I figured I would start with the wheel because its diameter will dictate the size of the frame to hold it.
I picked up 3 10-foot long 2x12s (Southern Yellow Pine) and sawed them up into 30″ long sections. I gave them a week to adjust to my garage’s climate. I hope this is enough…! The plan is to make a 3-layer wheel, each ply being 3 boards wide.
Each piece was weighed individually. As they are the same size at this point, so the weight is an indication of their density (or moisture content…). They ranged from 11.5 to 14 pounds. The boards were then arranged so that the weight is distributed as evenly as possible for each layer, and also across the thickness of the wheel.
The jointer plane was used to prepare the edges for lamination and each layer was glued individually. A mistake I made with the central layer was to try to glue the three pieces together at the same time. I ended up with a heavily cupped board because the end piece made a slight angle to the other two. I ended up having to saw the piece off and re-glue it back on. I’d like to blame this on the clamping, but I’m sure my planing is also at fault. Only two pieces at a time were glued from then onwards. No rush.
Once glued, a circle was drawn on each layer using trammel points and then cut with a jigsaw (I do not have a band saw). Each layer was then planed flat and to constant thickness using a No. 5 and a No. 8 hand plane.
Each outer layer was glued to the middle layer with the lamina offset by 60 degrees clockwise and anti-clockwise respectively.
The wheel ended up being 30 inches in diameter and 4 inches thick. It weighs 63 pounds. I hope the steel rod can cope with this weight in the cantilever design! The wheel will reduce in diameter slightly when it is trued (once it is mounted).
Now to build a frame for the wheel…