For Halloween I'm usually a pirate. This year I'm adding a prop component in the form of a ship's wheel. The Idea was to have a spinning ship's wheel attached to a harness of some kind.
I started this project with a few ideas of what I wanted and no idea how I was going to do it. In fact I didn't figure out most steps until it was time to do them. I also decided to make it primarily out of cardboard for two reasons:
First, I just happened to have a lot of cardboard laying around, making the project cheap,
Second, I am submitting this project for the gorilla glue cardboard contest.
Step 1: Materials and Tools:
For materials I gathered:
Large flat pieces of cardboard
One cardboard ring
One old used bearing
Spray paint and wood stain
Hot glue gun
Step 2: "Dowels" and Rings:
First thing was to glue the 2 pieces of flat cardboard together to make one thick piece of cardboard & then I cut them into 1/2 inch square "dowels". I just spread out a fair amount of wood glue between the 2 pieces, put some weight on top and left it over night.
Then I cut then the large ring into 4 thinner rings. I had to use a jigsaw so they didn't come out perfect, but no one should notice on Halloween night. I only needed 2 of the rings, but its always nice having extra in case you make a mistake.
Step 3: Smaller and Smaller:
Next I cut one ring to make it smaller for the inside ring. What I did was run the piece under hot water for a minute or two & curled it into a smaller ring and glued it. It did not come out as circular as I had hoped, but it should be fine as it wont show much. I also made an even smaller ring with the piece i cut off the second ring just in case I wanted a different size. I didn't.
Step 4: Drilling and Jigsawing:
In order to make this wheel I needed to put the dowels through the wheel, which means I needed holes, which needed to be square. I did this by drilling a 1/2 in hole with my drill & squaring it off with my jigsaw. Having a reference drawing for the dowel placement made it a lot easier to line up 6 set of holes between 2 rings.
Step 5: Checking and Covering:
Of course at this point it would be silly not to make sure that everything would line up. I couldn't help myself but put together what I had to make sure it worked. Plus it helps to see how things are taking shape in the real world & not just in my head.
I now needed a piece to cover the rings because it was looking kind of bare so I cut out a flat ring to do just that. I glued the cover onto the 2 rings. I cut the cover a little over-sized & trimmed in down after it was glued on. Also I glued each ring on separately to make sure they both got in the right place. I trimmed the cover down close to the edge of the ring & sanded it down flat.
Step 6: Stain and Paint:
At this point I decided to add some color & life to the wheel.
I started with a stain to darken the cardboard up followed by some matte black spray paint to add a little effect. I think it looks OK, but it should look better once the lettering is on it.
Step 7: Handles and Tape:
So now onto the handles. I tried to bulk up the handles using paper mache but it didn't really work, I did it all at once instead of in layers & that was a bad idea. I was sitting around in my garage trying to think of the best way to do this part and I realized I should use masking tape. It was cheap, It was on hand. I wrapped a ton of masking tape around each handle & they came out looking pretty decent.
I then put as much of the wheel as I have done together to check the progress & I think its coming along nicely.
Step 8: Finishing the Handles:
At this point I did some tests to see what would look best. i already had the handles built up out of masking tape, but I wasn't sure if I could just spray paint/stain them and call it good, or if I would have to paper mache them to smooth the edges of the tape so they didn't show so much.
i tried normal brown spray paint, but it was glossy and looked really cheesy, I also tried the stain which didn't look terrible but it really showed the edges of the masking tape. In the end I put a thin layer of paper mache over the masking tape and used acrylic craft paint. I used the color nutmeg, because of the three browns in the bucket of paints it was the least glossy and most wood like. I also gave them a light spray of matte black to give some texture to the color.
I know what they look like...the joke has already been made to me...many times....
Step 9: Bearing and Glue:
This was a simple step. I simply used wood glue to glue the bearing to the wooden dowels. Then I reinforced it with hot glue.
Step 10: Rope and Patience:
This step was not too complicated but was somewhat time consuming. I cut 6 pieces of 1/4 inch rope in 40 inch lengths. Each length of rope was hot glued around a "spoke" of the wheel. It took a little while but I think it came out looking pretty good.
Step 11: Lettering And:
Originally I had no intentions of naming the "ship". I hadn't really considered it, but....
I was watching cartoons with the 5 year old & he really likes Popeye right now on account of my mom sending over like 10 DVD's of really old Popeye cartoons. In one cartoon Popeye fights a sea witch that he refers to as the wicked sea hag. I found this very amusing and decided to go with that as the name of my "ship"
I cut out all the letters from the same flat cardboard I had sitting around using a band saw. I hot glued in the edges so they held stain, Stained them and glued them on.
Step 12: Finishing Touches and Yo Ho Ho:
At last, it's complete. A little stain here and there to touch up some glue that pushed out from under the lettering, and done. I might also try to make the rope look a little dingy and aged, but I'm not sure how just yet, or if I even will.
Now I've got to figure out how exactly I'm going to attach it to my body. right now I've got just a piece of thick wire bent into a kind of pseudo harness that I don't think is going to be my final say on the matter. That may be another Instructable. I'm also thinking of running up a small Jolly Roger flag up and out of the backside of my shirt. We'll see what happens.