Making Wheels Without a Lathe

by Mervyn James

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Making Wheels without a Lathe
Not having a lathe, I devised the following method on my router table to make the required wheels for my John Smith Senior 20.

Using a piece of MDF board, I marked the radius centres of the various wheels from the leading edge and drilled holes the size of the shaft on which they will run.  Cut roughly shaped wheels and mount on the board with a piece of shaft set in the appropriate radius hole.

Move the board forward so that the edge is just touching the cutter edge (I find that a cutter with a profile-following bearing is ideal for this) and clamp board in position.  Move the blank slowly in an anti clockwise direction against the cutting action of the bit and you will have a smooth wheel.  Use smooth slow actions and don’t try to cut too much at one go and you will get perfect results.

This would work equally well on a bandsaw with a narrow blade or also on a disc sander.

To put a groove in the edge of the wheel, clamp the board vertically to the fence and with the correct sized core cutter, it is a simple matter.

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