Shop jigs #5: Wheel Making Part One Rim Making Jig for my Wheels.

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Blog entry by htl posted 01-31-2019 08:43 PM 3615 reads 4 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Cutting out the wheel blanks. Part 5 of Shop jigs series Part 6: Wheel making Part Two Step by Step With a Simple Jig »

It seems I need to add some info to my Rim making jig as I took pictures but really never spelled it out step by step. so!

First of all this is what we’re after.

Now how do we get to this point.
I like to use bought wheels for my rims as they are made of maple and can be shaped quite nicely, maybe that’s why the wheel makers use it, plus they already have a nice shape and at Hobby Lobby their pretty cheap for the 1” & 1 1/2” wheels.

1. We need a base, I have tons of 3/4” ply so that’s what I use.

Notice that the plywood is next to the fence,always keep it next to the fence, Find center and drill a 1/4 hole but not quite all the way through.
2. Now glue a 1/4” dowel in the hole, it needs to be long enough to be glued to the base go up through the indexer and hold the rim blank.. Your base is now ready.
3. You need to make some type of indexer I have blogged about them and there are many videos out there.

Once you’ve marked your indexer on some plywood drill out the center hole 1/4” and place on the base over the dowel. As in the picture.
4. Now you need to slide the base over so you can drill the holes for the indexing pin to be set.
[this is the small bolt with the fender washer in the picture.] 5. Clamp the base down next to the fence once you find your indexing distance..
6. You can now turn the indexer and drill the holes at the 5 places needed. [I drilled 10]
You will now be able to turn the indexer to any of the drilled spots.

+++ if you’ll notice I’m making a 5 hole rim so need 5 index points BUT I also want some lug bolt holes to go between them so need to have a ten point indexer to get the job done.+++

7. Now you need to place one of you rim blanks on the jig unclamp the base and find where you think the spoke holes will look the best, then clamp the base back down at this point and be sure the base is up to the fence, always use the fence for you guide.
You may not need it but if some thing changes you have some thing to go by.
8. You now need to drill a hole using one of the index holes as a guide so you can put the index pin in to hold the indexer in place [Use a hand held drill for this] This will go almost through the base plywood.
You should now be able to turn the indexer to the 10 different points needed, slide in the pin and it will hold the spot to be drilled.
9. Use a 3/8 drill bit for you rim drilling bit. [You can use a different size bit but I have other uses for the hole that you’ll hear about later.]
It really doesn’t matter where you start drilling. I do like starting all my hole at the same index point, so mark it., and remember we will be using every other hole for the rims and then switch when we want to do the lug nuts.
+++The base will have to be changed [slid over] for the lug nut holes as you need it in closer to the center of the tire,

Make sure you drill the first rim hole almost through the indexer plywood as you will need to put a 3/8 dowel to hold the rim in place for the rest of the holes.

Now place the dowel to keep every thing in line and work your way around..

There you go a nice rim that can be sanded down to fit in your tire.

Once the jig is made you can make tons a rims in minutes with out ever having to mark any thing again.
Be sure to keep a few extra rims around, that way when you get ready to make a set a rims next time just set the base on the drill table put in one of the extras and its a snap to line everything up.

10. Now if you really want to get fancy you can shape the rim holes with a router bit with a 3/8 guide bearing [This is why I use the 3/8” bit so a 3/8” router bearing will fit in the hole.]
+++Some times I need to drill the holes out a little so the bearing will go in easier.
You need to be extra careful doing this so use a toggle clamp or some other hold down to be SAFE.

Be sure to use a hold down, the bearing does most of the work of guiding but BE SAFE OR IT AIN’T WORTH DOING.

This is NOT MY $.02 BUT A MUST!!!!!*

#4 Over and Out

Go to Part Two

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

8 comments so far

View Redoak49's profile


5464 posts in 3321 days

#1 posted 01-31-2019 09:39 PM

Thanks for the clear blog on wheel making.

View Dutchy's profile


4291 posts in 3501 days

#2 posted 02-01-2019 08:03 AM

I like the idea and will use it on my moulding unit.


View crowie's profile


5252 posts in 3283 days

#3 posted 02-01-2019 10:36 AM

Great jig thank you Bruce.
Appreciate you sharing hour “know how” along with beaut notes and photos.

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

View robscastle's profile


8347 posts in 3536 days

#4 posted 02-01-2019 04:30 PM

Humm,... a bit odd… I thought it was a worthwile 2c worth.

-- Regards Rob

View htl's profile


5616 posts in 2491 days

#5 posted 02-01-2019 07:14 PM

Well it could be but I live in Alabama, where I believe it’s a tad cooler about now. LOL

I don’t know why but I had it in my head you lived in Canada till I saw that strange looking lizard on your 2c???
I should a known better as I’ve seen you hanging around with Crowie

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View robscastle's profile


8347 posts in 3536 days

#6 posted 02-01-2019 10:15 PM

Yo Bruce,

Only because you asked:-

Temperature here Brisbane about 25 deg C Sydney about 22 deg C and dry as!

Crowie a very clever man, and has an even more interesting workshop!

The 2c coin
Its our Frilled neck Lizard, no longer used but it is still legal tender, and if you find one without Stuart Devlins initials (SD) near its right toe its a very valuable coin now.

Thats my 2c worth

-- Regards Rob

View darkmyble's profile


59 posts in 1620 days

#7 posted 02-07-2019 08:10 AM

I can’t tell you how much these posts from you are invaluable and one of the best sources of information any like-minded toy/model builder could want or need. I follow your posts avidly not only because they’re a great source of technical know-how but also the amount of detail you deliver, the style in which you deliver your knowledge and ingenuity. It’s amazing.. Thank you

-- If at first we don't succeed, measure and measure again

View robscastle's profile


8347 posts in 3536 days

#8 posted 02-07-2019 08:59 AM

I can only agree Darkmyble (funny name will have to sus that one out later)

From my point of view they have all inspired me to learn how to make wheels.
Something I have been putting off for quite some time.
I even discussed the matter at length when I had the opportunity to visit LJ Crowie a few months ago.
However I now have a circle jig and a kerfing jig both from LBD soon to be known as FBD from emails I received today.

LBD and I also discussed via email the process and getting on with it and I guess thats all thats needed to commence, no doubt I will possible make some BC type wheels first up but hell at least they are made from wood.

I started some time ago by attempting to make a model of my motorcycle 3 Spoker, thats still the aim/mission so I guess progress will be pending, the rims and hubs is certainly inspiring. Standby for some oddball questions coming your way! ...Buzzzt wait out.

-- Regards Rob

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