Wheel Design Suggestions

Some friends/customers have contributed pottery wheel design suggestions. (Thank you)

  • This Kick Wheel was designed and built by Lauren Rochell in Austin, TX with help from Mark Macek, John Viko and Andrew Danziger. The wood is Hard Maple. The flywheel is made from an old tractor wheel with a welded steel plate bottom and poured concrete inside. (A ceramic tile mosaic for the kick surface has yet to be determined.)

    A machine shop helped make custom bushing to true the 1" shaft. Bearings were bought at local bearing shop. Construction is half-lap joints with lag bolts attaching to 4 shear plates, allowing both "N"s to come apart for easy transport. Shear plates support horizontal planes such as bearings, tray and seat. Any questions, email lauren.rochell at gmail dot com :)

    Thanks Lauren. That is one awesome looking kickwheel. A very elegant and artistic design.

  • See the pottery wheel Scott created from a couple of free treadmills.
    http://createniks.wordpress.com/2009/09/27/diy-potters-wheel/
    Scott has since mounted the speed controller under the table and enclosed all of the electronics. An outstanding job!

  • Scott says:

    I made my wheel head out of PVC. The PVC is a great wheel material. It is very durable and the surface is just soft enough that it does not tear your hands up when you have excess grog. I fortunately have the material around but it can be acquired easily. Usually you need to buy a 4'X8' sheet but the plastic shops often have odd pieces laying around that you can get for a small amount of money. I think the 1" thick material is the best to use. All you need to do is take the material to a cutting shop and have a disk cut. Laser or water cutting will run you about $20.

    The wheel will not require balancing. The RPM's are low enough and the diameter is small enough that if the cut is close to round then there will not be a problem with premature bearing wear. Now, buy a flange that will mount to your drive shaft. Drill and tape or drill and taper the head then mount the flange. You can apply reference marks, rings, in the wheel simply by turning the wheel on and using a sharp item to gouge the surface until the ring is deep enough to last.

    You can also make the head out of a piece of wood. Just cut it into a disk with a jig saw then apply a resin as a durable coating. There are many resins available at your local hardware store.

    Thanks Scott.

  • Plastics and PVC:
    You might try Tap Plastics. You may have a retail store in your home town. They often have a bin of scrap pieces to look through.
    Pulleys, sheaves and belts:
    Try Grainger. They have all kinds of stuff. You'll need to work out your ratios and such for the pulleys (based on the motor and speed controller you choose).
    Speed controller/Foot pedal:
    There is not a lot out there that is immediately adaptable to potter wheels, so you'll need to do some engineering. SSC Controls sells a foot pedal that you can use as your speed control interface. You'll need that along with a DC motor speed control (DC motor drive) to actually control the rotational speed of the DC motor. Verify compatibility with your motor when selecting these items.
    Motors:
    There are all kinds of motors available but finding the right motor at a decent price can be difficult. DC (direct current) motors are recommended because they adapt themselves to variable speed applications best.
    General note:
    The internet is a great resource to finding motors, controllers, etc. Use your favorite search engine (Google) with some of the terms used above, or try eBay for parts.

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