I set out to build a pottery wheel for my 7 year old daughters Christmas present. She saw a toy pottery wheel at a local craft shop and had to have one. Knowing that these "toy store" units do not actually work properly, I did not want her to be disappointed. Now we have a quality pottery wheel that the entire family can use and enjoy..
Step 1: Step 1 Acquiring a Motor
I did some online research and learned that treadmill motors work well for powering pottery wheels. The motors on most treadmills are DC motors which are able to operate at variable speeds. After asking friends and relatives if they had or knew of any old treadmills, I resorted to Craigslist. I was able to purchase a used treadmill for $35 . I'm sure I could have found one even cheaper, but I was in a time crunch to be able to complete this project in time for Christmas.
After bringing the treadmill home, the first thing I did was to disassemble the unit and remove the motor and all wiring and electronics that were needed to operate the motor. On the treadmill control console was the speed control knob, ( I purposely bought an older treadmill that used a rotating knob to adjust speed, versus push buttons ). Inside the base of the treadmill was a circuit board and a coil (referred to as a choke in the manual). I also removed the on board circuit breaker that was used in the treadmill. Once all the parts were removed , I tested them to make sure everything was still operating properly.