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Building The Weekender Wheel



Feb 2-2000 To Feb 10-2002


Wheel Parts Waiting to be Assembled


Cut out the pieces of the wheel as per Diagram 19 in the plans. I am using a unknown hardwood I found when I moved into the house I am in. I started with the wheel first as I have no room for constructing a boat so I plan to start with the small pieces first as they are easily stored.


To transfer from the pattern to the wood I photocopied the page containing the wheel pattern. I then used carbon paper to transfer the spacer and spoke to a piece of cardboard which I cut out. This I hoped would give me a consistent pattern I could use to draw six copies of the Spacer and the Spokes to make the wheel.


I cut out the pieces using a scroll saw and the largest scroll saw blade I could find. Once this was done I routed over all the edges including where the pieces would join together. I thought this would give a interesting effect. I decided to take my time sanding the pieces. I rough sanded them in the basement, and fine sanded them during the evenings with a towel on my lap to keep from making a mess in the living room. This way I could work on my boat and spend time with the family


Feb 11-2002 To Feb 13-2-2002


Arranged the pieces so that I would have a round shaped wheel. I then screwed the wheel together without the glue. Since there was no mention in the plans I used 1/2 inch #8 Brass Screws. Once this was done and I was happy with the result I took one of the plywood supports off the wheel applied the glue and rescrewed in on. ***NOTE THAT THE PIECE HAS TO BE REPLACED EXACTLY THE SAME AS IT WAS TAKEN OFF. DON'T LOSE TRACK OF HOW IT HAD BEEN PUT ON***. In order to keep track of how the part was on I looked for a distinguishing mark on the grain of the plywood and moved the spoke closest to that mark so that it was closest to me. I glued the rest of the wheel being carefull only to glue one center ring then the outer ring and repeat on the other side. I then drilled 6 1/4" holes in the inner ring of the wheel for the bolts that will hold it to the steering column.
The plans only call for three but I want the extra strength.


Feb 14-2002 to Feb19-2002


Wheel Suspended for Finishing


Purchased Helmsman Spar Urethane. I got this because supposedly it provides protection from the elements including sunlight and ultra violet. I am coating it using small disposable foam brushes. I am covering all the wheel except for the spokes. Then I hang the whell from the ceiling using two bungee cords, and paint all the spokes except for the two that I am hanging the wheel by. The next
coat I ensure that different spokes are used to hang the wheel. This allows me to paint both sides of the wheel at a time. When finished I will have put six coats on the wheel.


Feb 20-2002 to Feb 26-2002




 Well I finally finished the wheel.  Here are some points to consider when building the wheel.


1. Although it is not mentioned in the plans on how to finish the wheel. It does say at the beginning to select wood for the wheel that you like the look of when varnishing. I did not notice this until too late.


2. Be carefull where you put the holes for mounting the wheel to the steering column. If the holes are too close to the centre the nut will not fit.


3. When drilling the holes for the screws remember if using a screw 1/2 inch or longer it is possible for the two screws from each side to meet in the middle. I purposely put the screws that will be on the inside of the wheel off centre. This is not attractive but this side of the wheel will not be visible when
the boat is built.