Country Pottery Kickwheel




About: I am currently single, and have been a maker all my life. I currently work as a technician for a comercial Laundromat company. I and my friends have built a nascar simulator, and lot of other stuff, and I h...

Build a old fashioned rotary flywheel Pottery Kickwheel for about 100$

After a lot of searching on the internt, I could not find a decent drawing of a console style kickwheel for making pottery. so I made one. Measured drawings included...

Step 1: Building the Base Frame and Seatposts

Using standard dimensional lumber (2x4) the build begins with the back and floor frame.

Step 2: Front Frame and Seat Supports

adding the front frame and the seat supports

Step 3: The Adjustable Seat

the adjustabel seat is made of 2 (or 3) 2x4's attached with 7 inch peices of 2x4

Step 4: Adding Frame Peices

additiional peices are attached to the frame.

Step 5: Drawing Out the Flywheel

drawing the 31.5 inch disks from a peice of 8x4 plywood.

this is a cheap trick, fit you have a center hole drilled, just poke a hole in a peice of cardboard , measure out the radius, poke another hole there, and use it like a disposable compass

Step 6: Cutting the Flywheel Top and Bottom

you will need to cut 2 31.5 inch disks from plywood. save all the scrap (see measured drawing)

use a circular saw to split the plywood into 2 4x4 sections, then cut the disks out with a jigsaw.

Step 7: Flywheel Cuts

you should have 2 flywheel dosks and 4 half moon shaped peices of plywood.

(only one shown)

drill a 1 in hole on the center of the disks, and attach the 1in floor flanges to the disks.

Step 8: Weighting the Flywheel

using constuction adhesive, glue the bricks t the bottom flywheel disks.

Step 9: Finishing the Flywheel

using more constuction adhesive, glue the top of the flywheel down and weight down.

imusing a 1 inch hoe handle to aligh the disks while they are drying.

Step 10: Bolting the Flywheel to the Base

after temprarily removing the base boards, the flang bearing is attached to the flywheel with a 3 inch pipe nipple.

Step 11: Flywheel Installation

the flywheel is slid into place and secured with screws

Step 12: Wheel Head Shaft and Support

the wheel head shaft is a peice of 29 inch galvanized pipe. the 1 5/.16 pillow block is driven on, and secured with a top frame support

Step 13: Completing the Wheel

more freame peices are cut, the leftover plywood is fit into place to secure the console.

the wheel head is another 10 inch disk cut from the same sheet of plywood. alternatovle, you could but a ready made aluminium disk, or use a cake pan full of plaster...

Step 14: Moose and the Infernal Machine

A very tired moose relaxes with his new construction

nothing left but painting...

Step 15: Measured Drawings

this is a set of ikea style measued drawing and material list.

if you have any questions ytou can contact me on facebook at Moosestudiospottery

Step 16: Measured Drawings

the following include the build drawings.



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    48 Discussions


    Question 1 year ago on Step 13

    In your printed instructions, it says to install two 1/4" Allen cap bolts with wing nuts 5" from the center of the wheel head. Why? What are these for?

    1 answer

    Answer 3 months ago

    On a wheel most have these nuts to affix a batt to the wheel. Most batts have holes 10 in apart or 5in from center and accommodate that Allen key head as a standard. A batt is used to throw on and remove vs throwing on just the wheel head. It's possible to skip that part and just throw on the wheel head then just cut your peice off the wheel head. Some potters actually prefer this as the wood batt can warp and make centering hard as they age. Hope this helps.


    Question 9 months ago on Step 16

    Hi from Japan! Sorry if I missed the information, but I am wondering if the wheel rests on the floor, or just on the bottom support. In other words, how far off the floor does the wheel sit? Thank you for your kind advice.


    3 years ago

    Is there any way to make this without building the seat?


    3 years ago

    Thank you for sharing this fantastic Instruction for building a pottery kickwheel!

    Its been a wonderful help!


    3 years ago

    So I ordered the exact bearing you said to order and the flange is not did I get the wrong part?

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    an email would be great.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Hi Moose! I'm very thankful for these plans. I've been reading and re-reading to try to make sure I understand everything. On step 10 does the 3" pipe nipple need to be threaded on both sides? I'm asking because I believe a pipe nipple is usually threaded on both ends, but the blow-up drawing of the flywheel construction does not show threads on both ends.

    Also, since you made this a number of years ago, I'd be very interested to know if it's still working for you, or if it wore out or became unusable?


    8 years ago on Introduction

    So the entire weight of the flywheel is held up by the flange bearing set screws? Do you need some sort of a metal plate under it to prevent gouging the wood?

    Thank you for the great instructions!

    5 replies

    the weight of the wheel is supported by the set screws ANd by the fact that the fit between the pipe and the flange bearing is very very tight. plus the inside race of the floor flange is tapered, so the pipe wedges into the flange and wont go anywhere. after 2 years of constant use, I only had one small problem, the top screws from the wheel head shaft to the top of the flywheel pulled out- fixed by using larger screws and some more liquid Nails. Ive also desigend a wheel lick, using a 3/4 inch drop pin that completly locks up the flywheel for MUCH easier entry and exit. thos plans are ebing drawn up, ill have them out is a couple of days, as always, anyone who wants a full set of plans just need to emails me..

    I also have pending drawigns for a plate display rack, Bottle shelves, 5 gallon bucket shelves, a plate and tile drying case and finaly a motor for the kickwheel

    Samitpatel76Moose Gueydan

    Reply 4 years ago

    I would love a copy of the instructions. Please send to Thanks!

    jerryo13Moose Gueydan

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Would appreciate a copy of your latest plans. Will be building two wheels for our Christian youth camp. Please E-mail to

    Jerry O.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I'm also trying to wrap my head around what supports the weight of the flywheel. It seems like it would be most sturdy if the flywheel had a bottom point it could spin on, like a toy top does. If I fixed a 2-3" piece of pipe to the bottom of the flywheek, is there some kind of bearing that it could sit in/on?

    I'm also wondering what kind of shop I might look for locally (VT) to find a good metal wheel head?

    Thanks for putting this instructable up - I'm thoroughly inspired!


    5 years ago on Introduction

    I made a kick wheel exactly like this (same plans) in the early 1970s. I made hundreds of pieces on it, and never had a problem. It was just a little hard to center be mounds of clay, (because it would bog down the flywheel speed) but I managed to get the job done.

    i knew my research would profit me some. i'm looking to develop my own studio and i think this will do nicely.

    Gomi Romi

    6 years ago on Introduction

    Amazing wheel. Do you think that you could pull apart an office chair for the central ball bearing parts etc?


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Lovely project that's been very well executed, but here's a suggestion - the mass of your flywheel is predominantly at its centre, but if you move the bricks so the majority of the mass is as far away from the centre as possible (ie a kind of 'perimeter' of bricks) then the flywheel will store more kinetic energy and hence spin with higher torque for longer. Thanks for sharing!


    9 years ago on Step 14

    WONDERFUL! I haven't thrown in YEARS!!!!

    I saw a similar plan set right after college and had a copy of them but never got around to building my own kick wheel.
    The other plans I saw called for pouring cement into a form which sounded very difficult but do-able. I like yours much better using pavers. you could even get round pavers or edgers and get more weight.

    You could even glue down old sandpaper down on the top disk to give some grip to the kick wheel.....

    LOVE the set of measured drawings!!! Very clear and will be very useful!

    Over all a wonderful instrucable! 

    (now where to find clay?........)

    1 reply
    Moose GueydanBroberg

    Reply 9 years ago on Step 14

    you should have a supplier in your town, most big cities have at least one.

    if you have to have clay shipped- it will be expensive, plan to buy in 1 ton (1 pallette) lots to save on shipping.  If you dont want that much clay, find a club in your area, to split the cost-- if there isnt one, why its high time for sombosy to start one...

    suppliers of clay are:    (best bet, loafer;'s glory, a white burning semi poceline clay)  they carry everything    I very much like thier Navaho white, but Bee mix is popluar too.

    Lagua run through a distribution networlk of vendors, call them to get a dist in you area.  they have a nuber oif very fine clays in all sorts of colours.

    (I use Amadore, Electric Brown, Redstone, Big white and Dave's porceline from thier line)

    worse come to worse, you can alway grab a shovel and a bucket and do it the hard way... (ahh, snakes, very dangerous-you go first)

    seriouly, I pay about 25$ per hundred for my studio clay delivered... and Have been using Aarvark's Navaho white almost exclusivly...