A wagon wheel is more than just an iconic image of western American history. In many modern homes, old fashioned wooden wagon wheels have been put to use for decorative purposes as well. These wheels may be featured as is, or they're often used as the foundation for some other type of furniture instead. One of the more popular pieces of furniture that can be built using a wagon wheel as a foundation is the wooden wagon wheel bench. This bench can be included either indoors or outside as well and gives your home a rustic, old fashioned feel. Read on for a brief guide on how to make this piece of furniture.
Step 1 - Measure the Wheels and Design the Bench
Most people find that it's most attractive to build a bench with the two wagon wheels attached on the outside. In order to figure out how to design your wagon wheel bench so that it will be appropriately sized, begin by measuring the width of the wagon wheels at their widest point. Larger wheels will be better able to support your bench than smaller ones will be, and it's important that your wagon wheels be exactly the same size.
Once you've measured the wheels, draw up a basic design of the bench. You'll need to include a flat portion to sit on that is about 2/3 the width of the wagon wheel, as well as a back that is about the same length. A support post placed below the center of the seat portion of the bench will help to provide additional stability.
Step 2 - Mark the Boards
The width of the bench can be anywhere between about four feet and about seven feet, depending upon the type of wood that you use and the size of your boards. The seat portion of the bench should ideally be about 20 inches deep, although it will depend upon your wagon wheels. Mark off the places to cut the seat portion of the bench and the back portion as well so that they fit in line with your design plans.
Step 3 - Cut and Fix the Boards
Use the power saw to cut the two larger pieces of board, then rub them down with sandpaper to ensure the cut edges are smooth.
Step 4 - Attach the Boards
Reinforce the center spoke of the wagon wheel with a smaller piece of board, then attach the seat bench portion to that spoke with your power drill and screws. Repeat the same process for the other wheel on the opposite side of the seat bench.
Cut out an appropriately sized support post and affix it to the base of the seat. Attach the seat back with the power drill and screws as well.
Step 5 - Treat the Wood
Treat the completed bench with primer and lacquer or paint, if you wish.