How to Scratch-Build Wooden Wheels
Posted by MortiS-the-Lost –
How to Scratch-Build Wooden Wheels
Here's my method for making wooden wheel for Carts, Wagons, War-machines and Siege Engines. I came up with this after seeing so many people's otherwise great scratch-built Siege towers being ruined by a lack of good wheels. I've seen people use all kinds of things for wheels including bottle-caps, round bases and even slices of corks, needless to say they all look terrible. Of course you can always go and order some wheels from a modeling website or a parts service but that might not what your looking for, so I'm gonna share with you the way I make wooden wheels.
And if you seek to make your wheel this way, well you will need your instruments of pain - you'll need your ...
+ Knife – Check
+ Pencil – Check
+ Drill Bits – Check
+ Power Drill – Check
+ Super Glue – Check
You'll also need one of these ...
I'll be honest with you, I have no idea what this thing is called - it's for cutting circular holes in walls and kitchen cabinets when you're installing pipes ect. You can pick them up from all good hardware and DIY stores and also in a few bad ones.
The other thing you'll need is a shredder capable of shredding cardboard, I use a hand-driven one because it is less likely to get jammed with the card than an electric one.
And you'll also need the following materials
+ Thin cardboard - yes that right, cornflakes packet!
+ Thin Balsa-wood and some thicker harder wood, it needs to be about 5-6mm thick for this to work
I use the wood from those little crates that Oranges and other fruits come in at the Green-Grousers, please note that Balsa-wood will not work because it's far too soft.
A note on safety:
I am making the some-what large assumption that everyone reading this is not an idiot, so I'm not going to tell you to be careful with sharp things – if your stupid enough to saw your own fingers off you probably don't deserve to have them in the first place – like wise if your young enough to need a grown-up to help you will sharp tools, stop reading this now and go back to squeezing entire tubes of polystyrene-cement all over the plastic Spacemarines said grown-up bought for you with their hard earned cash.
... Ok with that out of the way and half my readers now alienated lets get on with making some wheels ...
use the hole-cutting-type-thing to drill out some circles from the stronger wood
^you should now have something like this^
Using a pencil mark out where you want the 'planks' of wheels to be one side and then flip them over and do the other side, when doing this make sure to go with the grain of the wood
next use your knife to score out the planks, if you do 2 scores close together at an angle it will give your planks a nice edge
now take some cornflakes packet and feed it though your shredder, as I mentioned before I'm using a hand driven one, you can use a electric one if you like, but you might run the risk of it jamming as most shredders aren't really designed to shred cardboard.
Now all going well you should have some 5mm wide strips of cardboard the ones in the picture, theses are going to form the metal rims of the wheels
Put a little glue around the edge of the wheel and wrap a strip of cardboard around it like so
I'm using the gel type super glue for this, yes you can use wood glue or balsa cement, but you'll be holding it for a long time while it drys if you do.
now the wheels are really starting to take shape time to start adding some detail
cut 2 short strips from the thin balsa-wood and glue them to one side of the wheel at right angles to your scored 'planks' to make 'bracing planks'
For even more detail you can add nails to the wheels
To do this I glued clipped down pins into tiny holes I drilled through the 'bracing planks', you can also make nails by cutting thin disks from a plastic rod, but IMHO they don't look as good. Finally I recommend you seal the wood with watered down PVA glue before painting to that it doesn't soak up your paint
and thats it really! here is a picture of the finished wheels and the wheels on my Orcish Siege Tower made using the same method. I dare say that if you wanted to you could make a mold from your finished wheels and cast them up in resin if your into that sort of thing.
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