Our old wheel took up a lot of room and it was not the prettiest. I decided to make a new wheel out of plywood.
First I cut out 3 rough circles from 5mm plywood. Then I bolted each one to a jig I made for my router.
As I used the same bolt hole to mount each piece of ply there were all identical so they fit together perfectly. I then glued the 3 pieces together and clamped them in the vice overnight.
I marked out where I wanted to cut out material to make the spokes of the wheel.
I used a new hole in my “router table” to cut the 6 radius around the sides of the wheel. I used a drill to make the 6 holes close to the centre of the wheel. Then I used a jig-saw to join the radius to the hole leaving me with 6 triangles removed and 6 spokes for the wheel.
I then used a corner radius bit in the router to round all the edges inside and outside. A hole was drilled in the middle of the wheel to attach the centre piece from the old wheel. I also put a step in the middle that the compass cover would fit into.
It was then just a matter of sanding and varnishing.
Here are some photos of the wheel in the boat and how the mechanism works. since our boat has a tiller the wheel is not always connected, we use this chain to connect and disconnect the pulley system from the wheel.