Wooden Pulley Maker

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Project by Mork posted 01-08-2017 07:22 PM 2485 views 4 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This might be considered fringe woodworking but never the less the end product is wood. Wood pulleys are difficult to make because they are hard to hang onto. This device makes it very easy to make an accurate pulley with a good margin of safety. That is, if you have a metal lathe.

Here’s a video:

PS These pulleys are for a Wimshurst Machine, a static electricity generator. If this sparks and interest I have two machines posted in my projects.

5 comments so far

View MrUnix's profile


8356 posts in 3169 days

#1 posted 01-08-2017 07:42 PM

Never tried it on my metal lathe, but I do make a lot of rotors, wheels, gear blanks and pulleys on the wood lathe in a similar fashion. I have several different sized mandrels I made, depending on the axle size needed. Just a simple threaded wood faceplate that screws directly onto the spindle. Through-bolt sized depending on axle bore needed. Here is a rotor I made on one to replace a broken rotor on an old Delta scroll saw:

Didn’t cost anything, and does the job fine – but yours looks WAY more impressive :)


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Mork's profile


307 posts in 3745 days

#2 posted 01-08-2017 09:11 PM

Hello Brad. I’ve done the same on my wood lathe but occasionally had problems with the wood slipping plus I wanted a smaller hole. I even rigged up a router to shape the pulley. It worked well although not a smooth as i though it would be. I was going to put holes in these pulleys anyway so I thought, why not use them to drive the disk? The metal lathe is great for accuracy and repeatably. Also smooth as silk. I ground the tool with a huge rake angle so is shears instead of scrapes.

View hunter71's profile


3541 posts in 4157 days

#3 posted 01-09-2017 11:09 AM

Very handy tool. My grandfather use to make pullies on a drill press, I’ll bet that was a trick.

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View Mork's profile


307 posts in 3745 days

#4 posted 01-09-2017 12:39 PM

Here’s what the pulleys are used for.

View bushmaster's profile


4095 posts in 3253 days

#5 posted 09-14-2020 04:06 AM

I will Have to keep this idea in the back of my mind, great idea….

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

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