** The project was done in 2005, however, is still relevant today **

Originally Posted By: KarenE
We would Like to thank Tom Havens, Past Owner for all his Time and Work on this project.

The bucket lid I use has a raised or extruded place that is dead center on the wheel (Figure 1).

Figure 1

This saves you having to figure where to start you drilling. I choose the cheapest boring bit I could find at Loweís to show that you really donít have to have expensive tool to do the job.

Figure 2

Figure 2 shows the different bits and saws available. On the left is the boring bit and on the right is the hole saw. The hole saws general do a better job making a nice round hole but as you will see, the boring on the left can do a very passable job as well. Rowdy gave some good safety tips on the GC board and suffice to say that when working with tools you should follow all manufacturers recommendations. Also remember not to leave any sharp or dangerous corners on the wheel. Start by placing the inside of the wheel facing up. Make sure that you have nothing under the wheel that can be damaged by the tip of the bit as it penetrates through the plastic. The idea here is to just get the bit started dead center as shown on figure 3.

Figure 3

Once the hole is started, pull the bit out and flip the lid over so the outside is on top. Insert the tip of the bit into the hole you already started as shown in figure 4.

Figure 4

Be sure to keep the bit a straight as possible to ensure you have a good round hole. Notice the little cutters on each edge of the boring bit. They are the ones that will be doing most of the cutting so apply very little pressure as in figure 5.

Figure 5

Continue cutting until you have drilled all the way through as in figure 6.

Figure 6

Again the real trick here is to apply even light pressure while keeping the bit straight and level. The completed hole should look like the one in figure 7.

Figure 7

The next step will be to insert the bearing so now would be a good time talk about glue. If anyone comes across any better information, please let me know. I picked 5 minute epoxy and the final choice because based on the best information I could find, it is best suited for the wheel assembly. It tunes out that food grade silicone sealant is fine for application where it comes in contact with food but not good for ingestion. The epoxy comes completely inert when it cures so is not supposed to be harmful if mixed and applied right. You choose whatever glue you think is best because I just donít have definitive research one way or the other. Follow the instructions for the epoxy you are using very carefully. The glue has to be mixed very thoroughly and allowed to cure for two days. The reason for this is that any uncured epoxy is very toxic. That is also why you must mix very well (Figure 8). You canít have any unmixed glue on anything that can come in contact with the gliders.

Figure 8

If you are using 5 minute epoxy like I was, quickly apply a moderate amount to the inside of the bearing collar as shown in figure 9.

Figure 9

Inset the bearing into the lid as shown in figure 10 and press firmly.

Figure 10

Allow the glue to thoroughly dry and it should look like figure 11.

Figure 11

The Stand

The pipe cutter shown in figure 11 only costs a few dollars and works real slick on cutting PVC pipe. You can also use just any tool that will cut wood or a hacksaw.

Figure 12

You will need to measure and cut five pieces of 1/2" PVC. The support arm is 9", the two cross supports are 4 1/2", and the two feet are 8". If you use the pipe cutting tool, cut the pieces as in figure 13.

Figure 13

Figure 14 shows all the pieces of pipe you are going to need.

Figure 14

Take the 9" piece and measure 1 1/2" down from an end and make a mark. From the same end measure 1 1/4" on the opposite side and make a mark. See figure 15. This is where you will need to drill a 3/8" hole through for the bearing shaft.

Figure 15

Drill the hole on one side (figure 16) then the hole on the other side. Make sure the bolt will pass freely through the pipe.

Figure 16

Assemble the stand with glue pressing the pieces together very firmly (figure 17). You might want to check the tightness periodically after giving the wheel to your gliders.

Figure 17

The Screen

Take the roll of screen (gutter guard) and lay it around the inside of the wheel (figure 18) and mark for cutting. Don't use any over-lap of the screen.

Figure 18

Make sure you make of good square cut or the wheel won't be round. We used a sharp knife (figure 19) but a pair of heavy scissors would work fine.

Figure 19

Get a piece of the nylon webbing and measure it by wrapping it all the way around the screen (figure 20) then allowing a little extra and cut it off.

Figure 20

Heat seal the edges so it won't fray (figure 21).

Figure 21

Mix another batch of epoxy and put a even medium coat on one side of the nylon (figure 22).

Figure 22

Using the nylon webbing, put the two ends of the screen together then fold over the nylon as shown in figure 23. Make sure the ends come together straight.

Figure 23

I laid the glued joint down on the table the pressed the other side of the loop down over the whole thing to makes sure it was straight then laid bricks (figure 24) on top for a good solid joint. Let it stay until epoxy has set-up.

Figure 24

After the glue has cured trim the inside of the screen of excess nylon webbing (figure 25). The trimmed side will be the side that gets hot-glued to the wheel.

Figure 25

You could glue the outside webbing but I prefer to sew it so it can be replaced easier. Sew or glue the webbing to the outside (figure 26) but make sure you heat-seal the ends first.

Figure 26

Using a hot glue gun, secure the screen to the lid at least 8 points (figure 27). The screen part is done with only the final assembly remaining.

Figure 27

Figure 27 show the hardware you need. Again, you don't have to use the hardware I did but make sure you make all the necessary adjustments if you use something else.

Figure 27

Finding the bearing and a proper bolt will probably be the biggest challenge for you. We used a modified carriage bolt. We really liked the round head because it offers the best safety I could think of for my gliders. The problem with it is that it has a square key right next to the head that won't pass through the bearing. It has to go. We used a b*a*s*t*a*r*d mill file on our first one and it worked pretty good. The file is reasonably cheap and if you hold the bold with a pair of pliers (protecting the bolt threads), you can file it down. It does take some time and effort. Later, I went to the shed and got my bench grinder and that takes only a couple of minutes. Of course, I know that most of you won't have a bench grinder but the file does work. My first wheel is still hard at work and it was made with a file.

This is a good time to say that if anyone comes up with an alternative solutions to this method of building a wheel, feel free to let us know. I encourage all comments as long as they are kept positive.

Figure 28 shows the carriage bold after filing down the square key.

Figure 28

Insert a plastic washer (if needed) onto the bolt the insert the bolt through the bearing from the inside of the wheel (figure 29).

Figure 29

On the backside of the wheel, insert the spacer and a washer in the bolt (figure 30).

Figure 30

Attach the stand with a washer and wing nut (figure 31).

Figure 31


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