If books, TVshows, and movies are any indication, it seems that civilization is headed for certain collapse. Once the fall happens, wheeled transportation is going to be at a premium. We may be fleeing zombies, or farming with horses, or trying to get a car running on moonshine and tree sap -- whatever the case, wheels, and the skills to make them, will be valuable to have. 

This post-apocalyptic wheel assembly uses a wooden axle and spare tires (donuts) to provide the basis for a handcart, simple wagon, or trailer. Short of metal, and tools, this is also a perfect repair for a broken trailer. After I made it, I realized a solid axle has some trouble turning, so I would recommend actually cutting the axle in half and mounting each wheel independently so that a two-wheel arrangement can pivot.

The parts for this are all recycled, and very cheap, if not free. Sustainability starts with re-use, especially when the factories collapse and no new ones are being made!

If you enjoy this Instructable, check out my new website at Object Guerilla for more projects and musings on the end of the world.

You will need these materials:

2 compact car wheel hubs
2 compact car spare tires (donuts)
Several pieces of scrap plywood, appox. 4 sq. ft. in total
Hefty chunk of douglas fir, spruce, oak, walnut, hickory, pecan, or similar 
Wood glue
Handful of 1/4"-3/8" through-bolts, nuts, and washers
Handful of 1/4" x 5" lag bolts
1-1/2" hole saw
Wood glue

You will need these tools:

Table saw
Jig or Bandsaw
Block plane

Step 1: Blankin'

Finding a suitable wood for the axle is the most important step in this process. You will need something extremely strong, kind of heavy, but also possessing a little bit of flex. Hickory, used in axe handles and drum sticks, would be ideal. It is hard yet resilient. Oak, maple, and walnut, three common hardwoods, are often used as pallet stringers and flooring. Poplar can be found in door casings, some cabinet work, and cheaper furniture. The Douglas Fir that I used was from an structural beam torn out of an old house. While technically a softwood, old-growth Douglas Fir is strong, tight-grained, and dense. If you can't find a thick chunk, laminate a number of thinner strips together -- like pieces of hardwood flooring -- to create a larger blank.

Start by cutting the piece down to about 2" square. This axle is about 28" long, and I would hesitate to go above 36" wide because the axle would start to bow at that span.

Set the blade of the table saw to 45 degrees, set the fence at about 1-1/2" from the base of the blade, then bevel all four corners of the blank. This should create an octagon with approximately equal sides. 
<p>i wonder if you could use this in a tear drop trailer application? I want to make one to tow behind my four wheeler for hunting season.</p>
<p>Looks solid.</p>
<p>looks legit</p>
<p>I thought you are suppose to do curls with this?</p>

About This Instructable




Bio: Furniture hacker. Author of Guerilla Furniture Design, out now. Find me on Twitter and Instagram @objectguerilla.
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