LumberJocks Woodworking Forum banner
  • Please post in our Community Feedback thread for help with the new forum software! If you are having trouble logging in, please Contact Us for assistance.
1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
I'm making some toys for christmas and I have to make a ton of wheels for all the cars and trucks. I've been using a hole saw to cut them and then putting them on a dowel and using my rotary tool to round the edges and give em a bit of a clean up. Then I hand sand them to make them pretty. It's a very long process and I have to do it over and over again. Anyone have any ideas how to speed this up? I was thinking about buying the dremel router table attachment and routering the edges of the wheels to round them, but of course then I have to buy a dremel rotary tool as well(mines a knock off, but it works great). So any ideas for a jig to make this a bit easier?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,820 Posts
I'm going to try the same thing, even though purchased wheels are fairly cheap. I had thought of a 1/4" threaded rod chucked into the drill press. Run a nut and washer up to the top, load on as many blanks as you have room for. then, another nut and washer on the bottom. Leave enough rod at the bottom to fit in a 1/4" hole in a piece of 3/4" hardwood clamped to the table.
I planned to use a rasp held against the spinning stack of wheels. (Slow speed). A tool rest would be nice. but I haven't figured that out yet. Possibly a smooth rod or square piece of tubing captured between a "C" shaped carriage and clamped upright next to the stack of wheels.
If the tool rest works, I'd feel OK using a sharpened screwdriver as a "lathe" tool.
Just my thoughts….
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,820 Posts
Papadan, That's a neat Dremel setup. Thanks for posting it.

Daltxguy, That would be best. But, some (few) of us don't have a lathe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,727 Posts
I'm with Steve on the lathe idea-of course that only works if you have a lathe. I did a similar process for some medallions I made. Gene's method is very similar, only using a drill press. Don't see why that wouldn't work either.

Then there is the router table-or Dremel in a table. I like Dan's design. Using the right jigs, this is also a good alternative. I 've done some round work on a router table, but I'm having trouble thinking of a safe way to do a full circle. It's easy to build a jig for a half round piece.

I guess it boils down to the equipment you have.
Maybe one of us will give you something you can use.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
323 Posts
Superdad--I know what you are going thru so I'll put in my two cents. I use the hole saw method for making wheels also, but here is where the fun begins. The only tool (machine) I use for the rounding over step is an inflatible horzontal drum sander. I make a mandrel using a smaller wheel and glue in a 1/4" dowel that has more sticking out for my hand and the other end the wheel will spin on. I sand the spinning side of the dowel so the wheel spins freely. As the drum spins I slowly touch the wheel to the drum and the wheel will spin. By angling the mandrel to the drum material begins to get removed and the wheel is still round and the tedius and sometimes dangerous router technique is illiminated. I hope this helps. If you want some more info just leave me a message and I can explain more. bob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
A couple possible solutions:
1. Buy the wheels from a local hobby shop or online supplier. On my last visit to Woodcraft I noticed they carry them. This could eliminate the monotonous task of wheel-making, affording you more time to work on the unique/creative aspects of the toys.
2. Do you have access to a lathe? You could turn wheels pretty quickly that way but still a bit of a hassle. (This is why all of us [myself included] should update our workshop pages to reflect the tools we have. If I knew what you had…
3. I decided to take a quick look through a couple toy making books I have before posting my reply. Imagine my surprise when I came across this https://flic.kr/p/4152666313 in one of the books. [Scanned and uploaded to Flickr]

I started this reply last night right before heading to bed and finally finished it now almost 8 hours later. Hopefully it still proves useful. You asked for a jig so I couldn't post without providing one, right?

Cheers,

-Cameron
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,012 Posts
I have used a method similar to Gene's by pretending my drill press is a lathe and sanding the shape as needed. Then I discovered that my local JoAnn Craft Store sold a 20 pack of wheels for 3 bucks, I decided that it was more fun to spend my time adding detail to other aspects of the cars I make and buy wheels.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,685 Posts
Using a rosette cutter on the drill press, do both sides and there are almost perfect wheels. Be careful to leave a little wood so the second side does not break out the wheel and send it flying. After both sides are cut, the wheels can be cut with the band saw, scroll saw or what ever and a touch up sanding to the cut.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,899 Posts
Being a LumberJock also mening to all of the work by yourself even the tedius one`s and to be praut of the procect and in your own hart to now that you did it all the bedst way you now.
just a humble qestion and opinion from.

Dennis
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Great ideas. I so have a lathe, but I haven't really used it much, so I'm not sure if I'm confident enough with it yet to produce anything worthwhile. Pretty much everybody is saying just buy them, so I guess I'll look around locally and see what I can find. I've seen many jigs in toy making books to sand them round like the one that mjrhavoc posted, but it doesn't really help with rounding the edges. I guess more thought will have to go into this one.

I'll try and update my workshop page to include what tools I have to work with for future posts. That would be more convenient for others. Thanks for the idea.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
440 Posts
I make my wheels the way Kent Shepherd does. First cut wood using a hole saw. Mount in either a vertical or horizontal drill and start sanding down. Quality of the products depends a lot on the type of wood used. Wood that splinters a lot do not make good wheels.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,643 Posts
I used a hole saw for mine, then I placed a bolt through the center of wheel and put it in my variable speed drill. The drill turned the wheel as I held it against my sanding disc. (This helped keep the wheels round after I was sanding ! Took time, the kids loved the "Homemade Flintstone wheels Uncle made !) Yabba Daabba Dooo
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top