Carriage wheels

My wife and daughter perform in a community theater group. The group has decided on "Oklahoma!" for this summer's production. The biggest set construction challenge will be the surrey, specifically the spoked wheels. I may decide to help out with the building.
I have no familiarity with the show, but apparently the surrey will have to carry two people on four wheels. My first thought was to cut out a bunch of pie slice holes from a sheet of 3/4" ply, like this:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/gdguarino/11717012293/
Leaving aside that this would be a heck of a lot of tedious jigsaw work (and routering to make the wheels round), do you think the resulting wheel would be structurally sufficient?
We'd have to layer on some disks at the center to make a "hub", that much I'm sure of. And I saw a video online in which a college production (with access to a large shop, a bigger budget and a lot of free labor) seems to have layered extra plywood circles on either side of the outer edge to thicken the wheels. That made it look more authentic, to be sure, but I wonder if it was structurally necessary. If not, I'm sure "our" team would decide to forgo the extra work. Incidentally, unless the extra layers were made in half- or quarter-circles, that's a lot of ply to waste.
I considered other ideas as well (wooden hub and circumference, EMT tubing for spokes), but so far the ones I've thought of seem like they would require more precision than is likely to be available.
Any suggestions would be welcome. As an aside, does Sketchup always make circles as such visibly-obvious polygons?
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On Fri, 3 Jan 2014 07:29:39 -0500, "Mike Marlow"

Around here it would not be hard to find a set of wheels to buy/borrow (getting harder every year, but the old order and amish just to the west still use them on their every-day buggies, while the local Newborns use automotive wheels - usually the mini-spares that they can get from the wreckers for free.)
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I made wagon wheels for the cart in "Fiddler" using the technique you've described. It was a high school production, so after cutting the circles at home I had one of the students do all the jig saw work. The center hub was a couple of pipe floor flanges screwed to the plywood. The next smaller size pipe was used as the axle with pipe caps on each end. A large washer held in place with a nail thru the axle was used on the side of the wheel opposite the pipe cap to retain the wheel in position. A couple of artistic students painted them and from the audience location, 20+ feet away, they looked great.
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Greg Guarino wrote:

Another thought--why not a disk, paint it black then paint the spokes and rim white.
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On 1/3/2014 9:13 AM, G. Ross wrote:

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"Greg Guarino" wrote in message

I'd be inclined to make the wheel in glued up layers... The spokes can be quickly ripped on a table saw and the rim done in 1/4 circle segments on a bandsaw using a pivot point (see Norm's circle cutter jig). Shorter segments can be placed between the rim segments thus creating mortises... with the rim segment joints staggered. The hub could be done the same way... two disks with segments between them to create mortises. Let the spokes protrude through the outside of the rim and then make the entire thing round on the bandsaw using the circle cutting jig on the bandsaw. The last step would be to the drill out the pivot hole to a larger size for an axle. This approach would be quicker to cut out and cut way down on the waste...
John
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I had a thought. What about using a real bicycle tire, and fitting it with wood slats on the spokes.... I am sure a person could come up with a wood clad, or theater craft, on a bike tire to achieve a similar look? john
"Greg Guarino" wrote in message
My wife and daughter perform in a community theater group. The group has decided on "Oklahoma!" for this summer's production. The biggest set construction challenge will be the surrey, specifically the spoked wheels. I may decide to help out with the building.
I have no familiarity with the show, but apparently the surrey will have to carry two people on four wheels. My first thought was to cut out a bunch of pie slice holes from a sheet of 3/4" ply, like this:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/gdguarino/11717012293/
Leaving aside that this would be a heck of a lot of tedious jigsaw work (and routering to make the wheels round), do you think the resulting wheel would be structurally sufficient?
We'd have to layer on some disks at the center to make a "hub", that much I'm sure of. And I saw a video online in which a college production (with access to a large shop, a bigger budget and a lot of free labor) seems to have layered extra plywood circles on either side of the outer edge to thicken the wheels. That made it look more authentic, to be sure, but I wonder if it was structurally necessary. If not, I'm sure "our" team would decide to forgo the extra work. Incidentally, unless the extra layers were made in half- or quarter-circles, that's a lot of ply to waste.
I considered other ideas as well (wooden hub and circumference, EMT tubing for spokes), but so far the ones I've thought of seem like they would require more precision than is likely to be available.
Any suggestions would be welcome. As an aside, does Sketchup always make circles as such visibly-obvious polygons?
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Nope, not if you know how to use the "divide" function in the context menu:
http://help.sketchup.com/en/article/114015
Caveat: the smoother the circle (the more segments) the more CPU cycles it to takes to render, so a model full of smooth circles, curves, etc can slow down a marginal system.
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On 1/3/2014 4:25 AM, Greg Guarino wrote:

Sketchup does always make circles as polygons. However, by increasing the number of sides to the polygon, the appearance problems can be greatly reduced.
When creating a circle, you specify the number of segments (sides) by typing a number followed by an 's' in the value control box. For example 48s.
You can also change the number of segments in a circle that has already been created by selecting the circle and changing the segments value in the entity info window.
Dan
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Greg Guarino wrote:

No ___________

It depends upon how many sides you tell it to use.
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Find the closest Amish or Mennonite community and ask if you can borrow/ rent some.
Pete Stanaitis ---------------
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An advice in two parts:
1) The making of a carriage wheel is hard, if you can read some french try read this
http://www.ecurieattelage.com/charronnage/fabrication-de-roues-en-bois/
2) Put "carriage wheels"in Google, there is a lot of useful information.
Bye
GD

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Try on ebay
Good luck,
GD


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On 1/7/2014 2:42 PM, G.Dubois wrote:

As it happens, I can read a bit of French, but I'm afraid that site deals with the making of real carriage wheels with tuned spokes strong enough to rumble down a dirt road somewhere. In community theater, they hold to the "30 foot rule": If it looks good from 30 feet away, it's good enough. Now in this case the wheels will have to safely carry 2 people a few feet on a smooth floor, but that's all that will be asked of them from a practical standpoint.
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wrote:

Plywood cut out (make a router pattern and half rounds attached audience side) some threaded rod for an axle through a 2x4, bushings would be a good idea.
Mark
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