wood, as the wheel will need to support the weight of the carriage.

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