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Treadle Wheel - trying to build one

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#1 phill


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Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:01 PM

Perhaps there is someone out there that can help me. I'm itching to build a treadle wheel and am caught up by some things.

1. the bearings:
i understand the topmost bearing--a 2-bolt flange bearing block with some set screws. I don't understand the bottom bearing(s). A flange bearing is not meant to hold up weight the way I want it to, and instead I have been redirected to a thrust bearing. Is a thrust bearing really necessary?
I get the gist of how thrust bearings work but I don't understand how to install them. Is the inner diameter of the thrust bearing 1" and the weight of the entire shaft rides on some type of pipe collar? or is the outer diameter 1" (or maybe slightly larger?) and the bottom of the shaft pole sits on top of the bearing? Then how is the bearing seated in the wooden support beam? Thrust bearings, as I understand them, don't have a seating like flange bearings where you can just bolt them down and they work.

2. I am hoping I can frame this wheel up without all the hard joinery. I am not hoping to make a pretty wheel, just one that works. Think it is possible? Or perhaps, what hand tools would I need (I can't afford power tools...but i can borrow a drill and a mitre saw) to cut the technical joints, mortise and tenons if i were to attempt this way?

Thanks in advance. If you can answer, please answer as clearly as possible!


ps - i am attaching an image of what i am trying to say with my understanding of thrust bearings.

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#2 Mark C.

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 02:36 AM

Many plans on google on treadle wheel kit
check them out.
Mark Cortright

#3 neilestrick


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Posted 09 January 2013 - 10:21 AM

I am by no means an expert on bearings. In fact I know very little. But I do know that there are only a couple of things on a wheel that ever need replacing, which include the bearings. Don't skimp.

Neil Estrick
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L&L Kilns Distributor
Owner, Neil Estrick Gallery, LLC

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#4 Lockley



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Posted 09 January 2013 - 03:27 PM

I'm a little confused about your problem. The most easily available bearings that will do the job are the trailer wheel bearings available at many places where outdoor equipment or boats are sold. The bearings are relatively inexpensive.

The bearings are tapered roller bearings designed to carry weight in what ever direction they are placed. { } rt left for instance. There are many possible designs. For me the bigger problem is getting a balanced mass for the inertia wheel which stores your energy between strokes. A wheel can be relatively portable but the inertia wheel, which is common to both kick and tredle potters wheels, usually is the hardest thing to trans port. I have settled on making a wooden form and then I'm going to pour sector of 8 sectors of about 12.5 lbs each which will give a 100 lb mass.

Many of the online plans specify items which are not readily available. The plans I have specify building the frame out of oak. I would love to but the cost of oak today makes the cost of a new kick wheel almost attractive.

Good Luck,


#5 Lockley



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Posted 09 January 2013 - 04:07 PM

I forgot part of my intent in my reply. The online wheels and plans noted above on google are much better than those I bought on ebay a couple of years ago.

The tapered wheels bearing will carry both the thrust and side loads required. I plan to avoid the complicated machine style attach ment of the bearings to pipe by simple and careful application of highgrade epoxy to carefully prepared surfaces.

You might suppose that this is a questionable use of metal filled epoxy. A number of years ago I had wheel spline strip on a Rambler I was driving,

Not being able to find a replacement I cleaned and epoxied the real wheel flange back to the rear axle and drove another 50000 miles on it before disposal of the entire vehicle.


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