DIY Pottery Kick Wheel Plans

Jon Kaplan shares his DIY plans to build a pottery kick wheel that is cheap, reliable, and easy to build.

| November/December 1970

Pottery, like other fields of art (and life in general), has not been immune from the rising tide of price increases. It seems clear to me that fewer and fewer people will be willing or able to shell out increasingly large sums of money on artistic interests in the future. Other methods of procuring necessary materials and tools must be found.

The plans that follow are for a DIY pottery kick wheel which costs under sixty dollars, depending upon availability of necessary parts. The pottery kick wheel is an exceptionally fine piece of equipment: Very reliable, fairly cheap and easy to build. The rich satisfaction you'll get from throwing pottery on a wheel you've built yourself is an added bonus.

For sake of simplicity, I'll divide these building instructions into three main sections: (1) construction of the frame, (2) casting of the flywheel and securing it to the shaft and (3) aligning the bearings. You'll find a list of necessary materials included here, too.

My best advice is to amass all materials before you start building. It's kind of a drag having to break the construction routine to buy some parts. Let's build.

Construction of the Frame

Essentially the frame is a 30-inch cube, with 4-by-4 uprights and 2-by-4 cross members. (See Fig. 1 in the Image Gallery.)

It's best to cut the wood into 30-inch pieces before you start. The best bit for the drilling job is a 5/8-inch wood bit. It works nice. A suggested layout for the holes is shown in Fig. 2 (See Fig. 2 in the Image Gallery).

1/12/2011 11:10:35 AM

@John Cox Actually, If the copyright on that book has not been renewed, its contents are now public domain. I would say you should let us know the name of the book so I can look up its copyright status and perhaps turn it into a free PDF. Thanks! Source: look at the fifth line under "works registered..."

Anita Timmons
4/6/2009 1:02:46 AM

I have an old exercise bike. I wonder if it could somehow be recycled into a pottery wheel?

John Cox
12/8/2008 1:27:37 PM

I too have the same Potters Wheel. I got the plans from a copyrighted book from 1961. Yes, the same wheel. The instructions have been modified some what, but the same thing just the same. The author of this article is not the same from the book. I would say you have a copyright issue, especially if the author or the book's publishing company decided to take advantage of this situation. Surely, your people check these situations out before publishing, especially over the internet? John Cox

mother earth news fair


Feb. 17-18, 2018
Belton, Texas

More than 150 workshops, great deals from more than 200 exhibitors, off-stage demos, hands-on workshops, and great food!