How to make wooden wheels.

How to make wooden wheels for pallet lawn chair

In this post I am going to make solid 13 centimeters in diameter wood wheels. They are like the typical wheels that are put on the wood sunbeds on which we lay down to sunbathe in the garden. But in this case they are for the patio chair that I made with pallet wood. I could have also made them with pallet wood, but to save myself some work I preferred to buy a planed wood strip.

We must keep in mind that these wooden wheels are going to be outdoors, so it is important to use waterproof exterior wood glue.

Make small wooden boards.

To make the wheels I use a planed wood strip 5 centimeters wide and 2 centimeters thick. So, with three 5cm wide pieces glued on the edge is enough to make the two 13cm wheels I want.

I cut 6 pieces of 20cm long to make two small boards. Each will be made with three pieces. I also have to cut three other 32cm long pieces. And as I did to make the two previous boards, I am going to glue the 32 cm long pieces on the edges, always using wood glue for exteriors, to make another board with them.

Glue the small wood boards together.

Thus, to give them strength, each wheel has two layers, glued one on top of the other. Each layer will be made up of three strips of wood each, so that the strips of one layer form a 90º angle with the strips of the other layer.

Then, I make the 2+1 small boards and once the glue is dry I have to remove the glue leftovers and make suer they have flat surfaces. And I can glue the two smaller boards crossed at 90 degree on the larger one (as shown in the picture above). As I mentioned before, the wood strips of the small boards must be placed at 90º to those of the larger board. This way I get the solid wooden workpiece from which I can make the two wooden wheels for the lawn chair.

Making wooden wheels with a circle router jig:

Simple circle router jig.

To cut the circular shape for making the wooden wheels I use a simple and typical woodworking jig for cutting circles with a plunge router (now I also have a circle cutting jig for cutting circles with the jigsaw). The circle jig for cutting circles with the plunge router is just a base made of thin plywood screwed to the base of the plunge router.

I install a 12mm straight router bit and measure 6.5cm (half of the 13cm diameter) from the edge of the router bit. At that distance I drill a hole for one screw that serves as a pivot point to route perfect circles to make the wheels.

Make a wood circle with the plunge router circle jig.

The drawback is that I only can cut a little more than half the thickness of the wheel.

Route the first wood circle.

Now I have to cut with the jigsaw tool keeping the cut a few millimeters from the edge of the circle I just routed.

Flush trim router bit and roundover router bit

To finish making wooden wheels with this technique, now I have to use a flush trim router bit to copy the circular shape already made on the other half of the wood wheel. For this I need to bolt the wheel to a piece of board and clamp it to the workbench.

This way I can use the plunge router with its base directly on the wheel. And so as not to leave the 90 degree edges, I round them with a roundover router bit with bearing. All that’s left to do is sand the wheels and install the them on the pallet wood chair and check how it moves on the lawn. I would install them on a sunbed, but I have yet to make one.

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