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DIY Pottery Wheel: Make it Yourself & Save Some Money

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by David Miller  • Updated: June 30th, 2022  •  4 min read    Pottery Guides » Pottery Wheels

We understand that purchasing a potter’s wheel can be pricey, so we’ve put together some DIY pottery wheel ideas to help you make your own. You don’t have to be a wizard with tools, but you do need to be able to drill and screw. You can make a potter’s wheel for about $150.00 – $200.00 max!

How to Make a Homemade Pottery Wheel

First, let’s go over the components that make a decent DIY pottery wheel:

Motor – We recommend a 1/2HP motor for your first DIY pottery wheel. You can bump up to a 3/4HP if you’re an experienced potter and you need to throw large pieces. Bear in mind that the more HP you go up, the more expensive your pottery wheel will be.

Speed controller – You’ll need to control the speed of your potter’s wheel. A simple rheostat will do just fine here.

Pottery Wheel Stand – If you don’t want to spend money on a pre-made stand, you can also make your own for about $50.00-$75.00.

Wheelhead – You’ll be attaching the pottery wheel head to the motor shaft, so it must match up perfectly. If you find that your rod won’t work with the pottery wheel head you purchased, go with another brand.

Bowl – You’ll need a bowl for your DIY pottery wheel, but you don’t have to spend $100.00 on one. An actual bowl provides stability and support for your clay, so the bottom should be flat and slightly larger than your plaster or fiber blanket circle but smaller than your pottery wheel’s outer ring.

Now that we know what components make a simple DIY pottery wheel, let’s look at some ideas!

DIY Electric Pottery Wheel

I’m a big fan of making things, so I was excited when I saw this video by Bob from I Like to Make Stuff that will walk you through the process of making your own bespoke DIY pottery wheel. I appreciate how he modified the design as he progressed because we all know that plans rarely go as expected!

Homemade Pottery Wheel From a Washing Machine

If you’re considering replacing an old washer, why not turn it into a DIY pottery wheel with a foot pedal?

Homemade Pottery Wheel Using a Treadmill Motor

Most DIY pottery wheels use treadmill motors to power the pottery wheel. Check out this detailed plan on how to build a DIY potters wheel by colemishler over on instructables.com.

Here is another excellent example of using a treadmill motor to power a homemade pottery wheel.

Homemade Pottery Wheel Using a Cordless Drill

This pottery wheel was constructed of reclaimed items and a cordless drill, making it one of the cheapest DIY pottery wheel options.

Homemade Pottery Wheel Using a Ceiling Fan

Here is another instructional video to guide you through the process of making a potter’s wheel, but this time using the motor from a ceiling fan!

DIY Pottery Kick Wheel

But, what about a potter’s kick wheel?. This guide by swares on intructables.com could be the one for you.

Homemade Pottery Wheel From Bicycle Parts

Most people view kick wheels as an ordeal since kicking the wheel requires physical effort and coordination. However, this pedal-powered design flips that equation on its head!

DIY Miniature Pottery Wheel

This pottery wheel was powered with a 300 rpm geared motor, a speed controller, and a 12 v, three amps adapter in this video. They then converted it to battery-operated and installed the battery inside the wheel’s base. This wheel appears to be loads of fun!

DIY Mini Pottery Wheel

This video also shows you how to construct a small pottery wheel using a DC motor, but it’s just the start of this DIYers project as they plan to add more features later on!

Conclusion

Pottery wheels that are professionally made can set you back a significant amount of money. It’s far cheaper to construct your pottery wheel out of recycled materials. A motor, speed controller, table, and spindle with a bearing are the critical components of a pottery wheel. You can use a treadmill to provide an appropriate motor and speed controller, while you can acquire a car’s wheel, hub, bearing, and spindle from a junkyard.

You can now make a pottery wheel in minutes, why not give it a go!. Be sure to hang around and check out more guides on pottery equipment and tools.

Stay Safe & Keep Creating!

David Miller is an amateur potter that started as a hobby nearly 7 years ago. His mission is to share tips, tools and ideas he has learnt along the way. When he's not in the office, he can typically be found in his studio, a.k.a. his shed, creating, experimenting, and generally making a mess.
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