How to Make a Potter's Wheel Out of a Fan

Hands shaping clay on potter's wheel image by fotosergio from

A new pottery wheel can be quite pricey---anywhere from £39 to £650 depending on what you are looking for. A self-turning version is usually the cheapest, while an electric version can be more expensive. Building your own pottery wheel from items you may already own can be an inexpensive or even free alternative. An electric homemade pottery wheel made from a fan and a few other small items will work just as well as a store bought version.

Remove the grate of the fan to expose the internal fan blades and motor.

Cut the motor out of the fan frame. Leave approximately 6 inches of the back frame attached to the motor. This will be used to attach the motor to the pottery wheel table. Do not cut any wires. Leave these connected to the motor.

Remove the blades from the centre turn table by unscrewing the bolt at the centre of the fan blade. Some versions of fans have the fan blade connected to the fan motor without a screw. Turn the blade counterclockwise to remove it from the motor.

Attach the fan motor to a piece of lumber or a table top, using a strap brace. This will need to be bent to fit over the fan grate. Screw in place with two 1 inch wood screws. Use four braces around the entire motor. Ensure that the motor is tight and will not move.

Turn on the fan to ensure that it turns the MDF board. If it does not, the board needs to be smaller. Adjust the size of the board and try again until the fan turns the board on a low setting.

Stain the board with four coats of water sealer. Allow the sealer to dry between each coat.

Drill a hole in the centre of a round MDF board. The board can realistically be any size you want, but remember the larger the board you use means the more weight on the fan motor. Use a drill bit that is smaller than the hole already on the fan blade.

Install the MDF to the top of the fan blade using the bolt that was removed from the blade. If the fan blade was installed directly over a screw coming out of the motor, you will need to slide the MDF over the bolt and install a bolt over the screw, then cut the excess screw off the top of the MDF.

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