The Mesopotamian Advantage

It was not invented in Mesopotamia by any stretch of the imagination, but it was there that the oldest known version of the wheel was found, dating back around 5500 years.

Wheels have not really come a long way since those days.  Sure, they have pneumatics now (mostly)

tweel-airless-tire-2

bearings, treads.  But they are still round (usually!)

0Ok, so they may be the exception to the normal rules, the mainstream wheels are more like this

DSCN4299and as a pretty good rendition of the wheel, this

Hummer-Wheel-clipped-webIt is the last wheel that is of particular interest, for obvious reasons.  If you need to do a double take, go ahead.  Yes, it is a toy wheel, and what’s more, you don’t have to buy it – with a few typical workshop tools, you can easily make a set with a tablesaw, bandsaw, router table and disk sander.

If coming up with the steps required to make such a fine looking wheel looks a bit beyond you, the Toys and Joys DVD provides almost 40 minutes of step by step instructions on how to make them yourself.

Video_1_clipped136357461751467f59e7ffe13669327855179bd32005ccI watched it this afternoon, and now I’m really inspired to go out and make some myself (and the vehicles to go with them!)

FirefoxScreenSnapz002Yes, an excuse to show that Humvee again!  Of course if you want to get ultra-modern, you could make one like the tyre at the top of the post!

The same steps to make these wheels will also make tractor style tread wheels as well.

farm tractor plans

You can get the DVD from Professional Woodworkers Supplies, and I was a little dubious – a whole DVD just on making a wheel?  But I did find it very interesting – a whole range of jigs they use (and show you how to make and use) to produce whole sets of wheels easily, to get all the different chamfers, treads, inserts etc from the gentlemen who are “Toys and Joys” in the US.

So there is no need to buy wheels like this, or compromise your realistic wooden toy with wheels from a wheelcutting bit.  With a few steps, and jigs, realistic wheels are definitely achievable, and it may be that manners maketh man, but it is wheels that maketh the toy.

One Response

  1. Hi I really like to support Australian suppliers but sometimes I just can’t justify this support from a money angle. I purchased some axle pegs locally and was charged 42 cents ea for a 100 plus $12 freight ($54)
    I now find out I could have bought them from the manufacturer (Toys and Joys) for 9 cents per 100 plus $27 freight ($36) exactly the same peg AP2’s, take off the GST and it’ still a gigantic mark-up.

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