Wheel of Destiny




About: Church, Family, Work, Play.

'Never make another decision again! Make your own WHEEL OF DESTINY!

Okay, heres the deal, I teach 7th grade and in class I am often having to put students together for group work, choose people to hand out materials, choose people to collect materials, choose people to participate in demonstrations, etc. Sooooooo to help eliminate all the whining that goes along with some people getting chosen and others not, I decided to build a WHEEL OF DESTINY!! This virtually eliminates the ongoing whining, for if the arrow lands on someones desk number, then it must be their destiny.

In this my first instructable I will teach you how to build your own WHEEL OF DESTINY!! (on the cheap)

Step 1: Gather Your Materials.

The WHEEL OF DESTINY contains these basic parts:
Arm Braces

scrap 2x4s
scrap MDF
1 - swiveling caster wheel
several - 2inch-3inch wood screws
2 - 2.5 in bolts with matching nuts
several 3 inch nails

electric jig saw
compound miter saw
electric drill
metal drill bit
Might need : metal punch (nail set)
electric grinder


Begin by cutting out your wheel.
The size of the wheel will determine the size of the many of the other parts of your WHEEL OF DESTINY.

First take a fairly large piece of scrap particle board and find the center by using a yard stick to draw diagonals from the corners.

Next press the awl (or hammer a nail) into the center, and tie a string around it. On the other end of the string, tie a pencil. This is your make-shift compass. The string will be the radius of your circle so be careful as to how long you make the string. Mine is 10.25 inches (for no particular reason).

Once the circle is marked out, it is time to fire up the old electric jig saw and cut that circle out!
(Of course if time is an issue you could always run down to the local Home Depot and buy a particle board circle - BUT WHAT FUN WOULD THAT BE?! )

Once your circle is cut out it is time to add the nails around the edge (trust me it is a lot easier to do it at this stage of the game). Be sure to space them out evenly. I like to continually divide the spaces in half. This will leave you with 32 equal spaces around your wheel. Mine are spaced roughly 2 inches apart. Of course if you are making a BIG wheel you may want more nails.

Step 3: Brace Yourself

The base of your WHEEL OF DESTINY should be at least the diameter of your wheel long and around 8-12 inches wide. Mine is a random 10.5 inches.

The support arm for your WHEEL OF DESTINY should be the diameter of your wheel plus 4 - 6 inches. You need to be sure to give it an inch or two of clearance on the bottom and some room on the top for the selector to be mounted.

Using 2 wood screws attach the arm to the base so that the short side of the 2x4 sits flush against the back of the base.

Using a miter saw cut 45 degree angles on three pieces of scrap 2x4 to make the arm braces. Use wood screws to attach them to the arm and the base.

Step 4: Spin That Wheel!

Okay so now that you have shelled out $3-$5 for a swiveling caster how do you turn that swivel into a spinning wheel that helps you decide things, keeps those around you from whining, and in general makes your world a more happy place?

First you must get rid of the wheel. Use the electric drill to drill out the axel of the caster (you may need to use a metal punch or nail set to your drill bit a place to get started). Be sure you are using a drill bit that is made for metal. If this is not working use and electric grinder to grind off one end of the axel. Once one end has been ground off or drilled out, the axel should slide out the other side and you can remove the wheel.

Now attach the mounting bracket to the center of the BACK (the side without the nails sticking up) of your circle. Use the diagonal lines you made for finding the center of your circle as a guide, and then screw it into place.

Step 5: Attach the Wheel to the Arm.

Put the arm in the place where the wheel used to be. Move the wheel up or down until you find that perfect spot. Use your pencil to mark on the arm where the axel holes are. Remove the wheel and drill a hole for the first bolt to go through (make sure both the enter and exit holes line up). Replace the wheel, and attach it with the first nut and bolt. It would be a good idea to support the wheel until you both bolts in place to prevent sagging. Next, find a spot on the wheel bracket for the second bolt. Drill through the metal bracket, wood arm, and metal again. Add the second nut and bolt. Spin the wheel checking to make sure that it is not getting caught on anything.

Step 6: Making and Attaching the Selector

On top of the arm needs to be a piece of wood that extends above and slightly beyond the wheel its self. I like to split a piece of scrap 2x4 for this.

Use a scrap piece of 1x4, plywood, or particle board and cut out an arrow using the jig saw (if you happen to have one a band saw works great for this). The arrow needs to be long enough to reach down about an inch or two into the wheel area.

Drill a hole where you want the arrow to pivot that is well big enough for the screw, that you are going to use to attach it, to fit. You do NOT want the attachment screw to impede the movement of the arrow.

Attach the arrow to the arm extension, being sure that it is allowed to swing freely.

Step 7: Paint and Decorate

Get out the paints and get creative!!
It helps to make clear lines on your wheel divisions.
Be careful not to get paint, saw dust, etc. in the spinning mechanism.

Extension Ideas:

- Add velcro to the wheel and then easily change the circle designs.

- Extend the arm and base for a floor model.



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    16 Discussions


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for the caster tip! I don't think I would have come up with it myself. I built an 80cm wheel out of 5mm MDF for the fair at my son's school. Worked beautifully. It was spun over 200 times in 4 hours. Since the caster had so much play in it that the bottom of the wheel would occasionally hit the post, I added a little roller on the post, about 2 inches from the bottom of the wheel.

    1 reply

    Reply 1 year ago

    can you give an idea of the kind of roller you used? Thank you!:)


    1 year ago

    I love using the wheel caster idea...could one bend the wheel tabs flat so you can mount it on the flat part of the 1x4? I would love to do that for a wall mounted unit. fpr a spinning colour wheel...where the colours vanish as you spin the wheel for a set on LIGHT...

    ...any ideas? thanks buddy! Nice work!:)


    9 years ago on Introduction

    that is so much better than the popsicle stick crap our teachers always try to force on us. They make us write our names on sticks and put them in a jar. They've done that every year since like 2nd grade (I'm going into 9th) and all thats ended up happening is people that don't want to do anything stealing their sticks from the jar when the teacher's not there...


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Wheel of Morality; Turn turn turn, show us the lesson we should learn. .... Lesson number four! If you can't say anything nice, you're probably at the ice capades.

    2 replies

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    My first thought when I read the title was Princess Angelina Contessa Louisa Francesco Banana Fana Bobesca The Third.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    For the record.... Most commercial wheels you can buy are capable of being rigged.... Typically, you can tell by looking at the front of the board for any extra pockets around the edge that protrude out -- these are supposed to make it look nicer, but there's chicanery afoot!

    1 reply

    11 years ago on Introduction

    This is great! When I ran a consulting group, I would always joke about creating the "Wheel of Pricing", so we could say to our clients, "You have two choices. The reports will be 20,000 dollars, or, you can spin the Wheel of Pricing!" Sadly, said wheel was never created. I think others though it might be unprofessional.

    1 reply

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    I was also thinking "Wheel of Chores" for the kids. "Do you want to clean up your room or spin the ...WHEEL OF CHORES!" :)