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We make a homemade pulley at home from metal and wood

In order to pick up a pulley for a walk-behind tractor in a store or on a network, you need to know several parameters of this product. The driven pulley is designed to transmit rotational motion of the engine to the mounted equipment of the walk-behind tractor via a belt. With this part you can increase or decrease the speed of the motoblock mechanisms.

Pulley Characteristics

They come in different sizes, are fixed on the main shaft of electric motors and are made of different materials. When purchasing a pulley, you must pay attention to the size of the seat. Also, it will not be superfluous to buy a new belt and select a part in accordance with its parameters.

The diameters of the used pulleys for electric motors are standardized.

Making pulleys without a lathe or making pulleys on the knee

Standards establish 3 types of designs:

  • monolithic (up to 100 mm),
  • disk (from 80 to 400 mm),
  • with knitting needles (from 180 to 1000 mm).

Landing holes are conical and cylindrical. The standard number of grooves does not exceed 8. In order to reduce the wear of rubber belts, the working surface of the grooves is ground.

The main material used for the manufacture is aluminum or duralumin. They are considered the most optimal, as they have a good level of strength and least expose the belt to wear. You can find on sale pulleys made of PCB, plastic, plywood.

Home product manufacturing

There are several ways to make a pulley with your own hands, and we will tell you some of them.

The easiest way to make it at home is with a lathe. It is necessary to choose a suitable workpiece and just turn the part in size.

For the second manufacturing method, you will need plywood with a thickness of at least 20 mm, manual milling cutter and jigsaw, drill.

First you need to make a plywood disk of the desired diameter. Using a compass, draw a circle and make a hole in the center of it. Next, using a jigsaw, saw out a disk with a margin of 2-3 mm from the bar.

In order for the disc to have a perfect round shape, we clamp it in a drill through the central hole with a bolt and nut and grind it on sandpaper, processing all the bumps.

The next step will be the formation of a seat for the belt. To do this, use a manual router. We fix the disk on the workbench using self-tapping screws and, choosing a suitable cutter, select the groove for the belt. So the pulley is ready. You will need to measure the landing diameter of the pulley on the axis of the engine and drill the required hole.

A homemade pulley is mounted on the engine axis using a flange.

If you don’t have a lathe at hand, this part can be ordered from a familiar turner, but the driven pulley for a walk-behind tractor is impressive in size, and most often it is very difficult to find a workpiece of this diameter for turning. Therefore, we recommend that you make it yourself, and order the flange.

Proper maintenance of the part

For the long-term service of pulleys on a walk-behind tractor, some simple rules must be followed:

  • timely check the strength of the mounting of the seat on the axis of the engine to prevent the component from breaking out and its failure,
  • do not forget to check the protective covers that protect the part from dirt and large objects,
  • check the belt tension to prevent slipping,
  • visually inspect this node for chips, cracks, etc.,
  • observe the necessary safety precautions.

A homemade product will last you a very long time, without needing repair. As the end of its life, the part can be re-manufactured.

General recommendations

Purchased pulleys made in factories are most often cast or machined from metal alloys. For low-power engines, plastic products are produced.

At home, without foundry equipment or precision lathes, it is difficult to make a drive wheel from these materials.

Many experts believe that a pulley made of wood, plywood or plastic, which was made in the home workshop, is unreliable, short-lived, will immediately overheat and fall apart.

It's not like that at all. If you do not try to replace it with a forging hammer wheel with a force of 6000 tons, and use it on a desktop machine with limited power and speed, then a carefully made part can replace the regular one for a long time.

You can make a pulley from sheets of plywood. This is the simplest design, it does not need complex equipment or intricate technological processes.

If you make a part from aluminum, it will be significantly stronger, it will be able to transmit more torque, rotate at a higher speed. We'll have to master the casting process, albeit in the simplest version. Making a pulley by casting will require fire safety and the use of personal protective equipment.

The wheel can be turned on a lathe if it is in the home workshop.

Large diameter pulley from a disk.

I saw on it a tree up to 50 mm thick of any linear dimensions. The pulley behaves perfectly.

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April 6, 2012 | Views: 8150 |

How to make a plywood pulley at home

This design is the easiest to manufacture. It consists of the following details:

  • pulley body
  • pulley cheeks
  • fasteners, screws on wood.

The number of parts depends on the width of the drive belt. If it is larger than the thickness of the plywood sheet, the body of the drive wheel will have to be made of several plywood circles.

The diameter of the cheek blank should be greater than the diameter of the body by the height of the belt.

The manufacturing sequence of plywood pulleys is as follows:

  • mark the blanks
  • cut them out of plywood with a jigsaw, drill a central hole,
  • if the body consists of two or more circles, fasten them with carpentry glue or PVA, watching for the coincidence of the axial holes,
  • tighten the circles with screws
  • treat the side surface of the disk with sandpaper, a file or a grinder until a smooth, even surface is obtained,
  • chamfer the inner surface of the cheeks, their slope should be equal to the slope of the cross section of the belt,
  • to fix the cheeks on the body with glue and screws, taking care not to get into the already twisted ones,
  • drill the center hole carefully.


When performing the last operation, you need to make the hole diameter half a millimeter smaller than the shaft diameter. This will allow the detailed axis to fit into the interference fit. Wood pulley is ready.

Places for screws should be marked in advance. They should be on the same circle, as well as at equal angular distances from each other. If the four screws, the angle should be 90 °, if 5 - 72 °, if six - 60 °. Then radial vibration can be minimized.

Pulley making

I thought - temporarily, I will find the real one and replace it. But then it became clear that this was not necessary. It has been working for me without fail for 7 years, no worse than any metal one.
He calculated the diameter of the pulley, took the remaining dimensions from the driving pulley on an existing electric motor with a power of 600 watts.
I sawed a round disk from plywood of the required thickness - medium. Then two extreme ones - from 10 mm plywood. In the center of each disc, I drilled holes with a diameter of 3 mm.
On the grinding wheel, he machined the outer edge of the small disc, and for large ones, he chamfered from one side.
Then he glued all three disks by inserting a 3 mm diameter rod into the central holes. Additionally, I pulled four screws on each side, as shown in Fig.
In the finished pulley in the center, I drilled a hole to the desired diameter.
The finished disk is planted on the drill with the appropriate equipment. I cleaned it with a file and sandpaper during rotation. And, of course, proliferated.
On this I finished the work and put the pulley on the machine. Secured the pulley with a clamping nut with a lock washer.
The machine turned out great. I saw on it a tree up to 50 mm thick of any linear dimensions. The pulley behaves perfectly.

Dear visitor, you read the article “Pulley from plywood”, which is published in the category “Miscellaneous”. If you liked or found this article useful, please share it with your friends and acquaintances.
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April 6, 2012 | Views: 8154 |

How to make an aluminum part

Making a cast aluminum pulley will be much more difficult, but the strength and durability of such a part will be much higher. You should carefully approach each step, strictly observe the size, follow the recommendations.

A piece of aluminum will be used as raw material. You will also need:

  • melting crucible, steel or ceramic,
  • muffle or induction furnace
  • fine sand, clay for sand,
  • polystyrene for the model.

The sequence of operations is as follows:

  • prepare a molding mixture of clay, water and sand,
  • cut an exact model of the future pulley with a knife from dense polystyrene,
  • fill the mold made of sheet metal or boards with a mixture to half, tamp,
  • put the model, cover with the mixture, tamp again, leaving a hole for the outlet of foundry gases,
  • to melt the aluminum in the crucible, carefully pour it into the hole,
  • after cooling the casting, clean it of the remains of the mixture, grind the gate, grind.


Such a part can be mounted on the shaft with a key or splined connection. He will sit much stronger, will be able to transmit significantly greater torque and speed.

Making pulleys yourself

The network has published many articles on how to make a pulley of wood or metal with your own hands.

Before repeating this or that design, you need to keep in mind a number of points. For wooden structures, the diameter of the motor axis should be slightly larger than the hole.

The design should provide for the collapse of the inner surfaces of the cheeks with an angle equal to the slope of the cross section of the drive V-belt. This will significantly increase the transmitted power due to the clutch of not only the inner but also the side of the belt.

Prior to the manufacture of the part, especially if the diameter of the wheel is large, a drawing or at least a sketch is simply required. It will also be necessary to make the calculation of the gear ratio - it will be equal to the ratio of the diameters of the master and the driven disk.

A homemade belt drive pulley will allow you to quickly repair the machine or create a mechanism of your own design.

It should be understood that plywood pulleys can last a long time only in structures with limited transmitted power and low angular speeds.

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What metal is the pulley made of?

To understand what material a pulley should be made of, it is necessary to understand its purpose.

The pulley is a friction wheel designed to transmit torque from the engine to the rotating shaft by means of a rope or belt. Motion transmission can be either long or short. And also - with different efforts. The load can be constant, or it can be dynamically changing.

From this it follows that making pulleys is made of cast iron or steel. As a rule, ordinary steel 40 is suitable. These metals have high wear resistance and increased strength.

The manufacture of pulleys according to the drawings is carried out according to the following scheme:

  • part of the workpiece on a lathe
  • processing (trimming) of the end
  • cutting a hole in the center of the workpiece
  • bore the center hole to the desired diameter
  • grooving
  • thread cutting

Micron LLC performs custom-made pulley turning operations. For more complete information or placing an order, you can contact the specialists of the company.