View Full Version : Make your own wheels with drill press

Tucson Don
10-01-2007, 04:30 PM
A scale model needs scale wheels and they can be hard to find. Here is
method for making what you cannot get on market.
Layout appropriate circle on lite ply, or thin birch plywood.
Cut out with tinsniips and sand to line. You may want to laminate two
layers of ply for extra thckness. If you want lighter wheels. put in some
lightening holes. Cut balsa discs to make wheel thickness as needed. Cut off 4 inch length of dowel and glue into hole in center for an axle. Let one end project and other end is to be flush. The long end sticking out will be chucked
in drill press to give grip for spinning wheel. Now is it just a matter of using various grades of sandpaper to shape and smooth the tire and wheel disc.
Probably it would be best to paint now and continue sanding to satisfaction.
When all is done, cut off pojecting stub and carefully drill the dowel to accept axle. Wheels can be made rather easily by this method. It would be wise to
to prepare several setups and turn them at same time.
Tucson Don

10-02-2007, 03:47 PM

I do the same, but instead of gluing a dowel in, and then having to drill it out, I use a long, thin bolt the ones that come with "wings" to hold a towel rack, etc. to the wall work great. When I am done, I just re-drill the bolt hole to the proper size.

just my $0.02


10-16-2007, 08:48 AM
What works for me. Using a compass like the one we used in Geometry, Art class, etc. I draw the size circle needed and make sure the compass pivot point makes a nice deep hole at the center. I cut the general shape out with a cutting bit in my Dremel tool. Then drill a 1/16 inch hole in the center where the compass point was. Take an old style Dremel cut off wheel mandrel (the ones that use a screw not the new quick release type) and mount the ply cut out on the Dremel. Now turn the Dremel on at the lowest speed and run the cut out on a sanding stick, Wood Rasp, Cross Cut File, etc. and shape it to your desire. Depending on the size of the wheel you can use the cutting bit to cut spokes, slots, holes, what ever you desire in the wheel. Once it is shaped as you want you can drill the center hole to the diameter needed for your axle. If you want a more durable wheel hub, take the center "nail" out of a pop rivet and use the rivet as a hub. You can usually find a rivet with the same size inner hole as the standard music wires used for landing gear axles.