Picture of Ship's Helm
Making a Ship's Helm From Scrap Timber.
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Making rings for front, back and centre

Picture of making rings for front, back and centre
make two rings and two centres from plywood.Use a large size compass ( I made one for an earlier project ) and scribe two set of concentric circles. Outer diameter is 600mm, inner diameter is 400mm. This plywood is 3mm thick. Dont worry, it is quite robust !!
Now make two circles for the center. These are 155mm diam. Please don't ask why. I was winging it.

Step 2: Layout

Picture of layout
lay one ring good side down and place one centre in the center.

Step 3: Positioning the spokes

Picture of positioning the spokes
Here I used some scrap pine saved from a caravan wall. So This wood is easy to find. Usual routine is to remove old nails and glue. Staples can be cut flush and filed down.( angle grinder is time saver). These pieces are approximately 45mm by 20 mm. You will need one length at a mininmum of 1000mm. Then six lengths at a minimum of 470mm approx.
Position these so that they will intercept in the middle of the center circle. There was much scratching of head at this stage.

Step 4: A sneak preview

Picture of A sneak preview
If you have placed the rough spokes at 90 degrees and 45 degrees, lay the other ring and centre on top and have a look. Well I just had to get my wife to come and take these pictures. At this point My brain started to wake up and I could see what the finished helm would look like. A combination square or a right angle triangle should be used to help position the spokes. This is where I determined the length of the spokes. They extend past the outer ring by 180mm approx. Depends on how savage you are with the next step !! ( I hope you have marked the centre of the center circles )
BrianH5 years ago
Thanks for getting back in touch about your version of the Ship's Helm - It looks like yours will be able to steer a hardy ship and endure the rough seas.


frank farrell (author) 5 years ago
Thankyou for your positive comments. Will you be making a helm??. If yes, please let me know. I would love to see yours. Brian H made a terrific Pirate helm, and that gave me the inspiration to build mine. Cheers me hearties !!!
Mr. Rig It5 years ago
Nice job! Great use of materials, lots of photos, and it came out looking great!
This is pretty Sweet i like that you can actually turn it !