How to Build a Pottery Wheel
A good quality pottery wheel is needed to make beautiful ceramic pieces that you can sell or keep as decorations for your own home. Pottery wheels don’t come cheap, though. You may have to spend close to $100 per wheel. Add the cost of clay and other supplies and you’ll find yourself plunking down lots of cash to cover the equipment and materials.
To be able to indulge in this hobby without spending too much money, you can make your own pottery wheel using simple materials such as plywood and old electric motor.
Step 1 – Purchase a Front Wheel Assembly
Get hold of a front wheel assembly. This can be purchased from a junkyard so you can save on costs. Have the front wheel assembly sliced behind the mounting bracket. Your pottery wheel will be mounted on this structure.
Step 2 – Buy an Old Electric Motor and Install an Industrial Plug on It
Salvage an old electric motor. You can purchase one from a junkyard if you currently do not have this and do not want to spend much on brand new ones. Just make sure that the motor is still in good working condition and that it has a horsepower that ranges from 1/4 to 3/4. Buy a heavy industrial plug from the hardware store. Look for a plug with metal clamps on it. Using the clamps, install the industrial plug into the drive shaft of the motor.
Step 3 – Construct the Frame for the Pottery Wheel’s Bottom
Build the frame using four pieces of the 3-foot, 2x4 wood. Make sure to leave clearance space (about 2 inches) around the wheel. Existing brackets should be attached around the frame you created. Note the brackets on the right side of the frame and put the front wheel assembly in that portion. To raise the wheel from the floor, use two more pieces of the 2x4s and attach them on each end of the pottery wheel frame. You will need to add weight to the frame for placement of the pottery. Do this by putting plaster on the front wheel assembly’s top portion.
Step 4 – Mount the Electric Motor on the Frame
Get another piece of the 2x4s and adjust it on the wheel’s frame. Put it across the frame’s bottom center. Next, attach the plywood square to the frame’s center. Position it right next to the wheel assembly. Get the electric motor and mount it on top of the plywood. Make use of the brackets that you attached earlier.
Step 5 – Adjust the Motor Accordingly
There should be an opening at the bottom of the pottery wheel for the industrial plug. Adjust the position of the motor accordingly to create this opening. At the end of the frame, drill a hole aligned with the slab of plywood that you used to mount the motor. Put one long bolt through the hole. To create the pedal for the wheel, add the 1x2 wood to the frame. Make sure that an end of the pedal lever will stick under the plywood while the other end will appear on the wheel’s right side. This is necessary for you to control the wheel’s speed manually with your foot.
You need to sit over the wheel while working on your ceramics. Create a makeshift chair by placing a plywood box around the wheel.