Shop jigs #1: Wheel making jig number 3

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Blog entry by htl posted 10-14-2018 03:37 AM 3137 reads 3 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Shop jigs series Part 2: Wheel making jig number 3 Just some extras »

This is wheel jig number 3.

Make sure your eyes are rested and you have your reading glasses handy it’s a long one.

Here’s the kind a wheels I can make with this jig.

I seem to never quit finding I need to adjust my jig for different sized wheels, and have been building more modern cars that use small wheels even though they are not small models.
The case in point was my last build a Mustang, I blow up the plans to be twice as big and the wheels were still under 2”.
This is a problem as my jig was made for wheels around 2 3/4 or bigger and I need to use a 7 1/4 saw blade to get the thin kerfs that looks right..
The problem comes in because to do the smaller wheels the blade needs to be raised in the jig but a 7 1/4 blade will only go up so far, a 10” blade will work but if you cut 36 treads for the tire as the jig is set up for, the thicker blade cut and the smaller circumference of the wheel make for some really thin treads. The fix is to make an adjustable jig that can raise and lower the axle bar as needed to still be able to use the 7 1/4 blade.

The jig I use now can do this but you have to take the axle bar apart and lower to different holes to get it done and it’s very time consuming.
So the plan is to take my oldest wheel jig apart and use the table saw sled from it then build an adjustable axle bar for it.

Some one asked me a question the other day and I went to looking up an answer in my blog posts and even with the index I made things are hard to find about wheel making.
As I’m now waiting for Gatto to send me their plans for a Chevy Corvette I thought I would redo the wheel jig and get ready for some wheels and while I’m at it make a blog of the jig build with measurements .

So here’s the jig all finished up, I guess I should put some finish on it but it’s a tool not a model.

I know some will say it looks just like the last one but there’s two really big differences.
One is the height adjustment and the other is when I switch from one angle to the other or to straight all my guides use the same dowel holes for setting the angle so no more confusion about which hole is which so the change over is much quicker.

With the back guide fence in place and the quick change wheel stop I’ve still got 6 1/2” of space for tire blanks, which means I can do 6 to 8 tires at a time in the straight cut mod.
In angled mod you can only do one at a time and some times two if I’m not after to nice a match on the tread.

The base is a table saw sled with no braces top and bottom [If I start having any warp problems I will add some but have had nun in over a year]

Here is the sled bottom when finished, it was square to start with.
There are a ton a how 2s about making the sled so check one of them out.
Every table saw is different so need to make to suit, just remember that where the blade come through is the important thing, adjust to that..
The cut angle on the bottom of the sled are so the handle can turn as it hangs over the side of the sled.

First I build a box 5” wide and 3” deep, and 4” high, there is a grove cut [3” side] where the axle bar needs to go throw and needs to be able to go up and down.
The grove goes up to 2 1/2”, which should let me make 4 3/4 wheels to 1 1/4.
This box is used to keep everything squared up.
Made with a top and bottom and I used screws so if anything down the road needs changed no problem.

Notice I have a 3/4 space before the long sides, this is for the axle guide plates, front and back. NOTE Cut all the sides and guide plates at the same time so all will match up, also the axle holes. Really none of these measurements are critical I just went big for if I ever build another Hummer, then again if tractors are in your future go wide my friend go wide and high. LOL

Now for the guide plates which should fit snug so as you raise and lower them they’ll match the other side.
I won’t be raising and lowering that much so will just use screws to hold them in place as needed.
Later I may add dowels for fast high adjustments.
I drilled 1/4” holes for the axles in the sliding plates about 1 1/4” high but I could have gone down to 3/4” or the top of the bottom plate.
These are the plates that will go up and down when needed for tread height.

Down for the smaller wheels.

Up for the big dogs.

I used 1/4” all tread for the jig, which matches my model builds if you build with bigger axles use bigger, bigger would be better.
Here you can see where I bolt a wheel with some sand paper on it, this is where the wheels get held to the axle so they can’t move.
I use tree nuts to help hold it all together. Note I add a small screw to the tee nut to make sure all stays in place.

The nut pattern goes as follows on the all thread..

Nut—-lock washer—-plywood guide—-tee nut—-fender washer—-
plywood *—-fender washer—-nut—-lock washer——-
[nuts should be locked just behind plywood and all other parts locked to this]-—-fender washer—-nut—-lock washer—-nut—-fender washer—-plywood—-tee nut.
[this last tee nut should be flush with the wood and then sand paper added to help hold the wheel blanks]

Here again we see the tee nut doing it’s job, I all so have one on the back side of the handle with the teeth cut off.
This handle and the wheel clamp must not move on the axle or the jig will not work right.
You also see in this picture where I added a spacer where the guide pin goes in the guide to stop any slop in the guide.

I prefer to use a pin in the guide to hold the wheels in place, when cutting 8 wheels at a time you don’t want any slip ups.

Here’s a good picture of the table set up in straight mod.
When you build your sled, once its made set it on the table saw and cut out the center so you’ll know where it is, then you’ll know where to place the jig center of the saw blade in straight mod.

Note try not to cut out any more of the kerf then need be for strength.

Here you can see where I added the wings so I would have something to bolt the jig to the base.

Also you can see the two screws holding the wings down, if you look closely there’s three dowels put in place to guide me the next time I take off and on the fence.
I used the same guide holes and dowels on the wings for every angle change, and the screws go back in the same holes, this way changing from one angle to another takes minutes with no thought needed to readjust anything.

NOTE Be sure not to put any screws or nails where the saw can get to them when the jig is in angle mod.

Here I’m setting up the angle using a 30-60-90 Triangle

Then the other angle or side.

Here drilling for the dowel not going all the way through.

With the jig at an angle I needed to cut some off the end for the guide wheel.

Bolt Guide

One last thing Stop blocks.*
I put the fence close to the base and add a screw to the base, near the edge and clamp a block of wood for a stop block to the fence.
This is the stop as I pull the jig toward me.
I use a block at the back screwed to my out feed table for the outer most stop.
Now you can push and pull on the sled with out having to worry about anything.

There are much simpler jigs for making threaded wheels but if you need it make a ton of them this can get it done fast and safe as your hands are a long way away from trouble and the guide makes it a no brainier just add some wheel blanks adjust the blade height and off you go.
It is now hung on the wall ready for use at any time with no setup.
I think it may be a good idea as your cutting wheels to give your table saw a brake to cool down once in a while. LOL

If I’m up to it I may try and make a wheel making blog from start to finish as always before I would just show the newer tips which has gotten everything pretty spread out.

I hope this is helpful.
Htl over and out.

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

13 comments so far

View Redoak49's profile


4795 posts in 2789 days

#1 posted 10-14-2018 11:20 AM

Your jigs are always amazing. Thanks for showing and explaining the jig.

View htl's profile


5164 posts in 1960 days

#2 posted 10-14-2018 11:49 AM

Thanks Redoak49 for your comment.
I got up this morning thinking it was to much and was going to delete it.
I hope to adjust this blog as I reread it to make things clearer.

I tried making all the pictures with comments with SketchUp and it looked great but couldn’t figure out how to make the typing big enough to be seen on this site, may have to have the big $$$ version.
I ended up using Windows Paint 3D and it was a pain!!!

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View bushmaster's profile


3940 posts in 3083 days

#3 posted 10-14-2018 01:42 PM

Always interested in versions of idea’s to make the tire treads, Will have to study this one more when I get time. Things that you do are always the best.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View Northwest29's profile


1702 posts in 3291 days

#4 posted 10-14-2018 06:33 PM

It’s always a pleasure of great interest to see your postings. Especially, the jigs you create for wheels. Thanks for the time and energy that you put into the posts.

-- Ron, "Curiosity is a terrible thing to waste."

View oldrivers's profile


2235 posts in 2367 days

#5 posted 10-14-2018 08:21 PM

Quite a setup there looks complicated & interesting.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View crowie's profile


3803 posts in 2752 days

#6 posted 10-14-2018 08:53 PM

I’m pleased you left the blog up Bruce,
It’s a first class jig, thank you.

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

View htl's profile


5164 posts in 1960 days

#7 posted 10-14-2018 08:57 PM

Oldrivers I have been working on refining this jig ever since I saw Dutchy building his beautiful wheels way back in March of 2016, it put a fire under me to come up with a no brainier, safe way to build nice treads for our tires.

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View Bruce Barber's profile

Bruce Barber

116 posts in 1604 days

#8 posted 10-15-2018 03:02 AM

Hi .. i was wondering if you sale the wheel jig ,, i would pay you to build ne for me ??
i would love to make those kind of wheels .. PLEASE e-mail me back Bruce

-- Bruce, Edmonton Alberta, Canada

View htl's profile


5164 posts in 1960 days

#9 posted 10-15-2018 03:31 PM

Bruce I would love to build you one, but the shipping would be big bucks and a headache to Canada me thinks.

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View crowie's profile


3803 posts in 2752 days

#10 posted 10-15-2018 08:49 PM

Bruce I would love to build you one, but the shipping would be big bucks and a headache to Canada me thinks.

- htl

Just a thought.
What about a flat pack kit, lacquered of course with some of Bruce’s first class instructions & photos.
Maybe easier.

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

View htl's profile


5164 posts in 1960 days

#11 posted 10-15-2018 09:34 PM

I’m in the process of making the plans clearer and an trying my hand at SkethUp so we will see.

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View Mas's profile


72 posts in 3063 days

#12 posted 10-18-2018 05:11 PM

I truely hope someday soon I get around top making a wheel jig like yours.
You really have given all of us allot of information and details on how you make your models look so realistic.

View htl's profile


5164 posts in 1960 days

#13 posted 10-18-2018 10:18 PM

Mas I have just as much fun blogging about the model projects as I do building them.

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

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